The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas premiered on NBC in 1973. This one actually had a little bit of popularity through the 70s and early 80s, but now seems to have been forgotten. The premise of the story is that all bears hibernate through the winter, so they don’t know what Christmas is. One bear, however, Ted Edward Bear, has been curious about Christmas since he was a cub, and explains to his friends, and to the local “Bearwitness News” that he plans to find Christmas. His obsession with Christmas leads to his dismissal from work. This isn’t a big deal, since he leaves town anyway in search of Christmas. He ends up in what looks like New York City, where he sees a lot of celebration going on, but is not quite sure that he has found Christmas yet. Late in the evening he’s about to give up when he meets a man in a red suit. Ted explains to the man that he’s never been this close to Christmas before, but he’s not sure he’s going to be able to find it. The man explains that he can’t find Christmas on a map, then gives him directions to an apartment building where he will be able to find Christmas.
It’s a good story, and I think it is a Christmas special that most would enjoy. This is another of those that has not seen a DVD release. I guess it just isn’t popular enough. What bothers me about that is that last year I didn’t have to watch my VHS tape, I saw it on the On Demand cable service. Now, if this is popular enough that it was being played on Cable in a digital format, why can’t I get it on DVD? Well enough about my complaints.
I see this story as both a happy and a sad tale. Happy in that Ted Edward Bear does eventually find Christmas. But sad, in that he leaves his home, and if you read a lot into the characters, he is also leaving behind a Bear named Patty, who I believe, though I may be wrong, was in love with Ted. As they part Ted says, “maybe things could have been different”, and she seems so sad that she’ll never see him again. You see, he was obsessed with Christmas, and because of that he had little interest in anything else. Ted probably didn’t care that he never saw Patty again, but it broke her heart. Maybe I’m reading too much into this children’s story, since, after all, Ted ends up happy.
Well this one is pretty close to the last of the rarer Christmas specials that I watch. For the next two days there will be some lesser known one’s, but after that most of my readers will recognize pretty much every TV special and film that I discuss.