Monday, December 1, 2008

Making Christmas meaningful, day 1: The Christmas Special

There are few holiday traditions I remember having as a child - my Grandma always made peanut brittle and enough other candies to make any child's eyes grow wide with thoughts of sugar overdose. Her strict rules about how much we could eat, though, kept us in check (she was a good Grandma that way).

The other was watching Christmas Specials on TV, like How the Grinch Stole Christmas and A Charlie Brown Christmas. Mom would put us in PJs, dim the lights and make popcorn. They were the same shows every year, but that made us love them more.

Back then, aside from these two, Rudolph and Frosty were about all we had. It was like child gold - the stars aligning - Grandma letting you have that extra piece of fairy food - when one would come on TV. There was no pause button - no record - no rewind. Everyone sensed the urgency to be quiet and pay attention when the opening credits began to roll. You might miss it if you were not careful. (I could go into the old movies, such as Its a Wonderful Life, etc., but we're sticking with strictly kids' movies here.)

These days, we own enough kids' DVDs to fill an entire case - its easy enough to buy something like The Polar Express and put it on for your kids at the first hint of cold weather. (I am only somewhat sheepishly raising my hand here...they like it. And they sit still. The end.)

movie night


But maybe some of these shows are meant to be watched in this once-a-year format. With that "SHHHH! Its starting!!!" type of urgency. In the dark, under covers, in footie PJs. (Or cute PJ bottoms from Old Navy if your kids are older. They'll say they aren't into it, but they are. Trust me.)

So, tonight, 8pm Eastern, take a break from the craziness of holiday shopping and turn on ABC. You'll be delighted with a new holiday favorite, Shrek the Halls, followed by that hallowed classic starring the beloved Grinch. (Hey, his heart grew three sizes, remember?) And if you have cable/satellite, check out the ABC Family schedule of shows - they'll be airing a Christmas/holiday program every night from December 1st - 25th.

Like this post and don't want to miss another?
I'm doin' this all month long (until Dec 25th, anyway).

15 comments:

Tismee2 said...

Can I come to yours to watch TV?

I have The Grinch on my iPhone it really makes me smile - it's so so Christmassy!

and Polar Express - we have just ordered the Blue Ray 3D version of it to go on our new TV when it arrives - I love that too. We even bought Alexander the real silver 'bell' one year from 'Santa'.

Jingle bells, jingle bells.....

Kim said...

Polar Express usually starts running in my house nightly in about two weeks.. My son loves it.. And Shrek the halls has been playing in the car for about a week now.. lol

Anglophile Football Fanatic said...

I'm just stunned they are starting so late in the evening. 8pm? My tyke's in bed by seven.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I agree--the sanctity of the once per year viewing DOES make the entire experience better! Loved this post--it brought back memories of my own.

InTheFastLane said...

My husband LOVES Christmas specials. They are even cause to let the kids put off homework and watch TV. I think Rudolph in on Wed.

Red Lotus Mama said...

I just love the 25 days of Christmas. I love watching these Christmas movies with commercial breaks and all. Granted we have Frosty and Rudolph on DVD and watch them daily there is plenty I don't have on DVD like The Polar Express.

Mama Smurf said...

Fun nostalgic post! Can't wait to see what else is on your list.

Swirl Girl said...

I already DVR'd tonights specials.

I missed Charlie Brown Christmas, I think. I think I bought the VCR tape just for the music....many moons ago. And, we're Jewish!

thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Amber said...

Great suggestions! I remember doing much the same thing when I was a kid. Usually, we'd do the same thing here and try to catch these shows when they come on but this year we don't have tv service. So we'll be going to the library next week to see what kinds of Christmas movies we can find. ;)

Jean said...

Yes, our movie collection keeps growing each year. If you ever come to Arizona they have an actual train called the Polar Express. My friend went last week and I was so jealous. They sell out almost a year in advance!

http://www.thetrain.com/polarexpress/

Melanie said...

I remember the same sense of urgency when I was little. It's not there much anymore with DVRs, DVDs, etc. Though we still try to create it by getting everything ready before we sit down with the lights off, popcorn and drinks nearby, to watch our favorites (The Santa Clause 2, The Grinch, etc).

Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

We are THAT Family said...

Yes, it's definitely Christmas when those shows come on! I should probably turn the TV back on for the month. For the kids, of course :D

Jenny in Utah said...

We have a VHS with all the old classics - Rudolph, Frosty, etc (I love the commercials more than anything) - can't wait to pull them out!

Eli's Lids said...

Those movies really do make the Christmas season special.
http://elislids.blogspot.com

Tammy said...

Just got the kids some Christmas pj's from Old Navy last night with new slippers.

And we LOVE Christmas movies, with my favorite being Charlie Brown.

But I do love me some Christmas Vacation and Christmas Story!