Little House on the Prairie

Season 3 Episode 12

Blizzard

2
Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Dec 27, 1976 on NBC
9.4
out of 10
User Rating
145 votes
6

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Blizzard
AIRED:

On Christmas Eve, Miss Beadle lets the schoolchildren go home early. This proves to be disastrous as a blizzard has already begun.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Bittersweet

    10
    This was the saddest Christmas episode of Little House on the Prairie. Unknown to Miss Beadle she was giving the kids an early Christmas gift by sending them home early but there was a horrible blizzard and most of the children including Laura, Mary and Carrie are trapped in it. Fortunately all of the kids were found but at the cost of one father who died not knowing that his son returned to the school. When the blizzard ended and Mr Edwards and his kids return the townfolk joyfully celebrate but Charles saw the dead man's family he read a passage of the Bible about the birth of Jesus.moreless
  • On Christmas Eve, Miss Beadle sends the children home from school early, unaware that a major blizzard is about to strike Walnut Grove. Chaos and death ensue.

    10
    Whenever I see this episode, I'm reminded not only of how difficult pioneer times were, but of how fortunate we are today to have conveinences like cell phones, which would have prevented the drama in this episode. When Miss Beadle lets the children leave school a little early on Christmas Eve, her efforts are rewarded by a sudden, heavy snowstorm that may very well keep the children from getting home alive. When the mothers of the students show up at the school en masse (apparently, they were heading to school as a group, presumably for a holiday party--would Miss Beadle not have been aware of this?) they are told by her that all of the students but the Oleson kids have been gone for some time. Some of the menfolk show up and it's decided that several search parties will form and the women will stay at the school to man a makeshift triage unit/hospital. Unfortunately, it proves necessary. As usual in such tearjerker episodes, a townsperson whom all the characters seem to know well, but whom the viewer has never seen, is killed off to either feed the plot line or make a point. Still, it's a gripping, who-will-live-and-who-will-die episode that's a must-see for true LHOTP fans.moreless
  • Great episode

    8.5
    This is one my favorite episodes, it shows how fast, especially in their neck of the woods, weather can turn. You really appreciate how hard it was then to deal with harsh weather and appreciate your conveniences.

    One thing I loved about this show was how everyone would pull together, they way the Amish do now, and even when things didn't turn out perfectly, they were there for each other. All our electronics are nice,but we lose something in all the cyber talking and work.



    When I was young and wanted to iive on my own praire and "little house" my mother would point out the good but remind me of things like out-houses with below zero temperatures and no fans in the oppresive heat. I still would love 1 weekend living there, the feeling I get watching would be nice longer than the hour.moreless
  • It's Christmas and a big snowstorm is coming, so Miss Beadle decides to let the children go home early as a treat. What she doesn't know is just how severe the weather really is ...moreless

    9.0
    The Walnut Grove school has been busy preparing for Christmas, as have the ladies of the town. Miss Beadle decides to close the school early as a treat, unaware that the weather is turning into a blizzard that is going to cause the children journeying home from school to be in grave danger.



    As the weather turns more dangerous, the adults go out and look for their offsprings while the women and children pray and wait in the church. Grace Edwards is very worried as her husband and children are missing, just like several others. Needless to say, their IS a loss of life, but all the children are found safe and sound, which is the main thing.



    A terrific episode and well worth watching for all fans of quality family drama.moreless
  • Big Blizzard on the Prairie...

    10
    Miss Beadle has NO IDEA that the flurries she sent the children home into would turn out to be a terrible blizzard! It's actually NOT her fault. I don't think anyone really blames her for what happens, but she feels terrible about it. Good thing Pa and Mr. Edwards stopped by the school before going on home, otherwise there may have been more deaths than there were (two I believe). I liked the tender moment between Willie and Miss Beadle, as he reminds her that it wasn't her fault the children were out in the storm. Too bad the parents didn't have the same idea!!moreless
Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Melissa Sue Anderson

Melissa Sue Anderson

Mary Amelia Ingalls/Kendall (1974 - 1981)

Kevin Hagen

Kevin Hagen

Dr. Hiram Baker

Richard Bull

Richard Bull

Nels Oleson

Charlotte Stewart

Charlotte Stewart

Miss Eva Beadle/Mrs. Simms (1974 - 1978)

Michael Landon

Michael Landon

Charles Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Luana Anders

Luana Anders

Lottie McGinnis

Guest Star

Don Dubbins

Don Dubbins

Jim Bowers

Guest Star

Helen Stenborg

Helen Stenborg

Betty Bowers

Guest Star

Victor French

Victor French

Mr. Edwards

Recurring Role

Bonnie Bartlett

Bonnie Bartlett

Grace Edwards

Recurring Role

Brian Part

Brian Part

Carl

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Little Carrie--who is about 5 years old here--comes to school on Christmas Eve with her older sisters as a "special visitor." She does not start school until the following year, Season 4, which is strange, since at the age of 5, she is certainly old enough to be in school.

    • This is the first holiday episode that ends with a main character reading a Christmas passage from the Bible. The only other time this was done was in Season 10's "Bless All the Dear Children," in which Laura's over-voice read from the Bible about the birth of Jesus.

    • This is the second time in the series where audiences are expected to believe that Mr. Edwards braved heavy snow and immensely cold weather to reach a certain destination and come out of it alive. This happened for the first time in the pilot movie three years ago. Although Mr. Edwards is portrayed as a highly resourceful mountain man, it's still a bit of a stretch that he can survive such horrid weather conditions.

    • This is the only Christmas episode on Little House that ends on a somber note. The pilot movie, Season 1's "Christmas at Plum Creek," Season 8's "A Christmas They Never Forgot," and Season 10's "Bless all the Dear Children" all had happy endings.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Nels: (after searching for children in the blizzard with Mr. Hanson) Who's still missing?
      Harriet: Oh, um, the Ingalls girls, and the Edwards children.
      Nels: (eyes begin to close) We'll rest for a while, and then we'll go back out.
      Harriet: Oh, but Nels, you can't. It's too dangerous, it's--
      Mr. Hanson: He can't hear you.
      Harriet: What?
      Mr. Hanson: He is asleep. Total exhaustion. He will sleep for hours.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Because the show was filmed largely in California, it was very difficult to depict the snowy weather that was so reflective of a typical prairie winter in the 1800's. Therefore, according to series producer Kent McCray, the ultra-intense blizzard scenes used in episodes like this were performed on a sound stage, where the stage could be "dressed up" as necessary. Also, there were several fans used to make it sound as if harsh wind was blowing, so McCray once discussed how dialogue was very minimal when these loud fans were being used in the middle of filming.

    • On January 12, 1888, when the real Laura Ingalls Wilder was in her 20's, a severe storm hit where she was living in South Dakota. Because so many children were killed during it, it became known as "the children's blizzard." This horrific event was the inspiration for this episode.

    • Another Christmas episode for Little House was not filmed until 5 years after this one, in Season 8's A Christmas They Never Forgot.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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