5 Festive Christmas TV Specials | Guest Post by Bella from Ciao Bella!

Posted December 17, 2015 by Jana in Guest Post / 0 Comments


I’m so happy to have Bella from Ciao Bella! on the blog today to talk about some of her favorite Christmas TV specials! I love catching these on TV every year (except I’ve never even heard of Prep and Landing… Does that mean I’m old?)!

When Jana requested submissions for her A Bookish Little Christmas, I jumped at the opportunity – how could I turn down such a chance to share my love of the holiday season? Though I can find something to like about every month, December is by far my favorite. I adore the thoughtful gift exchanges among friends; I take every excuse to bake a batch of holiday cookies; and I rejoice in the time I can spend with my family (I suppose the weeklong vacation from school doesn’t hurt either!). It’s busy, of course, but I believe what’s stressful about the season is outweighed by the widespread joy it brings. I would be hard-pressed to find a more festive time of year.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, if I’m not wrapping presents or decorating the tree, I’m most likely by the television, with a blanket and a bowl of popcorn in hand. Year after year, I carve out time to watch my favorites of the television specials, whether that’s Charlie Brown picking out a tree or Rudolph aiding Santa in his time of need. Regardless of when they were made, the specials capture the spirit of Christmas; I’ve yet to finish one without a smile on my face. Narrowing them down from the wide selection was difficult, believe me, but I managed to highlight five of the best holiday specials around. Five doses of holiday cheer coming up!

Rankin-Bass’s Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town is a Christmas classic. Released in 1970, it tells how “Old Saint Nick” and other traditions came to be in charming stop-motion animation. This is a beloved special in my family, not in the least because of its memorable characters, including Kris Kringle, the Winter Warlock, and the Burgermeister Meisterburger. If you haven’t seen it already – or maybe you’re simply due for a re-watch – you would do well to make time for it this year!

How could you celebrate Christmas without including Charlie Brown in the festivities? The Peanuts gang’s television appearance is a staple for several holidays, but none are so widely acclaimed as their Christmas episode, where Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, and the others learn the true meaning of the season. While it premiered long before I was born – the special made its debut in December 1965 – it makes me happy that generations young and old can enjoy it.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a rare example in which I like the television adaptation more than the book itself. Dr. Suess’ famous character grows from Whoville’s resident Christmas hater to a benevolent guest at the holiday feast in the span of thirty minutes, once again demonstrating the most important part of the season. Watch it and try not to feel a twinge of emotion when it’s declared that “the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day.”

The Prep and Landing series began in 2009, when Disney-Pixar released their first holiday program about the elves of Santa’s workshop. The special has since grown to include the sequel Prep and Landing: Naughty vs. Nice and the short film Operation: Secret Santa. Regardless of which Wayne and Lanny adventure you watch {I’m partial to the first one myself}, I can guarantee it will put you in the holiday mood quicker than you can say “Merry Christmas!”

Finally, Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas may be the most recent example of these five, but that certainly doesn’t lessen the quality of the special. As the name suggests, it’s based after another favorite holiday film, Elf, and brings the songs of its musical adaptation to the small screen. With Jim Parsons voicing Buddy and Ed Asner reprising his role as Santa Claus, it’s clearly a worthy addition to any holiday television schedule. I can’t wait to catch it again this year!


What are some of your favorite Christmas TV specials?


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