Directed by: Arthur Rankin, Jr.
Jules Bass
Written by: Julian P. Gardner
Narrated by: Angela Lansbury
Release date: December 19, 1975
Running time: 22 minutes

The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow is Rankin/Bass's eighth Christmas television special, produced in 1975. It was narrated by Angela Lansbury, and co-stars Cyril Ritchard.


A young shepherd, Lucas, is blinded by lightning, and some kindly nuns-- Sister Theresa, Sister Jean, and Sister Catherine-- at a nearby abbey take him in. Sister Theresa describes snow to Lucas, who has never seen it. Later, the priest, Father Thomas, insists that Lucas be sent to an orphanage after the holidays. Lucas is saddened, but he is chosen to play an angel in a Christmas pageant with some other children, including his new friend Louisa. Later, Lucas thinks about the orphanage again, realizing he can't keep his sheep and his dog Waggles when he leaves, and decides to give them to Sister Theresa. But his plans are foiled by three boys who hide his sheep on Christmas Eve.

When Lucas realizes the sheep have gone missing, he goes out into the woods to look for them. A little later, the three tricksters join him, having realized the errors of their ways, and together they find all of Lucas's sheep. Then it is time for the pageant. During the pageant, while the kids are singing, it begins to snow. Lucas, who is standing next to Louisa, asks her to describe it like she had promised to earlier, during which he feels like he is actually seeing it. Then it comes to him-- he actually is seeing the snow; Lucas is no longer blind! After the pageant, Sister Theresa and Father Thomas agree to let Lucas stay at the abbey for good.



Voice actor Character
Angela Lansbury Sister Theresa
Cyril Ritchard Father Thomas
Rankin/Bass Holiday Specials
Christmas Rudolph the Red-Nosed ReindeerCricket on the HearthThe Little Drummer BoyFrosty the SnowmanSanta Claus is Comin' to Town'Twas the Night Before ChristmasThe Year Without a Santa ClausThe First ChristmasFrosty's Winter WonderlandThe Little Drummer Boy, Book IIRudolph's Shiny New YearNestor, The Long-Eared Christmas DonkeyThe Stingiest Man in TownRudolph and Frosty's Christmas in JulyJack FrostPinocchio's ChristmasThe Leprechauns' Christmas GoldThe Life and Adventures of Santa ClausSanta, Baby!
Other holidays The Mouse on the MayflowerHere Comes Peter CottontailMad, Mad, Mad MonstersThe First Easter RabbitThe Easter Bunny is Comin' To Town