That same year, Rick took it upon himself to capture Christmas on Tape. Our family documentarian would stay up late into the night, faithfully recording every TV Christmas Special known to man. Within weeks, he'd amassed a collection to rival the Smithsonian. By '87, Rick's library consumed six shoe boxes. And though his labeling system wasn't exactly Dewey Decimal, we somehow managed to dig out those tapes every Christmas. Together, we'd share a little holiday spirit with Pee Wee, Mr. Magoo, Dick Van Dyke, Lucy and Bozo the Clown.
So, with great respect to my brother, I offer you now the undisputed TOP FIVE TV Christmas Specials Of All Time. If you'd like to borrow any of these titles, they're in Shoebox 4,7 and 9 respectively.
#5. LIFE WITH LOUIE, "A CHRISTMAS SURPRISE"
If you haven't caught Louie Anderson's animated Christmas episode, you're missing out. Anybody with a grumpy Dad can relate.
#4. EMMET OTTERS JUG BAND CHRISTMAS
This is Jim Henson at his creative best. I still tear up when I hear "River Meets The Sea." And don't even get me started on the Riverbottom Nightmare Band.
#3. MR. MAGOO'S CHRISTMAS CAROL
To this day, our family still sings "The Lord's Bright Blessing" at every Christmas Dinner. Bring on the Razzleberry Dressing.
#2. PEE WEE'S PLAYHOUSE, CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
There's no way you can beat Pee Wee, Frankie Avalon, Oprah, Joan Rivers, Dina Shore, Charo, and the Del Rubio triplets. Just no way.
#1. CHRISTMAS CAROL WITH GEORGE C SCOTT
This is the last movie we watch on Christmas Eve. Late into the night, with heavy eyes, we're reminded of what makes Christmas magical. Even my tough skinned Dad tears up at the timeless message and amazing performance by George C. Scott. And so, as Tiny Tim observed ... God Bless Us, Every One.
HONORABLE MENTION - THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW, CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
I don't think you can buy this online, but if you get a chance to catch the Dick Van Dyke Show's Christmas episode, TIVO while you can. Who doesn't love it when Rob and Laura put on a show?!