The Family Circus is a one-panel comic strip focusing on four kids and their parents, all loosely based on creator Bil Keane’s actually family. His son Jeff now makes the comic. Keane’s oldest son Glenn, the inspiration for Billy, is a Disney animator. Keane would take his humorous inspirations from the typical childhood antics of his kids and later his grandkids, presumable Jeff following the same path. It’s not really meant to be fall-down hilarious so much as a cute and charming comic. It’s actually quite good.
With comics like Peanuts and Garfield making Christmas specials, which led the way to other specials and later a full series, other newspaper comics have made the same attempt, but not with the same success. A Family Circus Christmas is such an example. The 1979 special, the second of three (preceded by a Valentines Day special a year earlier and an Easter special in 1982), isn’t a bad special. It just didn’t catch on as a full series. In the special second youngest child Jeffy (based on Jeff) wants his grandpa to visit his father for Christmas after the tree topper he made disappears. However, Bil’s father had died years ago, and he can’t seem to grasp the concept. It isn’t helped when he sees an invisible Santa watching what they do. (This is actually based on a theme of the comics, as a passed family member’s spirit is shown watching over them in this way, as well as “Not Me”, the embodiment of the kids not admitting to be responsible for something breaking.) Enjoy.