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Pachabel's Canon is being played on a piano, slowly, majestically. There's no dialogue in this part, just a single piano being played.

We start with a slow pan shot, showing Arthur's neighbourhood, in good old Elwood City. In the background is a city skyline with skyscrapers... In the suburbs, (Arthur's neighbourhood) houses and businesses are decorated for Christmas.

* * *

In a toystore, a motorized dinosaur opens its mouth and turns to look towards the checkout in a toystore, where the light grey rabbity family with the dad that has the nice bushy hair are chosing a teddy bear -- the rabbity storekeeper is getting it off a shelf from behind the till.

The camera pulls out through the front window, through a wreath.

Buster's Mom walks along the sidewalk with a load of presents. A small wrapped box falls to the ground, but she doesn't notice it. Luckily, there's no snow on the ground yet.

The camera looks at this box from the opposite side so that we see people on the other side walking past, leaving stores, smiling.

A gloved hand picks up the package.

Some kids who might be relatives of Buster are dressed warmly, watching at a model train display inside a store.

A bear gentleman with a mustache taps Buster's Mom's back, and she turns around. He tips his hat, and returns the wrapped package to her.

* * *

At Binky's house, Binky opens the door in his pajamas at night to see a man dressed like an elf. There's a van marked "Toy Shoppe", and the man is making a delivery. Binky does his happy surprised take when he sees the present.

* * *

A doggie family drives along in their station wagon with a large Christmas tree tied to the the roof. The kids, and even their Mom who's driving look upwards, trying to get a look at the tree.

They drive past Arthur's house, which is all decorated for Christmas. There's garland and twinkle lights around the front door.

The title appears: * * * Marc Brown's Arthur's Perfect Christmas * * *

 

Arthur: Ahh, Christmas.

Arthur's the one who's been playing the piano. He's sitting playing the piano in the living room, dressed in his pajamas. He says there's only three days to go, and this year, it's going to be the "best one ever" -- it's going to be perfect!

Arthur's piano playing comes to a halt when D.W. walks in, and startles him.

She can't believe he's so calm with only three days to go. She hands him a piece of paper and a pencil, and says there's work to be done. She wants him to help her write her wish list to Santa.

D.W. strikes a thoughtful pose, and begins to dictate.

Methinks D.W. left it a little bit too late...

 

D.W.
"My Dearest Santa"
She tells Arthur to stop -- saying that that's "too gushy".
D.W.
"Hiya Santa!"
She rejects this too, because it's "way too friendly".

D.W. approaches Arthur, and grabs him by his pajama jacket lapels, getting annoyed at the way the letter is not progressing -- this is somehow Arthur's fault.

 

D.W.: C'mon Arthur, I need ideas -- I've only had four Christmases in my whole life! What should I write?!

Arthur sighs, and looks to us.

 

Arthur: Well, everything will be almost perfect.

Intobox

 

We have a view from inside a mailbox, similar to the one in #40401 - "The Contest". We can see letters including one marked "Santa", and another

marked "Elves". The flap at the top is open, and we see D.W. mail her letter to Santa.The letter is dropped in, and it flutters down to land on top of the other mail. The envelope reads:  

Santa Claus
NorthPole
SCREENSHOT FROM PBS SITE: D.W. mailing her first of several letters to Santa this year.

   

The mailbox is two houses down from the Read's house. Mom is inside the family car, and the engine is running. Mom honks the horn, and calls for D.W. to hurry, as she's going to be late for school.

D.W. runs back, and clambers into the back, to sit beside Arthur. Arthur has his winter clothes on, but his jacket isn't the Mr. Puffy jacket. Arthur has a winter hat on, the kind with the ear flaps like in the movie "Fargo". She checks with Arthur that he wrote "Santa Claus" as opposed to "Santa Cruz", as she wants it to go to the right place. Arthur rolls his eyes and assures her that he wrote the right thing. He asks Mom to turn on the radio, as he'd like to know if it will snow.

Mom turns on the car radio. The LED display reads: 97.8

They've tuned in midway through a commercial for a toy. The jingle is reminescent of "Crazy Bus".

 

...always at your feet and is really, really sweet

It's "Tina, the Talking Tabby".

D.W. starts to move her arms and bob her head in time to the music, enjoying every second of it. Arthur groans, and is about to get Mom to change the channel, when D.W. says not to even think about doing it. The car pulls out of the driveway.

 

Just scratch behind her ears, and this is what you'll hear:


"I'm Tina, the Talking Tabby"

Oh, Tina, Tina, Tiny Tina, Tina, Tina, Tiny Tina,


"Tina, the Talking Tabby"

The car drives down the hill and into town, while the annoying commercial plays, Mom with her normal concentrating frown, D.W. bobbing her head, and Arthur groaning and looking out the window.

 

Oh, Tina, Tina, Tiny Tina, Tina, Tina, Tiny Tina,

"Tina, the Talking Tabby"

Arthur pulls the ear flaps of his hat down to try and muffle the sound of the commercial. He begs Mom to change the channel, saying that it's giving him a headache.

Mom changes to one of the other presets on the radio, pressing the button marked 3, which selects 107.3, which is playing some clarinet jazz music. That does the trick for Arthur. He just looks annoyed now, rather than on the verge of losing it. Arthur has his arms folded as D.W. mentions something important to Mom.

 

D.W.: Mom, that's the toy I really want, the one I just wrote Santa about.

D.W. wants to confirm that Arthur DID put it at the top of the list. Yes, he did.

We see what Arthur's Mom can see, D.W. looking at her in the rear view mirror, with an anxious look on her face.

 

D.W.: Mom... Santa will get it for me, won't he?

The car continues on, stopping at a stop sign at an intersection.

 

Mom: I don't know honey, we'll just have to wait and see.

* * *

Overhead shot of Lakewood Elementary. A schoolbus pulls up, and kids get off. We can see Francine walking up the steps into the school, as Muffy's limousine pulls up to take the spot where the bus was.

Muffy gets out, and runs to catch up with Francine. Francine has a winter coat on, mittens, and a maroon scarf and touque with a white pompom. Muffy has a sheepskin coat with a matching beret, which has a pompom on as well.

George walks past in the background, and Jenna walks past in the foreground with the beigey-white rabbit girl who has hair like D.W.'s.

 

Muffy: Hi Francine! Only one more day until my big party,

As Muffy says this, she closes her eyes, and outstretches her arms. Francine looks glum. Muffy continues to talk.

 

Muffy: Aren't you excited?

Francine: Muffy, I already told you I ca...

It doesn't matter what Francine's told Muffy though, as she's not listening. She notices George, and rushes off to talk to him, as she'd forgetten to invite him yet.

Francine's feeling down. It's no use trying to tell Muffy anything.

Francine gets an angry look on her face, and hunches her body, the way you do when you're about to punch one hand with the other in anger, when Arthur walks up to her.

 

Arthur: Hey Francine, what's wrong?

Francine points in the direction that Muffy ran off in.

 

Francine: Muffy, that's what's wrong, she still thinks I'm coming to her party, even though I told her I can't go!

We look in the direction that Arthur is looking in -- Muffy is talking to George. George has a puffy winter hat on with ear flaps similar to Arthur's.

Like much of George's headgear, it's impossible to say how he got the hat on. I'm betting his antlers have threaded ends, and they can be unscrewed at will. :)

 

Arthur: Why not?

Francine: Because my family's having a Hanuakah party tomorrow. We do it every year, when we light the last candle on the menorah.

Arthur: Maybe you need to tell her again!

Prunella walks by.

We change camera angles so we see Arthur and Francine from where Muffy and George are. Muffy is handing George a party invite. Francine is making her lecturing-grousing expression, and Arthur has his sad face on.

 

Francine: I've already told her like a million times. It doesn't do any good. Watch.

Francine has a determined look on her face as she walks up the steps to where Muffy is. George is just leaving, he waves to Muffy as he heads into school, and as he leaves, Muffy smiles and says "Ok, see you there, George!".

 

Francine: Muffy, I'm not coming to your party tomorrow.

Muffy doesn't listen! She replys with this as she turns around, and walks into the school, still beaming.

 

Muffy: Oh, guess what, I got "The Squabbs"! You know, the rock band, it's going to be so cool!

Francine looks at the closed door after Muffy's gone in.

 

Francine: See what I mean!? It's like talking to a wall!

She turns around with a jerk to see if Arthur's caught that, but Arthur's gone. There's just some leaves blowing in the breeze. The bell for the start of school rings. Francine heads in with a sigh.

* * *

In class, Binky's at the front, with something under a cloth in his hand. George is watching him from his desk, and George, looking rather festive, has a glass ball ornament attached to each antler.

Binkypie

BinkyISBack reveal his pecan pie.

