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Waiting for Santa (also known as Barney's Happy Christmas for Australian releases) is a direct-to-video released on April 30, 1990.[1] It was the fourth video in the Barney & The Backyard Gang series. It marked being the only Christmas special in the Barney & The Backyard Gang series and the first Christmas special in the Barney franchise. Waiting for Santa was also the most re-released video in the entire Backyard Gang series being reprinted until 1998.


When all is quiet on Christmas Eve, Michael and Amy sneak downstairs to see if Santa Claus has arrived at their house yet. Michael suggests they both get back to bed given that he hasn't come, but Amy wants to wait on the steps, in which Michael reluctantly agrees to. They eventually fall asleep on the steps, but are soon woken up to the sound of Barney being stuck in their chimney, trying to get out. The two eventually pull him out, excited to see their friend. Calling the rest of the Backyard Gang, Barney explains that Santa needs their help with a special job. Barney explains that a boy in the neighborhood, by the name of Derek, is worried that Santa doesn't know his new address given that he just moved into the neighborhood and won't be able to come and see him.

With a little "Shimbaree, Shimbarah", Barney and his friends transport into Derek's room as he wishes to make new friends. He tells his everyone about his dilemma, in which Barney tells him that Santa wants them all to visit his workshop so Mrs. Claus can show Derek that everything is okay. Barney does his magic, the Barney Shake to offer the children winter clothes (initially summer clothes) and his magic sleigh (which was on top of Derek's house waiting for them) to the North Pole. Barney and his friends enjoy the experience all the way to the North Pole. Landing there, they dance with a snowman and pretend to ice skate. Afterwards, they make their way to Santa's workshop.

Expecting The Backyard Gang, Mrs. Claus welcomes everyone inside. Barney introduces his friends to her. Barney explains Derek's issue, and Mrs. Claus reassures Derek that Santa Claus would never forget him. Mrs. Claus shows him that Santa has his new address. Eventually, the gang pretends to be Santa's elves. Mrs. Claus notices that Tina's doll has a broken arm. She suggests that since the kids are pretending to be elves (and since Santa's elves are gone) that they could try to fix Tina's doll. When the doll is fixed, Mrs. Claus explains that doing things for others is what Christmas is all about, further explaining that making others happy is what Santa Claus does best. Adam begins to wonder as to where Santa is at the moment. Mrs. Claus shows them that Santa is on his way to Adam's house. The kids tell Barney that they have to get back home so they don't miss Santa's arrival. They take off their elf outfits and put back on their coats and wave goodbye to Mrs. Claus. So they don't have to walk back to the sleigh, Barney whistles for the sleigh to come to them, in which they hop aboard and head back home. Barney sends his friends back home.

Barney arrives with Amy and Michael at their house. Amy wants to stay up to meet Santa, but Barney suggests that he read them the story of The Night Before Christmas. While they read the dinosaur sized book in front of their faces, Santa arrives unbeknownst to them, filling their stockings and delivering presents. The trio eventually falls asleep and Santa says to the end of the story and turns out the light.

Story: The Night Before Christmas



  1. "Barney Theme Song"
  2. "When Santa Comes to our House"
  3. "Waiting for Santa" (reprise in the credits)
  4. "I Love You"
  5. "S-A-N-T-A"
  6. "Star Light, Star Bright"
  7. "Up on the Housetop"
  8. "Jingle Bells"
  9. "Winter's Wonderful"
  10. "Skating, Skating"
  11. "The Elves' Rap"
  12. "Let's All Do A Little Tapping"
  13. "Jolly Old St. Nicholas"
  14. "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"
  15. "Deck the Halls"



The script for Waiting for Santa was written between April 12, 1989-January 12, 1990. The draft and revisions for Waiting for Santa were completed by Frank Olsen. The first draft was completed on April 12, 1989, the first revision was completed on April 18, 1989, the second revision was completed on December 4, 1989, the third revision was completed on January 2, 1990 and the fourth and final revision was completed on January 12, 1990.[2]


Originally, the role of Mrs. Claus was to be portrayed by Sandy Walper due to Walper's agent landing her the role. Walper was unable to partake in the production due to her granddaughter being due around that time.[3]. Walper would eventually portray Mother Goose for a brief period on Barney & Friends, the successor to Barney & The Backyard Gang. The role of Mrs. Claus for Waiting for Santa was eventually given to Jeanne Cairns.


