Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Top 10 Christmas TV Specials

(Image from:  A Christmas Story)

Well the Christmas Season is upon us and that means dusting off our Holiday DVD collections or scrolling through the TV guides to watch our favorite shows. 

Just before Thanksgiving, Doug Knoop of the Seattle Times came up with his Top 10 Holiday TV Specials for discerning viewers.

Of Doug's faves, I've seen only six shows he considers to be the pick of the litter.  The ones I haven't watched are:  Prancer, Christmas in Yellowstone, Black Christmas and Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special

Prancer sounds nice and Christmas in Yellowstone sounds peaceful, but I won't be trolling for copies of Black Christmas and Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special anytime soon. 

I'd just as soon as suffer through the entire Star Wars Holiday Special.  (At the risk of dating myself, I remember watching part of it during the one & only time it aired).

After reading Doug's article, I clicked on the TV poll where I spent several minutes trying to decide which ONE show I liked above all the others.

Of the 34 choices, I narrowed it down to my own Top 10, listed in alphabetical order:

A Charlie Brown Christmas
A Christmas Carol (the 1951 version with Alistair Sim)
A Christmas Story
Holiday Inn
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the 1966 cartoon)
It's a Wonderful Life
Miracle on 34th Street
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Scrooge (the 1970 musical with Albert Finney)
White Christmas

I love A Christmas Story's spot-on depiction of a kid's quest for the present of his heart's desire and Die Hard is a cool action-adventure flick.  But in keeping with the Season, I had to think of which movie came closest to the real meaning of Christmas.

This pruned the list down to:

A Charlie Brown's Christmas
A Christmas Carol
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
It's a Wonderful Life

Reflecting further, if one believes Christ was born into this world to save us of our sins, then the truest form Christmas movie would be some sort of redemption story.

And the show that touches me most deeply in this category would be...

Why this one--besides Alistar Sim being the best movie Scrooge ever? 
Because more than any other Christmas movie, the scenes that choke me up the most are:
When the Ghost of Christmas Past reveals to Scrooge his dying sister's request that he take care of her son...
...which he didn't.
Yeah, that would have shattered me then and there.  Forget confronting the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come...
And then near the end, there's the moment Scrooge asks his niece-in-law for forgiveness...
...with the tune of Barbara Allen playing in the background.
What I also found interesting was that several versions of Dickens' tale were on the TV poll, even Mr Magoo's Christmas Carol.
In comparison, only the original Miracle on 34th Street made the list...
...along with the animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
You just can't beat the classics.
But no matter what you watch--even if it's Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special, or a bootleg copy of The Star Wars Holiday Special--I hope you and yours have an enjoyable Holiday Season.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and "...God Bless us, every one!"

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