 

Binky says that each year, his family goes and helps out at a soup kitchen, preparing meals for homeless people. Binky says that this year, he gets to make dessert. He's made a pecan pie, and brought it into class, perhaps as a demonstration of his capabilities. Mr. Ratburn looks eager to try it -- his nose wiggles. Binky wants people to sample the pecan pie. SCREENSHOT FROM PBS SITE: Binky reveals his pie.

 

* * *

Mr. Ratburn nibbles his slice of pie, and spits it into a napkin.

 

Mr. Ratburn: I believe you have to shell the pecans, Binky.

Binky makes an astonished face. Oops. Well, it is his first time baking.

 

Buster: I like it!

What a surprise. :)

Arthur elects not to bother sampling it, and pushes his plate away.

Mr. Ratburn says that there's still the matter of homework(that idiot),the class groans. Mr. Ratburn says he's not assigning any reading to do over the time off, which gets a good response, but then he says that when they return, they'll have to write a five page report about what they did over the holidays, which gets another groan.

 

Here's how Arthur's class are seated.

FRONT OF CLASSROOM
{| border="1" width="30%" George Sue Ellen
  Brain
{| border="1" width="60%" Buster  
Arthur  

| width="50%"|{| border="1" width="60%" | |Binky |- |Muffy |Francine |} |- | colspan="2"|{| border="1" width="30%" |Fern |Girl with hair like D.W. |- |Grey rabbit boy with short ears |Jenna |} |} |}

The bell rings, it's the end of school.

* * *

Arthur's getting his stuff out of his locker. He's grumbling about the prospect of the assignment. He says he has to do some shopping, and asks Buster if he'd like to come along.

Buster looks rather tired, and perhaps even a little ill as he puts on his backpack.

 

Buster: (exshausted) Nah. I'm going right to bed. (yawns) Ahh... My mother woke me up at six this morning! She thought it was Christmas!

Arthur puts on his winter gear, and shuts his locker for the year. In the foreground, Fern's having a conversation with someone. What Buster's said seems peculiar to Arthur, because it is. But it's not unusual at Buster's house.  

Arthur: She did?

Buster: Yeah, it's happened every year since my parents got divorced!

Buster recalls.

 

Every year, during the days just before Christmas, his Mom always gets up really early, puts out all the presents and makes Buster a big pancake breakfast. Then Buster will tell her it's not Christmas yet, and she'll go back to bed!

That is strange.

 

Arthur: Weird.

Arthur and Buster walk past one of the Tough Customers, the smug cat kid.

Buster thinks that his Mom does it because she's nervous that because of the divorce, Buster won't have enjoy Christmas because of his Dad not being there, so she has to overdo things.

They get to the double doors, ready to leave the school.

23rd

NOTE:December 25th is Christmas,NOT The 23rd.

Arthur: That's too bad...

Buster: Yeah, sometimes I wish Christmas wasn't such a big deal.

Speaking of big deals, when they open the door, they see Muffy's limo parked at the entrance of the school. Two servants with horns are just finishing a regal sounding call, and they bow, and raise their hands to direct your attention to the sunroof of the limousine.

The sunroof rolls back, and out of the opening appears Muffy. We've seen this before -- When Muffy was spreading the word to one and all about her party at the Waterworld water park in #21301 - "Water and the Brain".

This time Muffy is dressed up as a princess, with a large conical hat. She has a megaphone. Solemn royal-sounding druming is coming from somewhere.

 

Muffy the Princess: I, Muffy, the Princess of Christmas, invite one and all to my holiday extravaganza!

Muffy has the attention of Prunella, Binky, and Brain, who are standing watching her.

Or maybe it's just because her car is parked over the painted school crossing markings on the road... :)

Binky doesn't know the meaning of the word "extravaganza".

 

Binky: Her what?

Muffy the Princess: My party! It's at five o'clock tomorrow! Presents for everyone!

Muffy raps on the roof of the limousine, the driver nods, and the limousine begins to slowly drive off. Muffy, still s ticking out of the top of the limo, notices Francine on the steps of the school, and calls to her to come early, to help set up!

Francine yells that she can't come, as she's already told Muffy, but it's obvious that Muffy isn't paying attention.

 

Francine: (exasperated) Urrrrghhh... Why won't she listen?

George is beside her. He just stands there smiling.

* * *

Arthur and his Mom go into a mall. Arthur is amazed at the number of people out shopping.

 

Arthur: Wow!

Mom: Wait 'til you see the line for the bathroom.

Mom smiles. She and Arthur synchorize their watches. It's 3:15. Mom says she'll see him back here in an hour. Here happens to be a motorized display of some elves with a rotating candy cane.

Mom unbuttons her coat, and walks off. Arthur smiles as he takes in the sights at the mall.

Arthur is looking for gifts. He goes past a kitchen aids store, "Kitchen Krafts". In the storefront display is a TV showing an advertisement for a new product. Prunella's Mom comes out of the store, as Arthur watches the TV.

 


Commercial: It peels, it cores, it mashes, it shreds, it even juliennes! It even cooks for you."It" looks like a electric knife, more like a reciprocating blade type tree trimmer actually with a rotating sawblade, a funnel, and a metal hose attached to the main unit. On the front of the electric knife blade are two mixing blades.

We see the power of this device -- it is placed near a wilted looking carrot, and electricity arcs out of the front of the mixing blades, and suddenly the carrot swells up like it's on steroids.

It's the "Veginator", and it's on sale for $5.99 !


Arthur stands transfixed. That would be perfect for Dad. However, the man in the shop says that they're sold out. He suggests something else, something that is "selling like hotcakes", a little number known as"Uncle Niko's Olive Depitter".

The storekeeper blows the dust of a box. There are lots of them on hand. It's a yellow plastic gun. What you do is place the olive into the end, and clamp it into position. You then trigger a spring loaded ram, and it shoots the pit out. The storekeeper demonstrates, and the pit hits Arthur's hat, and falls to the ground.

Stony silence from Arthur, who looks bored, and looks around him, as he doesn't appear too enthralled by this particular item.

 

Arthur: I don't know.

Shopkeeper: I'll throw in the olives!

Arthur smiles. It's a deal.

* * *

Arthur walks out of the store with a shopping bag. He says he just has one more present to go, something for Mom.

Arthur looks around for a suitable place to shop. His glance goes from Stardoe's Cafe, past the escalators, past a store called Crystalwerks, to the bookstore, and then back to Crystalwerks, which appears to specialize in glassware -- bowls and bottles.

Arthur's more interested in a small glass bird that's in the window display though. It would be perfect to replace the one he bust.

 

Arthur remembers chasing D.W. around the living room during the summer and accidentally knocking over a lamp, which knocked the bird ornament onto the ground, shattering it.

Arthur thinks a replacement glass bird would be the perfect gift. He's right -- it would be a thoughtful thing to do.

 

Arthur: Mom loved that bird. This will really surprise her!

However, when he gets inside, he's dismayed to see the long line at the checkout.

Arthur waits in line for an entirnity -- he has time to polish his glasses, and by the time he get to the checkout, he's about to fall asleep. In fact, the cashier, a blonde rat lady with big hair, has to wake him up!

A friend for Mr. Ratburn, if he's looking.

Arthur tells her what he'd like, and she places it into a box for him.

 

Rat lady: I assume that will be cash?Arthur: Yes ma'am!

He takes out two handfuls of small change -- pennies mainly, and begins counting.

* * *

The cashier is asleep by the time Arthur's counted out $9.59. She awakes with a start.

Aandjill

Rat lady: Hup, yeah, here you go.

She slides Arthur's box to him, and he smiles, and he places it into his big Kitchen Krafts bag. SCREENSHOT FROM PBS SITE: Another satisfied customer... If you didn't know, you'd think that she didn't think Arthur was perfectly delightful. I thought everyone liked Arthur.

 

Arthur waves as he leaves, saying "Happy Holidays". She nods, and smiles as he leaves.

Arthur walks back into the mall proper, and looks at his Bionic Bunny watch.

 

Arthur: Oh no, it's 4:13!

Arthur goes over to a sleeping security guard at a desk in the mall. He asks how to get to the entrance with the giant candy cane. The doggie security guard looks up from his book, and adjusts his hat with his finger, and considers. He starts listing them off, counting them on one hand...

 

Security guard: Now which giant candy cane would you be wantin', son? There's the giant green one in the "Winter Wonderland", and the giant pink one by the reindeer stables, then..

.Arthur: The giant red one with the elves?

Security guard: That would be "Santa's Workshop", which is ways through "Toy Town".

The security guard points towards "Toy Town", which is a large toy store, located ahead of Arthur, past a bagel shop, and a store called "Scarlet".

Arthur gulps, and runs into "Toy Town". He is right to gulp -- the place is packed, and not only that, but the "Tiny Tina" commercial is playing non-stop over the P.A. system. Arthur groans at the song, but doesn't have long to stand around complaining... he has to move his backside, and with a quickness.

