While watching the morning news on Channel 5 this morning, I was giddy to see the promo for a Christmas classic airing tonight at 7 p.m., Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Yes, I’ll be tuning in as I have done every year since I was a little kid in the early ’70s.
I think it’s fabulous that Rudolph still airs every holiday season, this year marking its 46th. The classic, narrated by Burl Ives, first aired in 1964, and it’s remarkable that modern-day children love it as much as we did when we were kids. And while having instant access to the classics on DVD in this era may be fun and commercial-free, it doesn’t have the charm that existed when we were kids growing up in a time before VCRs and DVD players. Back then, the classic shows only aired once a year … you know the ones … The Wizard of Oz, A Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, the aforementioned Rudolph, etc.
I, like many a kid in that day, took meticulous notes when promos aired for those shows with their broadcast dates and times … or feverishly circled the listings in Dad’s TV Guide. The buzz of anticipation all day at school was intense when it was a day when one of those classics was going to be on later in the evening. I couldn’t get home and do my homework fast enough in order to be freed up to tune in. It was an event! A happening even! There was something magical and charming about having to wait an entire year to see those shows, and if you missed them, well, you were just out of luck and had to wait another year. And topping things off, Mom always made a special treat to enjoy while watching.
No, I don’t own any of those beloved classics on DVD. I still eagerly await their TV broadcasts each year, and enjoy the excitement of catching them “live,” commercials and all. Now, all I need to do is figure out what little goodie I want tonight while tuning into Rudolph.