The holiday season is in full swing and Christmas is just a few weeks away! With all the hustle and bustle of this time of year, it is easy to get wrapped up in the chaos. Well, never fear, because Nerds is here! This month we are recommending some of our favorite Christmas movies and shows to help get you in the holiday spirit!
I’m going to take you back to 1974 with this recommendation, The Year Without A Santa Claus. This old fashioned stop-motion Christmas movie is my personal favorite. I have to watch it every year. You can no doubt find some of the more famous Rankin/Bass specials on your television every year. The Year Without A Santa Claus is one of the lesser known, but no less special movie of the bunch.
We start by seeing poor Santa not feeling the best, and deciding he might not feel up to taking his annual trip. When his doctor tells him no one cares about Christmas or Santa anymore, Santa makes it official, no Santa Claus this year. Mrs. Claus simply cannot let this stand. She immediately starts thinking of a way to change her stubborn husband’s mind.
Mrs. Claus sends off two elves, Jingle and Jangle, and baby reindeer Vixen. Their mission is to find some left over Christmas spirit to prove to Santa that the children of the world still believe in him. Soon the trio find out this trip will not be an easy one, as they accidently fly between the territories of Snow Miser, and his brother Heat Miser. These two characters are my favorites, but we will discuss why later, when they show back up to steal the show.
After almost being blasted out of the sky by Heat Miser, Jingle, Jangle, and Vixen find themselves in Southtown. Here they learn quickly that Christmas spirit is indeed in short supply as they get a traffic ticket, meet some uncaring children, and lose Vixen to a dog catcher all within a few moments. While the elves try to save Vixen, Santa is in search of them all the while dealing with his cold. Soon he meets Ignatius Thistlewhite, Iggy for short. Iggy fills him in on what happened to Jingle and Jangle while inviting him in for some tea for his cold. Santa soon finds out Iggy thinks he is too old to believe in Santa Claus, but to his surprise Iggy’s dad is a believer. What follows is a precious song about how Santa is more than a man in a red suit. “Just like love I know he’s there waiting to be missed.” After this eye opening conversation, Iggy decides maybe he isn’t too old to believe in Santa. While everyone is trying to save Vixen from the dog pound, they meet up at the mayor’s office. To save the little reindeer and give Santa a holiday, they make a deal. If they can get it to snow for Christmas Day in Southtown, he will believe their story and do what they wish.
With no idea what they are doing, Jingle, Jangle, and Iggy call Mrs. Claus. She decides they must go straight to the source if they are going to get a snow day for Southtown. As they enter the territory of Snow Miser we hear the beginning notes of the song that will no doubt be stuck in your head. Snow and Heat Miser both give performances of their versions of the song that is very much a reminiscence of a Broadway tune. These brothers want to make sure you know how complete opposite they are. With Southtown being in Heat Miser’s territory, he will not allow a snowflake anywhere near it! After exhausting their chances with the argumentative brothers, Mrs. Claus decides to go over their heads, to their mother.
When faced with the task of talking to Mother Nature, even Mrs. Claus is nervous! The whole gang tags along, and as mothers often do, she figures out the problem in no time. Mother Nature decides that Southtown will have a white Christmas, and in turn, the North Pole will have one nice spring day. Even though she had to break out her stern mother voice, and flash a little lightening, Mother Nature got everything figured out. So with everyone home safe, and snow falling in Southtown, the leaders of the world decide to give Santa what he wants, a vacation.
You would think Santa would be very pleased with this break from his annual trip. Children everywhere have decided to pay back Santa for all the kindness and generosity he showed them. They bought presents, wrote letters, and created gifts to show Santa how much he meant to them. While delivering these gifts one letter in particular stood out to Santa, “I’ll have a blue Christmas without you.” As we listen to the children sing the song, we see a little girl coloring a blue Christmas scene as she misses Santa Claus with tears in her eyes. It seems that this was all the motivation Santa needed. He jumps to his feet with renewed strength as he realizes the kindness in children’s hearts. With a loud, “load up the sleigh!” We see the North Pole jump into action as Santa prepares for his Christmas Eve trip.
As the movie comes to a close, we hear “Here Comes Santa Claus” begin to play. Santa rides down the streets of Southtown as Iggy waves. This Christmas movie will always have a special place to me amongst the many classics on the television this time of year. The Year Without A Santa Claus has a way of showing that believing in Santa is more than a guy in a red suit delivering presents. Santa Claus represents the joy of giving and generosity during this time of year. Adding this important message alongside some catchy music numbers, like the Miser brothers, there is no doubt why the Christmas classic is a favorite to many.
Check out our other Nerds Gets Cheery articles here for more recommendations for the holidays!