Michael Landon is one of my idols.
I bought myself the Highway to Heaven DVDs for a Christmas gift to myself and spent a good chunk of yesterday watching them. (That show is pure sap at its best. A Holocaust survivor's son is shot by a Neo-Nazi, who is later shot, and then the Holocaust survivor has a heart attack and receives the heart of the Neo Nazi...a young blind girl falls in love with the neighborhood recluse, who has a deformed face...and then she gets her sight back...a man brings home the daughter he fathered while he was a soldier in Vietnam...
Michael Landon taught me that you can be a total sap and a terrible cornball and end-up beloved and touch the hearts of millions. Say what you will about the man, but he left quite a legacy...and, to think, he was only fifty-five years old when he died. We lost him way too early...there is so much else he could have created. I think he was a very special guy, and I'll always look-up to him as an actor and a writer.
I also quite love Little House on the Prairie. (While visiting my mom in Florida over Thanksgiving, I learned the Hallmark Channel shows it about four times a day. My mom commented, "You still like this show, don't you?" Yes...I do.)
Little House on the Prairie brought us numerous memorable Christmas moments.
Laura's little girl is kidnapped by a woman who just lost her own baby. Will they find her in time for Christmas?
The Ingalls and their assorted friends are trapped in the Little House on Christmas Eve...each take turns remembering their most special Christmas memories. Hester Sue recalls her childhood as a slave, and when she thought Santa Claus only cared about white children...Almanzo remembers when he learned that there truly WAS a Santa Claus...Mrs. Ingalls takes us back to the first Christmas with her stepfather, who gave her an ornament that still hangs on the tree years later...and Laura, of course, brings us to an actual flashback of their very first Christmas in the Little House...and when Mr. Edwards brought very special presents for the girls.
My gosh, I am tearing-up right now...
And then, there was the year when Laura sold her horse in order to buy Ma a stove for Christmas...while Pa was spending every last minute working on a saddle for Laura's horse...and Mary and Ma just happened to make Pa the same exact shirt!
Call it a Prairie Gift of the Magi.
I still think this show was wonderful...sweet...saccharine...maudlin (I know that word well, my 9th grade English teacher used to tell me my writing could be too maudlin at times)...but...at the same time?
The world needs more of that these days.