The Year Without a Santa Claus (TV Movie 1974) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Mrs. Claus tells us about the time Santa had a bad cold and decided to take a vacation from Christmas. Two of his elves, Jingle Bells and Jangle Bells decided to go out (with Vixen) to find children to convince Santa that the Christmas spirit is still important to everybody else. But they have to get past Heat Miser and Snow Miser, first, before they land in Southtown, USA, where it never snows for Christmas. But the Miser Brothers can't agree to let it snow in Southtown. But Mrs. Santa knows their mom--Mother Nature.

  • Right around Christmas time, Santa Claus suddenly comes down with a cold and decides to cancel his annual flight delivering toys. And he seems to think that the world doesn't care about him or Christmas anymore. But that doesn't sit well with Mrs Claus. Eager to prove him wrong, she and the two quirky elves Jingle and Jangle set out to find some proof of the Christmas spirit.

  • When a weary and discouraged Santa Claus considers skipping his Christmas Eve run one year, Mrs. Claus and his Elves set out to change his mind.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Santa Claus comes down sick, and the doctor tells him he needs to stay home and not deliver presents this year. When Santa protests, the doctor says that no one even believes in him any more and it doesn't matter. Over Mrs. Claus' objections, Santa decides to cancel Christmas.

    Mrs. Claus considers putting on the red suit and delivering the presents herself, and calls two elves, Jingle and Jangle Bells, to help her. The elves don't see Mrs. Claus as a convincing replacement, and they move to Plan B: finding someone in the world who really cares about Santa. Jingle and Jangle take Vixen and head south. Santa accuses Mrs. Claus of being up to something, and she confesses to sending Jingle and Jangle on their errand. Santa, worried that they will not complete their mission, follows them on Dasher. Before he can reach them, Jingle and Jangle run into the Miser brothers, Snow Miser and Heat Miser. Vixen is able to escape with the elves safely.

    When they reach town, they are pulled over by a policeman, who writes them a ticket for riding a Vixen the wrong way on a one way street and wearing funny-looking suits on a Sunday. They disguise Vixen as a dog by putting socks over her antlers, but a cat chases her and the elves up a tree. Meanwhile, Santa interviews the policeman, who is lacking in Christmas spirit.

    The elves discuss Christmas with some children, who all claim they don't care if Santa comes or not, and "believing in Santa Claus is for little kids." They don't notice the dogcatcher taking Vixen away. Later, Ignatius Thistlewhite, one of the children, is found by Santa. Using a false name, he visits the Thistlewhite home and Mrs. Thistlewhite gives him a hot drink to help with his sneezing. Ignatius (Iggy) asks if his father or Santa believe in Santa Claus, and they both respond in the affirmative. Iggy tells them that the elves' "dog" had been taken by the dog catcher, and Santa rushes to save her. Both Iggy and the elves resolve to visit the mayor to get Vixen back, but when the three of them meet with the Mayor, he is disbelieving. He then proposes a bargain: if they can make it snow in Southtown, he'll release Vixen and give Santa a national holiday.

    Santa gets a very sick Vixen released from the pound, and Dasher takes them both home to the cool air of the North Pole. The elves meet Mrs. Claus and Blitzen on a rooftop and they all go to visit Snow Miser to see if he would be willing to make it snow in Southtown.

    Snow Miser explains that Southtown is under the control of his brother Heat Miser and without his permission he can't do anything, so off they go to Heat Miser. Heat Miser has a grudge against Santa due to Santa's prejudice against warm weather, and refuses to allow the snow unless Snow Miser is willing to turn over control of the North Pole. They call Snow Miser on the hot line, but the brothers refuse to bargain. Mrs. Claus makes an ultimatum: if they cannot come to an agreement, she will go to see the Miser brothers' mother, Mother Nature. Mother Nature calls the brothers to her and brokers a compromise: one spring day at the North Pole in exchange for a snowstorm in Southtown.

    Santa brings Vixen back to the North Pole and puts her in his own bed. He falls asleep in his chair. The mayor of Southtown gets a call from his wife reminding him to wear his galoshes - snow is falling in Southtown. Children around the world decide that not only are they giving Santa a holiday, but they will send him presents as well. If they don't have anything to send, they write letters. One such letter from a little girl tells Santa that she'll have a blue Christmas without him. Finally convinced that goodness still exists in the world, Santa decides that he will deliver the presents after all.

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