Monday, December 22, 2008


In recent years, this performance has become much more familiar. Apparently, it's a big favorite of Gen Xers like myself, and has become a campy staple for younger viewers as well.

But back in '74, when The Year Without A Santa Claus first aired, I was nine, and man o Manischewitz, did I hate this thing. The Rankin-Bass holiday specials (Rudopht The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town) had always been favorites of mine, but this one had a convoluted, largely unpleasant storyline, and its physical production was downright ugly.

So it failed to become a seasonal favorite in my household, and apparently in others as well--unlike other Rankin-Bass favorites, it didn't air every year. It kind of faded away, mostly forgotten.

Except of course, for Snow Miser and Heat Miser. For years ever after, my brother and I remained convinced we'd hallucinated this entire thing. Nobody we knew had ever heard of these characters, or remembered this song. Then, sometime, all that changed...

These days, everybody knows the Misers. They even had their own (awful) special on cable this year. Hipster bands record covers of their signature tune. You can even buy miniature figurines of them. (Mine are on top of the fridge.) And even though I somehow never associate them with Christmas, here they are, kicking off my festival of loopy Christmas clips. Enjoy!