It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Even as a grown up, I love it when the TV schedule is liberally sprinkled with Christmas specials. While I always tune in for some of the newer Christmas movies – especially if they won’t make me cry – I still prefer the more classic holiday specials.
Here’s my list of my favorite 12 Christmas Specials – in no particular order.
1 – A Christmas Carol – This was, is, and always will be my favorite Christmas movie of all times. I think the one that most stays true to the Dicken’s classic story is the one starring Alistair Sims as Ebeneezer Scrooge, and it’s probably the one I make sure I watch every year, but I watch them all – from George C. Scott to Mr. Magoo.
2 – A Charlie Brown Christmas – I never miss it, ever. Bringing back memories of sitting and watching with my dad, this is my warm, fuzzy, feel good Christmas special. How can you not love it when the Charlie Brown Christmas tree droops with the weight of one dainty ornament? But it all comes together, the true meaning of Christmas is told, and I can’t help but get a bit misty eyed when it’s all done.
3 – How the Grinch Stole Christmas – No, not the Jim Carrey one (although I love the Disney’s A Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey). Nothing beats the original Seuss cartoon. And for days, you’ll be humming Dah who Doraze!
4 – Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – Are you seeing a trend? Most of the specials I love now are the ones I loved when I was a kid, and this is no different. An elf that wants to be a dentist? A land of misfit toys? What’s not to love?
5 – Prep and Landing – No one does stealth like an elf. Just when I had given up on clever and captivating new Christmas specials, Disney came up with Prep and Landing. A peek behind the scenes of Santa’s Christmas Eve operation is a real eye opener – in a good way!
6 – Elf – I gotta tell ya, there are times when it’s nowhere near Christmas when I watch Elf. It’s one of the ultimate feel good Christmas movies. And anyone who can make the four main food groups candy, candy canes, candy corn and syrup can’t be wrong in my book.
7 – The House Without a Christmas Tree – I would venture to guess that if you’re under 45, you probably don’t know this televised Christmas special. I LOVED it. Set in 1964, Addy is desperate to have a Christmas tree in her home, but her father, still grieving the loss of Addy’s mother several years before, refuses to bring the symbol of Christmas spirit into his home. Of course, like all good Christmas tales, it ends fabulously well, but not until a few tears have been shed. I get sniffly just recalling the star on top of the tree.
8 – A Christmas Story – Every year. Christmas day. 24 hour Christmas Storyathon. Stay tuned to this blog – you’ll soon see how much we love this movie (my children may soon see reasons to never watch again…)
9 – All Mine to Give – Okay, I said I don’t like movies that make me cry, but everyone needs one good cry during the holidays to appreciate how wonderful the blessings of the season are. This movie classic (from 1957) is about a young boy who is charged with finding homes for his younger siblings on what has to be the worst Christmas Eve in holiday special history. His father died from diptheria, and his mother succumbed to typhoid, but on her death bed, she makes the eldest of six promise her that he’ll find homes among the townsfolk for his brothers and sisters. You might want to keep a hanky in each hand. It’s that sad.
10 – It’s a Wonderful Life – Oh, come on! Did you not expect this to be on here? And really, I could have gone between this and Miracle on 34th Street, but honestly, the kid in Miracle on 34th Street annoys me. I’ve got enough kids annoying me at Christmas!
11 – Santa Claus is Coming to Town – I remember being so thrilled as a kid to learn the history of Santa Claus. And Fred Astaire. How wicked awesome is that?
12 – The Santa Clause – Tim Allen transforms from self centered business dude and way too busy dad to the Big Man himself. And Bernard is my second favorite elf. Seriously.