I recently discovered this promotional photo (below) of the Cleaver gang. It's a Christmas promo pic. Unfortunately, however, there was never a Christmas-themed episode of "Leave It To Beaver"
made (despite the fact that there were six opportunities in which to film one during the series' half-a-dozen years on the air).
But the writers always remained neutral as to the time of year it was on the show, with no holiday episodes being done, period. It's almost always warm weather, in fact, throughout the whole series...with the boys never, ever bundling up in heavy coats and/or gloves. (But from references made during some episodes, we know that "Mayfield" is not in California.)
The lack of any Christmas episodes is a bit of a shame IMO -- because a nice, heart-warming Christmas program would suit LITB perfectly. -- We could have Ward out on a ladder outside their 485 Mapleton Drive home as he expertly and adeptly decks the whole outside of the house in an array of Christmas lights. ... June, adorned in her special red-and-green Christmas apron and holiday pearls, is in the kitchen, baking gobs of Christmas cookies and other goodies . ... And Wally & The Beaver are hanging up their stockings in front of the fireplace. ...
Then, Fred Rutherford comes over and informs Ward that he and Ward have to work at the "Salt Mines"
on Christmas Eve (similar to the plot of "Christmas And The Hard-Luck Kid"
on Mary Tyler Moore's series in 1970).
This news upsets the family very much, naturally. But Ward's devotion to his (mysterious) job is unwavering. But, after leaving for the office on Tuesday, December 24th, 1957, to work feverishly on the all-important "Frederickson Land Deal", Ward is soon back home just an hour later with an extra batch of perfectly-wrapped Christmas presents for his family. Beaver got a pair of skates; Wally got a sled; June got a picture book, yellow, blue, and red.
The episode fades out with the Cleavers gathered around the hearth (a la The Waltons in "The Homecoming"
), with everyone very happy that Ward is back home to share Christmas Eve with his loving clan.
(The epilogue has Eddie Haskell suddenly bursting through the Cleaver's front door yelling "Mr. Cleaver! Come quick! Your house is on fire! You wired the house with REAL candles and your garage is ablaze, you stupid idiot!"
Well, maybe we'll have to amend that shocking epilogue after all. Ya think?
Merry Christmas to the Cleavers!