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The Christmas Story

Season 1, Episode 11


Original airdate
December 19, 1960
Directed By
Written By
Frank Tarloff (credited as David Adler)


Mayberry's local "Scrooge," storeowner Ben Weaver, manages to have harmless bootlegger Sam Muggins thrown into jail on Christmas - but the Mayberry folks manage to celebrate Christmas with Sam in a most unusual way.


On Christmas Eve, Weaver's Department Store owner Ben insists that Andy Jail moonshiner Sam Muggins. Weaver has brought along a jug of moonshine as evidence of Sam's wrongdoing. Andy complies with Weaver's request but feels it's only fair that Sam's wife Bess and his two young children be incarcerated as well, since they all had knowledge of Sam's moonshining.

With the Muggins family in jail, Andy, Barney, Aunt Bee, Ellie, and Opie prepare a feast with all the trimmings for the family and decorate a Christmas tree.

Peeping at the window, Ben Weaver is touched with the Christmas spirit and tries to get himself arrested in order to join the fun. Andy only arrests Weaver, however, after he falls off a drink crate, while watching Barney come in dressed as Santa Claus in the alley.

Together, the men appear at the door of the jail with a suitcase full of gaily wrapped gifts from Ben's store. Ben is welcomed and regaled with food and drink. Weaver falls asleep in one of the jail cells after finishing the jug of Sam's moonshine.


  • This was the one and only holiday story in the history of the Andy Griffith Show.
  • Ben Weaver is said to be the richest man in Mayberry.
  • A calendar hanging in the cell has Christmas falling on a Wednesday. Christmas 1960 fell on a Sunday. Prior to 1960, Christmas fell on a Wednesday in 1957.
  • Andy and Barney receive a letter from the Hubacher brothers, whom Andy and Barney sent to state prison. Under their picture is the message, "Greetings from State Prison." In a blooper, Andy mistakenly reads the message as "Merry Christmas from State Prison".
  • A small problem in this episode was with the mention that Ben Weaver's store sold "spirits." Mayberry was in a dry county.
  • This episode was stated by Elinor Donahue to be her favorite.
  • When Barney is sitting at the desk reading Christmas cards, the card he is holding switches to another one then back to the original one from shot to shot.


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