It was never as high-profile as “Rudolph” or “Frosty,” but it’s worth noting that the animated special “The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas” turns 50 on December 17.
I’m sure I saw the program at least once, but my niece Claire used to drive her parents to distraction by insisting on seeing the VHS tape of “Chris’mus Bear!” over and over and over.
(My guess would be that Claire’s young son Elliot has his own exasperating yuletide rituals. Payback, as they say, is a reindeer.)
The show was misleadingly named. Protagonist Ted E. Bear (voiced by Tommy Smothers) actually stayed awake to find out what Christmas was all about, while the rest of the bears hibernated.
After scouring the internet for phrases such as “reasons I hate Christmas,” “things I despise about December” and “Here are some jokes your readers will never realize you ripped off,” I have come to the conclusion that a significant percentage of humans would love to hibernate through the holidays, which is okay, I guess, unless you have a hang-up about atrophied muscles, bed sores and some prankster leaving your hand dangling in warm eggnog.
The appeal of being semi-comatose goes beyond the oft-cited misgivings about commercialization, canceled flights, budget-busting lights displays, awkward workplace parties and formulaic Hallmark movies. Innumerable citizens yearn to escape the seasonal onslaught of rock/pop singers who have always dreamed of recording a Christmas album showcasing the same embellishments as a celebrity rendition of the National Anthem. It’s amazing how much “Do you hear what I hear?” can sound like “Oh, say can you seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee?”
Other people want to escape the pity parties for friends with birthdays inconveniently close to December 25. Going forward, maybe we could tweak the birthday timing by re-branding March as “the month that comes in like a lion, goes out like a lamb and in-between there’s no tight jeans or Barry White records.”
Copyright 2023 Danny Tyree, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.