You may be familiar with A Flintstones Christmas Carol, the television special from 1994, or A Flintstone Family Christmas from 1993, or A Flintstone Christmas from 1977. But before all of those Christmas specials was a Christmas-themed episode from the show's fifth season. A Christmas Flintstone aired on December 18 and then again on Christmas Day in 1964.
The story starts out as Fred is lamenting to his friend, Barney, the fact that he doesn't have the extra cash to buy his family Christmas presents this year. Fred sees a "Help Wanted" sign in the window of Macyrock's Department Store and decides that he can pick up the extra cash with a part time job. Through a series of failed attempts in different sections of the department store, Fred becomes the store's Santa and he fulfills his duties with the utmost gusto. He sings with the kids, talks to them about presents, and even reads/sings them a story about how Dino the Dinosaur saved Christmas!
It seems that every Christmas special must include an original song to mark their place in the Christmas special history books, and The Flintstones is no exception. Only the song that Fred sings (multiple times throughout the episode) will only go down in the history books as being just plain awful.
Aside from the fact that Fred shouldn't sing any songs, the lyrics are just plain weird and don't really have anything to do with what is going on in the episode.
Christmas is my favourite time of year because
Everyone becomes a Santa Claus
But wait! That's only the first half of the episode! So much has already happened in the first ten minutes, but the episode takes a serious turn as Fred is visited by a couple of elves who want him to fill in for the real Santa who is sick in bed!
When the Flintstones first hit the air in 1960 it was praised for being a smart sitcom that was made for adults and dealt with real grown-up situations. Of course, because its a cartoon, some of the plots were a bit outlandish, but they were always based in reality.
By the time the fifth season rolled around the show was a hit with the kids. Changes were made to the writing, making it a bit more 'kid-friendly'. This plot of Fred flying around in a sleigh pulled by dinosaurs and unleashing a rain of presents on the unsuspecting town below was never something you would see in the show's first few seasons. But this is good example of how the show evolved over the years.
A Christmas Flintstone is not one of the better episode in the series but it does serve as a touching Christmas tale of a family that we all know and love. You can watch it for your self on The Flintstones - The Complete Fifth Season DVD.