 

  • He starts running.
  • He knocks over a display of toys that was left in the aisleway,
  • Ducks as a giant toy frog jumps in front of him,
  • Scrambles up a stack of giant toy blocks -- he looks down.
  • On the other side is a big bouncy kangaroo bouncer toy. Arthur leaps down onto this. Now that Arthur has a "vehicle", he can make better time.
  • On his steed, Arthur whizzes around a corner,
  • ...and then dismounts, leaping up to grab hold on an overhead ladder.
  • He uses this to go hand-over-hand over a line of people,
  • And then leaps down onto a large toy panda.

Arthur's hat flies off, and Arthur lies on top of the panda for a second. He looks up. Now that his hat's fallen off, he can hear the "Tina, Tina" song again.

Hat in hand, and shopping bag in the other, Arthur runs out of the entrance to the store. He can see the candy cane display. Mom's there waiting.

The lady from Crystalwerks, Jill, according to her nametag, walks past, part of the crowd.

Mom looks at her watch -- Arthur's right on time! She asks Arthur if he got everything he was looking for. Arthur is out of breath slightly, but he's glad to say that yep, he did!

He asks how Mom fared. Mom looks a trifle nervous. Her eyes don't meet Arthur's, and she sounds a trifle distracted.

 

Mom: Well, almost everything, there was just one thing that was all sold out...

Veginators by any chance?

 

- First commercial break -Edit

 


   

In the kitchen, D.W. is eating chocolate chip cookies. Mom's sitting at the table with her, and she says that sometimes Santa can't always get everything people want.

D.W. is shocked.  

D.W.: Why?

Because I've been bad?

Mom rolls her eyes slightly, and assures D.W. that she hasn't been bad -- it's just that a lot of children want the same things she does...

D.W. breaks up her cookie in anger, letting it crumble all over the floor.

She figures it's because Arthur wrote up her letter all wrong!  

D.W. ...boy, if you want something done right, you've gotta do it yourself!

I'm surprised D.W. doesn't know this yet. :D

Mom rolls her eyes, and looks at the ceiling. That didn't go well. Just then, Dad enters the kichen, saying he has a big surprise -- Uncle Fred's video Christmas card!

The VCR is on. First there's nothing but staticy snow on the screen as the tape plays. PLAY appears on the Reads' TV screen, and then disappears.  


The first thing that we see on the screen is a close-up of an angry looking aardvark man in sunglasses, tapping the screen. He has a buzz cut. This must be Uncle Fred.

Uncle Fred: Is this thing on?

He backs off, and smiles...

Uncle Fred: Oh, heh, it is!

Hawaiian music is playing in the background. Uncle Fred waves, and points, pretending to point directly at the members of the Read household.

Uncle Fred: Hi sis! Hi David, Arthur, D.W., and of course, widdle Kate!

It's me, your Uncle Fred!


Jane and Fred as brother and sister? Shudder... :) As Uncle Fred has been talking, he's been getting closer to the camera again, so that all we can see as he says "Uncle Fred" is one of the dark lenses of his glasses.

A dog barks behind Uncle Fred, and he turns around.

He moves backward. We can see Uncle Fred with a dog now; a dog larger, but similar to Pal. This is Rory. Rory is similar to Uncle Fred as well -- he sticks his nose up close to the camera, and is wearing sunglasses and a Hawaiian shirt, as is Uncle Fred. The two of them are standing in front of a couch with a lamp beside it, and on the wall is a painting of a sailboat in a lagoon.

Uncle Fred says he's sorry that he and Rory won't be seeing them this Christmas, as they are going to...


Arthur and D.W. both lean forward on the couch and say "Hawaii!"  


Uncle Fred: Florida!

Uncle Fred then knocks over the lamp that's beside the couch on screen, and it gets dark in the video. He looks at the broken lamp, and Rory runs off. The Hawaiian music comes to a halt, sounding like the needle got bumped on the record player.  

Uncle Fred: What the heck was that?

Hey, who turned out the lights?

Rory comes back to the camera and sticks his face up against it. Then we see Rory open his mouth and the screen gets dark, and then there's static.


Arthur and D.W. think that Uncle Fred is hilarious. Even Mom and Dad think his clumsy antics are amusing. Arthur recalls how last year Uncle Fred stepped on the teaset that Dad had bought Mom.  

Dad: That wasn't so funny...A bell rings from inside the kitchen. Dad gets up off the striped couch.

Dinner tha night is a proper Christmas dinner, with a big turkey and all the trimmings.

Arthur's surprised, and wonders why they're having this tonight -- won't Christmas dinner be boring if they have the same thing again then?  

Mom and Dad explain how Dad's had the brilliant idea of trying to have an authentic Christmas dinner -- the sort of thing they might have had in Bethlehem when Jesus was born.

Dad found a book on the history of cooking, which will help him to do this.

Hoc
SCREENSHOT FROM PBS SITE: As long as Dad knows how to read, everything should be fine.

 

Dad starts leafing through the book, and begins listing typical period dishes. He figures he'll be able to come up with a delicious meal:  

  • Roast lamb with tumeric...
  • Unleavened bread...
  • Pulse, a Roman dish made of mashed chick peas and wheat...


Dad: Mmmm, sounds great!Arthur makes a face. It does not sound great to HIM!

Arthur imagines.  


He imagines a stable, drawn in the thick simplified outline style of D.W.'s story from #40601 - "D.W. Tale Spins". A cow, a lamb, a horse, and Pal are all munching on hay, as Arthur and his family have dinner, all dressed in robes. For some reason, the stable has the cabinet with the plates in it that's in Arthur's dining room.

D.W.: Daddy, there's sand in my humas.

Arthur: And my pulse is cold.

<- I think this is meant to be a pun perhaps... Arthur holds up his bowl.

Grandpa Dave offers Arthur a plate with a giant piece of meat with a bone in it. Grandpa Dave wants to know if Arthur wants any of his camel.  

Arthur: Eww. No thanks!

Back to reality -- Dad's still waxing poetic about this great meal... including chocolate-covered dates. Oh, scratch that, chocolate was an Aztec food... Non-chocolate-covered dates. Arthur looks glum. Mom at that moment is feeding Baby Kate with a spoon. She tries to make Arthur feel better.  

Mom: It'll be fun!

Arthur isn't convinced, but he says he guesses it will.

(Since he doesn't have much choice...)

  •  
  •  
  •  

The next morning, and it's early. Smoke is rising from lots of chimneys.

At Buster's house, Buster has his head under the pillow, and he's snoring contentedly.  

Bitzi Baxter: (loud, screechy voice) Rise and shiiiiine, sleepyhead! It's Christmas!

Christmas is here! Christmas, Christmas, Christmassss...

She rustles Buster out of bed.      

Buster isn't happy to be gotten out of bed like that, even if there's lots of presents in the living room, and pancakes for breakfast. When Buster consults his calendar, it's only the 23rd... Mom is doing it to him again...
23rd

NOTE:December 25th is Christmas,NOT The 23rd.

SCREENSHOT FROM PBS SITE: Buster should get his Mom a calendar for Christmas perhaps.
  •  
  •  
  •  

Bitzi apologizes to Buster as she puts the presents away in a closet.

Reload
SCREENSHOT FROM PBS SITE: Bitzi puts Buster's presents back, as it's not Christmas.

Buster tries to joke about it, by saying that at least he gets pancakes for breakfast... Buster's Mom isn't laughing though... she sounds aggrivated. As she walks out of the kitchen, she grumbles to herself, thinking she's out of earshot.  

Bitzi: (to herself) I just can't wait for the holidays to be over.But Buster did hear her, and he feels bad, like he is somehow responsible.

Sadbrek

Ugh!

SCREENSHOT FROM PBS SITE: here we go again....(sigh)

 

  •  
  •  
  •  

Timmy and Tommy Tibble are standing at the gate to their house as D.W. walks past, and posts another letter. They say that she's a baby, and ask if she's asking for a new rattle. D.W. says that for their information, it's NOT a letter to Santa, it's to, err, the President of the United States.

The Tibbles are surprised, and discuss this amongst themselves. Is that where the presents come from?

We see the letter go into the mailbox. It is indeed another letter to Santa.  

D.W.: Don't let me down Santa, I'm counting on you.* * *

It's snowing at Muffy's house, because there's a snowmaking machine ensuring this happens -- there's still no real snow in Elwood City. Muffy is having her party.

From inside, we hear the sounds of "Boogie Woogie Christmas" as sung by "The Squabbs".

There are close ups of the various band members playing their instruments. One is a shot of a hand on the frets of a guitar. A still shot of a hand on the frets of a guitar. Sure, that makes sense, but it's boring!  

