If you heard the gentle sound of sobbing coming from Washington, DC yesterday, it was because I rediscovered a classic of Muppet literature (Muppetlit). 1978's Christmas Eve on Sesame Street is one of those stories that veers so close to tragedy that it's almost hard to watch. A retelling of "The Gift of the Magi," the famous O'Henry short story, it features such devastating sights as Bert choking up while talking to Mr. Hooper, the realization that Bert and Ernie have no money, and the near-loss of Rubber Duckie. It's almost more of a horror movie. For some reason though, it is my favorite Christmas special, perhaps, because Mr. Hooper -- Jewish, like me -- delivers the true meaning of Christmas at the end. And as someone who enjoys Christmas with a passion, I think it is nice to see the humanistic values reinforced. (Of course, as my fiance pointed out the other day, Mr. Hooper could have just given Bert and Ernie their gifts, but I maintain he didn't understand the scheme until much later.)
To watch the Bert and Ernie special right through -- and skip other classics of say, counting -- do thusly:
1.Go to 6:48 on this link.
2.Go to 4:00 on this link.
3.Go to 6:28 on this link.
And then of course, finish here from the beginning.
6.Discover true meaning of Christmas.