Posted by: Hannah | 12/23/2013

Meme Monday – Festivus Television

Nicole and Allison have decided to bring back memes. I am most heartily on board with this. Memes – usually on Facebook! – were how I got back into writing in the first place. I love memes. So much fun!

You can play along! Post a link in the comments.

Without any ado at all, I give you – the Festivus Television Edition of Meme Monday, 21st Century style.

What is your favourite Christmas television special, and why?

My all-time favourite is A Muppet Family Christmas from 1987. Here is a very good-quality post on YouTube:

Everything about this makes me smile. The songs are wonderful – a fantastic mix of classic carols and new, very Muppetish tunes. The jokes make me laugh out loud. It has a beautiful message of family being where you find it, and then at the very end Jim Henson himself makes a cameo appearance that brings tears to my eyes every. single. time.

My parents & siblings used to crowd around the TV every year when this was on, and then one magic year we remembered to record it on VHS. The closest tape to hand was my sister’s Backstreet Boys concert video. I taped over it. I’m a horrible person. I still watch it from that scratchy tape once a year, and it makes me think of home.

What is your least favourite Christmas special, and why?

I wrote a dissertation on this very subject several years ago. In brief – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Ugh. I hate everything about it. The bullying ‘reindeer games’ teacher. The asshole Santa Claus. The casual sexism. THE DENTISTRY. At what focus group meeting did Rankin & Bass decide that dentistry was so goddamn festive that it needed to be a key plot point in the Rudolph mythology? NO.

What is the Christmas movie you cannot live without?

It’s a three-way tie. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Scrooge (Alastair Sim version). There is a secondary list including Meet Me In St. Louis, Little Women (both the 1933 and 1994 versions, but not the 1949 version because June Allyson is too perky to be Jo), Love Actually, and Elf. I know, I know, Elf should be on the main list but if I don’t happen to catch it Christmas isn’t ruined. I just think, sometime around January 4th, that I should have watched it, and make a mental note for the following year.

Name a Christmas special from your childhood that is so obscure you’re not even sure it exists.

OK – I know this one exists because my sister remembers it too (unless we are sharing the same hallucination, which I suppose is possible). It’s called Mole’s Christmas and it used to air on CBC during December. It’s based on the one chapter from Wind in the Willows where Mole gets homesick and drags Rat out into a snowstorm to find his home, left months before in favour of life on the riverbank. They spend Christmas Eve in Mole’s old home, and some little field mice come by caroling, and the whole thing is terribly British and restrained. AND ADORABLE. I loved it. Then one year it didn’t air, and I’ve never seen it since.

*runs to Google*


Practically no one has viewed this video, so far. My kids are going to be forced to sit and enjoy the magic with me after supper, though.

Name a ‘very special’ Christmas episode of your favourite childhood television series.

I used to LOVE The Smurfs’ Christmas episode. Then I saw it one year, just recently, and it is objectively terrible. Ditto the “holiday” episode of He-Man: Masters of the Universe. And all the Flintstones’ Christmas episodes. I remember seeing a lot of holiday-themed bad 80s cartoons, and they are all still available on Teletoon Retro and, well, they suck.

Exception to the rule – any Christmas episodes of Animaniacs, which is a freaking brilliant Spielberg cartoon from the 1990s. If you’ve never seen it, do yourself a favour and check it out; it’s brilliant satire, and fun for kids AND adults. Of particular interest was Wakko’s Wish, and it was everything you could want in a Christmas special –  humour, pathos, slapstick, and fun songs.

I haven’t thought of Wakko’s Wish  in years, but I know what I’m watching tonight right after I’m done putting the children through Mole’s Christmas.



  1. ANIMANIACS! They have pay-for-play contracts! They’re zany to the max, they have bologna in their slacks….

    I’ve never seen that Christmas special nor Mole’s Christmas but you’ve inspired me to search for the donkey special.

  2. OMG Animaniacs! I came down one day when Eve was about three and said what are you guys watching and say said “Whacko Whacko Wiss!” It was awesome. And Muppets! I ADORE anything with the muppets! And is there anyone on earth that actually LIKES that stupid Rudolph special?

  3. Hi, I’ve been reading Allison’s blog for a couple years and just started reading Nicole’s, so I thought I’d come over and read yours. I might have to check out that Mole’s Christmas, even though it’s after Christmas. My 7-year-old daughter and I are trying to read Wind in the Willows, but I find it such a frustrating book to read to kids. When they’re the right age for the story, the language is too hard and then when they’re old enough for the language they seem too old for stories about talking animals. When my son was younger, he did enjoy the animated version, so this sounds promising.

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