"Have a Boogie Woogie Christmas, and a rocking and a reeling New Year"

and so on, and so on. Muffy's party guests are all dancing to the music of "The Squabbs". As to be expected, it's an extravagant party -- there's a trampoline, lots of food, and even an ice sculpture of Muffy. Everyone is there, even people you wouldn't expect, like Fern, Jenna, Prunella, and Mr. Ratburn...

Arthur is looking out the window.

He's upset that there isn't snow yet. Brain is behind him, playing "Pin the tail on the reindeer" on his own.


Arthur: Where's the snow? Christmas is tomorrow, and there's still no snow.

Brain takes off his blindfold to see how he did. Not too well -- he stuck the tail on the reindeer's neck.  

Brain: Well, y'know Arthur, noone actually knows what day Jesus was born on.

The holiday is in December probably because that's when the Romans celebrated the winter solstice, and most likely, they adopted that tradition from the Babylonians.

Arthur doesn't care. He just wants snow.

Just then, the trumpeters appear again, and Muffy reappears in her "Princess of Christmas" outfit. Muffy announces that it's time for her to give out presents, which is what she starts doing. She has a present in her hand, and announces that the first one is for Francine. But of course, Francine isn't there.

Dreidel

Francine WINS!

*

 

Francine's at home, celebrating Hanukkah with her family as she said she would be. Francine's playing with a dreidel with her family. Francine's good at it.

SCREENSHOT FROM PBS SITE: Francine wins again.

 

The phone rings, Catherine answers it, and tells Francine it's for her.

Muffy squeals down the phone so that it makes Francine's hair fly back.

I' m surprised that Francine didn' t go deaf when Muffy yelled through the phone when she didn' t show up at the Christmas party.

But Francine can give as good as she gets. Muffy may be annoyed that Francine didn't show to accept her present, but Francine did tell her... 28 times, according to her tally. Francine is having a perfectly good time celebrating hanukah with her family.  

Muffy: ...but you could see your family any old day! Besides, it's not like Hanukkah is as important as Christmas!

Oy.  

Francine: Well it is to me!

Francine slams the phone down. Muffy is shocked.  

Muffy: How rude!

Muffy may have been shocked, but not for long. The next thing Muffy does is put Francine's present up for grabs for anyone else at the party.

The party continues. Buster is sitting at a table, asleep, face first in a piece of cake.  

Arthur and Brain spot him. Brain has a White Russian glass of milk in his hand. Arthur and Brain look at each other, with a trace of concern when they notice Buster. Arthur wakes Buster, and when he does, Buster thinks he's at home, figuring it's his Mom waking him for Christmas again.
Cheers

A toast for the Holidays!

SCREENSHOT FROM PBS SITE: Cheers!

 

Arthur reassures Buster that that isn't the case, and that Buster has cake on his face. Buster licks it off, and says in a sleepy voice that that's nice. Buster looks demented, and obviously isn't paying attention to what's going on.

Brain suggests that maybe Buster and his Mom shouldn't celebrate Christmas, as it makes Buster really tired. Buster says he knows it makes him tired, but he doesn't have an option.  

Arthur: Why not create your own holiday?

Of course. Why didn't I think of that? Even Buster thinks this is slightly unreasonable:  

Buster: You can't just invent your own holiday, Arthur!

dora_winifred_read, a member of the Yahoo! Arthur club pointed out that this runs counter to established facts. Sure you can invent holidays, Buster -- You and the gang were all inventing holidays in #31502 - "The Long, Dull Winter". You had the great idea of "Give Me Candy Day".

Brain begs to differ. Sure you can. His family celebrates Kwanzaa, which was invented in 1966...

For some reason, we cut to a far away shot of the three. In the foreground, Sue Ellen is wearing leiderhosen, and Fern's dressed in a jacket and miniskirt outfit. Then we're back to a close up of the three guys.

Arthur says that Buster can celebrate "Baxter Day".

Buster gets a dreamy look on his face, and starts imagining Baxter Day.

Buster sings a song about Buster Day throughout his dream/imagination sequence. If the demand is there, perhaps one day I'll write some of the lyrics out. Anyway...  


Baxter Day is fairly typical of Buster's imaginings. He wakes up to breakfast in bed. Then he goes outside, and grabs some more food which happens to be flying past his house. He and his Mom get into a spaceship marked "Baxter Express", and fly through space, past planets including Jupiter, past satellites, past spacecraft... err, they fly through some lighty-"2001: A Space Odyessy"-type things, and then land on a planet full of aliens, including giant worms, giant squids, and the big-brain-type aliens. Buster tells them jokes...The aliens think Buster is hilarious. Then he and his Mom go flying again... They sample the moon, finding it's made of cheese...

They land their spaceship at the Mill Creek Mall, destroying the parking lot...

Next they're flying through space in a flying bunk bed in their pajamas. Buster sings about how they can just relax, and sleep in, or read comic books or eat...  

Buster's song concludes with him and his Mom walking through a park together in their pajamas -- the point being that Baxter Day is just about Buster and his Mom being together being more important than trying to make a big deal out of the holiday. Or something.
Conclu
SCREENSHOT FROM PBS SITE: The conclusion of Buster's "Baxter Day" daydream.

 


Anyway, after what must have seemed like an enternity for his friends Buster stops imagining and says that it does sound like a good idea, but that his Mom would never go for it.

It's suggested that It wouldn't hurt to try however.

Meanwhile, Binky's come up with another culinary creation which he wants his friends to try -- he puts out a tray of brownies. Mr. Ratburn is the first to try one. They are horrible.

Mr. Ratburn asks if Binky put sugar in the brownies, knowing the answer.

Binky jots down a note to himself in a notebook.  

It's Christmas Eve.

Arthur comes into the living room with some gifts to place under the Christmas tree, which is being decorated at that moment by Mom and D.W.. D.W.'s decorating the lower half of the tree with a unicorn and kitten theme.

Arthur thinks it's terrible. He wants traditional decorations on the tree, like glass baubles.

Mom says that Arthur can do the top half of the tree the way he wants. Arthur accepts the compromise, but he's not especially happy about it.

* * *

That night, the Read family attend a church service. On the way there in the car, the car radio plays the "Tiny Tina" commercial. Arthur begs for Dad to change the channel, anything to avoid having to listen to that annoying commercial.

Dad puts in a tape of "Crazy Bus".

 

After the church service, the congregation is milling around the entrance -- Prunella's Mom is in attendance.

Church
SCREENSHOT FROM PBS SITE: Arthur's family aren't the only ones going to church tonight. Binky is on the left side, closest to the door.

 

As is Binky. He sees Arthur and says that he has a present for him. He wants Arthur to be among the first to sample his latest creation, "Binky Barnes Banana Bread". Arthur samples it, and like the brownies, and the pecan pie, it is quite nasty. Binky neglected to peel the bananas.

Binky jots this down in his notebook.

* * *

Back at the Reads, it is time for bed. Arthur's in his pajamas.

He has one last thing to do though -- he's wrapped up Mom's glass bird, and he writes out the tag on the gift.

He says he can't wait until she opens it. Arthur takes his carefully wrapped and tagged present downstairs to put it under the Christmas tree. Arthur places the gift gingerly under the tree and considers the tree. He concludes that the tree isn't bad, if you sort of ignore D.W.'s decorating efforts on the lower branches.

Just then, D.W. barges in, and she appears to be rather concerned. She inspects the fireplace, making sure there is no fire in it. Arthur wonders what D.W. is up to now. D.W. is annoyed with Arthur, because obviously Arthur isn't worried about Santa visiting that night. D.W. wants to make sure that Santa's nocturnal visit to the Read residence is as pleasant and trouble-free as possible.

 

D.W.: Am I the only one thinking of Santa's best interests here?

In the kitchen, D.W. prepares a snack of cookies and milk for Santa, which Arthur samples. D.W. notices this.

 

D.W.: It's kids like you who get lumps of coal, Arthur Read.

Then the two of them put on coats and go outside -- D.W. runs a bucket of water so that Santa's reindeer will have something to drink.

The bucket of water filled, the two are ready to go back indoors and go to bed. In the cold night air, a single snowflake is spotted by Arthur. That's great -- if it snows, it'll be a white Christmas, just as Arthur wanted, and everything will be perfect.

Then it thunders, and it begins to rain, heavily.

Pathetic fallacy. This does not bode well for Arthur.

* * *

Even though a white Christmas doesn't seem possible, that doesn't mean that Christmas won't be great. Arthur leaves a candle burning on his windowledge, takes off his glasses, and goes to bed.

Just before he takes of his glasses, Arthur comments to himself that if nothing else, at least the present he got for Mom will turn out perfect.

Arthur hears noises coming from downstairs.

* * *

Arthur comes down to see what's happening.

Look who's at the door! It's Uncle Fred, and his dog!

