The joy of Christmas specials

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My first memories of Christmas specials were when you could watch the Grinch of Charlie Brown or Rudolph only once a year. So you snooze you lose in the days before VHS. It was an event to see them and that great. I remember all the commercials leading up to the showing of the specials and they lure me in and have me reminding my parents we had to watch this even if it was at a point where I had seen every year for the last few years. I actually much prefer how it is now that we can have or borrow it on DVD to watch when we want to. Still a lot of those specials were part of my childhood and there quite a few good ones. Christmas wouldn’t be the same for many of us without watching the Grinch, Charlie Brown and his scraggly tree and numerous Rankin and Bass specials.

***What are some of your favorites?

***Have you watched any specials yet this season or do you wait until a certain time like Christmas Eve?

Christmas specials week- Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer



Hard to believe this classic Rankin and Bass Christmas special will be 50 years old next year. Then again it has been a tradition to watch it in many homes for decades and a number of adults like myself enjoy watching it with our kids.

So Rudolph is a young reindeer living at the North Pole and the son of Donner a veteran reindeer who pulls Santa’s sleigh. He also has a nose that glows and it’s red as a rose and uh can I add something about a garden hose? Perhaps not. Donner is ashamed of this nose and Santa doesn’t care for it either so Rudolph gets mud slapped on his nose to cover up his shame-bad nose, bad nose. Santa is all skinny from worry and for some reason Mrs. Claus seems to be Italian in this special even though she isn’t in later  Rankin-Bass specials. Well reindeer aren’t the only ones with troubles as we see the plight of Hermey the elf. An elf who wants to be a dentist instead of making toys “a dentist?”. What a freak I mean what a free-spirit. So Rudolph eventually gets laughed at by his peers although he does make a connection with a girl deer name Clarice. Rudolph the red nosed freak and Hermey the wannabe tooth inspector end up going off together to avoid being laughed at and to get some action rolling in this show. They run into a greedy prospector named Yukon Cornelius who I always suspected smelled like BO and old cheese. Meanwhile they are in fear to some extent of the abominable snow monster/bumble (see a monster means I can review this show here on my blog). So Rudolph, Hermey and Yukon Cornelius end up trying to seek refuge at the Land of misfit toys, but this trio are such bizarre pieces of junk that they are not allowed to stay more than one night. Rudolph leaves in the middle night likely because Yukon Cornelius had horrible room clearing gas while he slept. Rudolph goes off alone, but Clarice and Rudolph’s mom go looking for him and eventually get trapped by the abominable snow monster/ bumble who looks kind of like an albino King Kong only with eyes that bulge out even more. Eventually Yukon Cornelius helps save them from the big white creature but we think both have died in the struggle. Rudolph and the rest head home and Rudolph is semi-accepted, Yukon Cornelius and a now tame and toothless Abominable snowman/bumble come in too and finally Santa gets a little less grumpy and smarter as he asks Rudolph to guide his sleigh. Rudolph talks Santa into picking up the misfit toys and giving them to kids. Everything turns out okay. Roll the credits.


I never knew until recently that when this was first shown that they did not have Santa come back for the misfit toys. It was after the first showing that people wrote in to the network saying that Santa did not come back for the misfit toys and he needed to. So these parts were filmed and added in for the second year that the special was shown.

A classic Christmas special that has held up well over the years. The songs are just as memorable as many of the lines. Rankin and Bass made numerous Christmas specials but this is likely their biggest one.