Filming for Waiting for Santa occurred on weekends in February 1990[4] at ColorDynamics in Allen, Texas. Brian Eppes, who portrays Michael, was sick on set during the filming of this video.[5]

Music and cassette[]

Main Article: Waiting for Santa (Audio Cassette)

Listed at a suggested retail price of $3.95, this cassette features the respective songs from the video. Initially, the soundtrack from Waiting for Santa was to also be included on the DVD release of Barney's Night Before Christmas.[6]


In the early 1990s, Waiting for Santa was listed at a suggested retail price of $14.95. Waiting for Santa was re-released by The Lyons Group on VHS on September 26, 1995 at a suggested retail price of $14.95. It was available for pre-order on September 12, 1995. The 1995 re-release was no longer produced after December 31, 1995.[7] Waiting for Santa would be re-released again on September 16, 1997 at a suggested retail price of $14.95. The 1997 re-release, by Lyrick Studios, was available for pre-order on August 19, 1997.[8], as part of the marketing campaign for the then-upcoming video, Barney's Night Before Christmas, Lyrick Studios revealed that this video was the best-selling video ever (selling over 5 million copies) at the time. New editions and releases of Waiting for Santa were stopped in the late 1990s, however, various releases of the video would continue to be sold in major retailers until the mid-2000s around the time that VHS tapes became obsolete.

Internationally, Waiting for Santa was released in the United Kingdom on December 5, 1994.[9] The United Kingdom/Ireland release of Waiting for Santa spent a total of eleven weeks on the on the Official Video Chart for OCC. It first entered the chart on November 25, 1995 at #75. It peaked at at #46 during its five weeks on the chart at that time until December 12, 1995. It returned to the chart on November 23, 1996 until December 12, 1996 for another five weeks and returned again on November 21, 1998, only staying on the chart for a week.[10]

Waiting for Santa was also included in the Barney Gift Pack set that was released by Child Dimension in 1993.



Behind the scenes[]



  • In the Spanish dub, the opening theme is played as an instrumental. However, the narrator (heard off-screen) reads the title card in its respective language including the names of the Backyard Gang members who appeared in the video itself.
  • Although shown in the theme, the 1990 Barney doll is never shown.
  • During the scene where Mrs. Claus gets ready to show the computer, right where Barney is standing, a boom mic and the studio are both seen.


  • This video marks:
    • The first video for Barney to have a more magenta skin-tone. In the previous videos, Barney was more of a darker bluish-purple color.
    • The first video to mention by Michael, The Backyard Gang.
    • The first appearance of the 1990 Barney costume.
    • The Barney Costume used in this trilogy was made of exposed foam, the same material used to make the 1988-1989 Costume.
    • The first time where Barney does the Barney Shake.
    • The first appearance of Derek, and the only appearance of his bedroom.
    • The only appearances of Buster and The Snowman.
    • The first time Barney is not seen coming to life. Instead, he slides down the chimney like Santa Claus getting stuck inside.
    • The first time Barney does not turn into a doll at the end. Instead, he reads "The Night Before Christmas" to Michael and Amy before he falls asleep.
    • The first video to have Bob Singleton as the music director.
    • The first video to use the current version of the Backyard Gang theme song as it would continue to be used until Rock with Barney, the final installment of the series before Barney & Friends began production in late 1991.
    • The only video released during the Backyard Gang era to be dubbed in German.
    • The final time Barney is owned by Michael and Amy.




  1. 1.0 1.1 DLM's Barney character set for TV appearance April 1, 1990 Retrieved November 21, 2023
  2. Waiting for Santa Final Revision January 12, 1990 Retrieved April 8, 2024
  3. Milwood Actress works on 'Barney' show January 13, 1994 Retrieved November 23, 2023
  4. Article clipped from Fort Worth Star-Telegram April 5, 1990 Retrieved November 23, 2023
  5. Let’s start at the beginning with Brian “Michael” Eppes - Purple Tales Podcast Episode #23
  6. Barney Loves DVD August 28, 1999 Retrieved November 24, 2023
  7. FROM BACK TO BING August 26, 1995 Retrieved November 24, 2023
  8. Barney Christmas 1997 Promo Ad In 1999 October 9, 2020 Retrieved November 24, 2023
  9. Monster success November 26, 1994 Retrieved November 24, 2023
  10. BARNEY - WAITING FOR SANTA - | Official Charts Retrieved November 25, 2023

