Hello, hello. No, I’m not dead. But hopefully this week I’ll be able to catch up with a certain poster by the name of Polehaus53…

Anyway, since it’s the holiday season, I will be discussing a subject that Polehaus53 and I have been talking about recently: Which episodes deserve to be classified as Christmas episodes?

I was looking through the past Odyssey Christmas albums and came across something interesting. One of the albums was the 2010 Ultimate Christmas Collection.

One episode on the list was the infamous “Snow Day.”

Snow Day

I understand why this might give a Christmas-y kinda feel: Snow, cookies, snowball fights, ugly snowmen, sledding, ice skating… all stuff that people who live in cold climates do around Christmastime.

The thing is, the listeners are never told that it is Christmastime! For all we know, it could be January or February in this episode. In fact, this might make more sense considering the kids were still in school. However, it is possible that this episode took place in early December before school break.

Personally, I feel that if the Odyssey team wanted “Snow Day” to be a Christmas episode, they would have made it a bit more clear-cut. A mention of Christmas lights on the houses? A Christmas tree in Grandma’s house? A Christmas soundtrack? Alas, none of the above are found in “Snow Day.”

So, it it a Christmas episode?

No, not really.

The Christmas Bells

Considering that the airing order of this album was changed in order to release this episode during December, you would think that this was a strong Christmas episode.

Let’s consider this.

First of all, this episode primarily deals with the history behind the Christmas carol by Longfellow. (…I had never heard this song before hearing the episode…) It is quite a good story, but does that make this a Christmas episode? We do listen to this song during Christmas, true, but we have the same problem as Snow Day: it isn’t Christmas in Odyssey.

Outside the story, the focus isn’t on Christmas at all. In fact, it isn’t even mentioned. Instead we are focusing on the aspect of “one of three will fall.” The listeners are preoccupied with questions about who this person will be instead of “oh, cool, that was an interesting story about Longfellow.”

I actually think it’s a pretty tough call for this one. In its favor, it does discuss the history of a Christmas carol. On the other hand, it is not Christmastime in Odyssey, and secondly, there is an intriguing side plot going on at the same time. The side plot is honestly distracting from the Christmas aspect of the episode.

So, Christmas episode?

Ah, I’m going to have to say no.

So yeah. That was my brief rant on those two not-Christmas episodes. How about you? In your mind, what determines whether or not an episode should be classified as Christmas?