Sunday, November 15, 2009

Clean out the chimney or, um, oops, the DVR--Santa Claus is coming to town!

Do you remember being a little kid back in the days before DVR and Tivo and even possibly before the days of the VCR? Or, do you associate taping something on the VCR with a lot of anxiety, uncertainty, and turmoil, particularly when your parents had minimal tech savvy? Do you remember back when if you wanted to watch a particular show, you had to look it up in the TV Guide (or, at least, the newsprint version that came free with the newspaper--that's what we used) and then had to be physically in front of your television at the exact time when the show was scheduled?

Do you also remember when except for Sesame Street and the other public television options and the tons of kind-of crappy-low-educational-value cartoons, there was not really all that much children's programming?*

You do remember. Great, so you remember what a big deal it was to have a "Christmas Special" to look forward to watching during the evenings of the holiday season. I have such great memories of eating special snacks and having pizza picnics in front of Christmas specials . . . those semi-familiar-yet-oh-so-special shows that built up your excitement for the upcoming holiday and just seemed like such a treat.

My mom would try to track when all of the specials would be on so that we could enjoy them. Great memories.

Last year, we managed to DVR a few holiday shows and Bub took a fancy to Cranberry Christmas, Garfield's Christmas (humor way above his head, but he seemed intrigued by the fat cat), the Peanuts ones, and Polar Express (though not in its entirety).

I pulled out an ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas guide from a magazine and am planning to record a few special shows to enjoy during the upcoming season.** You can find that schedule right here. You're welcome.

I also found a list of holiday specials on multiple channels, not just ABC Family. That list is right here. If your fantasies include your couch, pajamas, wine, cookies, present-wrapping, and Lifetime or Hallmark original holiday movies, this list will help you realize those fantasies.

That's all I have to offer for now, but I have to ask: do you have a favorite "Christmas special"? I think mine is Christmas Eve on Sesame Street.







*I understand that the fact that there is so much children's programming today is not necessarily a great thing, but this post is not about that.

**Not all the shows on the list are holiday ones, but a lot are family/kid movies. I am excited to record Cars, The Incredibles, and Polar Express on our DVR. I'm tempted by Willy Wonka. Bub is not ready for the movie yet, but I think he would get a big kick out of seeing the inside of the candy factory with the chocolate lake, etc. I'll wait though.

13 comments:

Steph said...

My favorite was Frosty the Snowman!

Sarah Sulivan said...

Egads - we don't have a DVR (or a working VCR or DVD player for that matter - that's a longer story about a mouse and a cord mishap in our home) - we still have to be on our couch at the right time or we are forced to just watch...nothing. We end up channel flipping a lot. That being said, I've noticed that The Wizard of Oz was on TBS at least twice this weekend. Not really Christmas-y, but a favorite nonetheless.

E... said...

We're hoping Merry Madagascar is a winner. Otherwise, we remain fans of Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph (but not the weird New Year one).

Jennifer, Playgroups Are No Place For Children said...

I keep telling my parents how I don't really know how they survived raising kids without a DVR. It's so nice to always have access to a few shows that will definitely keep their attention.

I do remember the anxiety of taping shows on the VCR. Remember how some shows had a # and supposedly if you just entered the number in your VCR it would record? It never worked. And also, there were some things we watched so many times that the tape got warped.

Ahh, memories.

Regan said...

Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas. Hands down best Christmas Special of all time. What time of year did Charlie Brown race those mean kids with the motorboat and Woodstock ended up winning?

LAP said...

Definitely never had the VCR timer thing worked out. The thought of life without a DVR makes me shake, and would no doubt make my kids shake too if they truly understood the ramifications of it. "Mom, it's a commerical..."

Anyway, Frosty is a favorite year round in this house. I appreciate the listings you provided...Fancy already noted that she'd like me to tape The Cat in the Hat.

As for my favorite non-animated, I will go with White Christmas and Christmas Vacation.

CaraBee said...

Although we had a VCR when I was a kid, there was little to no recording of television shows on it. It was used almost exclusively for playing rented videos. It wasn't until I was on my own that I started recording shows, but then it was just as you described. So much anxiety.

I do remember watching all of the Christmas shows. They were "event" tv. Frosty, Peanuts, Rudolph. In this era of instantly accessible EVERYTHING, there is no need to wait until Dec 12 at 6pm to watch your favorite Christmas show. On the flip side, we missed it so many years, for one reason or another, that it is nice to know we can watch it.

I am looking forward to introducing Sophie to them.

Anonymous said...

I am with LAP for the Christmas favorites. Non Christmas would include Anne of Green Gables Marathon. m

Sue and Randy said...

I remember being so excited when the word "special" came up on the screen and spun around in those wild 80s graphics.
I've always been drawn to Snoopy. Something about the mix of the music and calmness in the Peanuts shows that I always liked. Which reminds me...time to get out that Peanuts holiday jazz CD.

Sarah D said...

Charlie Brown all the way. I also love the CD. Its my happy music! When we did our IVF embryo transfers they told me to bring a CD that made me feel relaxed and happy. I brought that CD even tho it was summertime.
I also remember the Special graphic swirling towards me meant something great was about to start!

Anonymous said...

My favorites were Yes, Virginia there is Santa Claus, Miracle on 34th Street, and A Christmas Story, Charlie Brown and Frosty the Snowman. T's favorite was The Family Circus Christmas and Home Alone. K's favorite was Home Alone and the story with the real reindeer in it. It was a Hallmark movie I think. Don't know the name right now.

I look forward to catching some of the oldies like White Christmas and It's a Wonderful Life of course with popcorn!
clm

Anonymous said...

My favorites were Yes, Virginia there is Santa Claus, Miracle on 34th Street, and A Christmas Story, Charlie Brown and Frosty the Snowman. T's favorite was The Family Circus Christmas and Home Alone. K's favorite was Home Alone and the story with the real reindeer in it. It was a Hallmark movie I think. Don't know the name right now.

I look forward to catching some of the oldies like White Christmas and It's a Wonderful Life of course with popcorn!
clm

msh said...

christmas eve on sesame street is my all-time favorite as well. i actually get teary-eyed every time i watch it. is that weird?

 
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