Does anyone else miss the good ol’ days of the exciting “Christmas Specials” on TV? You know, back when holiday programs were actually SPECIAL because they only ran once a year – so if you missed them, you were out of luck? I sure do! I can still hear the drums and trumpets from the CBS Special Presentation intro in my head, and picture that swirling seventies logo that signaled that something wonderful and out-of-the-ordinary was about to happen. (CBS used to air the most popular specials, like A Charlie Brown Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.) As I was thinking about writing this post, I decided to take a quick look on YouTube to see if I could find that intro…and what do you know? There it was, exactly the way I remembered it from my childhood.
In the Decembers of my youth, I would grab the new TV Guide each Sunday to see which holiday specials were going to be aired in the days ahead, then eagerly look forward to them all week long. Watching the specials was a family affair at our house. I remember feeling sorry for my dad once when he was out-of-town and had to miss one (although he probably didn’t feel the same way). But from a kid’s perspective, they were a huge part of the holiday excitement build-up. Specials were not to be missed. I’m guessing that many children of the seventies and eighties would agree.
Yes, I know that all the same holiday programs can be found on TV now. And almost every year, new ones are released. They are played over and over again on multiple channels. In fact, the other night I set the DVR to record about 15 of them over the coming weeks, so that my kids will have pretty much any Christmas program they want at their viewing disposal. And we already own many others on DVD. But even while I do all of that for my kids, I feel like I’m taking something away from them at the same time. When you can watch something whenever you want, it’s no longer special. There will be no heart-pounding moments for them as they watch that swirling CBS logo fill the TV screen. The whole experience has just become so…ordinary.
Sometimes, I think, the more is NOT the merrier.
Photo credit: abc.go.com
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