Here is a list of the top ten Christmas specials I most want to watch every year. I’ve left off feature-length movies as I’m not interested in watching those every year…it’d take up too much time! I love Santa Claus: The Movie, The Bishop’s Wife and Love Actually as much as I love some of the shows below, but I only watch a couple holiday movies per year. A nice Christmas special, however, you can watch as background while wrapping or during dinner.
Here are my Christmas essentials:
10. The Little Drummer Boy- Often included as an addon episode when you buy another holiday classic, I feel the Little Drummer Boy can stand on its own. I’m not religious, but I very much enjoy this cartoon that gives another Christmas story besides one involving Santa or family gatherings (as much as I love both). It’s a touching tale and always has a spot on my list. I couldn’t find a clip of this on Youtube that doesn’t spoil the ending, so there’s no clip with this one.
9. Twas the Night Before Christmas- My mother’s favorite, Twas the Night Before Christmas is inspired by the poem, but is a full-length story with mice. It’s cute, Christmassy, and has some excellent music. Here’s a clip from the middle that really tells you what the story is about and has a great song.
8. A Wish That Changed Christmas- This deserves a spot on my list because I have fond memories of watching this with my sister. We still say “Do you want a balloon?” to each other (a line from the movie). It’s cute and heartwarming. Here’s the first couple minutes.
7. Opus: A Wish for Wings That Work- Funny and slightly more adult than other Christmas specials, I feel this one is often overlooked. The ending is still heartwarming and has the Christmas spirit. This click is Opus’s Therapy Session.
6. A Claymation Christmas- Claymation is amazing to watch. Claymation Christmas is also funny and educational (sort of) as it does have references to traditions and classic Christmas music. It’s got a lot of puns, wordplay, and jokes more on the clever side. Here’s a clip of the Carol of the Bells.
5. A Muppet Family Christmas- ALL THE MUPPETS….even Fraggles and the Sesame Street. I love how they are all shoved into one house! Did you hear about the church that burned down? Holy Smokes! Here’s a clip of Big Bird and the Swedish Chef.
4. A Charlie Brown Christmas- Of course the Peanuts have to make it on the list. I love Charlie Brown’s tree, and the speech Linus gives. And I love the music.
3. A Garfield Christmas Special- I think it’s one of the best Garfield shows I’ve seen. I love the emotional scene with Grandma. I also love how much food they make and how it seems like a normal family…loving, but with their flaws. It makes me feel at home.
2. Santa Claus is Coming to Town- It has Fred Astaire. As a kid, I loved the Fred and Ginger movies and I think my love for Fred is what made me adore this movie. I love all the characters, actually, and I like how it is an origin story. This link will show you a clip of Fred Astaire’s character.
1. Year Without a Santa Claus- This special had a slight edge over the others in the list because it has one of my favorite Christmas songs. No, it’s not the Heat/Snow Miser song (though that’s a fun one), it’s “I Believe in Santa Claus“. It has always spoken to me. I love Santa and I still “believe”. Christmas magic is very important to me, and this song embodies that idea. I’m listening now and tearing up, LOL. The link will take you to the clip with the song.
Honorable Mentions: Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Jack Frost.