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Something I just realized about Christmas specials

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Drtooth, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I don't know why I never came to this conclusion before, but...

    you know the countless Christmas specials that focus on saving Santa Claus to save Christmas? Everything from A Year without a Santa Claus to Super Mario Bros Super Show's episode "Koopa Claus." Now, let's take the moral and spiritual aspects out of Christmas for this example. That sort of thing was only really ever mentioned in the Grinch (book, musical, cartoon, and movie). And let's take his international helpers/incarnations off the table as well. Here's what I wonder. Now, if something happens to Santa (being kidnapped by Dr. Claw among others, the heavy snowstorm in Rudolph, he gets sick, he becomes an overworked dying husk... etc. etc.) then Christmas is always canceled... yet, well... Santa only brings presents to children. The presents children receive from Santa. Uh... don't other people buy each other presents? Worst case scenario is kids don't get presents from Santa, but they still manage to get the subpar gifts from relatives. As far as the adults are concerned, other than very disappointed kids, it doesn't effect them, and they still exchange gifts anyway, basically saying Christmas is happening, just no Santa. So why do they always say he's the one that has to cancel Christmas, when it's just a part (a major part, but a part no less) of it anyway?
  2. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Because if Santa didn't bring MORE presents to good lil' boys and girls all over the world, all those good lil' boys and girls would just die.
  3. robodog

    robodog Well-Known Member

    In most Christmas specials it seems to be implied that Santa IS Christmas. The entire holiday revolves around him. They never seem to take into consideration that others are perfectly capable of buying for each other without Santa.
    What I've always wondered about is why adults don't believe in Santa in specials where Santa clearly exists. Who do they think leaves those presents under the tree every year, The Underpants Gnomes?
    Dominicboo1 likes this.
  4. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    In most cases, it's because they aren't aware he actually does exist until, like, the end of the special, when Christmas is saved; otherwise, it's kind of to show the contrast between kids, who do believe, and adults, who have outgrown believing in him.
  5. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    "And he, he himself, the Grinch, carved the roast beast."
    Bannanasketch and MissMusical12 like this.
  6. Hubert

    Hubert Well-Known Member

    This is really my biggest beef about Christmas specials and movies. Everything is so Santa, Santa, Santa. I roll my eyes when "Santa" shows up in a description of something and immediately dismiss it, because I'm tired of the same old saving Santa or helping Santa or becoming friends with Santa or doing this with Santa or doing laundry with Santa or doing that with Santa. I mean, Santa is great, but I'm sorry, let's try a Christmas special without him for once!

    I'd like to see more people actually try stuff that doesn't revolve around Santa. I've always been a fan of when someone takes a non-seasonal special/movie plot that in the end promotes love and throw it right in the middle of the holiday season. That way, the special has enough Christmas cheer in it, but also has a convincing storyline, yet in the end somehow connects to the moral and spiritual sides of Christmas.
  7. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    By an incredible coincidence, tomorrow I'm going to "A Fraggle Rock Holiday" at the Center for Puppetry Arts, where they will be showing The Bells of Fraggle Rock and The Perfect Blue Rollie.
    KirbTreelo05 likes this.
  8. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    You know what the funny thing is? The Arthur Christmas special (not to be confused with Arthur Christmas)... they play it from a very realistic perspective and they.. uh... kinda imply Santa isn't real and Mom and Dad really get you the presents. Something strange, considering Arthur's primary demographic of kids 4-8. It's probably just subtle enough to slip by, but there are a few little asides between Arthur's parents about not being able to get Teena Tiny the Talking Tabby. Especially the look of dread they give each other just before D.W. opens up the duck they got instead.

    I think the problem is that it's the easiest trope. It fits in perfectly for Christmas episodes of TV cartoons. The funny thing is, they're not really playing it straight anymore... Billy and Mandy and KND (I have to watch every year) seem very satirical about it. Plus, that's basically just what the lamer new Christmas specials do. I don't want to list or name them, I just don't bother.

    But there are perfectly good Christmas specials devoid of Santa. Garfield, Fat Albert... every retelling of A Christmas Carol. Spiritual and Moral stuff is fine, but you just can't have too much fun with it. That's why they do those Save Santa specials. They can really have fun making fun of how overused it is, and they seem to do that quite a bit.

    But for my money, I miss Rocko's Modern Christmas. Not spiritual or commercial, but rather personal. Just like Garfield was. I'm not a huge "slice of life" guy (I'm a "Slice of life then a portal to Hades and Eldrich Abominations popping up" guy), but that's a nice change of pace.
  9. robodog

    robodog Well-Known Member

    These specials also seem to imply that Santa is incompetant. Seems like he's always screwing up and needing to be rescued or to have the main characters doing his work for him in some way.
  10. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Oh I've noticed this odd plot point for years, lol. Yeah Santa's the one who gives presents, not the parents, and if he's gone, there's no presents, period. It makes sense when you consider the target audience is children.

    Though some specials have tried to be a bit deeper about Santa's role in Christmas. I noticed this when I reviewed the 1970's cartoon version of A Christmas Carol (aka The Stingiest Man in Town). Yes, shameless plug here, lol:

  11. Xerus

    Xerus Well-Known Member

    I sort of created a, make Santa better, story in my latest Rebusquest cartoon. Where he gets turned into a cookie and the characters have to find him an antidote before midnight.

