These vintage Christmas annuals collected your favorite TV shows back in the '60s and '70s
British kids had a cool way to celebrate their favorite shows during the holidays.
If you're not British, you might not be aware of this Christmas tradition — though you may want revive the practice. The children's annual is a holiday tradition in the United Kingdom that dates back to the turn of the century. (The 20th century, that is. Still feels weird to have to point that out.)
The publications were originally centered around outdoors fun or family events. These books had short stories and cartoons, which were supposed to last you for the year.
Or, well, at least long enough for the adults to eat their Christmas meals in peace. The tradition took on a whole new life with motion pictures and television.
Most of our favorite television shows were adapted into these bound volumes. In some cases, American comic books were collected together with short stories, puzzles and coloring pages.
Let's celebrate the holidays with a look at some of these titles. We love the cover art. Did you ever get a TV show annual as a kid?
Why is Batgirl green? Did the Joker get to her? You can see Batman every Saturday night at 10PM | 9C.
2. The Beverly Hillbillies
Hey, why didn't Duke get a credit on the cover? Catch the Clampetts — and Duke — weekdays at 7AM | 6C and Saturdays at 7AM | 6C & 7:30AM | 6:30C on MeTV.
Even Hoss is ready for action, as Adam Cartright takes center stage in this gripping cover. You can see Bonanza on MeTV Monday through Saturday at 2PM | 1C.
4. Planet of the Apes
The TV series may have only lasted a season, but it's an essential part of the Apes canon. Any Apes adventure with Roddy McDowall is gold, really.
5. TV21 Annual 1971
TV Century 21 was a weekly publication for children in the U.K. that kicked off in 1965. It folded not long after this awesome compendium, which featured Star Trek, Land of the Giants, The Saint and Tarzan.
6. The Green Hornet
Sadly, Van Williams, the Green Hornet himself, passed away last year at the age of 82.
7. Mission: Impossible
Tom Cruise was nowhere to be seen back then.