Christmas Specials Wiki
Christmas Specials Wiki

The cover to the DVD release.

The Year Without a Santa Claus is a Warner Bros.-produced made-for-TV movie based on Phyllis McGinley's 1957 storybook and the 1974 Rankin/Bass special of the same name. It premiered on NBC on December 11, 2006.

Likely due to its negative reception, this movie has not re-aired since its original release.


This movie follows the premise of the special: Santa Claus, disillusioned by children's lack of belief in him and in the spirit of giving, decides not to deliver toys this Christmas Eve, despite the arguments by Mrs. Claus and two of his helper-elves, Jingle and Jangle. They decide to provide Santa with some proof that children still believe and that they still deserve toys from Santa, so the elves visit the United States in search of Christmas spirit.

At first, they face only setbacks, both in Southtown, which is celebrating its annual Winter Festival, and in their dealings with the jealous, competitive Miser Brothers, who refuse to compromise long enough to permit a Christmas snow in the southern town. Finally, Santa's faith in children is renewed with the help of a boy named Iggy Thistlewhite.

Differences from the original special

The most obvious differences are in the setting, which is moved to the 21st century present day, and the music, which is all but gone. Only the iconic "Miser" songs are retained (though they are mixed together, and instead of being sung when the Misers are approached, the song is sung when Jingle and Jangle fly into the middle of their feud early in the story).

The remake also includes two subplots which did not appear in the book or the Rankin/Bass version: The commercial coup of Santa's toy-making operation by the ambitious elf Sparky, who wants a more modern and lucrative approach; and the family troubles of Iggy. His father (who is also the mayor in this remake) is too busy to focus on his family, even at Christmas. Mayor Thistlewhite is a foil both for Santa, in his journey to rediscover the Christmas spirit, and for Sparky, in his efforts to sell out the town's historic district to an out-of-town commercial enterprise. In addition, the movie attempts to give more depth to the relationship between Mrs. Claus and Santa. Another difference is that it is Santa who sees the Miser Brothers about having it snow in Southtown instead of Mrs. Claus. Like in the original, the brothers refuse to cooperate, but change their minds when Santa threatens to go to their mother.

A number of pop-culture references pepper the script, including a glimpse of the original special on Jingle's portable TV. Faced with the prospect of losing his job because of Santa's retirement, Jingle muses that he could go to work for his cousin, who is a dentist; this is a reference to Hermey from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The script also works in a reference to A Christmas Story: When a disgruntled marksman tells Santa he wanted a gun last Christmas, Santa flatly remarks, "You would've shot your eye out, kid!" and comically mimics the marksman having hypothetically done just that.



