Festive Telly

So Hello Blogger! Here I am, just! I have moved my (still a baby at two months old really) blog over here from Weebly for reasons explained in my previous post...I hope this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship anyway! I'm still figuring out some of your kinks, what template I want and so forth but I'm diving right in. To any new readers, hello. My name is Steff and I'm an American who lives in Scotland, just trying to find my way as a new blogger. Thank you very much to my friend A. for the much needed assistance. I laboriously copied and pasted my posts so I'm afraid I have no words of wisdom on the actual blog move...anyway onwards and upwards!

So it’s December, how did that happen? This year is a weird one for me, good weird in that I’m going to my Mom’s house in Florida for Christmas, which makes me happy, but also my holiday spirit feels a bit put on hold until we leave in 12 days. There’s not much point pulling out Christmas decorations or doing any shopping other than the family we post stuff to, which will be all online. So I don’t feel particularly festive yet, despite the town being decked out and John Lewis trying to make me cry every ten minutes with their stupid penguin ad! There have been non-stop bad Christmas films on Channel 5 et al, which I admit are usually a guilty pleasure for me (I do admit to watching one involving Andrew McCarthy learning to waltz – “The Christmas Dance”, that was actually quite watchable as far as these things go). But I don’t know, I just haven’t felt the urge yet to dust off Jimmy Stewart or Elf or A Christmas Story.

I had thought to do a Christmas movie post, but let’s be honest we all know what we like at this point and I doubt there’s much I could recommend that you haven’t already seen and made up your own mind on.  What I do traditionally enjoy are Christmas episodes of my favourite shows, done well, i.e. not just re-hashing A Christmas Carol or It’s A Wonderful Life. So I will mention a few here that you might like if you’re bored of cheesy films about angels and Santa Claus.

1. Little House on the Prairie, “Christmas at Plum Creek” (season 1, episode 15): Ok I know I just poo poo’ed cheesy, so I have no right putting this on my list. But it stands as canon, even if I don’t watch it every year because it’s never on in the U.K. and despite numerous hints this little number has yet to fall in my stocking. I mainly enjoy this as a reference of childhood, I loved Little House, and this episode has become a bit of a running gag for my Mom and I – i.e. “Having a Little House Christmas” meaning we are not going overboard on buying ALL OF THE STUFF this year. The storyline involves Laura giving up the thing she loves most to evil Nellie Olsen to buy her Ma a new stove for Christmas.  It’s corny as heck but I defy you not to get a wee tear, the old fashioned, candles on the tree and homemade presents, the simplicity of their Christmas is just eternally charming and cuts to the core of the sentiments of the season that matter. I really hope I catch it on U.S. telly.

2. Supernatural , “A Very Supernatural Christmas” (season 3, episode 8): This is actually one of my favourite episodes of the show, ever. It has one of the best openings of an episode of the show, using the warped Supernatural style to make Santa be a positively terrifying prospect. Along with being a wonderfully funny, creepy take on how the Winchester Brothers deal with evil Santa’s  and creepy cookie cutter types (it’s pretty gory even by the show’s standards!); it also has one of the best flashback moments involving the brothers when they were young boys fending for themselves at Christmas. Dean trying to make Christmas a bit more bearable for his little brother despite no longer buying into any of it himself is one of those “Ack my eyeballs are watering now!” moments that make this show special. When it shows its heart in episodes like this one it really gets me.

3. Curb Your Enthusiasm, “Mary, Joseph and Larry” (season 3, episode 9):  Not in the mood to have your tear ducts tickled or heart warmed? That’s ok, sometimes we just want to laugh at the absurdity of it all, and Larry David’s unsuccessful attempts to balance his wife and her family’s Christian traditions with his own quizzical Judaic take on the festivities is comedy gold. Hearing someone question the seemingly bizarre things we do in the name of Christmas from a practical standpoint is the most refreshing take on the season since Seinfeld’s Festivus (also written by David). Warning: nothing is sacred, not for the easily offended! Larry’s disastrous attempt to fix Christmas by hiring a live nativity results in typical Larry faux pas fun.

4. The Gilmore Girls, “Santa’s Secret Stuff”(season 7, episode 10 on Netflix now I think): Ok hands up, I freely admit that this is the worst season of the Gilmore Girls, and this episode has way too much Christopher and his annoying kid in it for my liking. BUT I still love it. Rory and her mom Lorelei are apart for Christmas but pledge to wait and do Christmas together. Rory caves and has a taste of Christmas in London with her rich playboy boyfriend Logan (the actor who is super annoying in GG, yet super amazing in The Good Wife). Anyway Lorelei has held off all things Christmas, which seems a bit selfish on Christopher and his kid but hey that’s Lorelei, and is now filling the house with numerous cheap trees acquired post-Christmas. 

She and Rory run around the small town they live in trying to cling onto the Christmassy feeling that is quickly dissipating, bribing local coffee shops to give them the peppermint coffee, re-creating their unique to them traditions that seem a bit tatty/poor to fancy pants Christopher. He still doesn’t get that they are their own entity, and I admit their weird single mother/only daughter intense relationship is what draws me to the show because elements of it do remind me of me and my Mom – there’s a certain “Us against the world” mentality that can create quirks that to outsiders seem downright bizarre. Oh and it starts to snow and there’s an “Aha” moment where the show lets us know that Lorelei is totally going to end up with the right guy after all.

5.The Office “Christmas Party” (season 1, episode 10, on Amazon Prime): Yes, dear British readers and maybe some Americans will argue, the U.K. Office Christmas special is the best thing ever, etc.  But I really love the American version of the show, and this episode is pretty special. Michael creates Christmas carnage during the Secret Santa that pillories just how ludicrous the whole idea is (I still don’t believe Brits participate in it too!). The swap descends into fighting and haggling over the best gift and makes those who actually put an effort in feel like crap in the true spirit of Christmas. In traditional office Christmas party form Michael brings in a ton of alcohol to improve the situation, to hilarious and disastrous effect. If wacky and slightly cringe comedy is your bag, this is the Christmas episode for you. (If you require even more cringe factor I highly recommend Peep Show’s “Seasonal Beatings” – merits a post all its own but I’m a bit Christmas crackered so I’ll leave it there!).

So thanks for reading, I hope you are all avoiding the stresses and enjoying the fun stuff that this season entails.  I need something to kick my cold in the rear once and for all so I can start feeling a bit more festive and less woeful. This week I have been taking pictures of Christmassy sights, but so far if I‘m honest I’m still not quite there yet.  I’m too busy stressing about getting shopping done early and stocking the freezer for when we come home because Scotland comes to a virtual halt at New Year and our first real day back is Hogmanay (that’s  New Year’s Eve to the Americans ;-). Anyway I babble. Better go tackle some to do lists! Think I will treat myself to a Christmassy show later on though J

Of course Charlie Brown goes without saying, more of an American tradition though!


  1. I enjoy holiday episodes of TV shows, too! Cartoons, too.

    1. I LOVE all of the cartoons/claymation, from Rudolph to Grinch! I will be in American for once this Christmas so hopefully I can catch a few! :-)