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Home Features Exclusives Come Clean - Holiday Episodes

Come Clean - Holiday Episodes

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A reason to watch in an otherwise very hectic season


Peter Bergman (Jack, Young and the Restless)As the holiday season progresses, the soaps will likely produce at least one holiday-themed episode.  I thoroughly enjoy the holiday episodes regardless if it is a national holiday or a Hallmark holiday.

The holiday episodes tend to be the one time of the year that the majority of the cast is featured and integrated into one common storyline.  The sets are dressed up, but even if they aren’t, you get to see the majority of the cast! It’s a great time to highlight the couples, partnerships and the lonely at heart. The holiday episodes can be the catalyst to change a character, test out the possibility of new couples, wrap up storylines and springboard to new story arcs.  The episodes are usually happy, humorous and heartfelt. Sometimes they are used to show us the error of our ways and how to become a better person. I actually think the holiday episodes have much more potential than the February and November sweeps period.

It seems that in recent years, we don’t get as many of the family/town incorporating holiday events.  Storylines and characters are much more compartmentalized and lack what should be normal interaction with the other characters.

Christmas in Springfield usually meant the residents would be visited by a guy named “Nick.” He would try to smooth the ruffled feathers of battling couples and give the lonely hearted the hope of love. And who isn’t touched by the annual Christmas party for the children at General Hospital and the reading of “The Night Before Christmas,” or the first Christmas or something; or, sharing some of Alice’s doughnuts at the Horton Family Christmas in Salem on Days of our Lives? Of course, it’s all the other shenanigans that are going on in town that keep us on the edge of our seat.

What about some of the other major holidays?  In previous years, Genoa City would have a big 4th of July party at the Newman ponderosa.  Women would give each other those catty looks with claws showing, while donning their little swimsuits and bikini’s. And you always wondered who might get pushed into the pool.

I applaud GL for continuing with the annual Bauer BBQ. Although the Bauer’s are no longer one of the prominent families in Springfield, and one year the Coopers hosted the Bauer BBQ, it is still a wonderful tradition.  For the long time soap viewers, it is tradition, the history and the growth of the characters that keeps us coming back. 

This year in one of my favorite soap bergs, Valentines Day was a bust! There was no love and no romance. Cupid’s arrow didn’t hit anyone! All we got were split screens of bickering couples that were in a cold war standing somewhere with a look of longing and loneliness. 

Thanksgiving in Oakdale only featured the Snyder’s having a family dinner. The dinner scene was very brief because it was interrupted with a fight between two brothers, Jack and Brad. We didn’t see any of the other families in town and no one seemed thankful for anything. It was all so sad.  

I’m hoping that this year’s Christmas episodes are filled with happiness. There has been so much doom and gloom, I would like to see the year come to a close on a hopeful note. I so look forward to seeing the entire cast and not just the newbie’s or the characters with the front burner storyline.  I want to see sworn enemies bury the hatchet and not in each others back for at least 24 hours.  Seriously, with all the fighting, backstabbing that Jack Abbott and Victor Newman have done this year on Y&R, I want to see the two great men call a truce for the holidays.  Is there anyone on your favorite soap that you want to see happy for the holidays?

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Comments (10)add comment

softball3332 said:

You are very dead on on this article. It seems like holiday traditions are non-existant on soaps. I remember watching As The World Turns in 1989 and seeing the Hughes family gathered around the piano at Bob and Kim's house, Tom playing the piano, and everybody singing Christmas Carols at the end of the episode, or like in 1990 with Tom leading everybody in singing "I'll Be Home For Christmas."

It also seems like family isn't important at all anymore, especially on ATWT.

You were dead on on this article! Very nice!
December 20, 2007
Votes: +0

Chef AC said:

Chef AC
I watch Days -- I can't really say these days that I'm a "fan", because the story lines are simply ridiculous. So when they all head over to Alice Hortons for those infamous donuts and to hang the ornaments on the tree with their names on each of them, I can't see how all will be forgiven and they'll all gather as "family". Sami has divorced her long-time love Lucas to marry E.J., the son of the dreaded mortal enemy Stephano, to end "the vendetta" (so tired of hearing about this vendetta and the corny solution that Stephano came up with to end it), will she stand by her current husband, or with her alleged true love? Their Christmas celebration is going to feel fake and forced to me this year.
December 20, 2007
Votes: +0

Redrdghood40 said:

Actually, on GH, they tell the story of 'The First Christmas'. Here is a clip of a very young Robin on the lap of Dr. Steve Hardy, as he tells the story:
December 20, 2007
Votes: +0

rolauzon said:

Great article!!

I used to enjoy the GL episodes when Nick would appear with Philip, Beth....It was so magical....It made me feel like a kid again .....

On ATWT I loved to watch the family gatherings of the Hughes clan ....
I know they haven't done much of the gatherings & I wish they would go back in doing so.

Also, I know they would also air cla*sic soaps on the actual holiday, but haven't done that either. I used to look forward to watching old episodes of my favorites soaps (ATWT & GL).......
December 20, 2007
Votes: +0

CJ Zone said:

CJ Zone
I love reading comments from Marla Jones. Wouldn't it be great (even if only once a year) to have a little peace, love and happiness in the afternoon!
December 20, 2007
Votes: +0

Marla J said:

I read that Y&R is going to air a cla*sic Christmas episode.
But these days - cla*sic can mean last year or last week!
December 21, 2007
Votes: +0

Munn2lb said:

Your article really waves the flag for keeping traditions in place. I don't watch all of the soaps, but I do watch two of them. ATWT is having a period style Christmas today and GL had an episode on Wednesday that had crazy Dinah selling Christmas trees. She didn't sell one tree, but she had a blast bartering them other things. Thank for bringing to my memory several traditions that still go on in the soap world.
December 21, 2007
Votes: +0

RR73 said:

This writer has captured my thoughts exactly. This is especially important for people who are alone at Christmas for one reason or an other. We start to think of Soap Characters as family, so this is like spending Christmas with friends you know.

I watch all the soaps but my favorite was always ATWT. Bob, Kim, family and friends all got together for Christmas dinner and then each lit a candle and they sang carols. At the Snyder Farm an other group had a large dinner and the high light (for me) was cutting the huge Hubbard Squash.

As others have mentioned this brings back many good memories. Thanks for reminding us. We can only hope TPTB read and heed.
December 21, 2007
Votes: +0

MrsDee61 said:

Once again you have hit the nail on the head, however I must say this gone are the days of soap celebrating holidays, I think someone said we no longer need to celebrate, well I am here to say oh yes we do, let's see our favorite soaps celebrating, I don't even care if arch enemies are in the same room, they can ignore each other if that is what they want to do. My all time favorite soap is Days, I have been with Days from day one, I loved watching Tom reading the chilren, I loved watching the Horton family hang their xmas ornaments. Infact it started a tradition in my family that we all gather together to hang our xmas ornaments. The younger viewers need to see why we older (not all of us are the older ones) but let them see why we love our soaps. I say bring it back, let's not forget that their are reasons why we celebrate.
December 21, 2007
Votes: +0

Lynn09 said:

I agree with everything the author wrote...I couldnt have said it better! I enjoy your column.
January 11, 2008
Votes: +0

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