Episode 11 - The Children's Carol

(two hour episode) (5 December 1977)
Writer: John McGreevey.
Director: Lawrence Dobkin.
Music: Alexander Courage.


"I remember that Christmas when all the sounds and events of the world spoke against the holiday. London was being bombed, the evil of Nazi rule was spreading across Europe, and on Waltons Mountain indian summer held off the snows of winter. It was a year two young English children were to seek refuge on the mountain, and it was a year when my mother's faith was put to its severest test".


Part 1


It is morning of the first Sunday in December and the Waltons prepare themselves for church. Rev. Buchanan preaches a sermon announcing the beginning of the most glorious time of year. After services the family drives to Ike’s store where it is learned new door locks have been installed due to a rash of burglaries. The Baldwin sisters seek out Olivia hoping her family will help welcome two English children orphaned by the blitz. Miss Mamie and Miss Emily feel other children will help the visitors feel more at ease. Olivia agrees that she and the children will welcome Tess and Pip Wrayburn upon their arrival.


Chief Air Raid Warden Ike and his First Deputy Ben prepare for their official Civil Defense duties. Verdi Grant visits the Waltons to secure orders for her delicious burnt cinnamon cakes that she bakes every Christmas. She hopes to sell ten or more at two dollars each in order to buy clothes and toys for children-in-need. The Waltons order three fruitcakes, but Grandpa insists he will not share his cake with anyone.


Mrs. Rumsen delivers the orphans to the Baldwin’s, and then returns to Washington, D.C. The children are uneasy with the new surroundings and it is apparent they hold repercussions from the war and the deaths of their parents. Tess says Pip has not spoken since the bombing and does not think he ever will talk again.


Erin is still upset about the death of G.W. Haines. Olivia prompts her to express unspoken emotions but Erin resists. Allen Timmons, an expeditor for the Defense Department, talks with John about increasing his order quantity. Olivia invites Allen for coffee and fresh baked marble cake, knowing that Erin will be inside to greet the handsome soldier. She declares to John, ‘I’m doing some expediting on my own.’


Miss Emily and Miss Mamie realize Tess and Pip are not happy with them and, now, can not locate them. They find them under furniture with fruit bundled within their clothes. They are collecting food for the day they will be hungry again. The sisters try to convince the children that they will never be without food. But Tess and Pip are not easily convinced after their haunting experiences in their homeland.


John is awakened by a noise coming from the barn. Upon investigating, he finds Jim Bob talking over his short-wave radio. Jim Bob explains he is talking to Allison who lives in London, England.


Miss Emily and Miss Mamie wonder if Olivia would allow Tess and Pip to stay with them. They hope the Waltons might help them learn to trust and believe again. Olivia agrees but the first supper finds unusually quiet conversation with only Grandpa acting like his old self. Olivia puts Pip to bed in the boys’ room and places Tess in the girls’ room. However, when John and Olivia walk upstairs later they find the two sleeping together on the hallway floor. With their parents gone, the siblings are inseparable.


Mary Ellen cannot bear to be away from her husband and decides to join him. Upon arriving she rents an apartment near the camp from a snooty landlady who demands two weeks rent in advance and lays down the rules of the house. That night Ike, Ben, and two other volunteers patrol Waltons Mountain for violators of the first blackout drill. Ben views a light in the far-west upstairs window of Thelma’s house. He gives her a warning but knowing her mother’s Christmas light is a tradition does not take Ben very serious.


Olivia hopes Jason will play Pip a song to help him open up. But Jason says he is no longer playing because he feels he must toughen up so he can do the job he was trained for in the military. On another short-wave radio conversation, Tess tells Allison where her family used to live. Allison promises she will ask around for survivors, but Tess says no one else remains except for her and her brother.


Mary Ellen and Curt hold each other, glad to be together again. However, Curt tells his wife that the camp and surrounding area are no place for wives and children. Elizabeth feels she is the only one who realizes Christmas is coming. Grandpa brightens her mood by inviting her to join him in choosing the Christmas tree. He suggests they bring along Tess and Pip. The foursome locates a fine clump of pines at the bottom of a steep slope but Tess and Pip are indifferent. Elizabeth becomes angry at their attitude. Grandpa tells the three about two happy past Christmases. At one Christmas, the tree was so big it would not fit inside the house. The tree was set up inside the barn to the delight of the animals. At another, they found an opossum in the tree who was “playin’ ‘possum”. Grandpa leads the invigorated group in the singing of ‘Jingle Bells’.


Jason stands at attention while his sergeant yells at the troop. Then, Jason is told to bayonet a dummy in preparation for combat. Ben is counting his money when Jim Bob walks into the room. Ben says he plans to order a pinstriped suit that a catalog promises will make him look taller. As Olivia, Elizabeth, Tess, and Pip walk to the store an airplane flies low overhead. Olivia and Elizabeth wave at the pilot but Tess and Pip cry out and run scared to a concrete embankment. They believe enemy aircraft are about to bomb them.


Part 2


Olivia greets Verdi at Ike’s store. Verdi compliments Ike who is providing last minute supplies and selling toys at wholesale prices. Corabeth invites Olivia for tea while Aimee asks Elizabeth, Tess, and Pip to play games. But the orphans only want to watch much to the chagrin of Elizabeth. Olivia reads a letter from John Boy who informs his mother that he will not be home for Christmas. Corabeth asks Olivia if she will help them organize ‘Bundles for Britain’. Olivia says, ‘they talk about the faces of war’. While staring at Tess and Pip, she adds, ‘but those are the faces of this war, those innocent little children destroyed’.


