12 Days of Knaak Christmas

For some reason, the older I get the more difficult I find it to get into the Christmas spirit. I’m not sure why. I have always felt that I kept Christmas well, unlike that curmudgeon Scrooge, at least until one fateful Christmas Eve. Perhaps Christmas is for the kiddies. Maybe it’s the Christmas creep as we see ads and commercials earlier and earlier each year. Maybe it’s the incessant drone of Christmas music for six weeks, or the airing of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in November.

I tend to try to prompt myself and nudge myself into the Yuletide spirit by listening to the music of the season, without driving myself mad, and by watching certain movies and specials along the way. I watched The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (don’t get ahead of me), last night, and I have to admit, it helped.

So, I thought I would bring back the 12 Days of Knaak Christmas countdown and highlight my favorite Christmas movies, specials, and special episodes.

12. The Twilight Zone: Night of the Meek

I am very fickle when it comes to Christmas specials and movies and this episode of The Twilight Zone danced into my head like a dream of sugarplums. It aired on December 23, 1960, and starred Art Carney of The Honeymooners fame. An alcoholic who gets sacked as a department store Santa Claus, Carney’s Henry Corwin finds a mysterious bag. Rather than spend Christmas in the bag, Corwin spends the holiday using the enchanted sack to actually be Santa Claus and make some dreams come true.

Directed by Jack Smight and written by series creator Rod Serling, Night of the Meek is a tale of redemption, however fleeting, featuring a nuanced performance by Carney. The episode shows that it is truly magical to give and that doing so might be able to save one’s soul in the process.

I’ve always been a fan of The Twilight Zone, and considering my affinity for the dark and the macabre, this episode of the iconic horror/science fiction series is the perfect way to bridge the spooky things of October with the joys of Christmastime. I’m not big on TV series’ “very special episodes” so this will be the only installment of a Christmas-themed regular television serial. If you’ve never seen this episode, I encourage you to do so. Unlike many Christmas specials and movies that miss the mark, this one really hits home.

I hope you join me tomorrow for the next installment in the countdown.

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