Forgive me a little cheesy nostalgic Christmas indulgence.

Amongst my immediate family’s family traditions is the shamelessly white bread Carpenters Christmas Portrait album of 1978. We have heard this tape on a loop so many times that my brother and sisters have alternative lyrics (“It looks like snow and smells like snow”), profound questions (Is there a subversive message in the lyrics “Fill the bowl and roll out the barrel, have ourselves a fling”) and even a little choreography.

This is not just a series of Christmas songs. It’s a complete album that sounds like a variety show of the ’70s variety with a little added Lawrence Welk white guys in red turtlenecks and black pants doing jazz hands. And seriously, Richard Carpenter is a talented music arranger.

We heard rumor here and there that there actually was a Carpenters Christmas special with the songs on it. Well, thanks to the Internet, I have found that there indeed was one. And I have the video to prove it. It’s funny that it sort of looks like how I always envisioned it. Note that this video is from a very old VHS tape. It looks like it was an original studio tape or the type used in a TV station.

Part 1

Part 2 (Kristy McNichol: “Really? A party at Karen Carpenter’s?”)

Part 3

Part 4 (with puppets and a schticky skit)

Part 5 (We suddenly changed into a New Years Eve party)

Part 6

Make sure to listen to the announcer during the credits. Man, no matter how much we trash talk TV today, at least we don’t have that on the line up anymore–with only three channels to choose from.

Haven’t had enough?

Here’s a bonus of Karen singing in the 1974 Perry Como Christmas special which was later added to the Carpenter Christmas Portrait album.

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