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A Garfield Christmas

A Garfield Christmas

By Patrick Samuel • December 24th, 2013
Static Mass Rating: 5/5

Original air date: December 21st, 1987
Running time: 30 minutes

Directors: Phil Roman, George Singer
Writer:Jim Davis

Cast: Lorenzo Music, Thom Huge and Gregg Berger

A Garfield Christmas

When it comes to Christmas television specials, they really don’t get any more special than this one.

Garfield, that loveable, lazy little tabby created by Jim Davis first appeared in comic strips back in 1978 but took to the small screen for this wonderful special in 1987 called A Garfield Christmas. It opens with a wintry and festive scene, we see a snow covered house with Christmas lights, candy cane and a giant Santa Claus standing on the roof. We then go inside where next to a roaring fire, in a comfy little box with a Christmas blanket, Garfield sleeps.

That’s until he’s woken up by Jon who’s wearing an elf’s outfit and who’s ready to bring him his breakfast lasagnes. As Jon lays them out on the floor, the hungry tabby wastes no time in getting to work. Devouring each lasagne and tossing the trays behind him, Garfield follows the trail to the Christmas tree where he anxiously waits for his present. It’s the most fantastic gift ever, it’s the gift that keeps on giving, but it’s all too perfect isn’t it? It has to be a dream!

Garfield wakes up to Jon’s voice and gentle prodding. It’s Christmas Eve morning and this time round, Garfield isn’t so jovial. Instead he wants to continue sleeping; even the roaring fire was just a dream. But Jon has other plans than letting Garfield sleep all day, they’re going to pack up the presents and drive out to his parents’ farm for Christmas. Garfield’s not amused; he’s even a little bit annoyed that every Christmas he gets chucked out of his warm bed to visit relatives, why can’t they ever come to him?

A Garfield Christmas

Nevertheless, Garfield, Jon and wide-eyed and ever excited Odie receive a warm welcome from Mom, Dad, Doc Boy (Jon’s brother) and of course Grandma. Unlike John’s other relatives, Grandma is something of a wild card in the pack. She’s got more of a spring in her step than anyone else and she packs quite a punch too. As Grandma snatches up Garfield in her arms, the pair go off to finish dinner and it’s clear that Christmas might not be so bad after all with Grandma around. There’s much emphasis on the relationships of the family members and how they interact with each other during the holidays and even though Jon and Doc Boy seem like kids on Christmas morning, it’s a part of us we all know we have deep down when it comes to this time of year.

What’s also really touching is the bond that develops between Garfield and Grandma as she tells him how difficult Christmas is for her and how much she misses Grandpa. A Garfield ChristmasSitting by the window in her rocking chair, watching the snow fall while the others sing Christmas songs at the piano, Garfield leaps onto her leap and she pours her heart out to him.

“Grandpa was a proud man. A strong man. He was a good provider. We’ve never had much money, but we always had plenty of food on the table. And he always made something special for me and each of the children at Christmas. Men like him didn’t feel like they could show much affection outwardly to the children, but on Christmas, it was okay. He always pretended not to be excited on Christmas morning, but his eyes gave him away. I think, I think it was his favourite day of the year. Sometimes I wake up in the night, and I can still feel his strong arms around me. This is the night when I miss him the most.”

It’s simple, honest and makes for a poignant moment and as I watched it recently with my youngest nephew, he cuddled up to his grandma, and like Garfield, I think he too understood something in that scene. Christmas is that time of year where we go that extra mile to show those we love just how much we love them. Garfield finds a way to do this with a simple act that brings her much joy but he’s not the only one doing good deeds.

Throughout this Christmas Special we also see Odie dashing around secretly preparing something. When he’s ready, he excitedly presents it to Garfield who’s so struck by his thoughtfulness he hugs him. It really is something special and for many Christmases I’ve watched it and been moved each time by how touching and heartfelt it is without ever over doing it.

A Garfield Christmas

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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