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Green Bay Press-Gazette

Thursday, December 6, 2007

There's no Friday night date like Frosty

The TV runneth over with holiday programming -- from the 25 Days of Christmas on ABC Family, where everyone from Lorraine Bracco to Shannen Doherty has their ho ho ho on in an original movie, to marathons of "A Christmas Story,'' -- but the best holiday special is still one of the few you get but one chance to see each year: "Frosty the Snowman.''

Sure, most families own it on DVD these days and turn it loose on the kids dozens of times during December. Or people just let TiVo catch it for later. But if you're a sentimental holiday fool like me, you have to sit down and watch it the night it's on TV. There's something all warm and fuzzy about tuning into the 1969 classic when you know the rest of the world is watching it, too. (Ditto for "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.'' Ditto for "The Sound of Music.'')

It's goofy, I know. It's not exactly a water-cooler show, where everyone comes into work the next day and says, "Oh, man, did you see what happened to Frosty? Totally melted!'' "How about that Professor Hinkle grabbing a ride on the train at the last minute -- never saw that coming!''

I know I'm going to tear up right along with Karen when Frosty turns into a puddle in the poinsettia greenhouse and the splash of her big alligator tear cues the sad Frosty flashback. I always do. I know I'm going to get a kick out of Hocus Pocus when he does his snow impersonations of Santa, the president and the military. Always do.

In the spirit of Christmas tradition and the unexplainable draw of a shared TV experience -- even if it is with 5-year-olds -- I also know I'm going to tune in at 7 p.m. Friday on CBS to watch Jimmy Durante tell me the story of that jolly, happy soul ... "live.'' Always do.

-- Kendra Meinert,



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