The Little Monsters are pretty big fans of "The Brady Bunch", and that fact makes me very happy. I loved the show when I was a kid, and realized later on that I never really outgrew it or stopped loving it. I was born in 1969, the same year that "The Brady Bunch" premiered. In fact I was actually born six days before the first episode aired! Needless to say, while I was physically present during the initial run of the show from 1969 to 1974, I don't have any actual memories from that time. I've heard that my family would gather around the TV to watch it, but I was simply too young to recall that experience (and was probably asleep in my crib by the time it came on).
But "The Brady Bunch" was one of those shows (like "Star Trek", "Gilligan's Island" and many more) that seemed to be in constant rotation via syndication throughout my childhood. I got to know the family very well by watching the old episodes on the Boston-area independent UHF channels (I certainly recall it being on WLVI Channel 56).
So, what exactly does all of the have to do with "The Brady Bunch Christmas Ornament"? Well, nothing I suppose. It was basically just a long-winded introduction to let the reader know that "The Brady Bunch" has been a relatively important thing in my life--and throughout my life. Another important thing in my life has been the Christmas season. Last year the two collided in a small, but unexpected way that seemed worth reporting here.
While doing a little research for this post I discovered that there have been at least a couple official Brady Bunch ornaments produced over the years. The first one is a Hallmark collectible ornament that was apparently produced in 2014. It is now out-of-production and seems to be kind of hard to find--and expensive to purchase when you can find one. Some can be found on eBay for prices currently ranging between $50.00 and $80.00. Crazy. The ornament is an old-fashioned television set with a picture from the Brady Bunch show opening featuring the family and the show logo on the screen.
I meant to write this post last year but wasn't able to get around to it before Christmas, so it got put off until this year. While doing a little additional research recently, I found another unofficial Brady Bunch ornament that looks kind of neat. It's a replica of the infamous tiki idol statue from the fourth season Hawaii episodes. Apparently this ornament can be seen on the HGTV special "A Very Brady Renovation: Holiday Edition". In the past year the original Brady Bunch house (which was only used for the exterior shots on the show) was bought by HGTV and renovated to look like the interior sets from the show. The renovation actually featured all of the Brady kids and was a great way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the show. Unfortunately I still haven't gotten around to seeing any of the renovation (we don't have cable), but am hoping to check it out at some point.
"The Brady Bunch" was on TV for five seasons (not including the animated Brady Kids show, the very strange "Brady Bunch Variety Hour" or any of the reunion specials, movies ("A Very Brady Christmas") and series produced over the years. The original series had only one true Christmas episode, and it was during the first season. The episode is called "The Voice of Christmas" and concerns the Brady Bunch preparing to celebrate their first Christmas together as a family (Mike and Carol were both widowed parents of three children each). Mrs. Brady is supposed to sing at church on Christmas morning but ends up with laryngitis. Cindy asks Santa to give her her voice back for Christmas. Whether it was the department store Santa, a true Christmas miracle or simply a coincidence, Carol wakes up on Christmas morning with her voice back and ready to sing at church. Here are some scenes from the episode (sorry for the low quality--they are photos taken of our TV screen). Note all the great 1960s-70s holiday decorations!