The Waltons (1971–1981)
20 user 3 critic

The Homecoming: A Christmas Story 

Story of the events that happened on Christmas Eve, 1933, to one rural American family.



(novel), (screenplay)

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dorothy Stickney ...
Erin Walton (as Mary McDonough)


The Walton family is about to celebrate another Christmas. It's during the '30s and the Depression. John Walton promised to be home soon but seems to be late. John-Boy tells his sibs about Christmas and all that stuff. When John hasn't showed for hours, Ma sends John-Boy out to find him. Will John ever get home to celebrate Christmas with his family? This movie spun off the TV series "The Waltons". Written by Dylan Self <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Family | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief mild language




Release Date:

19 December 1971 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Earl Hamner's two children Scott and Carrie are in the film as two of the children listening to the missionary lady. Carrie is the short-dark-haired girl in a home-made hat and Scott is the boy with paler hair, also wearing a hat. See more »


When the children are unpacking the Christmas ornaments, Jim-Bob jostles Elizabeth's arm and the ornament shatters. Erin can be seen mouthing Elizabeth's line: "You bumped my arm!" See more »


Grandpa: This is fought-for land.
John-Boy: Battles right here?
Grandpa: More than one: flood, fire, freezing weather, diptheria, scarlet fever, whooping cough, loneliness, hard times.
John-Boy: I thought you meant wars.
Grandpa: Them too.
See more »


Followed by Mother's Day on Waltons Mountain (1982) See more »


O Holy Night
Performed by Cleavon Little and Congregation
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Quintessential Christmas Movie!
25 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

My family watches this film every Holiday Season without fail. I think the "catch" for our children is the bickering Walton children. The scene in the barn when they are cracking walnuts and talking about not growing up or the youngest saying she is not going to have babies but "puppies" when she grows up is precious. The oldest Mary Ellen calling one of the others a "piss ant" is one of our favorite scenes. The only scene that has always caused us some concern is the Missionary Lady's gift that is broken and the way the children leave it lying on the road. The story is so deep, at so many levels and introduces all the Walton Mountain characters so well, it is not surprising the TV show had such a long run...

15 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page