Have Yourself a Vintage Television Holiday
[The post in which Todd, visual merchandiser and social director for Bookmans Mesa, explains his love for vintage television in the form of the holiday variety specials.]
To me, the magic of the season is being at that age living in the snow drift hills of the Midwest, nestled in my pajamas by 7 p.m., enjoying frozen pizza and gathered around to watch the magic of holiday television. The trees were lit up and the lights twinkled as I sat patiently for my holiday variety specials to begin. As I’ve gotten older, some of these classics found their way into the digital age to be released on either DVD or Blu Ray. You may know old and new Christmas classics such as Rudolph or Elf, or maybe one of the movies on Megan’s awesome list, but I’ve compiled a few lesser known vintage television classics that will take you back to the good ol’ days.
#1 The Carol Burnett Show – Christmas with Carol
Carol Burnett never did a full Christmas special during her time at CBS but she did celebrate the holidays in seasonal sketches. This collection is everything you love about Carol, from Eunice Higgins and Mother Harper, to Mr. Tudball and Mrs. Wiggins, and Carol’s version of A Christmas Carol. No Carol Burnett set is without fabulous costumes, Broadway-worthy Christmas musical numbers and special guests that include Alan Alda, Jonathan Winters and Helen Reddy.
#2 The Sonny and Cher Show – Christmas Collection
The Sonny And Cher Show was a popular variety show in the ’70s. Not since Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz had a Hollywood couple captured the hearts of America and the world. This set contains the Christmas episodes from 1972, 1973 and 1976. Special guest stars Captain Kangaroo, Shields and Yarnell, Bernadette Peters and William Conrad are only eclipsed by performance numbers that include Cher’s Oh Holy Night, Christmas Medley and Jingle Bells. Even little Chastity makes an appearance or two. It’s Cher! There’s not much left to say. Three decades later and the holiday beat goes on.
#3 The Donny and Marie 1978 Christmas Show
The spectacular snow-packed mountains of Utah provide the stunning backdrop for this special Donny and Marie show that features the entire Osmond family, including a rare appearance by the Osmond grandmothers. Originally not seen since 1978, this special is packed full of classic holiday songs, snowball fights, old-fashioned holiday spirit and the hilarious hijinks that make Donny and Marie so fun to watch.
#4 Marie Osmond’s Merry Christmas
Again The mountains of Utah provide a winter wonderland for Marie who goes solo for this musical salute to the season. Her guests include Kirk Cameron, Candace Cameron, Sally Struthers and Lee Greenwood performing all of your holiday standards.
#5 Captain and Tennille – The Christmas Show
It was 1976 and the Captain and Tennille ruled the pop music charts. Shortly after their 1975 debut Love Will Keep Us Together went straight to #1 and was awarded the Grammy Award for Record of the Year, this hot pop couple was given their own weekly television variety show. Their only televised Christmas special, this blast-from-Christmas-past is great entertainment the whole family can enjoy. Guest stars include Don Knotts and Tom Bosley (Happy Days) along with musical guests The Pointer Sisters and Toni’s sisters, Louisa, Melissa and Jane. Songs include Little Saint Nick, Jingle Bells, Wedding Song (There Is Love), Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, How Can I Be Sure and O Holy Night.
#6 Star Wars: The Holiday Special
A day that has been long remembered — Star Wars: The Holiday Special has never been rebroadcast or officially released on home video. It has become something of a cultural legend due to the “underground” quality of its existence. This piece of vintage television been viewed and distributed in off-air recordings made from its original telecast by fans, which were later adapted to content-sharing websites via the Internet.
#7 A Mom for Christmas
Although this one is not vintage per se, A Mom for Christmas is truly one of my favorites. Olivia Newton-John plays a mannequin who is brought to life to when 14-year-old Jessica receives a free wish for the holidays. She gets what she asked for and more. A Mom for Christmas is a truly magical movie. Think of the movie Mannequin but less sexy and with more singing.
* If you are interested in a specific vintage television holiday classic title mentioned here, give your local Bookmans a call and we will happily check our shelves for you. Remember we can not guarantee stock, so if you want to be sure your local store has A Mom for Christmas, give us a ring. Happy Holidays!
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