Uncle Fred says that he was just dropping off some presents on the way down to Florida, when all of a sudden, his truck started smoking...

 

Uncle Fred: I don't know what the heck is wrong with it!

Uncle Fred cusses a lot (at least the cuss words they allow on the show). I was actually surprised they let him say "heck" so many times But he only said that for the first half of the show. Maybe Mr. & Ms. Read told him to calm it down in front of the kids... (or they decided to stop it half way into production and might have been too much to go back and redo the other half.)

Luckily for him, it happened just as he was in Elwood City, so he can stay with Arthur's family while he's waiting for the truck to get fixed. We see Fred's truck being towed away by a tow truck -- while Uncle Fred apologizes for taking out the Read's fence with his truck.

Jane and Dave, being the nice folks they are, welcome Uncle Fred and Rory in... even though they're a little uneasy about Uncle Fred, seeing as he's a clumsy twit.

Rory, who looks like a much larger, lighter-colored version of the sort of dog Pal might be -- although he looks nothing like Perky, spots a surprised looking Pal and chases him.

 

Uncle Fred: Rory just loves Pal!

For a snack perhaps. Pal doesn't look like he loves Rory -- Rory starts to chase him. Uncle Fred and Arthur's parents go into the dining room.

Given how Arthur made a big fuss when Nemo was around Pal (#31302 - "Francine and the Feline"), I'm surprised that Rory and Pal aren't supervised more closely -- if not just because of the size mismatch, but because Rory is probably as clumsy as Uncle Fred. Of course, if Rory had been watched, the plot wouldn't have developed as it will... :)

Pal is near the Christmas tree, among the presents, perhaps guarding them, or hiding... Rory comes over, but instead of annoying Pal, Rory picks up a smallish present in his mouth. Guess which one it is? Pal, perhaps wanting to defend Arthur's present for his Mom, bites hold of the present as well.

Arthur is about to head up the stairs for bed when he sees the two dogs squabbling over the present.

Arthur shouts and yells in shock, and rushes over to save Mom's present.

He's too slow though, and Pal is no match for Rory -- Rory runs off with Mom's present in his mouth.

Arthur chases Rory around the striped couch, but then stops, as does Rory. It appears to be a stalemate. Arthur can see Rory's tail though, around the side of the couch. Arthur goes over the top of the couch, perhaps thinking he'll be able to wrestle the present off of Rory; he'll have the element of surprise if nothing else.

Arthur does this. But it doesn't work out as planned. Rory continues to run around the living room, still with the present in his mouth, but now Arthur is riding on Rory's back.

* * *

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Uncle Fred is pouring milk into his coffee cup and chatting with Mom and Dad. Fred's noting that it's a lucky coincidence that he just happened to break down outside their driveway.

Mom and Dad must be thinking the exact same thing, no doubt.

Uncle Fred isn't watching what he's doing -- he pours too much milk into his cup, it overflows, and milk goes all over the floor.

Uncle Fred apologizes, and leans down to clean it up. Jane bends down to clean it up as well, (probably not wanting Fred to make a worse mess) and they bump their heads.

* * *

While they're cleaning up, Arthur's still riding along on Rory.

At the foot of the stairs, Pal, who must still be rather breathless from his first encounter with Rory is standing near the wall. There is a large rug on the wooden floor in front of him.

Rory and Arthur charge out of the living room, towards Pal.

Pal looks towards them, warily.

Rory brakes hard, and slides on the rug just before he would have smashed into Pal. Which is rather fortunate for both Pal, Rory, and Arthur.

However, the present goes flying into the air in a slow-motion parabolic arc. -- Up, up, up, and then down, down, down. Arthur dives to catch the present, and catches it just in the nick of time. Arthur sits holding the present. He is a very lucky aardvark.

Just then, oblivious to what's just transpired, Dad comes in, and ordered Arthur, (in a tone that suggests that Arthur had better do so) that it's time Arthur was in bed.

Both Arthur and Pal know that it's no use trying to explain things to Dad.

* * *

Arthur elects to put Mom's present in a safe place. He places it on the top shelf in the linen closet out of harm's way -- the linen closet is the first door on left from Arthur's room upstairs. The linen closet is full of blankets and towels, and soft things, the best place for something fragile like the ornament.

 

Arthur: It will be safe in here.

While watching this the first time through, I thought to myself "...famous last words". The thing I would have done would have been to give the box to Dad to protect -- Dad could stow it away somewhere safe.

Rory won't be able to get it at any rate -- Arthur has to stand on a chair to be able to reach it!

* * *

The next day is Christmas Day. It's sunny.

D.W. is the first one up, apparently. She runs down the hallway, waking up Arthur and Mom and Dad, telling everyone that it's Christmas, it's Christmas!

D.W. goes past the bathroom door, which is open.

Inside, there's a fattish man, in red flannely pajamas. His face is covered with what looks like a white fluffy beard. He's half asleep, but when he sees D.W., he greets her:

 

Mystery stranger in bathroom: Ho ho, well, hello there!

D.W. runs off!

We see whoever this is with the white beard start to shave. It's not Santa, it's only Uncle Fred, with shaving cream on his face! He starts to shave, cuts himself, and sticks a bit of toilet paper over the nick.

* * *

Uncle Fred, now looking entirely like himself, but with lots of little bits of paper all over his face, stumbles out of the washroom. Arthur says hello as he goes into the washroom to get ready for the day.

* * *

So the door of the bathroom is closed as D.W., with Dad in tow, stands at the door. She is sure that she saw Santa in there a few moments ago.

Inside the bathroom, Arthur runs some water on his toothbrush, and lets the water run as he brushes his teeth. Once that's done, Arthur goes over to the toilet, and lifts the seat.

* * *

Meanwhile, in the hallway, D.W. is sick of waiting, and decides to open the door so that Dad can see Santa.

She barges in.

We see Arthur's shocked face! We see Arthur yell.

 

Arthur: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

The door is quickly shut.

 

Arthur: Can't a kid get any privacy around here.

D.W. backs out of the bathroom, and looks mildly embarassed. Dad needn't bother having a look -- Santa isn't in the bathroom as D.W. thought.

 

D.W.: Oops. Sorry!

D.W. snickers slightly...

S.C. thought this part was one of the funniest/most unexpected parts of the entire episode. However, it is a cheap laugh -- sure, the show might be amusing if it was nothing but this sort of joke, but ummm, well, it just felt "wrong" to me. Arthur didn't used to have to rely on bathroom jokes, did it?

* * *

Buster wakes his Mom up. She immediately goes into her frantic over-Christmas-ified act again when Buster shows her that it is indeed Christmas Day.

 

Mom: Time for presents, time for pancakes, let's get this show on the road!

* * *

At the breakfast table, Buster unwraps a brand new Cybercod action figure.

Buster pronounces it cool, to which his Mom announces that she can take it back if he doesn't want it, seeing she found a duplicate of it in his room -- she holds up a similar looking fish-man action figure. Buster says that that's not Cybercod that she has in her hand, that's Technotrout. Technotrout and Cybercod are completely different -- Technotrout has a speckled belly, unlike Cybercod. Buster then demonstrates that Cybercod has a "kung-fu fin", which Technotrout doesn't have.

So they're really different.

Mom looks relieved. Just then, Mom notices black smoke -- whoops -- Bitzi kind of forgot about Buster's pancakes! She rushes over to prevent them from carbonizing further. The smoke alarm goes off.

Buster comes over to the stove, and tries to make the best of things, not wanting his Mom to be upset. He tells her that it's ok, he likes them well done...

 

Buster: ...I like them kind of brown,

Mom tips out the pancake onto Buster's plate.

 

Buster: ...or um, black.

Mom is worried that Arthur's not going to have a good Christmas.

* * *

Meanwhile, other people are celebrating Christmas too. It's a low-key but swanky Christmas morning at the Crosswire's mansion. Muffy's Dad helps her climb out of her stocking. The stocking that Muffy hung by the fireplace is bigger than she is, so she has to climb inside it to rumage around for presents. Muffy's got a lot of presents this year...

Note there's another stocking up besides Muffy's oversized one -- a stocking with "CHIP" on it. Who's Chip?

She is especially happy to find a plastic makeup case shaped like a lobster, only with a human woman's face where the lobster's head should be. This is the "Cindy Crawfish Mini-Makeup Kit".

She thanks Mom and Dad for this. Mom is sitting on the couch, sipping tea.

Muffy whips out a calculator from the pocket of her dressing gown, and calculates that this year, she got 37 presents, including the calculator.

 

Muffy: This was the biggest Christmas ever!

She hugs Dad, and then Mom, and then rushes across the room to open up the makeup set. She starts applying makeup. Only she stops, and looks at herself with a casual look, suddenly realizing the true meaning of Christmas, or something.

