True mean­ing of Christ­mas TV spe­cials

The Saline Courier - - OPINION -

‘Tis the sea­son for Christ­mas tele­vi­sion spe­cials. What bet­ter way to cel­e­brate the birth of the baby Je­sus than by watch­ing “A WWE Christ­mas Smack­down”?

What could pos­si­bly say “Peace on Earth, good will to men” more than a spe­cial called “Katy Perry Goes a-car­ol­ing Buck Naked”? How about this for spir­i­tu­al­ity -- “Sur­vivor: Beth­le­hem”! What could re­call Mary and Joseph’s stay in a manger bet­ter than an episode of “Christ­mas Getaways of the Rich and Fa­mous”? No doubt Mary and Joseph would have loved the creche in the foyer of the Aspen bil­lion­aire’s house that is big­ger, cleaner and much more com­fort­able than the one where the Holy Fam­ily ac­tu­ally spent the night.

It’s funny: Ev­ery­one wants a creche, but no one wants to go to the trou­ble of find­ing real sheep and goat ma­nure to give it that au­then­tic hol­i­day smell.

Sure to be a hol­i­day clas­sic, “Three Wise Guys” is a twist on the tale of the Three Wise Men that you and your fam­ily will want to watch for years to come. In it, three ca­pos from “The So­pra­nos” come to visit the baby Je­sus by fol­low­ing a bright star they see in the night sky. Nat­u­rally, they run into trou­ble on the way, and they have to whack a few peo­ple be­fore get­ting to Beth­le­hem. When they fi­nally get to the manger, they give Je­sus gold, frank­in­cense and myrrh -- all of which have “mirac­u­lously” fallen off the back of a camel.

By the time Dec. 25 rolls around, we’ll have seen “A Coun­try Christ­mas,” “An R&B Christ­mas,” “A Rock Christ­mas,” “A ‘The Rock’ Christ­mas,” “An Xtreme Christ­mas,” “A Game of Thrones Christ­mas,” “A Lil Nas X-mas,” “A Real Housewives of Bev­erly Hills Christ­mas,” “A CSI Christ­mas,” “A Kar­dashian Christ­mas” and “A Mo­tocross Christ­mas.” Then come the “gift guide” spe­cials, which are just thinly dis­guised ad­ver­tise­ments: “Where To Shop for Christ­mas,” “Ex­pen­sive Presents You Should Buy for Peo­ple You Don’t Even Like That Much,” “We’re Not Kid­ding, Get Out There and Buy More Stuff for Christ­mas,” and “If You Don’t Spend Ev­ery Penny You Have On Christ­mas Presents, The Ter­ror­ists Will Win.”

One of the many ads you’ll see on these spe­cials is for a ro­bot vac­uum cleaner and its new twin, a ro­bot mop. Mary and Joseph sure could have used one of those. Those car­pen­ters al­ways make a mess; I’ll bet their house was full of wood chips and saw­dust all the time. A ro­bot shop-vac would have come in handy, too, and Joseph could have used one of those elec­tric ra­zors you see ad­ver­tised this time of year. He al­ways looks a lit­tle scruffy in the pic­tures.

By year’s end, we’ll have seen hun­dreds of 20-minute seg­ments dur­ing the morn­ing news about “how to Christ­mas shop.” Isn’t Christ­mas shop­ping pretty much the same as nonchrist­mas shop­ping? You go to a store, pick up the thing you want, take it to the counter and pay for it. Do we really need TV shows to ex­plain it? It’s shop­ping, not brain surgery. Un­less you’re buy­ing some­one a brain oper­a­tion as a Christ­mas present. Which is prob­a­bly not a bad gift idea.

There are spe­cials that show us what toys are “hot” this Christ­mas. But the toys are only hot be­cause they’re on TV. If TV didn’t tell us 50 times a day how hot the new toy was, some­thing tells me that it wouldn’t be that hot.

Ac­tu­ally, I don’t get to watch too many of the Christ­mas spe­cials. It seems I’m never home watch­ing TV this time of year. I’m al­ways out shop­ping. (Con­tact Jim Mullen at mullen. [email protected])


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