The Waltons (1971–1981)
20 user 4 critic

The Homecoming: A Christmas Story 

On Christmas Eve 1933, the Waltons prepare for the holiday. However, John Walton, who was forced to take work in another part of the state, has not returned home yet, and his family are becoming increasingly worried.


Fielder Cook


Earl Hamner Jr. (novel), Earl Hamner Jr. (screenplay)

On Disc

at Amazon

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




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Patricia Neal ... Olivia Walton
Richard Thomas ... John-Boy Walton
Edgar Bergen ... Grandpa Zebb Walton
Ellen Corby ... Esther Walton
Cleavon Little ... Hawthorne Dooley
Dorothy Stickney ... Emily Baldwin
Josephine Hutchinson ... Mamie Baldwin
William Windom ... Charlie Snead
Andrew Duggan ... John Walton
Woodrow Parfrey ... Ike Godsey
Judy Norton ... Mary Ellen Walton
Mary Beth McDonough ... Erin Walton (as Mary McDonough)
Kami Cotler ... Elizabeth Walton
Eric Scott ... Ben Walton
David W. Harper ... Jim-Bob Walton


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) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

CBS See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Dorothy Stickney' (Emily Baldwin) and Josephine Hutchinson (Mamie Baldwin) died only two days apart in real life: Stickney on June 2, 1998 and Hutchinson on June 4, 1998. See more »


The Zenith table radio is shown with a dummy Magic Eye indicator tube- probably just a light bulb behind a piece of frosted glass or plastic. While it's true that most of the Magic Eyes (like the 6U5) did glow green, the correct Eye tube for this model is a 6T8, which had a reddish tint to its display. See more »


Mary Ellen: Let Erin help you, she's such a prissy-butt.
Erin: I am not a prissy-butt!
Olivia: Would you girls stop arguing and get busy? GO!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original TV showing had an introduction sequence before the film began. This introduction is featured on the newly released DVD version of the film. See more »


Followed by A Wedding on Walton's Mountain (1982) See more »


Hey, Mary
Performed by David Livingston and Children
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Growing up on Waltons Mountian, every Thursday I was one of the kids except I was just in front of the Tv in my living room.
14 May 2004 | by ghovertimeSee all my reviews

One night in December of 1971,I was just a young child of 7 years , enjoying the hope and antisipation of the upcomming Christmas holiday. I was just looking through the channels of my TV set and ran across this movie that had been on for maybe 40 minites or so. just as I tuned in, John Boy had just recked the family truck looking for his Daddy. I continuded watching this show while more and more becomming curiously intersted in this family from the 30s who seemed to be so poor but in turn so very rich in love and closeness of a strong and courageous group of relitives. After the airing of "The Homecomming" that night, I was filled with a feeling of goodness and respect of family that today is almost non exsistant in television. To tell the truth, I think it may never come to that type of programing ever again. I had no idea of what I just witnessed in the beginning program of what would become the best , most highly respected family show to date. This is a TRUE classic, timeless and ever lasting and if you are like me , I know that values shuch as the ones that The Waltons taught us for 10 years after that Dec. night, should make a comback and make it fast!!What happened? can you tell me? Ill tell you all this ,to this day , I still find myself messing around with my kids at night saying, goodnight John boy, goodnight Mary Ellen (although their names are not John Boy nor Mary Ellen) but still I wait for the reply that I heard so many Thursday nights in the 70s at 900pm which is truly music to my ears.... goodnight Daddy!

19 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 20 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed