Christmas is fast approaching and, for whatever reason, I’m not into it at all this year. This could have something to do with residual ill tidings from last year or the lingering depression that I’m finally finding ways to work past. It could also do with the fact that one of the staples of my Christmas was destroyed years ago and I’ve yet to reconstruct it to my liking and it wouldn’t be the same if I did. It would be a hollow thing, its skin the same but its bones far different. The item, in question, is a VHS tape with six hours worth of Christmas specials on it that broke years ago. I think it’s still around, somewhere, but I’ve yet to find it. It may not be. After all, it’s a video that doesn’t work. Despite my efforts to protect it, most people would label it “junk” and be done with it.

It was a simple tape. If you’re of a certain age, you know it fairly well. A blank Kodak VHS tape that you’d tape things off television with and watch whenever you wanted. I was still taping things off TV until 2003, completely unaware that all the shows I was trying to preserve would be released over the next few years on DVD. This particular tape was compiled before I could remember, pinning it pre-1989, and I shall now attempt to list everything that was on that tape. Keep in mind that most of these had commercials from around that time, too.

A Charlie Brown Christmas
A Garfield Christmas 
A Claymation Christmas – Some notes on this one. For one reason or another, this was the only special that wasn’t recorded in full and I vaguely remember that it was because another special was airing or something. We didn’t get the part with the California Raisins, but we did get the Carol of the Bells and I still get chills whenever I hear that song because the conductor (who I now know was supposed to be Quasimodo or similar) terrified me as a child. I had literal nightmares about him.
A Muppet Family Christmas – Since the breaking of the video and my token attempts to reconstruct it, I’ve discovered that this particular special has been spliced and diced in all United States releases due to rights issues since all the Muppets are being taken care of by different companies. It’s intact outside of the country, to some degree. I think this was airing in the middle of the Claymation special, but I’m not sure.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Frosty the Snowman
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
A Christmas Story – This was before TNT did their marathons of this movie so there was still some freshness and novelty to it. The scene where the kid gets his tongue stuck to the pole was right up there with the conductor for nightmare fuel.

I also want to say “Twas the Night Before Christmas” was also on there but I’m not one-hundred percent on that. Most of these still air every year and “A Christmas Story” has passed through some imaginary threshold and gone from having a cult following to being everywhere. While I want to reconstruct this little collection since it was a really big part of my childhood, it wouldn’t be the same. While some things are still out of our grasp, there’s a lot out there that’s a lot more available than it ever was before, and everything on this list (with the exception of the Muppets) can be found pretty easily. If I wanted to, I could just go on YouTube and watch every single one of them. It wouldn’t be the same.

EDIT: The Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special was also on the tape, and I did wind up buying that at some point. I think this may have been why we only got half the Claymation special on there?