The Year Without a Santa Claus

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The Year Without a Santa Claus is a 1974 Christmas stop motion animated television special produced by Rankin/Bass Productions in which a weary and discouraged Santa Claus considers skipping his Christmas Eve run one year, and Mrs. Claus and his Elves set out to change his mind. The story is based on Phyllis McGinley's 1956 book of the same name, illustrated by Kurt Werth. It was originally broadcast on December 10, 1974 on ABC.


Doctor: No wonder you got the shivers and shakes. Probably never got over the case of near-pneumonia you picked up last year, gallivanting around the world in your open sleigh. And for what? Just to deliver presents to a bunch of folks who don't give a hoot in the first place!
Mrs. Claus: Now, now, Doctor, it's not just presents and you know it. What about all that Christmas spirit and goodwill?
Doctor: If you had any sense, you'd give it up as a bad job and stay home in bed this year.
Mrs. Claus: Oh, come now. If Santa stayed home, why, there'd be no Christmas.
Doctor: Who cares? Nobody cares about Christmas anymore!
Santa Claus: They don't?
Doctor: Of course not! Wouldn't surprise me none if nobody even believes in you anymore.
Mrs. Claus: Now, Santa, don't you pay him any mind.
Doctor: Nobody cares a hooting holler for you or Christmas! Oh, by the way, Merry Christmas to you.

Mrs. Claus: As I see it, Santa doesn't want to go because nobody cares, right?
Jingle Bells and Jangle Bells: Right.
Mrs. Claus: He thinks there's no Christmas spirit, no goodwill. Right?
Jingle Bells and Jangle Bells: Right.
Mrs. Claus: So all you have to do is go down there and find some example of Christmas spirit left over from last year. Scout up some goodwill and show him some proof that somebody cares. Right?
Jingle Bells and Jangle Bells: Right.

Jingle Bells: You see, Your Honor, we're on a special mission.
Jangle Bells: A secret mission.
Mayor: [laughs] A secret mission. I should've guessed.
Jangle Bells: 'Cause Santa isn't coming this year. Yup! He wants to take a holiday.
Mayor: [laughing hysterically] No more, please. I can't take any more. Reindeer, Santa Claus, elves...
Jingle Bells: But we are elves! We're serious. How can we convince you?
Mayor: Oh, come on, son, what kind of fool do you think I am? You ain't got the chance of a snowball in Southtown of convincing me one-tenth of your story's on the level!
Jangle Bells: A snowball in Southtown? What kind of chance is that?
Iggy Thistlewhite: Not very good. It never snows here.
Mayor: Well, not in the last hundred years. Uh... Hey, I've got an idea. You elves can work magic and all that. You conjure up a good old-fashioned white Christmas for us right here in Southtown, and I'll buy every word you say.
Iggy Thistlewhite: You will?
Mayor: I'll spring your, uh, reindeer from the hoosegow. I'll call all the mayors in the U.S. of A. We'll give Santa an official national holiday this year!

Snow Miser: Hi there, sugarplum. How'd you make out with the hothead?
Heat Miser: I heard that, you snowball!
Snow Miser: Oh, my goodness. Speak of the devil.
Heat Miser: Madam, kindly state your business with that drippy snowman and get him out of here!
Snow Miser: Mind your blood pressure, hotcakes. Mother warned you about that low boiling point of yours.
Heat Miser: You think you're hot stuff just 'cause Mother likes you best!
Mrs. Claus: Boys, boys. Now, please, don't fight.
Snow Miser: Well, if I can't have a little fun, I might as well leave.
Mrs. Claus: Your brother agreed to let it snow in the south.
Snow Miser: He did?
Mrs. Claus: Of course, there has to be a small concession on your part.
Snow Miser: Oh, really? Well, what does the flaming fool want this time? The North Pole?
Mrs. Claus: Um... Uh... Uh, yes, as a matter of fact.
Snow Miser: What?!
Heat Miser: I told you he wouldn't cooperate.
Snow Miser: Cooperate?! Surrender the North Pole, you call "cooperate?"

Santa Claus: Well, why's everybody standing around? There's work to be done. Load up the sleigh! Harness the team! Fetch my coat!
Jingle Bells: But what about your gout?
Jangle Bells: And the crick in your spine?
Mrs. Claus: And your aches?
Santa Claus: Pooh! My back feels fine. Never felt younger! Never felt stronger! Haven't got a symptom any longer.


  • Shirley Booth - Mrs. Claus
  • Mickey Rooney - Santa Claus
  • Dick Shawn - Snow Miser
  • George S. Irving - Heat Miser
  • Bob McFadden - Jingle Bells, Additional Voices
  • Bradley Bolke - Jangle Bells, Policeman
  • Rhoda Mann - Mother Nature
  • Ron Marshall - Mr. Thistlewhite, Mayor
  • Colin Duffy - Ignatius "Iggy" Thistlewhite
  • Christine Winter - The Blue Christmas Girl
  • The Wee Winter Singers - The Children Choir