Christmas Eve gets Barney and Andy excited about getting together with loved ones to enjoy the holiday. Feeling especially generous, Andy lets all the prisoners out of jail for a Christmas break on the promise to return as soon as it's over. Their yuletide joy is only dimmed when mean old Ben Weaver makes a citizen's arrest of Sam Muggins for making a batch of white lightening to put some merry in his Christmas, stubbornly insisting that Sam get the required 24 hours in jail despite reasoning objections from Andy that, after all, it's Christmas. Andy comes up with a plan to arrest Sam's wife and kids on conspiracy charges so they can spend Christmas together in his cell, further bringing Aunt Bee, Opie and Ellie into the courthouse for the party. All night, Ben tries again and again to break into the proceedings, till Andy - after he and Ellie have a lovely sing-a-long of "Away in the Manger" - finally realizes what Ben's up to and arrests him, allowing him to first drop by his store ... Written by
Jerry Dean Roberts <bothan2001@hotmail. hotmail.com> / revised by statmanjeff
Did You Know?
Elinor Donahue wound up with no screen credit for this episode. See more
After Andy tells Ben he has made Ellie, Aunt Bee and Opie his new deputies, they all show their badges. Ellie and Aunt Bee have badges that read "Mayberry Deputy," but Opie holds up a badge (upside-down) that says "Mayberry Sheriff." Perhaps producers knew he had the wrong badge (not enough in the prop department for a one-shot?) and had him hold it upside-down to make it next to impossible to read on a 1960 television, but more likely it was a sly visual comment that Opie couldn't yet read. See more
Sung by Don Knotts See more