Mary Ellen sets up housekeeping at the apartment but wonders why her husband is unable to spend much time with his family. Curt repeats that he has many obligations to the army but Mary Ellen does not believe him and orders him out of the room. Jason has doubts about his suitability for the military and is unsure whether he will be able to kill a man. John says he would rather have men like him in war because he is not a machine, but a man who feels, thinks, and cares. He suggests that Jason not block off his feelings for music because without those emotions there would be nothing to defend.


As the Civil Defense volunteers make their rounds, Verdi collects money as she delivers her finished cakes. At Thelma’s house she states that nearly thirty dollars will be collected after three more deliveries. But as she walks down the road someone jumps out and steals her purse. Ben hears her screams and scares off the thief but not before the money is taken. While caring for her shaken friend, Olivia can not believe a woman like Verdi could be assaulted while doing Christian work. Three days before Christmas, Rev. Buchanan speaks about the story of Christmas and the hope that was born on that first Christmas day. Olivia is reminded of the recent terrible incidents and can not finish the Lord’s Prayer. She rushes out in tears.


Jason writes a new Christmas carol while Grandpa orchestrates the tree trimming. Olivia is glad Jason is again writing music for this especially is the time that music is needed. Ben visits Verdi to tell her he has found her purse. When Verdi opens it, she is surprised to find money inside. Verdi is more perplexed to see a ten and a five included within the bills when she knows she had only collected singles. Verdi realizes what has happened and looks upon Ben as a very special man, rather than as a boy.


Mary Ellen admits to Curt that he was correct when saying this place was not suitable. Although still angry they make up. Curt gives Mary Ellen a camera for Christmas so she can take pictures of his family. Mary Ellen returns home better able to handle the separation caused by the pending war. Olivia admits to John that she could always pray in the past when seeking out help to a Power that cared. Now she is unable to do so. John says that maybe she is asking God to act like she wants him to act.


The next morning Ben, Jim Bob, and John load an army truck while Allen checks the order. Erin sees Allen in uniform for the first time and is upset at the sight. The Baldwin sisters visit the Waltons to give presents to Tess and Pip. Olivia admits they were not successful in helping the children. She suggests they might get help at the center in Washington, D.C. Elizabeth tells Tess and Pip about being sent away. Tess and Pip slip inside the truck, after deciding they do not want to move again. Elizabeth admits she told the children that they were being sent away; saying she saw them hiding inside the truck. John, Olivia, and Erin drive to find them. Olivia spots the children in front of a landing airplane. Pip is frozen to the runway unable to move away from the onrushing plane. John pulls them out of danger. Tess can’t understand why they came looking for them. John says, ‘Because we care.’ Pip finally speaks, saying to Olivia that he was ‘proper scared’.


On Christmas morning, Jim Bob shouts that Allison is on the short-wave radio. When the family walk outside they find it snowing. All of Allison’s family is standing beside her as she speaks with Jim Bob and his family. Allison says that someone wants to speak with Tess and Pip. That person is their ‘Mum’. Emotions overwhelm the children. They ask about their Daddy but she sadly admits they lost him. She, however, promises to join them in the U.S. as soon as she is well enough to travel.


Jason sings his new Christmas carol as the family joins him in the chorus.


The Children’s Carol


(Verse one)

Oh children he is one of us untouched by hate or fear.

Oh children we are one with him this joyful time of year.


(Verse two)

Oh children wise men bid us doubt their wisdom is this fare.

Oh children hope is ours to know when simple faith we share.



Join hands, join hearts, and sing his song of peace and men’s good will.

Shout out the birth of the Christmas child, that child is with us still.


Join hands, join hearts, and sing his song of peace and men’s good will.

Shout out the birth of the Christmas child, that child is with us still.


Elizabeth: Grandpa?
Grandpa: Yes, Elizabeth.
Elizabeth: You've seen a lot of Christmases?
Grandpa: Ummmmm, Seventy-odd. Some odder than others!
Elizabeth: Out of all those Christmases, which do you like to think about best?
Grandpa: None.
Elizabeth: None?
Grandpa: The Christmas I like to think about Miss Elizabeth isn't this year's, last year's, or the one in 'ought six. It's next year's Christmas.
Elizabeth: Goodnight Grandpa!
Grandpa: Goodnight Elizabeth.



The Baldwin sisters’ cousin sent Tess and Pip from London. Cousin Hilary Baldwin von Clinst appeared in ‘The Hiding Place’, episode 22, season 5.

Pip is a nickname for Philip.

Mary Ellen pays twelve dollars fifty cents each week for the apartment and an additional two dollars fifty cents a week for kitchen privileges.

Allison lives in Hampton, just off Finchley Road near the Heath.

Tess and Pip Wrayburn lived in Bethel Green, Poplar Flats, just off Marlowe Road on Lathom.

Kami Cotler’s brother (Jeff) plays Pip Wrayburn in this episode. He previously played Fester in ‘The Go-Getter’, episode 23, season 5.


Also appearing:

Ike Godsey (Joe Conley); Corabeth Godsey (Ronnie Claire Edwards); Miss Emily Baldwin (Mary Jackson); Miss Mamie Baldwin (Helen Kleeb); Tess Wrayburn (Sally Boyden); Verdie Grant (Lynn Hamilton); Curt Willard (Tom Bower); Pip Wrayburn (Jeff Cotler); Thelma (Dorothy Shay); Rev. Hank Buchanan (Peter Fox); Mrs. Rumsen (Judith Sharon Morton); The Landlady (Ivy Bethune); Sgt. Grimes (Ed Owens); Allen Timmons (David Cramer); Allison (Kate Edwards); Mrs. Wrayburn (Dinah Anne Rogers).