Actor/actress(es) Character(s)
John Goodman Santa Claus
Chris Kattan Sparky
Ethan Suplee Jingle Bells
Dylan Minnette Iggy Thistlewhite
Eddie Griffin Jangle Bells
Delta Burke Mrs. Claus
Harvey Fierstein Heat Miser
Marcus Lyle Brown Officer Jefferson
Michael McKean Snow Miser
Aaron Beelner Ring Announcer
Jody Thompson Clop
Andrea Powell Julie Kadlubowski-Sanchez
Matthew Carroll Dog catcher
Carol Kane Mother Nature
Jack Watkins Boothe
Todd Terry Wilkes
Jack LaLanne Hercules
Eric Gipson Power Elf #1
Carson Kressley Elf Costumer
Tina Parker Artemis
Mitchel Baker unknown
Hunter Ballard School Boy
David Blackwell Dr. Broadbeam
Dodie Brown Festival booth owner
Mellinda Craig Wife of Officer Varmit
Meagan Crews Izzy's friend
Namaiya Cunningham Toddler at festival
John F. Daniel Christmas Festival Worker
Brooke Devenney Craft booth worker in festival
Laine Dubroc Festival Goer
Fred E. Ellis Drunk santa
Dustin Estis North Pole Elf
Dorcas Everette unknown
Odessa Sykes Reporter
Travis Fontenot Festival Goer
Chris Freihofer Sparky's Attorney
Lara Grice Rachel Thistlewhite
Holli Hicks
Daniel Magill
Cheryl Wicker
Mya Holloway Toddler in snow at festival
Parker Holloway Boy with clown at festival
Rebecca Holloway Mom at arcade - Token Town
Denver Houghton Child in Gift Wrapping Booth
Pamela Houghton Gift wrap booth owner
Deborah R. Jones Journalist
Lori Knighton Festival visitor
Daniel Lachman Southtown citizen
Amber Dawn Landrum Blonde Jingle Jangle Girl
Chelsea Lewis Girl at festival
Jay Martin Christmas Festival Kid
Mike Martindale Festival/Restaurant Patron
John McConnell Dog catcher
Steven Miramontz Pinstripe Elf
Noelle Monteleone Gleam
Rebecca Newman Festival shopper
Desi Page Student
Desiree Page Student
Ashley-Anne Parker Token Town Employee
Festival patron
Laura Schlessinger unknown
Raleigh L. Shelton II Teddy bear buyer
Kayla Shoemaker Girl at festival
Billy Slaughter Nerd elf
Alexis Smith Festival goer
Nicholas Smith Gift wrapper
Robert C. Treveiler Mayor Thistlewhite
Lana Underwood Female tv reporter
Taylor Vosbury Girl student
Tracey Walter Abominable snowman
Maya Waterman Medusa
Amanda Weisner Heat Miser boxing fan
Brent Weisner Snow Miser boxing fan
Austin Barton Boy in Gift Wrap Booth
Barry Barton Gift Wrap Booth Owner
Rendell Bryce Townsman
Andrei Constantinescu Snow Miser Fan
Tyler Krieg Extra
Cynthia Riser Reporter