    I remember there was this WordGirl holiday episode where they didn't mention Santa or Christmas at all. They celebrated a cheese themed holiday instead.

    In Dinosaurs, their version of Christmas is called, "Refrigerator Day", where they celebrate the invention of the refrigerator so they can store food anytime they want.

    And in an episode of The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, they had a Christmas like holiday called, Low Tide, where people hang their boots over the docks and Poseidon leaves them gifts, but the naughty people get sacked by Mermen.

    And Chowder had a holiday called Knish-mas, where a creature called Knish Kringle gives people gifts if you give him a Shmingerbread house.

    And of course, Ren and Stimpy, celebrate Yaks-mas, where they leave a bowl of shaving cream for the yak who visits you that night so he can shave and leave you the shaving scum as a gift.
  12. snichols1973

    snichols1973 Well-Known Member

    In A Charlie Brown Christmas, it seems like everyone is so caught up in the materialism of Christmas: Snoopy's house-decorating contest, and finding the right Christmas tree ("Get the biggest aluminum tree you can find, Charlie Brown, maybe painted pink"); Sally's Christmas wish list ("I have a long list of presents that I want.... Please note the size and color of each item, and send as many as possible. If it seems too complicated, make it easy on yourself, just send money; how about tens and twenties?")

    Even the cast is so caught up in the backstage party action, that it takes the simple
    child-like faith of Linus to remind us that Christmas isn't so much about the right decorations or ideal presents, but rather the Reason for the Season, when the very first Christmas gift was given to us in a lowly stable in Bethlehem....
    KirbTreelo05 and CensoredAlso like this.
  13. snichols1973

    snichols1973 Well-Known Member

    So he paused, and the Grinch put a hand to his ear; and he did hear a sound rising over the snow; it started in low, then it started to grow.....
    Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small, was singing, without any presents at all.....
    How could it be so? It came without ribbons, it came without tags, it came without packages, boxes, or bags.
    Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before:
    Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store; maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more....
  14. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Here's another question. Would anyone care about the holiday if it were to revert back to its original religious meaning and everything that makes Christmas fun were stripped away for religious reflection and meditation? It would be little more than a religious duty that I'm guessing only the most devout would bother with.

    We have to face it, but the commercialism is what makes people look forward to Christmas. We wouldn't have the Christmas specials that complain about how commercial Christmas is with out commercialism. It's like one of those shows that tells you not to watch TV when you're watching TV.
    Fragglemuppet likes this.
  15. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    The only thing we have to face is the concept of balance, lol. You can have the spiritual meaning and still have a good time with the celebratory aspects. I don't think God wants people to be miserable and brooding during his birthday. It's just a question of keeping your priorities straight.
  16. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Oh definitely. Half of everything we associate with Christmas were absorbed from Solstice celebrations and everything else was just built up from that. That's the fun stuff. The spiritual stuff (which frankly doesn't even have anything to do with family so much as commemorating the birth of the savior of the Christian religion) is what's important, but it latches on to the vehicle of fun. And we all know, you learn about important stuff through fun and not monotony. I remember more about science through Bill Nye and Beakman than High School.

    Funny thing is, Chanukah's entire celebration is closer to their religion with everything being symbolic of that battle/miracle. The food is fried in oil, oil signifying the day's worth that lasted 8... the dreidle was trying to smuggle religion in where it wasn't allowed through the guise of gambling. Christians just have a nativity set and maybe some religious ornaments and music. But on the flip side, ever see a Chanukah section in a store? It barely takes up an endcap in aisles and aisles of Christmas merchandise.
    Fragglemuppet likes this.
  17. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Well, again, irreligious people get their panties tied in a wad over any thing religious... heck, there's been controversy over in Santa Monica over a public navitiy scene being displayed that a group of atheists demand be taken down because it "infringes" on their rights (yet, they don't seem to think that they're actions infringe on the others rights for freedom of expression).
  18. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Atheists don't have quite the power everyone says they do. They pull down a couple Nativity scenes in a couple states. There's something I don't get at all. More people would be offended by it being gone, why do they always take them down? SIMPLE! State governments are letting this happen because it's perfect fuel for those phoney wars on religion that right wing talking heads made up to cover the fact that religious institutions are gaining MORE ground. Just in places where they truly don't belong.

    Still, I really don't get why people that don't even live in that town, state, or even that part of the country get so livid about something that they have no control over that's not directly happening to them.
  19. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I know, I've said before, the ENTIRE STATE OF WISCONSIN, for some reason, has been trying to drive religion out of MY region down here in East Tennessee... WHY are WE being singled out by ALL of Wisconsin? Better yet, WHY are THEY concerned about us all the way down here?
  20. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I swear that the tiny power atheists have is all focused on the wrong area. Why aren't they going after the WBC, and getting them to be redefined as a terrorist group? Why aren't they coming out in droves in support of gay rights?

    Oh yeah. They want an easy to defeat target. I still think politicians are taking a fall so those who support them get to scare it into voting for them.
    Fragglemuppet and CensoredAlso like this.

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