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Finest Christmas Specials to Watch This Vacation Season

Finest Christmas Specials to Watch This Vacation Season

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Have you planned your Christmas binge-watching schedule for this year yet? If not, you’re in for a treat! The holiday season is a time for family and good times and there’s no better way to get into the festive spirit than by watching Christmas specials on television. Whether you’re a fan of animated jewels or love a good family drama, these holiday shows are the perfect way to add some festive cheer to your life. So, get ready to take a sleigh ride down memory lane, as we look back at some of the greatest specials that have never failed to capture the spirit of the season.

TV and Christmas specials go hand in hand, like twinkling lights on a Christmas tree. Ever since the advent of television, we’ve been able to mark the arrival of the festive season by watching our favourite comedy show transform into a magical winter wonderland full of garlands and twinkling lights. Even though streaming has revolutionised our viewing habits, the magic of the good old-fashioned Christmas variety show lives on. On many platforms, it’s an annual tradition, bringing together an all-star cast of movie stars or pop stars to perform Christmas classics on stage. So, here’s to snuggling, cocoa and the bright lights of Christmas, all wrapped up in the timeless magic of television’s finest holiday specials.

Christmas special shows that’ll warm your heart

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)

When it comes to Dr. Seuss’ classic tale How the Grinch Stole Christmas! the small screen triumphs over its feature-length counterparts. Though the 2018 film The Grinch is the highest-grossing Christmas film of all time, the 1966 TV feature solidified its position as a holiday classic. Unlike the original novel, this film cemented the Grinch’s legacy as a true holiday icon. The proof is literally in the green pudding. The Grinch isn’t featured in the book with the famous green hue that we’ve come to identify with his mischievous deeds. The TV special Christmas show is responsible for turning him green and instilling this colourful image in our collective holiday psyche, making it an essential part of the holiday season.

The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974)

The Year Without a Santa Claus is a famous Rankin/Bass animated Christmas television special. The plot revolves around Santa Claus, who grows disheartened and decides to forego Christmas for a year, believing that people have forgotten the actual spirit of the season. Mrs. Claus sets off on a journey with two adorable elves named Jingle and Jangle to restore Santa’s confidence in humanity. They travel to Southtown, USA, in search of proof that people still believe in and care about Christmas. They meet memorable characters along the route, such as the Heat Miser and Snow Miser, who manipulate the elements. The special is remembered for its lovable characters, catchy tunes, and theme of rediscovering the magic of Christmas.

The Little Drummer Boy (1968)

The animated Christmas special The Little Drummer Boy (1968) has left a lasting impression on holiday traditions. This timeless classic tells the story of Aaron, a young drummer who discovers the true meaning of Christmas through a miracle encounter. Aaron, who is distrustful of others, finds himself at the centre of the nativity story, where his simple gift of beating the drum transforms an insignificant moment into one of tremendous meaning. This classic Christmas show captures the essence of the holiday spirit, reminding us that even the simplest offerings may carry enormous power when laced with truth and love.

Frosty the Snowman (1969)

Frosty the Snowman is a beloved animated Christmas spectacular. The show, produced by Rankin/Bass, is based on the iconic holiday song of the same name, which has been a treasured part of holiday rituals for generations. The plot revolves around Frosty, a snowman who is brought to life by a magical hat. Karen, a young girl, befriends Frosty, and the two set off to the North Pole to save him from melting. Throughout their adventure, they face a variety of difficulties, including the pursuit of the greedy magician Professor Hinkle, who wants his magical hat back.

Christmas in Rockefeller Center with Kelly Clarkson (2023)

Kelly appears to be bringing an extra dose of holiday cheer to New York City this year! Hosting and singing at the “Christmas in Rockefeller Centre” tree-lighting event is an excellent way to kick off the holiday season. This year’s event, which went live on NBC and Peacock on November 29 at 8, was a stunning celebration. The renowned Rockefeller Centre Christmas Tree, covered with thousands of sparkling lights, served as the focal point for a night packed with music, cheer, and holiday magic. If you haven’t watched it yet, this is a great musical celebration to watch with family and friends.

Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a well-known animated Christmas special show. This classic tale is based on the same-named 1939 poem and relates the touching story of Rudolph, a reindeer with a bright red nose that distinguishes him from his peers. Rudolph’s glowing nose serves as both a source of mockery and, eventually, a beacon of hope. The story follows Rudolph as he confronts difficulties, such as being excluded from reindeer games and having concerns about his role on Santa’s sleigh team. On a foggy Christmas Eve, however, Rudolph’s distinctive red nose proves to be a great tool, guiding Santa’s sleigh through the fog.

Barry Manilow’s A Very Barry Christmas (2023)

With A Very Barry Christmas, Barry Manilow is prepared to spread holiday cheer in a joyous musical spectacular. The iconic singer-songwriter promises a holiday event that will thrill both fans and holiday aficionados. Whether you watch it on Peacock or the NBC app, the streaming event provides the ideal opportunity to enjoy Barry Manilow’s iconic tunes and trademark style as he performs a special Christmas performance. Prepare yourself for a dose of holiday pleasure and musical brilliance as Barry Manilow brings his distinct charm to the holiday season. It’s a must-watch for anyone wishing to add the magic of Barry Manilow’s musical prowess to their celebrations.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

The animated television special A Charlie Brown Christmas is well-known. This holiday classic, created by Charles M. Schulz, is part of the Peanuts series and has become an essential element of the holiday season. The plot focuses on Charlie Brown, the iconic figure who is struggling with the commercialisation of Christmas. Charlie is appointed director of the school Christmas performance, despite his disillusionment and search for the actual meaning of the holiday. Charlie Brown seeks solace and counsel from his pal Linus as he navigates issues such as a mournful Christmas tree and the pressures of holiday materialism. It is still a beloved holiday movie for many, reminding us of the value of love, friendship, and the true spirit of Christmas.

Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town (1970)

Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town is a classic stop-motion animated Christmas television special that explores the origin tale of Santa Claus, focusing on how Kris Kringle became the legendary character who provides joy to children all over the world. The myth of Santa Claus is told to children by the Winter Warlock and the mailman, Special Delivery Kluger. We learn about Kris Kringle, a kindhearted orphan who grows up to become Santa Claus. Along the way, he faces several obstacles, including the Winter Warlock, a toy-hating mayor, and a toy prohibition in the town of Sombertown. Throughout his travels, Kris Kringle presents toys to children and gradually changes into the merry old Saint Nicholas we know and love.

Black Mirror: White Christmas (2014)

Black Mirror: White Christmas is a special Christmas episode of the Netflix anthology series Black Mirror. The episode tells three interrelated stories on the darker side of technology and its impact on society. On Christmas Day, two protagonists, Matt (Jon Hamm) and Joe (Rafe Spall), are stationed in a lonely cabin. The story unfolds as they relate their experiences. The first narrative follows a dating coach who employs an implant to analyse people’s interactions, showing the problems of modern relationships. The second story is about a smart home system that regulates every aspect of a woman’s life, with troubling results. In the third story, a guy can “block” others in real life, causing them to appear as featureless avatars.

A Saturday Night Live Christmas Special (2023)

Look no further than the Christmas skits from the cult-favourite Saturday Night Live (SNL) for a hearty dose of laughter during the holiday season. The SNL Christmas special, which will run on December 14 and again on December 23, promises to be a holiday treat, featuring well-known skits from the show’s nearly 50-year history. SNL, which is known for its irreverent humour and satirical perspective on pop culture, has provided unforgettable holiday-themed sketches that feature legendary characters and humorous parodies. SNL’s Christmas special will undoubtedly offer joy and humour, making it a must-see for both fans and novices. Prepare to have a jolly good time as SNL unwraps the gift of holiday comedy!

iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2023

Celebrate this Christmas with amazing musical performances from some of pop’s biggest performers. The programme, recorded during the Jingle Ball Tour, will highlight the skills of major musicians who took part in the tour, including the brilliant Olivia Rodrigo, the soulful SZA, the captivating Niall Horan, and the iconic Nicki Minaj. Their electric performances will undoubtedly bring a musical touch to the holiday festivities, making this Christmas special a delight for comedy and music fans. Prepare for a star-studded party that combines laughter and chart-topping music to create the ideal festive environment for viewers of all tastes.

Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas (2011)

The holiday television special Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas is based on the iconic Ice Age animated film franchise. The special, directed by Karen Disher, reunites the iconic characters from the “Ice Age” series for a festive and heartwarming trip. Manny the Mammoth (voiced by Ray Romano), Sid the Sloth (played by John Leguizamo), Diego the Sabertooth Tiger (voiced by Denis Leary), and their eccentric companions prepare for the holiday season in the story. Things take a turn for the worse when Sid accidentally ruins Manny’s favourite holiday decorations. Sid, feeling responsible, embarks on a voyage to the North Pole to persuade Santa Claus to put Manny back on the nice list.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022)

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is a Disney+ original special that premiered last year. This holiday adventure involves Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), and Groot (Vin Diesel) from MCU‘s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. The Guardians embark on a mission to make Christmas unforgettable for Peter Quill, also known as Star-Lord, in this holiday-themed adventure. Eventually, they go to Earth in pursuit of the perfect present for Quill. It has a unique blend of the franchise’s signature humour, action, and emotion, all wrapped up in a festive holiday package as the Guardians engage in chaotic hijinks.

A Flintstones Christmas Carol (1994)

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The animated television special A Flintstones Christmas Carol is a holiday rendition of Charles Dickens’s classic work “A Christmas Carol,” but with the iconic prehistoric twist of the Flintstones universe. The special is a continuation of the long-running animated series “The Flintstones,” which shows the daily lives and adventures of the Stone Age family. In this Christmas special, Fred Flintstone plays Ebenezer Scrooge, the miserly character from Charles Dickens’ story. The narrative arc is similar, with Fred being visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, who strive to teach him the true meaning of Christmas.

Toy Story That Time Forgot (2014)

The Christmas-themed television Christmas special Toy Story That Time Forgot stars characters from the Toy Story film series. The plot picks up immediately after the events of Toy Story 3 and follows Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), and the gang as they come upon a troop of dinosaur action figurines known as the Battlesaurs. The Battlesaurs have no idea they are toys and assume they are genuine warriors fighting in gladiatorial conflicts. As the Toy Story characters traverse this foreign world of furious conflicts and action-figure delusions, the plot takes a funny turn. Trixie the triceratops, played by Kristen Schaal, plays an important role in the special as she attempts to speak with the Battlesaurs and assist her pals.

Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special (2020)

The holiday musical show Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special stars the legendary pop diva Mariah Carey. Mariah Carey joins a host of special guests, including Tiffany Haddish, Billy Eichner, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, and Snoop Dogg, for a fantasy adventure to the North Pole. They set out on a mission to spread holiday cheer and magic over the world. The musical extravaganza features renditions of iconic holiday tunes, including Mariah Carey’s chart-topping smash “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” The event also includes new musical arrangements and joyous collaborations that give old songs a new and captivating spin.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Where can I watch Christmas episodes of TV shows?

Christmas episodes of a TV show are generally available to watch on the streaming platform the show is running.

Are there any shows similar to Black Mirror?

If you love Black Mirror you can give Love Death + Robots, Dark, Weird City, and Maniac a try.

What are the BBC Christmas specials?

Hundreds of box sets and vintage Christmas specials from popular shows such as Ghosts, Gavin and Stacey, Line of Duty, Shetland, Man Like Mobeen, Call the Midwife, This Country, Not Going Out and The Royle Family will be available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

What episodes of Friends are Christmas episodes?

The Christmas episodes of the show FRIENDS are, Season 2, Episode 9: “The One with Phoebe’s Dad”, Season 3, Episode 10: “The One Where Rachel Quits”, Season 4, Episode 10: “The One with the Girl from Poughkeepsie”, Season 5, Episode 10: “The One with the Inappropriate Sister”, Season 6, Episode 10: “The One with the Routine”, Season 7, Episode 10: “The One with the Holiday Armadillo”, Season 8, Episode 11: “The One with the Creepy Holiday Card”, Season 9, Episode 10: “The One with Christmas in Tulsa”.

Source: Prestige Online

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