So it’s Christmas time once again, and I thought I would share some of the things I like to watch around this time of year. In no real order. Except Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown always comes in first!
A Charlie Brown Christmas
What is there not to like in this classic 1965 cartoon? Everything is so perfect that I can’t imagine it any other way. The characters, the wonderful, upbeat music, how just about every line is quotable.
And it was amazing that it was made at all
Added bonus – If you are as old as I am, you might remember the special being preceded by this CBS intro
The Blue Carbuncle
The beautiful Granada series that starred Jeremy Brett and David Burke as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson in this wonderful story set at Christmastime. Ah, a Victorian Christmas! This is one of my favorite episodes of the show. Back when VHS reigned supreme this was the only episode I bought (they cost $15-20 each back then!)
This is based off the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle story of the same name (text from Wikisource; audio part 1 and part 2 from Project Gutenburg, a fantastic reading!)
Mork’s First Christmas
From the Mork and Mindy tv series, this one has recently been added (though I have seen it at least a dozen times since August). Mork finds out what the true meaning of Christmas is (not a horrible plague…watch to find out his telling of his first encounter with Christmas) And what a sweet ending!
The Greatest Gift
From one of my favorite scifi shows, Warehouse 13 (I miss that show! 🙁 ), this is their Christmas episode from season 3. Something happens to Pete where he wakes up as if he never was born. The story and title comes from the short story written by Philip Van Doren Stern that led to the film classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”.
Unfortunately, I am not able to find the full episode, so here is a clip from near the beginning:
If you have Netflix, it’s on there. Amazon also has it. Or you can buy it from Google
(Another tv episode that was inspired by It’s a Wonderful Life was also from Mork and Mindy, “It’s a Wonderful Mork“, but it’s not a Christmas episode so I don’t really include it in this list. But it’s really good, and a bit of a tearjerker due to recent events).
It’s a Wonderful Life
There was a time when I was growing up that this movie would be on a bunch of channels, sometimes at the same time. You turn to one channel and it would be at one scene, and go to another channel and it would be at another scene. And it remains and endearing movie, full of heart and makes you realize how much you can make a difference to someone else, even if it’s a small one.
A true classic starring Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, and Henry Travers.
The Gold Rush
Not exactly a Chistimasy type of movie, but it takes place over Thanksgiving and Christmas. This 1925 silent film by Charlie Chaplin is considered to be his best. Charlie, as the Little Tramp, goes to the mountains in hopes of finding gold. He encounters a friend. and enemy, boils and eats a shoe, does a dance with rolls, and falls in love.
The below version is the 1942 (tweaked) re-release with Chaplin’s own narration (in place of the typical silent film title cards) and musical score. While I like this one better overall, I like the story of the original better (mostly the same version, just a couple important cuts that Chaplin took out)
A Christmas Carol
Take a classic Charles Dickens story, and the 11th Doctor, and you get Doctor Who’s 2010 Christmas episode (my favorite Who Christmas episode so far, though I didn’t quite understand the whole thing about the fish and shark). And there is the absolutely beautiful, operatic song, “Silence is All You Know”
As with Warehouse 13, the full episode is not online for free (that I can find), so below is a trailer and a clip.
This episode is on Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon, and a few other places.
Until next time….