The 25 Greatest Christmas Specials

christmas-tvNo holiday spawns more television specials than Christmas. Really, no holiday spawns more of anything than Christmas (Halloween probably creates the most cavities in children). Christmas is a pervasive presence in our society. It’s everywhere, which makes the imaginary “War on Christmas” all the more ludicrous. Christmas is so inescapable this time of year that it’s hard to not feel cynical over the whole thing. Somehow I’ve managed to retain a fondness for the holiday despite having no religious givings in my bones. I enjoy the splendor, for the most part (Christmas songs are mostly terrible and annoying), and the warm fuzzies the holiday stirs inside me. Mostly though, I just like how I’m able to recall how excited I was as a child knowing Christmas was coming. It’s my ability to tap into that part of me that likely keeps the fire alive.

Each year since I started this blog I’ve taken the time to make Christmas-centered posts every December. This year I’m taking it one step forward and posting what I consider to be the 25 best Christmas specials created for television advent calendar style. What do I mean by that? Well I plan to post a short blog entry on each special on each day of December leading up to the holiday. You may be thinking this sounds like a rip-off of Chris Antista’s A Cartoon Christmas blog and you would be right. In defense of my own ranking I’ll say I’m not limiting myself to just cartoons (though expect the list to be dominated by them) and A Cartoon Christmas never attempted to rank the specials in such a fashion. Also, that site hasn’t been updated since 2013 and the last time the advent calendar format was utilized was 2012 so I think enough time has passed that someone else can do something similar.

My only criteria for selecting the best Christmas specials is that the special must have been featured on television at some point. This excludes Christmas movies, because they’re just a different animal, but not cartoon shorts that originally debuted on the big screen but have since become television staples around the holidays. This also means I’ll be doubling up on some specials that I’ve written about in the past. Many I covered in the first year of this blog as part of my Essential Christmas Viewing posts, but there they were covered in brief. A few have had full write-ups, and where that has occurred I’ll link to the original post but also offer up some fresh takes.

Now, my typical blog posts tend to stretch on for thousands of words, which is why I only end up making 2 or 3 a month. As a result, expect these blog entries to be much shorter than my typical ones. Hopefully by doing so I’ll be able to keep myself from falling behind. Obviously I’ll be writing and working on this list in advance of any being posted so expect this feature to pretty much dominate The Nostalgia Spot for the remainder of 2015, though I may find time to slip in a post or two on other subjects.

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