 

Muffy: I don't meed makeup! I'm already beautiful. (pause) But Francine doesn't have any! (pause) And she sure could use some.

Muffy pulls out her cell phone, and is just about to call Francine, when she realizes that they're not friends anymore. Muffy's suddenly sad -- without Francine, she has nobody to talk to about her presents...

In the full version of the special (without the commercials) there's a song here. See the "Is that all there is?" page.

Song or no song, this bit shows off Muffy's character. She has loads of presents, but they don't mean anything to her. That's both good, and awful in a way. Also, it's making Christmas look bad -- "True Meaning of Christmas" anyone?

* * *

At Arthur's, some of Arthur's relatives are over, enjoying Christmas Day with Arthur and his family. Everyone is in their pajamas. It's very relaxed -- even Rory and Pal are friends now, and are playing together.

Grandpa Dave says he likes the coffee that Arthur's Dad made. Dad tells him that it isn't actually coffee, but ground up bark... it's part of the ultra-retro Christmas... as Dad says, they didn't have coffee in ancient Jerusalem.

Grandpa Dave rolls his eyes, but at least he doesn't spit it out.

 

Grandpa Dave: Oh?

Grandma Thora asks Jane what Fred does for a living. Mom says that Fred works at a china shop.

:)

We see Fred sitting with Baby Kate. Uncle Fred is entertaining her with a rattle, and Baby Kate trying to grab it -- Uncle Fred hands the rattle to her, but the rattle part promptly breaks off the handle as he does so. Baby Kate looks at the handle in her hand with a surprised look, sort of shrugs her shoulders, and laughs.

D.W. and Arthur are sitting amongst the presents under the tree, but the topic of discussion is the bathroom incident.

 

  • Arthur thinks that D.W. must have just seen Uncle Fred in the bathroom.
  • D.W. doesn't think so -- Uncle Fred doesn't have a white beard like the mystery man did...
  • Arthur goes on to say that it just doesn't make sense for Santa to have been in their house, at that time in the morning...
  • D.W. says that he could have been running late -- as a result of Arthur writing out her first wish list all wrong!

Before this devolves into a shouting match, Dad taps his mug of ground bark with a spoon to get everyone's attention. He says it's time to start on the presents...

Arthur suddenly realizes that Mom's present is upstairs still. He tells everyone to hold on, not wanting them to start without him. D.W. freezes, about to undo the ribbon on a present... oh, the tension... Arthur had better hurry...

* * *

Arthur rushes up the stair, thinking it's going to be soooo good when Mom unwraps the glass bird.

Arthur imagines:

 


  • Mom says it's the best present she's ever received.

Mom: Arthur, you're perfect.

  • Grandpa Dave says Arthur is a "grade A grandson".
  • Grandma Thora gives him an award: A brass plaque with "Little Angel Award" and a picture of an angel engraved into it, along with Arthur's name.

D.W. is shocked with all of this attention being paid to Arthur, and wants to know if she's perfect as well.

Grandma Thora says that D.W.'s only "almost perfect".

D.W. frowns.

Mom tells everyone to hurry, because they don't want to miss the parade.

Another Elwood City parade, this one dedicated to "Heroes of the 20th Century". Like the Macy's parade in New York City', this parade features floats with large helium balloons shaped like various things, in this case heroes, which slowly move down the street through town. Confetti falls continuously on the crowd.

A marching band marches past city hall, followed by an astronaut balloon.

A TV commentator notes the great turnout for the parade. The crowd cheers and whoops as the floats pass by.

The next float, an Albert Einstein balloon floats past.  

Witty TV commentator: There's Albert Einstein, moving much slower than the speed of light.

Next is Ghandi.  

Witty TV commentator: Mahatma Ghandi, showing no resistance, passive or otherwise, to this adoring crowd.

Interesting to note that Einstein and Ghandi look human -- not animally at all! What's up with that? But then, Abraham Lincoln didn't look animally either -- see #21001 - "D.W. Goes To Washington". (BTW, that episode is notable for another reason -- it's one of the few other cases were we learn about Arthur's family doing something Christmas-related, even if it is just visiting a second-rate Santa-related theme park.)

Something else to note -- the sign on one of the buildings along the parade route. It might come up as trivia sometime. Or you might see it in a future episode. :)

 

     POWER
RADIO
WOOF FM


The next float is, surprise, surprise, Arthur, who is, as the commentator says is "The perfect 8-year-old boy". The Arthur float features Arthur, clutching a book. The balloon is tethered to a small platform where Arthur is riding in a throne, waving to the crowd.Behind him, D.W. is for some reason in the parade as well, only since she only has "almost perfect" status, she has to ride her bike along. However, she does have a plain looking sash reading "Almost Perfect", and a small balloon tied to her bike with her face on it.

D.W. looks rather sad as the crowd chants "Arthur, Arthur"...


* * *

Anyway, Arthur opens the closet door. Because it's on the top shelf, he has to balance on a dining room chair to reach it. However, he loses his balance, and knocks the present off the shelf.

Luckily though, its landing is cushioned by a blanket inside a basket. However, the present falls out of this onto the ground with a clinking sound that does not sound promising at all!

Arthur rushes the present into his room, and unwraps it.

 

Arthur: Oh please, please, please, please, don't be...

Mom's gift is busted. The busted glass bird stares at Arthur with its unblinking painted-on eyes.

 

Arthur: (quietly) Oh no...* * *

Meanwhile, Buster's Mom continues to overdo Christmas. She and Buster are at "La Bruncherie", which according to what's written on a scalloped awning, is "A Fancy Place for Brunch".

Buster is uneasy at this swanky place.

 

  • When his "Fromage Americane in a blanket of hen eggs" arrives, Buster says all he wanted was a cheese omelette. The waiter sighs and drops his French accent to tell him that that it what it is...
  • Buster thinks his parsley garnish is a small broccoli at first. The waiter has to tell him what it is.
  • After eating it, Buster says he thinks it's delicious, and he wants a side order of it.

The long-suffering waiter rolls his eyes and walks off.

* * *

Buster is looking bored, and is half-heartedly trying to stab a profiterole with his fork, only it keeps rolling around his plate.

Mom asks if he's having a good time. She looks rather anxious. Buster realizes that he has to say something. But all her tells her is that everything is just great. Buster then stabs with his fork, but the profiterole goes flying.

Buster's waiter is serving a posh looking man a bowlful of melted Gruyere cheese -- Buster's profiterole bounces into this, splattering all over the man's shirt. The waiter turns to look where the projectile came from, and sighs.Downstairs, everyone still is frozen as a result of Arthur's command. D.W. is anyway.

 

D.W.: (very slowly, not wanting to move) This... is... torture...

D.W. gives up trying to remain frozen. She gets up off the floor and asks Mom where Arthur is. Mom says that Arthur did say he'd be down in just a minute...

Uncle Fred says he'll go check on Arthur, and hands Baby Kate over to Grandma Thora. D.W. goes back to the presents, and starts shaking the one she was about to open.

* * *

Uncle Fred gingerly opens the door of Arthur's room, and comes in. Arthur is lying face down on his bed, crying. Uncle Fred asks what is wrong. Arthur puts on his glasses and shows Uncle Fred the busted ornament. Uncle Fred suggests gluing it back together. Arthur says that that would look terrible.

 

Arthur: Everything's ruined!

Uncle Fred tells Arthur that "Christmas is about more than just presents". Arthur counters that that's just what grown-ups always say. Arthur is upset more than anything because of the fact the bird was such a well-chosen present for Mom. Uncle Fred picks up the lid of the box that the bird was in, and reads the tag

 

TO Mom
Merry Christmas,
FROM
   Love Arthur

 

Uncle Fred: Well, it's not over yet, there's still the whole day ahead of us.

Uncle Fred says they should go back downstairs.

 

Arthur mutters: With my luck, I'll probably knock over the tree.

Uncle Fred says that that's his job!

Arthur smiles, and the two of them leave Arthur's room. Uncle Fred still has the lid off of Arthur's box concealed in his hand, and he looks at it as Arthur heads down the landing to the stairs.

* * *

A vintage Rolls Royce, only with a C where the RR should be. It is parked by the ice cream shop where Brain's Mom works.

Muffy and her parents are at the counter, and Muffy looks glum. Her parents don't look very cheerful either.

Brain's behind the counter, serving.

 

He presents Muffy with a "Kwanzaa Cream Special" which is three scoops of ice cream in a bowl. The different ice cream colors represent different aspects of Kwanzaa. Brain points to the scoops and explains.

 

  • GREEN Pistachio symbolizes FREEDOM.
  • BLACK Licorice symbolizes UNITY.
  • RED Raspberry symbolizes THE AFRICAN STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM.

According to the PBS site, and I'm quoting...  

