Segments in this Video

A Tribute to Christmas Enthusiasts (01:35)


Featured in this program: A sumptuous feast prepared in London, Santas competing in Sweden, a Christmas lighting contest in Brooklyn, the Butterball turkey hotline near Chicago, and holiday pet photography in Miami.

Bronner's (03:38)

Frankenmuth, Michigan, boasts the largest Christmas emporium in the world, with 50,000 items. We meet the artist who paints the life-size nativities. Founder Wally Bronner is a celebrity in his own store. Peak staff is 535 people.

America's Mart (03:38)

The world's biggest wholesale market is in Atlanta. Retailers come in January for Christmas items. Adler's licenses pop culture icons. The industry buzzword is "Christmasize." "Selling Christmas Decorations" is the industry's Bible.

Perfect Pet Photos (01:55)

In Miami Beach, clients bring their pets to a mother-daughter pet photography team for Christmas photos. They offer a vast array of outfits for the animals. They are experts at getting the animals to look directly at the camera.

Confessions of a Culinary Queen--Christmas Pudding (01:20)

Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson says Christmas pudding is traditional, and that's important. She reports that Cromwell thought the dish was decadent. It's made of dried fruit mixed with fat and bread crumbs, topped with brandy butter.

Origins of Santa (01:27)

Santa's ancestry goes back to 4th century Bishop Nicholas, who traveled giving gifts to needy children. Over the centuries, he became the most popular saint, the patron saint of children. He was generous but could be severe.

'Twas the Night Before Christmas (02:07)

St. Nick began his metamorphosis into Santa Claus in the 1800s with Clement C. Moore's poem. Coca Cola and Madison Avenue turned the stern disciplinarian into the benevolent, nonjudgmental Santa we know and love today.

Running of the Santas (01:10)

In Liverpool, organizers of this annual charity race are trying to make the Guinness world record for the largest gathering of Santas. They've got stiff competition from Las Vegas and Newtown, Wales.

Santa's Mode of Travel (00:30)

Santa doesn't always travel with reindeer. In Switzerland, a donkey pulls his sleigh. In Australia's outback, it's kangaroos. In the Bayou it's alligators and a werewolf, and in Rio de Janero, a whirlybird.

Father Christmas Championships (03:14)

Last year's champion heads from Britain to Sweden, where Santas from all over the world converge at the Arctic Circle to compete in a reindeer race, footsled race, and chimney climbing event. Ron has 40 years' experience.

Confessions of a Culinary Queen--Brussels Sprouts (00:57)

Nigella Lawson always makes Brussels sprouts part of her Christmas feast. She fixes them with chestnuts. Even her children, who refuse them the rest of the year, eat them at Christmas because it's part of their tradition.

Christmas Lights in Brooklyn (02:13)

For over 50 years, a neighborhood in Brooklyn has seen fierce competition for the most dazzling display. Frank started in 1963, adding new features each year. Penguins are the latest. Thousands of people come to view the display.

Mechanical Marvels (03:36)

The twinkling creatures in shop displays mesmerize both children and adults. Only a handful of specialists make them. Celebrated animation engineer Lou Nasti gives a tour of his Brooklyn workshop and showroom.

Confessions of a Culinary Queen--Forget Cholesterol (00:53)

Nigella Lawson prepares roast potatoes with goose fat. She believes fat is the only thing that makes your skin look good.

Talking Turkey (02:06)

30 million turkeys become Christmas dinner in North America. Butterball provides a turkey talk-line to assist nervous cooks. A worker talks about some of the questions and situations that come up in calls.

Confessions of a Culinary Queen--Flip and Dip the Bird (00:56)

Nigella Lawson says to keep the turkey breast moist, roast it upside down. But it doesn't brown nicely that way. So she dips her turkey in a vat of sugar, salt, spices and citrus juice, which permeates the white meat and keeps it juicy.

O Christmas Tree (01:43)

The evergreen tree, venerated throughout history, is the focus for many Christmas rituals. Synthetic trees are replacing the real thing, but the fakes are viewed with contempt by some. Others say real trees are passé.

Christmas Tree Showdown (02:02)

Advocates of real and fake trees debate the merits and drawbacks of each type. Cost, environmental concerns, ease of setup and other factors are considered. A video game demonizes fake trees in hopes of reviving real tree sales.

Trimming the Tree (02:07)

Ralph and David have collected 2000 ornaments, each with a story. They have produced a coffee table book and become ornament historians. They explain that it all started with Germans putting fruit on their trees.

Confessions of a Culinary Queen--Family Squabbles (00:50)

Nigella Lawson says she has never had a Christmas without a family row. People mistakenly think that because it's Christmas they're magically going to feel happier, more at peace, but it doesn't work out that way.

Christmas Film Festival--The Classics (02:49)

Hollywood has influenced how we celebrate Christmas. An expert discusses the meaning and significance of the big three: "A Christmas Carol" (1951 version with Alistair Sims), "It's a Wonderful Life," and "Miracle on 34th Street."

Christmas Film Festival--The Anti-Classics (01:39)

Two movies embody our cultural cynicism about this holiday: Bad Santa and The Ref. An expert gives a quick synopsis of each. There are Christmas films of every genre, from "slasher" to film noir to musicals to sci-fi.

The Christmas Album (01:53)

There are thousands of Christmas recordings, most of which have the same songs on them. A Billboard writer credits Elvis Presley with popularizing Christmas music. The music industry loves it because it's perennial.

"Joyeux Noel" (02:14)

For French filmmaker Christian Carion, one moment in history captured the spirit of Christmas. In the trenches of WWI, Silent Night wafted out and momentarily silenced the guns. His film is a testament to that event.

Closing Comments and Credits: Christmas: Confidential (02:48)

Closing Comments and Credits: Christmas: Confidential

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Christmas: Confidential

Part of the Series : Confidential: A Closer Look At...
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In all the annals of human civilization, no event has ever marshaled so many people and so much money to celebrate just one day—Christmas. This program travels to London, Chicago, Stockholm, Paris, and Atlanta to meet the movers and shakers of the multibillion-dollar Christmas industry, as well as some ordinary people who are unabashedly in love with all things Christmas: a Brooklyn judge with a house so decorated that it’s become a tourist attraction, Santa hopefuls competing in Sweden’s Father Christmas games, and Nigella Lawson, who offers Yuletide recipe secrets and tips to survive the holidays. A part of the series Confidential. (50 minutes)

Length: 50 minutes

Item#: BVL52256

ISBN: 978-1-61753-707-3

Copyright date: ©2006

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA.