December 21, 2008

Christmas Memories: Christmas Television Specials

As I was growing up television holiday specials were a big part of my Christmases. There's a few I still try to make sure I see every Christmas.

I think a lot of you are like me to some degree. So I'll start with one that I think everyone is familiar with, and I hope remains a Christmas classic for generations to come. Dating all the way back to 1965, here's a clip of A Charlie Brown Christmas:

Christmas Comes To Pac-Land

No doubt a common Christmas gift this year will be one of those amazing and realistic video games for your Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii or Playstation. If I had more time in my life I would definitely get me an Xbox and that NHL 09, and maybe that Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe

Video games sure have come a long way since I was a kid. I remember spending hours playing Asteroid, Pitfall and good ol' Space Invaders. Our generation can all share stories about first learning to kill those aliens by shooting through our own shields.

Then there was Pac-Man, though believe it or not I never owned that game. I do now, on my Ipod Touch, just to show my age in case my grey hair doesn't make it obvious. Pac-Man was at a whole other level, spinning off merchandise and tv shows. Here's a clip of 1982's Christmas Comes To Pac-Land.

From The "Believe It Or Not" Files

As much as George Lucas has tried to bury this, and with good reason, it is really hard to believe that there was a Star Wars Holiday Special back in 1978.

Even harder to believe is it featured very special guest stars Beatrice Arthur and Jefferson Starship.

I've never seen the whole movie, just the intro. It is a must see to believe:

Growing Pains With Nancy Reagan

Growing up in the 1980s means every of many sitcoms always had yearly Christmas specials. My favorite was the episode of Growing Pains where the Seavers welcomed in a homeless teenager.

I take a big ribbing for liking Growing Pains, but I don't care. Hey, growing up as a Canucks fan in the 80s means you get some pretty thick skin! Unbelievably I found it on YouTube:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Let's move on to my absolute must-watches.

Scrooge Can't Duck Mickey Mouse

The classic Christmas Carol story meets Walt Disney in Mickey's Christmas Carol. I am absolutely certain Charles Dickens would approve.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Swedish Chef Tries To Cook Big Bird

Remember when the cast of Sesame Street joined their Jim Henson cousin puppets on the Muppet Show?

The highlight for me was Swedish Chef trying to cook Big Bird as the Christmas turkey! Errr Börk! Dersta gobbly-gobbly humunga!

Christmas Eve On Sesame Street

I think my favorite holiday television special has to be 1978's Christmas Eve on Sesame Street.

Bob McGrath is wearing a Bobby Hull Winnipeg Jets' jersey in the very beginning, while Ernie, The Count and Cookie Monster play hockey keep-away with Bert's shoe. Big Bird is a bit of a wus, as usual, and Grover is completely underutilized, as always. The Bert and Ernie angle with Mr. Hooper takes the Christmas cake.

I found the entire episode available, in 7 parts, on YouTube. And if that isn't a true blue miracle, I don't know what one is.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven

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