External links

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Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Pictures Christmas in ConnecticutGremlinsLethal WeaponNational Lampoon's Christmas VacationBatman ReturnsJack FrostNational Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island AdventureThe Polar ExpressKiss Kiss Bang BangThe Year Without a Santa ClausFred Claus
New Line Cinema ElfThe Nativity StoryFour ChristmasesA Very Harold & Kumar 3D ChristmasThe Conjuring 2Shazam!8-Bit Christmas
Blue Ribbon Content A Christmas Story 2A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish
Live-action television episodes
Friends and Joey "The One With the Monkey" • "The One With Phoebe's Dad" • "The One Where Rachel Quits" • "The One With the Girl from Poughkeepsie" • "The One With the Inappropriate Sister" • "The One With the Routine" • "The One With All the Candy" • "The One With the Holiday Armadillo" • "The One With Monica's Boots" • "The One With the Creepy Holiday Card" • "The One With Christmas in Tulsa" • "Joey and the Plot Twist" • "Joey and the Christmas Party"
DC Comics "Season's Greedings" • "Home is Where the Hurt Is" • "Twas the Night Before Mxymas" • "Lexmas" • "Gemini" • "Year's End" • "Three Ghosts"
Other shows "A Semi-Merry Christmas" • "Mel, the Magi" • "Mel's Christmas Carol" • "'Tis the Season to Be Jealous" • "A Christmas Story" (Growing Pains) • "The Kid" • "It's Not Easy Being Green" • "A Christmas Story" (Just the Ten of Us) • "Santa Goes Downtown" • "Let It Snow" • "The Night Court Before Christmas" • "Santa on the Lam" • "Have Yourself a Merry Winslow Christmas" • "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Urkel" • "Christmas is Where the Heart is" • "Miracle on Elm Street" • "Fa La La La Laagghh!" • "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" • "Deck the Malls" • "The Christmas Show" • "The Man Who Canceled Christmas" • "Christmas Day-Ja Vu" • "A Country Christmas" • "The Gift" • "A Miracle Happens Here" • "Homeless for the Holidays" • "Do You See What I See" • "The Miracle Worker" • "How the Finch Stole Christmas" • "The Greatest of Gifts" • "I'll Be Home For Christmas" • "Hindsight" • "Twas the Night" • "All About Christmas Eve" • "City of Mercy" • "Meet the Cuban Parents" • "Christmas Punch" • "A Clear and Presentless Danger" • "George is Being Elfish and Christ-Misses His Family" • "Santa's Secret Stuff" • "A Very Supernatural Christmas" • "The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis" • "The Maternal Congruence" • "The Santa Simulation" • "The Cooper Extraction" • "The Clean Room Infiltration" • "Christmas" (The Middle) • "A Simple Christmas" • "A Christmas Gift" • "Christmas Help" • "The Christmas Tree" • "The Christmas Wall" • "Not So Silent Night" • "A Very Marry Christmas" • "The Christmas Miracle" • "It's Beginning to Stink a Lot Like Christmas" • "Jolly Red Elf" • "The World Ain't Over 'Till It's Over" • "Santa's Village of the Damned" • "Walnuts and Demerol" • "Warning, It's Dirty" • "One False Move, Zimbabwe!" • "Give Santa a Tail-Hole" • "On Vodka, On Soda, On Blender, On Mixer" • "Family, Bublé, Deep-Fried Turkey" • "Home for Christmas" • "Jingle Bell Glock" • "The Walk-Out" • "Yule Never Know" • "Merry Ex-Mas" • "A Very Carrie Christmas" • "Veronica's Christmas Song" • "Veronica's Secret Santa" • "An Echolls Family Christmas" • "One Angry Veronica"
Animated productions
Looney Tunes and related shows The Shanty Where Santy Claus LivesBedtime for SnifflesGift WrappedBugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales • "It's a Wonderful Tiny Toons Christmas Special" • "'Twas the Day Before Christmas" • "Jingle Boo" • "The Great Wakkorotti: The Holiday Concert" • "A Christmas Plotz" • "Little Drummer Warners" • "No Time for Christmas" • "A Pinky and the Brain Christmas" • "It Happened One Night Before Christmas" • "In Arms Way" • "The Twelve Days of Christmas" • Christmas Eve with Yakko, Wakko & Dot • "Noel" • "The Christmas Tree" • "The Banks of the Delaware River" • "Feather Christmas" • "Yule Be Sorry" • "Christmas in July" • Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas • "A Christmas Carol" • "Tis the Seasoning" • "Winter Blunderland" • "The Legend of Burrito Monday" • Bugs Bunny's 24-Carrot Holiday Special
DC Comics "Christmas With the Joker" • "Holiday Knights" • "Frozen Out" • "Comfort and Joy" • "Storybook Holiday" • "Invasion of the Secret Santas!" • "Second Christmas" • "The True Meaning of Christmas" • "Halloween v Christmas" • "Teen Titans Save Christmas" • "Beast Boy on a Shelf" • "Christmas Crusaders" • Beebo Saves ChristmasA Holiday StoryMerry Little Batman
Hanna-Barbera co-productions "A Dickens of a Christmas" • A Scooby-Doo! Christmas • "Ho Ho Horrors" • Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker TaleScooby-Doo! Haunted HolidaysTom and Jerry: Santa's Little Helpers • "The Plight Before Christmas" • "Scary Christmas" • "Scroogey Doo" • "It's a Wacky Life" • "Dashing Thru the Snow" • "Signed, Sealed and Wacky" • "The Spirit of Frostnos"
Other cartoons "Yuletide and Redtide" • A Cool Like That Christmas • "Santa Mask" • The Polar Express • "The Match Before Xmas" • A Miser Brothers' Christmas • "Da Grinchy Code / Duck" • "FROST / Undercover Claus" • "Fantastic Four Christmases / Red and White Collar" • Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas • "Christmas in Oz" • "Top of the Naughty List" • "Mandora Saves Christmas" • Did I Do That to the Holidays? A Steve Urkel Story
Have Yourself a Looney Tunes ChristmasA Hip-Hopera ChristmasMerry Christmas: Animaniacs & Looney TunesThe Looney Tunes Kwazy ChristmasA Looney Tunes Sing-A-Long Christmas