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Christmas Specials & Holiday TV Shows
Christmas with the TV Families!

by Billy Ingram

If you can’t spend the holidays with your own family, perhaps the next best thing is celebrating with your fave TV families!

David and Ricky Nelson set out to earn some extra moolah to buy presents by opening up a Christmas tree lot, but soon discover that being small-time entrepreneurs is a lot more involved than they realized. 'The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet' aired on ABC from October 3, 1952 through March 26, 1966, starring the real life Nelson family

 

Everyone’s favorite meddling maid Hazel moonlights at department store in 1961 for extra Christmas cash. Starring Shirley Booth.


There were several very funny holiday episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies. This is the December 1963 episode where the Clampetts celebrate at home in Beverly Hills which they find distinctly lacking in Christmas spirit. Artificial snow?!?


This is a rare instance of a half hour sitcom having a 90 minute holiday special during its run. ‘Visions of Christmas Past’ is an elongated episode of the 1979 weekly series ‘Shirley’ starring Shirley Jones and Peter Barton. This show aired on December 28th and was, ironically, one of the last episodes.

’Shirley’ ran from October 26, 1979 until January 25, 1980. In this lightweight comedy, Shirley Jones plays a recent widow who moves from the big city to a small town with her three children, a stepson and her housekeeper.

Very much like The Doris Day Show (farm gal moves to San Francisco) in reverse, with a sprinkling of The Partridge Family thrown in (hot teenage son, dopey younger kids) for good measure, this series suffered from producers playing everything too safe. NBC had that problem in the late-1970s. ’Shirley’ was trying very hard to be like those beloved 1970s sitcoms from MTM.

Not only that, this show had one of the most shrill and annoying theme songs of all time, sung by Shirley Jones who should have known better. You won’t be humming this tune!


Family was a much loved 1970s hour long drama produced by Mike Nichols and starring Sada Thompson, James Broderick, Meredith Baxter Birney, and breakout teen star Kristy McNichol. The series ran from 1976-1980, this episode was entitled ‘On the First Day of Christmas’.

 

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