“If you believe in this spirit thing, the miracle will happen and then you’ll want it to happen again tomorrow… It can happen every day, you’ve just got to want that feeling.”
– Bill Murray in SCROOGED
That’s right – it’s time to feel the moment and that holiday spirit thing. It’s time for SpoilerFreeReview’s 12 days of Christmas 2021 edition! We will be posting our favorite holiday experiences with 12 reviews and illustrations of movies, TV, and music. So sit back, enjoy some spiked eggnog, and welcome to SFR’s 12-days of Christmas 2021!🎅🏽
Rewatching ARTHUR’S PERFECT CHRISTMAS felt like reliving a piece of my childhood. I don’t remember the first time I watched it, but I also don’t remember a time before watching it. I realized how much my expectation of Christmas was, and still is, influenced by this special. And even more, it was my first exposure to understanding how different cultures celebrate the holidays together.
ARTHUR’S PERFECT CHRISTMAS revolves around the Elwood City fourth-grader’s celebration of the various winter holidays. But as the title suggests, Arthur is the biggest star of the special. Like myself, he is very particular about his idea of how he’d like Christmas to go. From the weather (snow, obviously) to the dinner (seventeen pies) to the size and decoration of the tree (8 feet tall, no tinsel). And no story about Arthur is complete without his sister, D.W., who has her own perfect Christmas in mind, mostly around her acquisition of Tina the Talking Tabby.
And although it’s humorous seeing Arthur and D.W. navigate their idea of an ideal holiday, and Arthur and D.W. remind me of myself and my sister, those aren’t the reasons this episode is excellent. Every character celebrates their Christmas differently and seeing that as a kid widened my worldview. Although some families in Elwood City celebrate similarly, Buster does Christmas with just his mom, Francine misses Muffy’s Christmas party to celebrate Hanukkah, Binky volunteers at a soup kitchen, and the Brain spouts facts about Kwanzaa.
This special isn’t perfect – it’s interpolated with some bland musical numbers, and there are a couple of odd moments (especially for a PBS Kids show). But overall, ARTHUR’S PERFECT CHRISTMAS holds up well after twenty-one years. It demonstrates the importance of showing that there’s no such thing as a “perfect” Christmas, and that message has resonated with me for years.
ARTHUR’S PERFECT CHRISTMAS is available to rent or own wherever you get your movies.