Today, our Pop Culture References Advent Calendar continues!
This year’s theme is “Classic 1970s TV Christmas.” I am going to count down my 24 favorite episodes of 1970s TV shows from today through Christmas Eve. Just click on that day’s door to see the entry for that day (you can click on past days, too, of course). My criteria for the stories are A. only actual story episodes (so no Christmas variety specials, as they are way too hard to compare against each other), B. Only episodes of TV shows, no TV movies (I’ll allow stories from anthology series, though). This mean no The Homecoming: A Christmas Story, the de facto pilot for The Waltons C. Episodes about Christmas are ranked higher than episodes that just happen to be set at Christmas and really have nothing to do with the holiday (there’s a good Kolchak episode about a werewolf on a Christmas cruise that doesn’t make the list because, well, come on) and D. Christmas spirit counts extra, so a great episode that is dark as heck will be ranked not as high as a less great episode that is festive (but, still, if an episode is great, I’ll still rank it as, well, come on, we’re still looking for quality TV here). The episodes all originally aired in the 1970s.
The 1970s were packed with a LOT of Christmas episodes, and multiple examples from different shows, so I had to leave a LOT of famous shows off of this list. Some of the shows that did not make the countdown include Maude, CHiPs, Kojak, The Mod Squad, Police Woman, Bridget Loves Bernie, Eight is Enough, Fish, Phyllis, Rhoda, Sanford and Son, Alice, Diff’rent Strokes, The Doris Day Show, The Love Boat, Welcome Back, Kotter, Falcon Crest, The White Shadow, Wonder Woman, The Six Million Dollar Man, Starskey and Hutch and Adam-12. Good Times‘s “Penny’s Christmas” was the last show cut. But that means that a lot of great shows DID make it, so read on throughout the month to see if my favorites match yours!