In 1966 in New York City, WPIX started showing The Yule Log, a film loop of a burning log that never actually burns, creating a tradition that has enthralled both Christmas fans and stoners alike.
Since that time there have been new television Christmas traditions unveiled every year, and this year is no exception. Here are some new specials that are sure to warm your heart:
Grandma Got Run Over By the Bailout. Amusing animated tale of how Grandma, despondent over losing her house, drinks too much egg nog and wanders out into the snow, where she is mowed down by eight bundles of repackaged credit default swaps. You can say there's no such thing as Henry Paulson. But as for me and Grandpa, we believe.
A Very Brady Lay-Off. Here's the story of a man named Brady, who is all set to unveil a new building on Christmas Eve when his construction company goes into Chapter 11. The now grown-up kids enter a talent contest and lip synch "Sunshine Day," but can only raise $56.23.
A Chrysler Story. Little Ralphie remembers what Christmas was like when the country still had an auto industry.
It's a Wonderful Lie. A suicidal George W. Bailey, feeling guilty over leading his nation into war due to a lie about weapons of mass destruction, tells his guardian angel he wishes he had never been born. The angel shows him what the world would have been like without him: no 9/11, no Iraq War, no Katrina, no financial meltdown, no W movie. George W. Bailey decides to live life again, including the drug and alcohol parts.
National Lampoon's Christmas Recession. It's just like National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, except when Clark loses his job, he has to move his family to a shelter.
Suze the Orman. There must have been some magic in that old blonde wig they found, for when they put it on her head she began to turn them down. In this animated gem a financial advisor made out of snow tells townspeople they can't afford to buy anything.
A Charlie Brown Downturn. "I know I should be excited about the election of Barack Obama, but I guess there's something wrong with me," says Charlie Brown. "No, I hear where you're coming from," says Lucy. "There isn't going to be any more money for education." At the end, the only one who's enthused is Snoopy, who leaves Charlie Brown to become the pet of Sasha and Malia in the White House.
Frosty/Nixon. Back in the 1970's, when America's most famous snowman met America's most famous felon, it was headline news! This special recreates the warm glow of post-Watergate Christmas cheer, including the famous line, "When a snowman does it, it's not illegal."
Other shows: The Blago Clause, The Year Without a Saturn Car, Dr. Seuss' How Bernard Madoff Stole Hannukah, Foreclosure on 34th Street.