1985 HBO Christmas Present

A secret Ghostbusters surprise!

Opinion page by Duane Alan Hahn. [December 25, 2014]

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Once in a while, my family talks about the HBO Christmas Present that we saw in a motel in 1985. Until my mother looked it up online in December of 2014, I didn't know that anyone thought it was a myth. Here's a related page:

TV/Movies: Urban Myth or Fact – Ghostbusters on HBO Christmas of 1985

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The official HBO guide from 1985 has "HBO Christmas Present" listed at 11:30, so a skeptical nonbeliever looking at that online would at least be able to see that something special was shown on Christmas Eve. Mentioning Ghostbusters in the guide would have spoiled the surprise, don't you think?



Motel Christmas

My family was in the middle of a move to a new city and we had to stay in a motel for a couple of weeks during the 1985 Christmas season. I was looking through the generic cable guide that was in the motel room and it had tba (to be announced) in the listing at 11:30 p.m. for HBO. I thought it was odd, so I told everyone that I was going to turn on HBO a little before 11:30 in case it was something good. Holy crap! It was Ghostbusters! My family hadn't seen the movie, so it was a great Christmas present from HBO.


I hoped surprises like that would be repeated by HBO and copied by other cable channels, but I must have missed them if they happened. Seemed like there were no more cool TV surprises after that. I could be forgetting something. Maybe someone will refresh my memory.





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