  • RED (symbolizing the struggle for freedom),
  • BLACK (for the black people),
  • and GREEN (symbolizing the future).
Icecream

Ice cream,anyone?

SCREENSHOT FROM PBS SITE: Brain explains aspects of Kwanzaa with a visual aide.

 

In the full version, Brain's Kwanzaa celebration gets more screentime, including a song -- which is good, because as it appears here, it sort of gets the short shrift...

Muffy thanks him, but then pushes it away, saying she's not hungry. Then she asks why Brain's not at home, as today is a holiday.

Not for Brain -- Kwanza doesn't start until tomorrow.

Kwanzaa runs from December 26 through January 1.

Muffy asks her Dad if next year she can have a Kwanza party instead. Dad recoils slightly.

 

Dad: Sure Pookie... why?

If Muffy had a Kwanzaa party, then perhaps Francine would be able to come to it...

Love that cavalier attitude towards people's cultures, Muffy...

* * *

Back to Arthur's. Arthur is moping on the good couch.

D.W. opens a present.

Grandma Thora tries to get Kate's attention with a bunny doll. Baby Kate laughs and puts the box it came in on her head.

Arthur's Dad opens a box to reveal a Veginator. He places it besides two identical ones, sardonically noting that this can be the backup one if the other two break.

Pal picks up a ball in his mouth, and gives it to Rory. Rory presents Pal with a bone. Rory then precedes to eat the ball. Pal shakes his head in disbelief and makes a quiet whiny sound.

D.W. picks up a rather large present.

 

D.W.: I know what this must be.

She rips the paper off, and Mom and Dad look at each other with pensive expressions. Why? Because D.W. unwraps a duck doll: A duck doll wearing a sailor outfit.

D.W. correctly determines that it is a duck.

 

Mom: But it's not just any duck, honey. It's a duck that can say five thousand different things!

Technological development in terms of talking doll vocabulary appears to have stalled at 5000 words -- in #40901 - "What is that Thing?", Muffy's "Arnie the Anteater" had a 5000 word vocabulary as well.

Pal and D.W. look at the latest addition to the family.

Rory comes over to have a look at it too.

 

D.W.: Can it say "meow"?Mom: Um... Probably... not.

Mom asks if D.W. is upset. D.W. says no. Then she starts to cry, and then she starts shouting and throwing a tantrum. She wanted "Tina the Talking Tabby".

The bells of doom sound effect starts up in the background see a shot of the house from outside for a moment -- D.W.'s screams are so loud you can hear them outside.

D.W. rhetorically asks how Santa could do this to her. She says it's the worst Christmas ever, and bangs her fist down on the duck, which causes it to turn on, and start talking.

 

Toy Duck: Hello... I'm Quackers... I love you.

D.W. picks Quackers up.

 

Quackers: Do you love... me?

D.W. isn't crying now. She sits holding Quackers, smiling slightly. Pal and Rory watch. D.W. addresses Quackers.

 

D.W.: (slowly) You're kind of cute for someone who's not a kitty.

Anyone reminded of D.W. embracing the toad as a pet in #11301 - "So Long, Spanky"?

 

Quackers: Quack-a-doodle do!

Mom and Dad breath sighs of relief. Dad gets up off his chair, and goes to the presents. Mom unwraps a gift from Grandpa Dave. We don't see what's in the box, but she says that it's lovely. Grandpa Dave says that "nothing's too good for my little girl".

Arthur is sitting by Uncle Fred, and Arthur looks uneasy.

Mom takes Grandpa Dave's present out of the box -- it's a vase. She smiles as she looks at it. Arthur thinks to himself that Mom will just think he forgot to give her anything. Arthur is silent while the rest of the family carries on. Everyone apart from him is laughing and enjoying themselves. Even Quackers sounds like he's having a good time.

Arthur bows his head.

 

Arthur: Mom, I've got something to tell you.

At that moment, Uncle Fred gets up, and goes over to the tree. He notes that there's one more present under the tree, and picks it up. He says it's for Jane... Surprise, surprise, the label says that it is from Arthur!

This is a surprise, especially for Arthur.

And it is from Arthur, cause the tag is the one he wrote...

Mom opens it.

Uncle Fred gives Arthur a thumbs up, and winks.

Hey, it's the tea set that Uncle Fred bust on her last year. Mom shows it to Dad.

Uncle Fred jokes that they'd better keep it away from him this year!

A very thoughtful gift... Mom says she's really touched. Arthur doesn't know what to say.

He doesn't have to say anything because at that moment, Grandma Thora's noted that there's a tow truck outside. A wolf person with a truck that says "GREG's Towing" is there hooked up to Uncle Fred's SUV. The tow truck man sees them looking at him through the window, and waves to them.

Uncle Fred is pleasantly surprised -- he didn't think the mechanic would come through and fix his truck on Christmas.

He says he guesses that Christmas miracles DO happen.

And he winks at Arthur again.

 

There's someone at the door at the Frenskys.

Oliver Frensky is suprised to have the Crosswires show up for a visit. They claim they were just in the neighbourhood, and give Oliver a present -- a large ham.

"Lonnie" brand ham, as noted by divxhacker. I suppose that giving a Jewish person a ham is supposed to be amusing.

Oliver accepts the ham, and lets the Crosswires come in.

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There's a small ring of milk on the kitchen countertop which Muffy is drawing in with her finger. Muffy is apologizing for not listening to Francine, while Francine stands with her arms folded, still looking rather cross.

Even though Muffy is sorry, she says that the party was important to her...

Francine grabs Muffy by the hand, and says she has something to show to her.  

She shows Muffy her menorah, which her great grandmother brought all

the way from Poland.Francine explains that at Hanukah, all her relatives who live nearby come over for the lighting of the menorah. Then they place it in the window.

Light
SCREENSHOT FROM PBS SITE:The menorah being lit.


Francine: It's a really beautiful moment.Ok, this is tacky -- The next thing we see is a shot of the entire apartment building showing flickering lights on the third and fourth floor of the Frensky's apartment -- this might have been because the writers were unsure of which floor the Frenskys live on.

Window
SCREENSHOT FROM PBS SITE: Francine's family watching the menorah.

 

Francine says it makes her feel like she is part of something really special.

Francine asks if Muffy can understand why that would be important to her.Muffy says she does, and that she's sorry.

Then Francine's Dad comes over, and Muffy's parents are on either side of him, looking smug. He says there's another special tradition that they have...  

Francine's Dad: It's something we do every year when Christians are celebrating Christmas...Muffy looks at him expectantly.  

Muffy: What's that?

Francine and her Dad: GO TO THE MOVIES!

Big smiles from Francine and her Dad. Everyone gets their coats.

That's a pretty glib comment, even if it is true.

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Meanwhile, Buster is still having trouble with profiteroles. He says he should have had ice cream.

Meanwhile, Mom is starting to lose her mind, frantically going over a long list of things to do, including watching "It's a Wonderful Life" for the fifth time.

Buster comforts his Mom, and tells her that Christmas this year has been great so far. Mom is very relieved. Buster goes on to say that in the future, Christmas doesn't have to be so "great" every year... He suggests that they could just relax instead...

Mom's shocked, but likes the sound of taking it easy.

Buster says it doesn't even have to be called Christmas -- they could even call it... Baxter Day?

Mom crumples up her list, and calls for the check.

Buster takes one last stab at his dessert, which lands in the waiter's hair as he brings the bill to Buster's Mom. Buster apologizes to him as the waiter walks off.

Then Buster and his Mom break into a fit of giggling.

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At the Reads, they've just finished Dad's special retro dinner, and it was very nice.  

  • Grandpa Dave says he'll need to get a new belt.
  • Arthur suggests that they should have this sort of a dinner at Christmas every year.
  • Arthur's Dad tells Arthur he loves the olive depitter, and demonstrates, feeding a pit to Rory with it.

Uncle Fred walks in, and says that he has good news. His truck is fixed. Uncle Fred tells Rory that they'll be able to go to Florida after all!

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Grandpa Dave is going to give Uncle Fred a ride to the garage in his pickup truck so that Uncle Fred can pick up his SUV and continue on to Florida. Uncle Fred is in the passenger seat, and Rory is sitting in the bed. Everyone is outside the house saying farewell to Uncle Fred and Rory, all of them in their winter gear.

Arthur asks Uncle Dave something -- the tea set was going to be his present, wasn't it?  

Uncle Dave: Yeah. But it was a whole lot nicer coming from you.

Arthur thanks him, and says that he was right -- it turned out to be a pretty good Christmas after all.  

Uncle Dave: Remember Arthur, you can't always get what you want in life; sometimes you get even better.

Grandpa Dave climbs into the cab of the truck, and the Reads wave goodbye.

D.W. holds up Quackers, who says "I love you".

