Thanksgiving, like many holidays turns out to be stressful for many people. The time and effort of preparations that often disappoint some loved one. We try to impress and relax and all-too-often fail miserably at both. Although, almost always, the underlying love and great intentions rule the day and end up what memories are made of. But we take a lot for granted. Many others have much more to worry about on Thanksgiving Day than a well-stuffed turkey and a well-baked pie. Some people have to worry about much more serious things. Like burning at the stake, for instance.
This particular year, the Stephen’s were looking forward to a small, intimate, ralexed Thanksgiving dinner for their young family. Darrin, Samantha and baby, Tabitha when an unexpected visitor drops in. Literally. It’s Samantha’s lovable, if mishap-riddled, Aunt Clara (played by wonderful character actress, Marion Lorne). Aunt Clara’s witch powers are not what they once were, you see, so her intentions don’t always match the outcome of her spells and incantations.
Anyway, the family settles in for a lovely Thanksgiving visit with Aunt Clara – after she is dusted off. But trouble awaits, as expected whenever the elderly witch is in the house. While telling stories of the first Thanksgiving to Tabitha, from personal recollection of course, Clara becomes nostalgic for the old times and home. She decides not to stay for dinner after all. The trouble comes when, as she recites the incantation to transport herself back to Plymouth, she takes everyone along with her – Darrin, Samantha and busy-body neighbor, Gladys Kravitz (played by Sandra Gould).
Once in Plymouth and celebrating the original Thanksgiving with a few of the forefather like John Alden (Richard Bull) and Miles Standish (Peter Canon) the Stephens try their best to fit in to the time and culture while they wait for Aunt Clara to remember the spell to reverse the original incantation so they can go home. As they try to assimilate, many funny moments come up, my favorites are the ones where Darrin consistently botches up the manner of pronunciation – the “eth” and “thous” required in everything, “speaketh not to my wife-eth that way-eth” – he’s not good at it, is all I can say. But anyway, not surprisingly, not long after they arrive in the past, one of them is accused of witchery and will be burned at the stake unless they can prove themselves free of witchcraft. Ironically, it’s not Samantha or the clumsy Aunt Clara but Darrin who is caught lighting a match. A sure-fire sign of great witchery! As he is forced to face his accusers and the townspeople. Samantha, ever clever, presents a great defense of her husband by casting doubt in one of his accusers by using her own witch gifts. Anyway, just as the trial is drawing to a close, Aunt Clara remembers the spell…
“Wing of fire, eye of flame. Take us back to whence we came.”
Just in the nick of time.
Back home now, the Stephens sit and enjoy that quiet Thanksgiving dinner and all is well again between mortals and witches. Everyone is where and when they are supposed to be. For the time being at least. Aunt Clara ends the episode with plans to take Tabitha to meet the real Santa Claus.
That’s all for this episode of Bewitched. A fun 25, or so, minutes. And a nice way to remember to be thankful for our lives and the times in which we live – where we can watch these old shows and step back for those relatively few minutes.
Episode: “Samantha’s Thanksgiving to Remember”
Original Air Date: November 23, 1967 – Season Four
Director Richard Kinon Written by: Alfred Lewis Levitt
Cast: Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick York, Erin Murphy, Sandra Gould, Marion Lorne, Richard Bull, Peter Canon, Jacques Aubuchon
Happy thanksgiving and thanks for How Sweet it Was.