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Barney Home Video (Wink Gif)
Barney & The Backyard Gang
The Backyard Show (1988) • Three Wishes (1988) • A Day At The Beach (1989) • Waiting for Santa (1990) • Campfire Sing-Along (1990) • Barney Goes To School (1990) • Barney in Concert (1991) • Rock with Barney (1991)
1992: Barney's Magical Musical AdventureBarney's Birthday

1993: Barney's Best MannersBarney Rhymes with Mother GooseBarney's Home Sweet HomesLove To Read, With Barney

1994: Let's Pretend with BarneyBarney's Alphabet ZooBarney Live! In New York CityImagination Island

1995: Barney's Families are SpecialBarney SafetyMaking New FriendsBarney's Birthday / Home Sweet HomesRiding In Barney's CarBarney Songs

1996: Barney's All Aboard For SharingBarney's Talent ShowBarney's Fun & GamesBarney's Exercises Circus / Barney's Parade of NumbersBarney's 1-2-3-4 SeasonsOnce Upon A Time

1997: Barney's Sense-Sational DayBarney's Colors & ShapesBarney's Musical ScrapbookCamp WannarunnaroundBarney's Adventure BusBarney's Stu-u-upendous Puzzle Fun!Barney's Good Day, Good Night

1998: It's Time For CountingDown on Barney's FarmBarney in Outer SpaceMy Party with BarneyBarney's Big SurpriseBarney's Halloween PartyBarney's First AdventuresBarney's Good, Clean Fun! / Barney's Oh, Brother...She's My Sister

1999: Sing & Dance With BarneyWhat A World We ShareWalk Around The Block With BarneyLet's Play School!Barney's Night Before ChristmasMore Barney Songs

2000: Barney's Rhyme Time RhythmBarney's Super Singing CircusCome on Over to Barney's HouseBe My Valentine Love, Barney

2001: Barney's Musical CastleA to Z with BarneyBarney's Dino Dancin' TunesLet's Go To The ZooBarney's Pajama Party

2002: You Can Be Anything!Barney's Beach PartyRound and Round We GoBarney's Christmas Star

2003: Barney Songs from the ParkRead With Me/Dance With MeBarney's It's A Happy Day!It's Nice To Meet YouBarney's Red, Yellow and Blue!Barney's Numbers! Numbers!Barney's Best Manners: Your Invitation to Fun!Happy Mad Silly Sad

2004: Movin' and Groovin'Let's Pretend with BarneyNow I Know My ABCsBarney's Colorful World!Ready, Set, Play!

2005: Let's Go to the FarmJust ImagineEveryone Is SpecialThe Land of Make BelieveCan You Sing That Song?

2006: Let's Make Music

2007: Let's Go To The FirehouseShake Your Dino Tail!Dino-Mite Birthday

2008: Celebrating Around The WorldBarney's Animal ABC'sHi! I'm Riff!The Best of Barney

2009: Once Upon A Dino TaleTop 20 CountdownLet's Go on VacationSharing is Caring!Barney's Jungle FriendsWe Love Our Family
2010: Please & Thank YouEgg-Cellent AdventuresLet's Play OutsideFurry FriendsA-Counting We Will GoBest Fairy Tales

2011: Musical ZooShapes & Colors All AroundI Can Do It!1-2-3 LearnBig World AdventureA Very Merry Christmas

2012: I Love My FriendsClean Up, Clean Up!Planes, Trains & CarsAll About OppositesMost Loveable MomentsLet's Go to the Doctor

2013: Let's Go To The MoonPlay with BarneyDance with BarneyImagine with BarneyMost Huggable MomentsPerfectly Purple

2014: Story Time with BarneyHappy Birthday, Barney!A Super-Dee-Duper DayThis Is How I Feel

2015: Tee-rific Bugs & AnimalsIt's Showtime with BarneyBarney's Worldwide Adventure!

2016: Dinos in the Park

2017: Playground Fun
Other releases
Feature film: Barney's Great Adventure

Blockbuster: Play and Learn with BarneyBarney's Time for SchoolBarney's Rockin' Rhyme TimeBarney's Favorite SongsBarney's Big Top FunBarney's Valentine AdventureMovin' & Groovin' with BarneyBarney's Learning Round-UpBarney's Island SafariBarney's Night-Light StoriesBarney's Summertime FunGoing Places With BarneyOn The Move with BarneySing-Along Fun!

Re-releases: Barney's ABC's and 123'sBarney's Outdoor Fun!Let's Go to the BeachBarney's Book FairFun on WheelsMother Goose Collection