Bob Ross’ Christmas Special: Celebrate, Relax, Nod Off

I don’t know if you got every­thing you want­ed on Christ­mas, but we here at Open Cul­ture have what you need. And that’s a very spe­cial Bob Ross Christ­mas Spe­cial. No spe­cial guests, no musi­cal num­bers. Just Bob, his palette filled with phtha­lo blue, Van dyke Brown, and oth­er favorite paints, and a sol­id black can­vas which Bob turns into a Christ­mas Eve snow scene. (In 2018, Ross’ offi­cial YouTube Chan­nel post­ed all 31 sea­sons of The Joy of Paint­ing online, a total of 403 episodes.)

While watch­ing (and maybe fol­low­ing along at home), con­sid­er that Bob Ross acci­den­tal­ly invent­ed ASMR with his shows, all those years ago. His pleas­ant, slight­ly gruff south­ern accent com­ple­ments the sound of the swish­ing brush and scrap­ing knife on can­vas. Con­sid­er also the per­cent­age of peo­ple who watch these not to paint, but to med­i­tate or go to sleep. (There’s an app for that.)

Bob Ross *is* the sound of a Christ­mas Eve noc­turne, a moment when the air is crisp and clean, a lit­tle bit of peace falls over the world, and there’s a chance to reflect. It’s time to start a new can­vas. The pos­si­bil­i­ties are end­less, and you can always change as you go. Heed Ross’ famous words: “We don’t make mis­takes. We have hap­py acci­dents.”

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Mr. Rogers Goes to Con­gress and Saves PBS: Heart­warm­ing Video from 1969

Pup­pet Mak­ing with Jim Hen­son: A Price­less Primer from 1969

A Big List of Free Art Lessons on YouTube

Ted Mills is a free­lance writer on the arts who cur­rent­ly hosts the artist inter­view-based FunkZone Pod­cast and is the pro­duc­er of KCR­W’s Curi­ous Coast. You can also fol­low him on Twit­ter at @tedmills, read his oth­er arts writ­ing at and/or watch his films here.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.