DIAMOND, Mo. — Randall Becker is a pretty lucky guy.
He’s spent some time camping and skiing in Yellowstone National Park, which has long been named one of the most beautiful venues found on the continent during the winter season.
“The air is crisp, and the night skies are amazing,” he said of the 2,200-acre entity, the first of the 58 national parks established across the United States, opened in 1872 by President Ulysses S. Grant.
Becker serves as chief of interpretation, education and visitor services at George Washington Carver National Monument.
“Not many people visit Yellowstone during the winter so there is plenty of opportunities to enjoy the natural beauty completely on your own,” he said. “It’s a wonderful time to go.”
That exclusivity is one of the primary reasons why “Christmas in Yellowstone” has become one of the most popular episodes of the PBS series “Nature.” It’s also the reason why the 52-minute episode is shown annually in Diamond up on the big screen.
“We’ve been showing (’Christmas in Yellowstone’) for a few years and the public seems to enjoy ‘visiting’ a large western National Park from the comforts of the theater,” Becker said.
The episode, which first aired in 2010, looks deeper into Yellowstone during the bleakest part of the year, when the public very rarely gets to experience in person. The park, which covers parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, is mostly inhospitable during the winter months and filled with a dizzying array of animals from red foxes to grizzly bears.
“The (show) has beautiful videography and an incredible natural soundtrack,” Becker said. “I think many people would appreciate the ‘quietude’ of the film and take that sense of awe and wonder with them into the winter holiday season.
“If they are inspired to get out into nature,” he continued, “then that is better yet.”
“Christmas in Yellowstone” premiered on PBS in 2010. It will be shown at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Both showings are free and open to the public.