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Thursday, December 24, 2015

'Twas The Night Before Christmas

Happy Day Before Christmas, Everybody!

Yes, we have reached Day #24 in A POP CULTURE ADDICT'S ADVENT CALENDAR on this incredibly unseasonably warm Christmas Eve.  

I mean, seriously, I've never experienced a Christmas Eve where you can go outside in a T-shirt and shorts and not feel the slightest bit cold.  After all, I live in Ontario, Canada, where green Christmases are very rare.

I guess those people who asked for snowshoes, skis, and parkas are probably wanting Santa Claus to change their lists, huh?

Well, no matter.  Whatever the weather is like outside, I certainly hope that you all have a happy and enjoyable Christmas Eve, and that you spend it doing the things you like to do.

I know that I plan on spending mine watching Christmas movies all day long - well, after I finish this blog, that is. 

So, in the spirit of Christmas Eve, as well as throwing a nod towards my Christmas Eve plans, I'll be doing a blog entry on a television special that I remember watching on television years ago.

It's a television special that also seems to divide the general public.  Some people absolutely loved it, while others wish that it was never created.  I'm not quite that hateful about this show, but I do admit that it probably wasn't one of Rankin-Bass' finest moments.  After all, Rankin-Bass brought us such classics as "Frosty The Snowman", "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer", and "The Year Without A Santa Claus".  But, maybe by the time this show was released in the mid-1970s, people started to lose interest.

Even so, I do remember liking it at the time, and it happens to take place on Christmas Eve, so it fits.

The show is called "Twas the Night Before Christmas", and it first aired on CBS on December 8, 1974.  The television special aired every Christmas season on CBS until 1994, when ABC Family bought the rights to air it.  And the star of the show was Broadway singer and actor Joel Grey of "Cabaret" fame.

(And whose daughter Jennifer played the female lead in "Dirty Dancing".)

So, we know when the story takes place.  Christmas Eve.  But what is the story about?

Well, it's about Santa Claus getting very annoyed with the people of a small little town in the middle of Upstate New York, that's what. 

Set in the fictional town of Junctionville around the early 20th century, it seems as though the citizens of Junctionville have become quite cynical around Christmas, and many of them have seemingly decided that Santa Claus simply does not exist.  The town newspaper even sends out an anonymous letter to Santa, stating that nobody believes in him any more, and it is signed "All Of Us".

Well, if you thought that made Santa chuckle and laugh, you'd be dead wrong.  In fact, Santa is so hurt by it that he decides that he will NOT be making a stop in Junctionville after all, and sends back every letter written to him to all of the townspeople...unopened.

Talk about killing the Christmas cheer, huh? 

But just who is responsible for this?  Who could hate Christmas that much that they would cause Santa to go to war against an entire town?

Well, a little mouse by the name of Albert, that's who.  Though Albert certainly didn't intend to cause so much trouble with his letter, it certainly didn't make Father Mouse very impressed.  After all, Father Mouse was the assistant of clockmaker Joshua Trundle, and if the human population of Junctionville missed out on Santa's visit, knowing that his son was responsible for the whole thing...why it would break a father's heart.

Fortunately, there was time to rectify the situation.  Because the Trundle family knew the clock business, their solution is to get Santa's attention by building a Christmas clock right in the middle of the town square.  The crown jewel of the clock?  A pre-recorded message begging Santa's forgiveness and coaxing him to give Junctionville another chance.  It was a great idea, and had it worked, I'm sure that everything would have gone smoothly.

That is until the bratty Albert Mouse - who caused this situation in the first place - got a little bit too curious and investigated the clock tower without permission.  His meddling causes some damage inside the clock, and when the town comes together to watch the clock start up, it becomes a complete disaster with the clock not functioning at all.

The townspeople are disappointed, Father Mouse is shocked, Joshua Trumble looks defeated, and the town mayor is so furious that he refuses to let Trumble go inside to fix the clock before Christmas Day. 

It seems as though Albert has once again ruined Christmas for the people of Junctionville...or has he?

You see, although Father Mouse was the assistant of Joshua, it seems as though Albert has learned a thing or two about how to fix things through osmosis.  And being incredibly remorseful about his actions leading up to the clock breaking down, he takes it upon himself to put the clock back together.  But with Christmas Eve almost over, and Santa Claus due to make his trip around the world to everybody except Junctionville, can Albert fix the clock before it's too late?

Well, here's a little bit of a Christmas gift from me.  Clicking HERE will let you watch the whole show uninterrupted!

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone!

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