Grandpa Dave backs the truck out of the driveway, and knocks over the Read's fence. Now both sides of the driveway have broken fence. Mom and Dad stand there with their mouths open. Baby Kate laughs. Grandpa Dave apologizes, the truck backs out, and then heads off towards the garage.  

Mom: Like father, like son!

Dad doesn't say anything to that. Then everyone heads indoors. Arthur is the last one to head in.

A snowflake comes down and lands on Arthur's nose. Then more start to fall.

Arthur raises his arms. It's snowing! At last! It's been a perfect Christmas after all!

From the doorway, D.W. tells Arthur to hurry in before he gets "pewmonia".

The word "pewmonia" was supposed to be changed to "pnumenia", which it was mispelled.

For some reason, the ground is suddenly blanketed in snow as Arthur walks towards the door. He asks D.W. if she's still annoyed with Santa for not getting her the talking cat that she wanted.

D.W. isn't mad at all! Santa must have known she'd like Quackers more than Tina. Then she proceeds to show Arthur how she can make Quackers "sing".  

Quick, Quack, Quaddy Quack,


Squeeze my belly, squeeze my back.


Quooky, Quiddy, Quacky Quo, Pull my bill, pull my toe!

D.W. goes inside with Quackers, and Arthur heads in after her, with his hands pulling his hat flaps down, knowing he'll be subject to that delightful melody from now on until the end of time. We can hear the strains of Quackers song from inside.  

Quicky, Cracky, Doodley Doo, You love me...Arthur closes the door behind him. And then opens it.  

Arthur: Happy Holidays Everyone.

We can hear Quackers chunnering in the background, about to repeat his song. Arthur goes back in, and tells D.W. to turn that thing off...

Closing shot of the house. It's snowing...

Credits, with "Boogie Woogie Christmas" playing.  

Executive Producers  

Marc Brown  

Carol Greenwald  

Peter Moss


Producers


Cassandra Schafhausen


Lesley Taylor  

Director  


Greg Bailey  

Writer  


Peter K. Hirsch


etc... END!

COBAR

   

For SC's complete review, be sure to check it out on the "Arthur Ultimate Bulletin Board".

"Arthur's Perfect Christmas" wasn't the "IT" I hoped it would be. It wasn't bad, but wasn't good either :/ It could have been much better. It felt like it didn't go anywhere, not such a big deal.

If you cant see or missed it for any reason, you won't be missing much because there really isn't much to miss. No funny jokes from D.W., a total lack of Sue Ellen's presence (they think they can make it up by giving her the holiday section on the site, huh? The nerve of them.) and (except for Fred) nothing really new.

Though this show wasn't that entertaining, It was significant because now everyone has a religious identity. I have a feeling that Fred's gonna come back in season 6. I wish they had Fern's song though.  

  • SC's refering to the official PBS site, where Sue Ellen did indeed oversee the holiday section. (Where all the screenshots came from) That section is gone now though. Look for it next Christmas, perhaps.
  • Fern's song -- a punk version of "Silent Night". Be sure to pick up the CD and check it out... :)
  • For a further discussion of the "religious identity" aspect of "Arthur's Perfect Christmas", see the "Aftermath" page.

All in all, I still can't make up my mind on this special. I don't have particularly strong feelings towards it or against it. Would I watch it again? I dunno. It would depend if there was anything else on. :( I don't think this is going to be one of those specials which "goes down in history" like Frosty, Rudolph, or perhaps even "Olive the Other Reindeer"...


One thing that people who will have seen the special on TV might be thinking as they wade their way through the synopsis is that it doesn't match up with what they saw on TV. Why is this?The version that I watched when I did the synopsis is "Arthur's Perfect Christmas" as it played on the CBC (The Canadian Broadcasting Company) prior to Christmas, 2000. This version had commercials, unusual for Arthur, which runs without commercials on PBS.

(I'm explaining for those abroad, so bear with me for a sec if you know this already.)

"Arthur's Perfect Christmas" also played on PBS in 2? versions, one with pauses for pledge breaks (as I saw it, and as Aonarr did -- see our "Aftermath" comments), and I would imagine, a version without the pledge breaks.

(Again, for those of you who don't know, because PBS in the US is publicly funded, they have to ask viewers to pledge money to the station, often breaking up special programming such as specials to say "give us money so we can bring you great shows like this", etc.)

As well as the versions that aired on TV, "Arthur's Perfect Christmas was on sale on video -- I imagine that this version may have been even longer than any version which aired on TV, although I don't know this for sure.

Anyway -- the point is, that in order to fit in commercials/pledge breaks, some of the special was edited for time... so bits got missed out. Here's what didn't appear on the CBC version -- I don't really know how complete this is -- let me know if there's anything missing so I can fill in the gaps.

Dave  


At the start, Arthur sung a song, which appears on the CD singing about how this year, he's going to have a "perfect" Christmas -- hence the title of the special. Which helps to explain why Arthur is especially upset once things start going wrong.  


 

Everyone has to explain some holiday mumbo-jumbo to the whole class. We saw George with hanging ornaments on his antlers, explaining his native (Swedish) holiday, St. Lucia. We see his relatives celebrating it.

George passes some stinky traditional fish around the class; everyone hates it except for Buster who eats it (obviously).

Luciapar

SCREENSHOT FROM PBS SITE: George explains how in Sweden, children dress up in white, and have a big parade to mark St. Lucia.

Luciapa2
SCREENSHOT FROM PBS SITE: Everyone comes out to the big parade, which is December 13.
Gcousin
SCREENSHOT FROM PBS SITE: One of George's cousins, dressed as St. Lucia.

   


After netting a record 37 presents this year, Muffy has a big song routine where she laments about not being able to share her presents with Francine, (since Francine and her have had a spat about Christmas vs. Hannukah.) a song includes the lyrics...  

I got a club house, I think it's the biggest in the world.

Arthur's Perfect Christmas Full Movie - NO PARTS (2000)53:51

Arthur's Perfect Christmas Full Movie - NO PARTS (2000)

Watch the full video

I'd be the princess

And Francine, a serving girl It'd be so neat, And if she was sweet, I might even let her be queen... The song goes on as Muffy laments about not being able to play with her new presents with Francine, presents which include among other things, video games, a twenty-thousand piece puzzle, and a miniature submarine.

The music to "What's the Use of Presents" sounded A LOT like "Beauty School Dropout" from Grease !

S.C. was, uhh, less than complimentary about this song in his review of the special on his site... comments which netted him a complaint. :)  


 

Francine's family sing a Hanukkah song.I believe the part with her and Muffy going to the theatre together was expanded too.

IS that Bubbie? Chronically, she appeared in the special

Frensky
SCREENSHOT FROM PBS SITE: The Frensky family at Francine's place.

   


   

Cookie
The version that aired on the CBC misses out the conclusion of Binky's storyline -- he eventually does go to the soup kitchen with his parents to help feed homeless people, only instead of baking them something, he takes some store-bought cookies with him, and pretends he baked them. SCREENSHOT FROM PBS SITE: Binky plays it safe.
Goodfood
The homeless people are more happy to have something to eat than to worry about the origin of the cookies.

SCREENSHOT FROM PBS SITE: Homeless man about to enjoy a cookie.

Notice how many homeless & hungry people there are in Elwood City.
Lineup
SCREENSHOT FROM PBS SITE: Binky and his Dad making a difference.

   


At the end of the special, Arthur wonders how his friends are getting on, and we see what they're doing. We then see a series of short scenes which include Binky feeding the homeless, as just described, as well as:

Decor
We see Brain's family celebrating Kwanzaa as they sing a Kwanzaa song.

SCREENSHOT FROM PBS SITE: Brain and his parents decorate the house for Kwanzaa. There must have been addtional Kwanzaa coverage, but I didn't see the full version of the special.

We see George's family celebrating St. Lucia as they dance in their home. His Mom and his Dad dance with each other, his (I think his uncle) dances with someone else and George dances with his sis dressed up as St. Lucia.
Lucdance
SCREENSHOT FROM PBS SITE: George's family celebrating St. Lucia.

 

The man dancing with the woman in George's family seemed to resemble Mr. Elkin who was one of Arthur's substitute teachers, HOWEVER, George's father was clearly shown in#60701 - "The Boy with His Head in the Clouds"! A mess up?  


Arthur's song about Christmas being "perfect" is reprised at the end, and he sings again, concluding that although things didn't go as planned, things turned out well in the end. (As they usually do for Arthur.) One member of the Yahoo! Arthur Club said that Arthur's singing here was "beautiful".  




Personally, I'd rather have watched more of these things than say, Arthur imagining himself in a parade for being oh-so-perfect, or Buster's "Baxter Day" song. Not that I have anything against Buster particularly -- it's just that Buster does the "alien" thing day in and day out -- this is a holiday special; why not concentrate on actual-factual holiday-related stuff?

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