America might love the Addams Family at Christmas more than Halloween
Hundreds of families requested to use this Charles Addams Christmas comic for their holiday cards in the Sixties.
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The Addams Family has a reputation for the macabre, but that doesn’t mean fans don’t think of Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, Pugsley, Lurch and Thing only around Halloween.
In the much-cherished Addams Family episode "Christmas with the Addams Family," fans loved seeing the Victorian mansion decked out with holly, with Morticia dressing the Christmas tree and every single member of the family posing as Santa to fool their trickster kids.
Ken Weatherwax told The Asbury Park Press in 2006 that he especially loved acting in this Addams Family Christmas episode because it "was one of the special shows that centered on the kids. It was great."
In the Sixties, people became just as fond of The Addams Family at Christmas not just because of this classic episode, but also because arguably the most popular Charles Addams comics of all time featured the Addams family at Christmas.
The same year the Christmas episode aired, Addams told the Alternative Press that "probably the most famous and delightfully shocking" of all his cartoons was "a holiday-time drawing of the haunted mouldering Victorian house, obviously on Christmas Eve."
This comic showed a troupe of children caroling in front of the Addams’ house, singing cheerfully. Unbeknownst to the children, up on the rooftop, Gomez, Morticia and Lurch prepare to empty a cauldron over their "innocent heads."
This may not seem totally in the Christmas spirit, but it resonated around the holidays all the same.
"Literally hundreds of people wrote to me asking permission to reproduce it – for their Christmas cards," Addams said.
It would appear that the spooky, ooky family simply helped inspire many families to add more adjectives to their holidays than "merry" and "bright."
In "Christmas with the Addams Family," though, the episode ends on a legitimately merry note, showing the cast earnestly singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," with Cousin Itt even joining in for his own solo.
So although we celebrated "Halloween with the Addams Family" a year before in 1964, and it seemed perfectly natural to watch Gomez carve a pumpkin, in 1965, audiences discovered their favorite time of year with the Addams Family just might be Christmas.
It’s fun to imagine Lurch responding to a more wholesome call, not to fetch a medieval weapon, but to bring us some figgy pudding.