Tenderness was never in short supply on Little House on the Prairie
, but this double feature got an extra sprinkling. In "A Christmas They Never Forgot," the entire extended Ingalls family (including Mary and Laura's husbands, this being a later-season show) gathers round the fire to swap tear-stained holiday memories. First up is gentle, soft-spoken Ma, who waxes sentimental when Esther Sue inquires about the "most unusual" necklace she's wearing--turns out it's a relic from Christmas past, a peace offering from a new step-pa whom Caroline, as a broken-hearted little girl, rejected outright during his first Christmas with his new family. Later, Laura remembers Mr. Edwards's snow-soaked adventure as a surrogate Santa to the girls--something that ingratiated him to Ma, who up to then eyed her daughter's wild-bearded spitting coach suspiciously. Then, Esther Sue meets up with her own pa during a sad stroll down a memory lane lined with racial prejudice. The same hackles-raising theme of prejudice is piped into the next episode, "The Craftsman." Here, Albert accepts an apprenticeship with old man Isaac, coffin supplier to the mercantile and the town's sole Jew. Despite the old man's peaceful, kindly nature, Albert is tagged a "Jew lover" and bullied by shortsighted farmers' sons. Being a boy of superior stock, he's nonetheless loyal to the old man, something he's grateful for when it comes time to visit the sage carpenter's own coffin. Throughout this episode, dear old Isaac dispenses the sort of wisdom--"Never be ashamed of work you've done, only be ashamed of what you haven't done"--that endeared this series to parents during its original run. With this release, the nostalgic can get weepy, as well as emotionally awoken, anew alongside younger generations. -Tammy La Gorce
From the woods of Wisconsin and the plains of Kansas to Minnesota, the Ingalls fight to build and hold onto a new home, facing the danges fo an untamed wilderness on the American frontier of the 1870's.
A Christmas They Never Forgot - After a sudden, fierce snowstorm traps all the members of the Ingalls family inside the little house on Christmas Eve, they pass the time by exchanging stories about their favorite Christmases of the past.
The Craftsman - Albert (Matthew Laborteaux) learns a painful lesson about prejudice when he becomes the apprentice to lonely old woodcarver Issac Singerman (Joh Bleifer), and is branded a "Jew lover" by his friends.