I’ve been crazy busy with holiday running. There’s been the city tree lighting, caroling, Nutcracker performances, violin concerts, holiday parties, tree decorating and cookie baking. It’s all been a blur; a great big beautiful blur of joy and family togetherness. Sure, there has been that overwhelming feeling of impending doom that comes with overextending yourself and forgetting where the damn elf was last or where it should go next but overall, we’re all embracing the holiday madness.
One tradition that we never skip is watching the holiday classics together; White Christmas, Christmas Vacation, It’s a Wonderful Life, Frosty, The Grinch who Stole Christmas and our favorite, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Did you know it’s the longest-running and highest-rated holiday TV special of all time and this year it’s celebrating 50 years?
I’ve grown up watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with my parents when I was a child. I always remember that warm feeling I’d get in my stomach when the opening credits would begin to roll. It signaled the beginning of the holiday season. As far as I was concerned, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was Christmas.
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” started out as a song made famous by Gene Autry but then he came to life in an animated special that has charmed generations. This year, Rudolph will run for the 50th straight year.
For a Christmas special to be a classic, it has to have cross-generational appeal and who doesn’t love Rudolph?
Rudolph first aired in 1964, it was the creation of Arthur Rankin and Jules Bass, using a technique they called “animagic.” It was stop motion at it’s finest. It lacks fluidity and the bodies and heads don’t match up and their movements are very awkward but we love them still because Rudolph is about magic and imagination, hope and belief, not perfection or reality.
Rudolph has influenced a number of contemporary filmmakers from Tim Burton, Wes Anderson and even Oscar -nominated director Henry Selick who is the genius behind, “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Selick says that he was highly influenced by Rudolph and there are several nods to the classic in The Nightmare before Christmas.
As a mom, I watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with my girls. Every year, we cuddle up together in front of the fire and watch with the Big Guy. There’s lots of giggling and laughter on the girls’ part and lots of nostalgia and retrospection on my part. The Big Guy usually sits there smiling from ear to ear, soaking it all in. I watch them enjoy these moments and it truly does warm my heart. I want to freeze these moments but sadly they are fleeting, as is their childhood so we have to embrace every single moment. There are only so many of these Christmases that we will get to cuddle together and watch these holiday favorites before they outgrow these magical years so we’ve got to make the most out of each one. We must suck the marrow out of every moment of parenthood.
If you feel like you’ve been seeing Rudolph everywhere, you probably have and I’m alright with that. The year’s Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer anniversary celebration includes a major tie-in with the U.S. Postal Service, tribute promos from CBS, a collector’s edition DVD with new bonus material, a new stage musical, theme park and in-mall entertainment, and a social media campaign – #ShineBright – that celebrates uniqueness in association with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. Rudolph really knows how to celebrate 50 years. I’ll have to keep this all in mind for my own 50th birthday in the future. Debi the stage musical has a nice ring to it, right?
Anyways, Square Fish, an imprint of the Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, has released 6 new Rudolph-themed books that span a variety of formats, including the first ever graphic novel starring Rudolph and company, RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE ISLAND OF MISFIT TOYS, by Brendan Deneen. Other formats include a classic storybook, a picture book, slide-and-find and lift-the-flap board books, and a ‘My Reader’ edition specifically designed for beginning readers. There’s something for the entire family, no matter the age or reading level!
We were provided the Rudolph books for review purposes by Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and my girls fell in love with them instantly. I’m betting that your kids will too so I am providing a full set of all 6 new Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer classic books to one lucky reader. All you need to do is leave a comment telling me your favorite holiday classic and follow The TRUTH about Motherhood on Facebook. Open to U.S. residents. Giveaway ends December 16th at midnight EST. Good Luck!
Disclosure: I have partnered with Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for this compensated campaign but all love for Rudolph is genuine and our own.