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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

19 December 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Homecoming: A Christmas Story 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?


The Baldwin Sisters play Enrico Caruso's recording of "Ombra mai fu" from Xerxes by George Händel. 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 »


John-Boy: Santa Claus is gonna take one look at that bird poop and he's gonna head right back up the chimney.
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 The Waltons: A Decade of the Waltons (1980) See more »


O Holy Night
English words by John Sullivan Dwight (uncredited), French lyrics by Placide Cappeau (uncredited) and music by Adolphe Adam (uncredited)
Performed by Cleavon Little and Congregation
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Waltons: A life-changing series
24 September 2010 | by catnipper40See all my reviews

The Waltons was a TV series that was a great part of my life. Every week in my English classes I had a composition to write that was due on Friday. So, I would always copy my final draft on Thursday night while "John Boy" did his writing. A young cousin even asked if I was going to be a writer like John-Boy. I still remember the commercial with Richard Thomas explaining how the movie, The Homecoming, was so popular that CBS decided to create a series, The Waltons. The series was perfect for all time as it teaches some history lessons from the Great Depression to World War II. But that's just the beginning. There are cultural lessons such as how a young people should act when on a date, wedding traditions, and the fact that a woman's place was in the home except for nursing, teaching, and perhaps some secretarial positions. Today I share this series with my daughter as much as I can. She has since lost her grandparents and has adopted "Grandpa and Grandma Walton" as her grandparents. That is quite a tribute I think.

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