He's handsome, affable, talented, and one of the most legendary actors in the history of television.
His name is Dean Butler, and in the 1970s and early '80s, he portrayed Almanzo, opposite Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls, on the family TV show, Little House on the Prairie. Prairie, which was produced and directed by its star, Michael Landon (Bonanza/Highway to Heaven), was based on the famed novels of the same name that featured the adventures of the real-life Laura Ingels. The show originally aired on NBC from 1974 to 1983.
From 1986 to 1988, Butler played Jeff 'Moondoggie' Griffin, opposite Caryn Richman as his TV wife Francine 'Gidget Griffin' in The New Gidget. This series is the warm-hearted, half-hour surf-sitcom that was adapted from the original Gidget TV show starring Sally Field, which itself was a small-screen version of the classic feature films starring Sandra Dee (all of which were inspired by the original Gidget novel by Frederick Kohner).
Several episodes of Little House on the Prairie focused on Christmas and other holidays, including "Christmas at Plum Creek" (which first aired on Christmas Eve in 1974), "Blizzard" (January 3, 1977), and "A Christmas They Never Forgot" (December 21, 1981).
The New Gidget also featured a Christmas episode, titled, "A Christmas Curl" (which originally aired on December 17, 1987)
Consequently, Butler knows a thing or two about nostalgia and the holidays.
All these years later, Butler has now written the Foreword to the new book, The 12 Best Secrets of Christmas: A Treasury of December Memories Revealed. A portion of the Foreword read as follows:
"Regardless of our different religious traditions....the holiday season, from Thanksgiving through New Year’s, is a time that deeply touches our family’s lives. I get great comfort knowing that two different families share a similar joy at Christmas. Multiply that by millions of families and you have a season of joy all over the world.
"If we all got together, we could fill pages with entertainment that make our holidays merry...Now in the 21st century, as our cultural touchstones expand, it has never been more important for us to find and celebrate gratitude during the holidays...The 12 Best Secrets of Christmas...encourages each of us to embrace, enjoy, and discover our own with those we love."
According to the book's Press Release, The 12 Best Secrets of Christmas: A Treasure House of December Memories Revealed is a gathering of special real-life holiday recollections that invites the reader to embrace, enjoy, connect with, and remember the magic of Christmas. Garnered from the author’s holiday experiences of his youth, this book’s chapters are classified as “secrets,” with each revealing a special sentiment that may prove recognizable to all. Numbered from one to 12, the chapters coincide with the mainstream identification of the popular carol, “The 12 Days of Christmas.” While that famous holiday tune is referenced in “The 6th Secret” section of this book, every chapter offers its own separate insight into the many messages and favorite things that the holiday season brings and represents.
The 12 Best Secrets of Christmas also features an Introduction written by actor/voiceover artist Jerry Houser, best known for TV's The Brady Brides, and iconic feature films like The Summer of '42. Houser also served as the TV announcer in the 1980s for the perennial Christmas special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which is profiled in The 12 Best Secrets of Christmas.