Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas at Plum Creek

Christmas at Plum Creek is one of those feel good, classic Little House on the Prairie episodes. Just like the many Christmases Laura Ingalls Wilder shares in her books, you get the feeling that while the Ingalls family didn't have much to spare, they were happy and felt blessed by what they had.

This episode opens in town, with some not often seen snow piling up around the edges of the buildings and bases of trees. Nellie wants Laura to sell her pony, Bunny, to her, but Laura refuses. Back at home, the family starts talking about Christmas and Charles tells young Carrie what Christmas is all about.

It soon becomes a Christmas of secrets. Each family taking out their secret stash of coins and not coming up with much. The family visits Oleson's Mercantile, where Charles and Laura spy Caroline looking at the cook stove and Carrie is captivated by a foil star hanging from the ceiling. Mary takes on a job sewing with Mrs. Whipple. Caroline works on a special gift for Charles, and Charles makes a deal with Mr. Oleson to refurbish a set of wheels so he will have enough money to purchase the stove for Caroline. He doesn't know, however, that Laura has entered into a deal with Mr. Oleson to sell Bunny so that she can buy the stove for her Ma.

If ever there was an episode about selfless love, Christmas at Plum Creek is it. Mr. Oleson is so great in this episode as he works to keep everyone's secrets, and how he helps Carrie buy the star that ends up on the top of their tree. My heart aches each time I see the Olesons arrive to collect Bunny. I also love the ending with Carrie putting the star on top of the tree and announcing, "Happy birthday, Baby Jesus!"

This is one episode you need to watch this time of year.

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