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broodings from the burrow

December 19, 2015

advent: day 19
posted by soe 2:45 am

Because today marked the opening of the new Star Wars movie, I was tempted to find a copy of the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special to share with you, but as I’ve had to sit through it at least twice now in recent memory, I just couldn’t do that to you. It really is painful.

Instead, I thought I’d round up some of the old Christmas-themed radio shows that aired in the 1930s, ’40s, and early ’50s. Obviously I’m not old enough to have lived through the original airings, but growing up my library did have a nice collections of radio shows on cassette and my dad got us into the habit of listening to certain episodes year after year.

Back in the day, Lux Radio Theatre and Campbell Playhouse, among others, would offer hour-long radio adaptations of hit movies featuring many of the stars reprising their film roles. During intermission, the stars were expected to shill for the sponsor. (Lux sold soap; Campbell, as you know, sells soup.)

You can listen to adaptations of films you know and love, including It’s a Wonderful Life

and Miracle on 34th Street:

Less well-known productions include The Miracle of the Bells (starring Fred MacMurray, Valli, and Frank Sinatra)

and Come to the Stable (with Loretta Young and Celeste Holm):

And for family fun, here’s the collection of Cinnamon Bear, a children’s fantasy series that aired in 26 12-minute segments between Thanksgiving and Christmas:

I hope you enjoy these while you’re baking, wrapping gifts, or finishing your knitting/crafting projects.

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