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Gifting Your Favorite 'Call the Midwife' Character

UPDATE: Call the Midwife Holiday Special 2016 airs on KCTS 9 Sunday, December 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Nuns and nurses and babies! Who’d’ve thought this Austen, Dickens and Downton Abbey fan would be addicted to a period drama set in the late 1950s, poverty-stricken East End of London? But, I am! 
Honestly, who can resist the irrepressible joy that is Call the Midwife? Inspired by Jennifer Worth’s memoirs, the dedicated nurse-midwives and nuns of Nonnatus House have delivered babies, healed the sick and buoyed the spirits of the colorful working class community they serve for four seasons on KCTS 9. While the subject of newborns and Florence Nightingales could quickly tilt the Treacle Meter, creator/writer Heidi Thomas has continued to embrace difficult social issues and the personal struggles of the young midwives and nuns.   
As the holiday season brings family and friends together, it seems only fitting that we visit with our extended family at Nonnatus House as we gather around our televisions on December 25, 2015 at 9:00 p.m. for the Call the Midwife Holiday Special. This will be the fourth special episode for the critically-acclaimed British drama co-produced by the BBC and PBS. If previous holiday episodes are an indication of what is in store, we can expect plenty of snow, a baby or two and lots of holiday cheer. Here is a brief preview:
“As celebrations swing into action, Poplar readies itself for Christmas 1960; a festive bus trip to see the Regent Street lights and a visit from a BBC film crew promise to make it a Christmas to remember. But it’s a difficult time of year for grieving mother Iris; bringing back memories of her long departed baby daughter. And at Nonnatus, things are tense as Sister Monica Joan determines to bring the Christmas spirit early, despite Sister Evangelina’s disgust. As the community pull together to prepare for the televised carol concert, Nonnatus is rocked when Sister Monica Joan goes missing.” 
Every Christmas season during my childhood, my mom would send my sisters and me off to school with presents for the nuns. While cookies, candy or a ham were the usual gifts offered to the devoted Sisters of St. Joseph, I thought that the usual fare would not quite suffice for the nuns and nurses of Nonnatus House. So, in the spirit of gift-giving, I asked myself what Christmas present would I give to my favorite Call the Midwife characters? Based on their personalities and past escapades, here are my choices:
SISTER EVANGELINA: Harrumphs of disapproval expound from this hardworking, dyed-in-the-wool veteran of midwifery, but deep down, she is really a softy. Efficient, driven and outspoken, her bluntness often offends others, yet they respect her skill and sense of order. In WWII she rode a motorcycle day in and day out as transportation to her duties, and she easily accepts a motor scooter in the 1960s. To keep her dry and warm I would give her a black leather biking jacket, with the Nonnatus logo on it of course!
HANDYMAN FRED BUCKLE: Life has been hard for Fred who lost his wife and many of his children in the blitz of WWII. The nuns and young ladies were his extended family until his recent re-marriage in season four. While he is responsible for the upkeep of the premises, it is an uphill battle with the boiler, roof and other worn-out features of the Victorian-era nunnery. Despite these challenges, Fred is an eternal optimist, game to make his fortune in life with new schemes. A subscription to Entrepreneur Magazine might just help him realize his dreams!
NURSE TRIXIE FRANKLIN: The posh one, Beatrix (Trixie) is fun-loving, glamorous and flirtatious—all a cover-up to a troubled childhood and her drinking problem that came to a critical point last season. Fashionistas like Trixie are so easy to shop for, if you know their style. Now that the show is into the 1960s, I think she will adore Holly Golightly’s fashion statements in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and hope she will like a little black dress to wear on her next night out on the town.
SISTER MONICA JOAN: After serving the East End community as a midwife throughout her adult life, Sister Monica Joan is now retired from active service and is cared for by her fellow sisters of Nonnatus House. She is eccentric and well educated—quoting the classics and astronomy at random, and passionate about knitting and cake. While her mischievous antics drive Sister Evangelina to distraction, she does have her lucid moments which come in handy for the ladies of Nonnatus and the community. Often on a midnight run to the kitchen in search of cake, I know that she would appreciate a subscription to The Cake of the Month Club!   
NURSE CHUMMY NOAKES: Born to class and privilege, Camilla (Chummy) Noakes née Fortescue-Cholmeley-Browne, has blossomed from her shy and awkward beginnings to a confident and capable midwife, dutiful wife and loving mother. Her endearing manner of speech is priceless. Thank you, Chummy, for reminding us that "ticketyboo", "rightyho" and "old thing" should be part of our American lexicon. Sensing that she has been a reader from early childhood, I would gift her The Complete Anne of Green Gables (boxed set) to re-connect with her inner Anne Shirley at least once a year! 
Happy Holidays to everyone at Nonnatus House! What Christmas present would you give to your favorite character?         
The Call the Midwife Holiday Special, which airs December 25 at 9:00 p.m., will lead the way to the fifth season of the hit drama, which returns to KCTS 9 in spring 2016.
Images courtesty of © 2015 Neal Street Productions



Laurel Ann Nattress

Writer, blogger, and editor of Jane Austen Made Me Do It, Laurel Ann Nattress is a champion of Georgian civility, British culture and Masterpiece PBS. Visit her at and follow her on twitter as @Austenprose

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We love your show, can't wait till Dec 25...

I hope that a Call the Midwife blog post becomes a regular feature on Tellygram. I would love to be able to share feedback after episodes air this season, much as Tellygram allows me to do with Downton Abbey. By the way, you forgot a present for Sister Julienne and Sister Mary Cynthia! As long as we are not limiting ourselves to presents that would have been available in the period, I know that a number of charities allow you to give gifts to mothers and babies in developing countries in honor of someone special. is one.

I had to work on Christmas at the hospital so I missed the special. Will it be shown at any other time in my Seattle, WA area? Please, please, please?

Hello Marilyn- Yes! The 'Call the Midwife Holiday Special' airs on KCTS 9 again tomorrow, Tuesday, December 29, at 3:00 p.m. You can also watch the special online here: