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We hope you and yours are having a fantastic holiday, in whatever tradition you celebrate. Speaking of tradition, last year, we posed this Depression-era Fleischer brothers cartoon, “Christmas Comes But Once a Year.” It got such a positive response, I think we’ll turn it into a tradition. It’s sweet, inventive, and a perfect holiday message about the maker spirit.

Merry Christmas to all of you, from your friends at MAKE!

PS: While poking around on YouTube, I found a Casper the Friendly Ghost animation from 1952 that is almost the exact plot with identical inventions. In fact, it was done by many of the same team that worked on the Fleischer film.

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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Comments

  1. DeadlyDad says:

    Heh.  The first Maker Christmas.  I think that *every* hacker/makerspace should do this, then donate the items to local charities.

  2. David Catlin says:

    This is by far one of my most favorite memories as a child!  Thank you so much for helping remind me of why I started tinkering in the first place.  It also reminds us of the true meaning of this holiday that makes us all crazy.  This simple cartoon shows that it does not take money just passion to put a smile on a child’s face this Christmas.  I gave my last dollars to a family in need this season.  What did you do?

  3. Darren Landrum says:

    I can’t help but think that the coffee percolator train might actually be possible.

  4. Anonymous says:

    interesting that the tree goes to an animated version to a filmed prop, composited in, is it even rotoscoped? I can’t tell for sure.  Definately some sort of compositing going on there though.

  5. Jeff Wagner says:

    I look forward to forgetting I saw it this year, just like I forgot I saw it last year, so I can enjoy it again next year!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Great little cartoon with a lot of truth. When we care we find a way.

  7. Adam Eyring says:

    Reminds me why it’s unwise to donate broken items to charity. They likely don’t have time to fix it. My mom’s helped at a thrift shop and when a donated item is broken, they have no choice but to throw it out.

    Actually, I often think one of the greatest things to do when I retire is to repair discarded items (especially furniture and toys) for giving to families in need.

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