Day 14 brings another visit to Sesame Street, but this time on Christmas Eve. My girls and I first discovered this story via the narrated album. We actually love to listen to Sesame Street albums, particularly the stories. There is something hilarious, captivating and magical about the muppets telling famous or invented stories in their own quirky ways. And this Christmas story caught our ears and became quickly beloved last year. There are several songs sung by Bob and the rest of the gang that are delightful. (The book includes sheet music in the front and back.) The album is narrated by the ever elusive Santa Claus, a fact that is only revealed at the end (spoiler) and continues to delight my children every time! At some point, while we continued to listen to it on repeat, I looked it up and discovered it was actually a television special. We love watching that as well! And late in the season last year, I tracked this illustrated version of it down. You could say we love (are obsessed) with this story. Join us for Christmas Eve on Sesame Street created by Jon Stone, illustrated by Joe Mathieu, 1981.
It is the afternoon of Christmas Eve and the friends of Sesame Street are all ice skating, even Oscar. Big Bird and Patty have a discussion with grouchy old Oscar and he plants the seed in their heads about Santa’s impracticability of delivering all those presents down tiny little chimneys. Big Bird is horrified and sets out to discover how Santa does do it, with the help of Patty, Kermit, Grover, and a whole lot of adorable kids.
In the meantime, in the basement apartment, Bert and Ernie arrive home from skating and Bert hops into the bath. They are both seeking special presents for the other; and an adorable, Gift of the Magi type side story evolves for these lovable pals.
A third story also appears eventually with Cookie Monster attempting to write a letter to Santa and always eating his utensils in the process.
There are guest appearances by Snuffy and all the original Sesame Street crew as Big Bird continues to search for how Santa could possibly do his magic on Christmas Eve. There are many twist and turns along the way and a sweet message about community, belief, and kindness to even the grouchiest among us.
While the audio and even video of this story remain our favorites, I adore this book and its Joe Mathieu illustrations. Mathieu is one of my very favorite Sesame Street book illustrators. His illustrations are fantastic. There is a perfection to them in capturing the characters, but also adding the cozy book atmosphere. He does great justice to Sesame Street and the diverse array of characters presented. I had a hard time picking my favorite pages to feature!
I hope you enjoyed this peek at Sesame Street on Christmas Eve. It is a long one, but worth the fun. And let me know if you have a favorite version, be it audio, video or actual book!