Another Christmas-themed Six Pack. Sure to spark some debate.
This week, it’s TV’s turn, more specifically television Christmas specials. As a youngster, Six Pack remembers getting those December TV Guides to plot the week’s viewing. Back then, there was only one shot at Rudolph and if you missed it, there was no second chance. No DVD to pop in, no ABC Family (now Freeform) to re-run it. One and done.
These six specials are the pinnacle, the best of the lot, the it’s-just-not-Christmas-until-you-see-them Christmas specials.
Now, keep in mind, this list does not include Christmas movies. These are just the specials, the ones with the disclaimer — “M*A*S*H will not be seen tonight so that we may bring you the following special holiday presentation …”
6) Frosty the Snowman — Questions abound in this one — Why do the kids go to school on Christmas Eve? And why does Santa drop Karen off on the roof of her house? No matter. Six Pack was well into his teens until he stopped tearing up when Frosty melted. Professor Hinkle may have been the most evil villain of all the specials. He never really reformed; he just wanted magic cards in his stocking.
5) Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town — Like a superhero movie, Santa’s origin and secrets are revealed, but the villains, the Winter Warlock, (who has a change of heart 15 minutes into the show) and the Burgermeister Meisterburger don’t use the secret origin to stop Kris Kringle. We find out how Santa started leaving gifts in stockings, why he comes down chimneys and what is Mrs. Claus’ name is? It’s Jessica, although Six Pack always thought it was Mary Christmas.
4) The Year Without a Santa Claus — Santa’s sick and decides not to make his Christmas Eve ride, largely because he feels no one cares anyway. (Six Pack cares, Santa!). Mrs. C (Claus, not Cunningham) plays a larger role in this one and who can forget the Miser brothers? Their intro songs are the highlight of the show.
3) How the Grinch Stole Christmas — Dr. Seuss, who helped us most of us to learn how to read, also taught Six Pack that Christmas doesn’t need all the pizzazz to be Christmas. The Whos knew it, and many years later, Six Pack wishes more people knew it. There is lots of keen insight in this one — “And what happened, then? Well, in Whoville they say — that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day. And then, the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of 10 Grinches, plus two!” But the most wisdom comes in this one — “Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we.”
2) Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer — Six Pack inherited his soft spot for the underdog from his maternal grandmother and if there has ever been an underdog, it is Rudolph. Even Santa is down on his red nose. Lessons abound in this one, and great characters such as Yukon Cornelius and Bumble show us that even misfits can fit in. But the million dollar question is this: Why is the doll a misfit toy? An Internet search says her problem might be psychological. Good Grief!
1) A Charlie Brown Christmas — The best special is the one that its creators thought they screwed up. Charles Schulz and the producers didn’t think much of their finished product and network execs hated it. The major reason? They didn’t know if it was a good idea to mix religion with a cartoon. Schulz came to the conclusion “that if we don’t, who will?” It seems like it was a success. And it made No. 1 on the Six Pack. What more could you ask for?
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