Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Swedish Holiday Tradition

When I was growing up in New York City, every Thanksgiving and Christmas, Channel 11 would run March of the Wooden Soldiers with Laurel and Hardy. In those days before home video, it was the only way to see the film so you didn't want to miss your chance. As a result, the film became a local holiday tradition.

You may be familiar with the Disney TV episode "From All of Us to All of You." It first ran on December 19, 1958 and was re-run for years. It's a clip show, using old shorts and feature excerpts. Apparently, the show is a huge holiday tradition in Sweden. It's been running for nearly 50 years and is still attracting one third to one half of the TV audience on Christmas Eve day. Jeremy Stahl discovered this when he traveled to Sweden to celebrate Christmas with his fiance's family and has investigated the phenomenon in this article for Slate.

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