Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures

Christmas Specials From the Past – Queue the Cheesiness

Written by Guest Writer • December 9th, 2009
Christmas Specials From the Past – Queue the Cheesiness

If you lived in the 1950s, 60s, 70s––or even the 80s––you probably spent some of your time watching television during the Christmas season. (This was back when it wasn’t inclusively referred to as ‘the holidays’.) Apart from the Christmas or holiday-themed episodes of your favorite TV series, you might have also sat through a music-filled extravaganza special, featuring some of the superstars of the day.

And chances are, you might have witnessed some of the choicest, cheesiest and unabashedly Christmas specials. Here is a rundown of some that may have peaked your interest back in the day. The holiday season also brought some unique TV advertisements worth noting. Grab yourself a cup of nog, spiked or otherwise, and let the festivities begin!

Johnny Cash & Family shared Christmas celebrations with the TV audiences in the 1970s. Here is their show from 1976.

In 1977, Cash was joined by fellow legends Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis.

In the 1960s and early-1970s, Andy Williams’ smooth voice––and often his family, including then-wife Claudine Longet––entertained the masses with his popular Christmas specials. He was even known as ‘Mr. Christmas’.

In 1973, you might have watched as Julie Andrews and Peggy Lee sing a duet on Julie’s Christmas Special. The clip also features Peter Ustinov.

Here’s a clip of Sonny and Cher cracking each other up during their 1973 special.

The Carpenters Christmas Portrait aired on ABC in 1978. This clip includes the great Gene Kelly, Georgia Engel, and Kristy McNicol.

This is the Donnie & Marie Osmond Christmas Show from 1977 (in its entirety).

This is the first part of A Muppet Family Christmas from 1987.

Take a commercial break with some of these Christmas-themed ads from the 1970s.

Need a unique gift idea? How about this portable radio from the 1950s?

Here is a vintage Christmas commercial from the U.S. Postal Service: ‘Mail early!’

Last, but not least, here is a Christmas-themed commercial you would have seen in the early 1960’s for Lucky Strike cigarettes. If you’ve watched the first episode of Mad Men (Season 1), you already know: “They’re Toasted!

Written by: Klara Tavakoli

Guest Writer

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  • I looked forward to the Bing Crosby and Andy Williams specials every year to watch their kids grow up. I miss those days.

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