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Saturday, November 30, 2019

A Very Mayberry Christmas

by George Haloulakos
It has been a longstanding tradition here on the Galaxy Nostalgia Network to pay tribute to the Holiday Season through our podcasts and this monthly blog. This year, we pay tribute to one of the best and perhaps one of the most beloved episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show." Aired on the CBS Network on December 19, 1960, "The Christmas Story" was the eleventh episode of season one and the only Christmas episode in "The Andy Griffith Show" complete series. A little known bit of trivia about this wonderful Yuletide episode is that it featured actress Margaret Kerry, who was the model for the Tinkerbell character in the 1953 Walt Disney animated feature “Peter Pan”.

Here is a summary of this sparkling episode: On Christmas Eve, Mayberry's curmudgeon and retail store owner Ben Weaver insists that Sheriff Andy Taylor jail moonshiner Sam Muggins. Andy complies with this request as Ben has physical evidence to support his charge of law breaking but also incarcerates Sam's wife (played by the aforementioned Margaret Kerry) along with their young son and daughter since they all had knowledge of Sam's moonshining.

 The story takes a most charming turn as Andy, Barney Fife, Ellie Walker, Aunt Bee and Opie decide to relocate their Christmas party to the Sheriff's office / jail so that the Muggins Family can celebrate the Nativity. They bring along a sumptuous feast with all the trimmings plus a Christmas tree. Everyone, including the Muggins Family, is decorating the tree while singing Christmas carols. Barney even dresses up as Santa Claus!


Ben Weaver, secretly watching from the window outside the jail, observes this Yuletide joy unfold and is deeply moved as well as transformed by the Christmas spirit. Weaver concocts several! unsuccessful schemes to get himself arrested so he can join the party. When Andy realizes this, he arrests Ben and then the TV audience witnesses the two men arriving at the jail with a suitcase full of wrapped gifts from Ben's retail store for everyone, including the Muggins Family. Ben is welcomed by one and all while enjoying the food and drink at the party. Andy releases the Muggins Family as there is no longer any evidence of wrongdoing. Reason? Ben is shown in the closing moments of the episode asleep in one of the jail cells after having finished drinking the jug of Sam's moonshine!
This Holiday episode from a classic TV show is one of many examples seen in other television series in the same era that remind us of the reason for the season. In this instance, we are able to witness in the span of less than 30-minutes why programs like "The Andy Griffith Show" continue to resonate in our hearts as they remind us of the importance of showing goodness, kindness and love to one another.

Please join us in celebrating the Holiday Season by sharing your favorite classic TV memories featuring a holiday-based theme by posting to the Galaxy FACEBOOK page (and be sure to "like" us when doing so) or via e-mail to the GNN web site. Likewise, I am always receptive to hearing from our wonderful Galaxy audience and/or connecting via LinkedIn.
View my LinkedIn profile at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rev-protodn-george-haloulakos-cfa-bab6b43https://www.linkedin.com/in/rev-protodn-george-haloulakos-cfa-bab6b43




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