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"A Christmas They Never Forgot"
Season 8, Episode 11
#172 overall in Series
Original air date December 21, 1981
Episode Guide
IMDb logo.png IMDb A Christmas They Never Forgot
Written by Don Balluck
Directed by Michael Landon
Episode Chronology
Previous episode:
"Wave of the Future"
Next episode:
"No Beast so Fierce"


Adam and Mary return to Walnut Grove for Christmas, and arrive at the Ingalls' just ahead of a fierce blizzard. The Ingalls, along with their friend, Hester Sue, spend the snowy Christmas Eve recalling favorite holiday memories.



  • Last appearances of Melissa Sue Anderson and Linwood Boomer.


Almanzo (while talking about a Christmas he had as a boy): There were lots of presents on Christmas morning, but none for Royal. I was sure my Pa was right, Santa Claus got mad at old Royal for poking around where he shouldn't have. Royal never said there wasn't a Santa after that. That was about the best Christmas I ever had.
Laura: And when did you stop believing in Santa Claus?
Almanzo: I never have. And you better not go poking around!

Hester Sue (while talking about how her father dressed up as Santa in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve): You know, I never knew that was Papa until years later, after he was gone. And I still have that doll wrapped and put away. It's something I will never give up.
Caroline: I can see why that's a Christmas you'll never forget.
Hester Sue: And so is this one, because I'm with people I love.

[In Hester Sue's flashback]
Young Hester Sue: We ain't never gonna get anything like that.
Mother: Now, how do you know that, missy?
Young Hester Sue: Cuz I know. Cuz Santa Claus is white.
Father: Now, who told you that?
Young Hester Sue: Everybody knows that.
Father: I don't. Why, Santa Claus lives all the way in the North Pole.
Young Hester Sue: Then who was that in the store?
Father: That was just a man pretending. Why, nobody knows what the real Santa looks like.
Young Hester Sue: I do. He's a big jolly man, with a white beard and a white face. That's why we ain't never gonna get nothing good for Christmas!

[In Hester Sue's flashback]
Boy 2: Wishing is all you can do.
Boy 1: How do you know? I've been good!
Boy 2: You think Santa Claus cares if you're good?
Boy 1: Sure he does.
Boy 2: You'll learn when you get older. Santa don't bring nothing like that to black children. It's all for the whites.
Boy 1: How do you know that?
Boy 2: Just look at him! He's a white man! He takes care of his own.

[In Caroline's flashback]
Caroline's Mother: Caroline, darling, I can't stand to see you feeling this way.
Caroline: I miss Pa so bad.
Caroline's Mother: I know. So do I.
Caroline: No you don't! How could you miss Pa?
Caroline's Mother: Caroline...
Caroline: How could you miss him at all, and marry somebody else?
Caroline's Mother: Your stepfather is...
Caroline: Don't call him that! He'll never be my stepfather! I hate him!
Caroline's Mother: Don't say that!
Caroline: I do! I hate him!
Caroline's Mother: The other children don't feel that way.
Caroline: Yes they do! They're just afraid to say it!
Caroline's Mother: That's not true! Frederick is a fine man!
Frederick (walks in from the rain, smiling): I'm absolutely soaked.
(Caroline runs to her room)
Caroline's Mother: Frederick, I'm so sorry.
Frederick: She'll get over it.
Caroline's Mother: I'm not so sure she will.

Charles: You know what? I'm glad we got snowed in. I mean, what more can a man ask for? A beautiful morning, a house full of loved ones and a brand-new scarf.
Caroline: Charles Ingalls! You peeked?
Charles: Well, of course I did. You're always telling me I act like a child.


External links

Previous episode: Next episode:
Wave of the Future No Beast So Fierce