When trying to decide which five Christmas specials were going to make my list - which is not an easy task, due to the seemingly endless number of Christmas specials out there - I had to narrow down the list of possibilities in some way. So, I came up with a few rules, or requirements, if you will.
First off, the Christmas special can't be a stand-alone movie, which removes A Christmas Story and The Polar Express from the running. Second, since there are an endless number of television shows out there, and each of them seeming to do a Christmas episode every season, I had to outlaw these as well. With these rules in place, here’s what I was able to narrow down:
5. Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas
Made up from numerous cartoon shorts, Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas follows the whole gang - Goofy, Donald, Minnie, and, of course, Mickey - as they celebrate the holiday and find out exactly what Christmas is all about. There’s no shortage of heartwarming lessons in this series of animated shorts, and Mickey and the crew will surely get you into the Christmas spirit.
4. Frosty the Snowman
Life hasn't been too great for Frosty recently (you know, with Olaf stealing the award for America’s favorite snowman and all) but Frosty’s classic Christmas special continues to be one of the most well-known and loved Christmas traditions.
3. A Charlie Brown Christmas
Woah. Hold on. I know this may be your all-time top Christmas special, but hear me out. Sure, I enjoy Charlie Brown’s anti-commercialization message in his special, but there are two specials that just instantly scream Christmas to me. I'm sorry, but Charlie Brown doesn’t quite hold up to those final two programs.
2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
A holiday classic. The Grinch is no doubt one of the top Christmas specials ever, but I know what you’re thinking. “I thought you said stand-alone movies don't count?” Well, you are correct. However, I’m not talking about the recent movie adaptation starring Jim Carey, but, instead, 1960’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas animated short.
Now, the moment you have all been waiting for. Without further ado, the number 1 Christmas special of all time…
1.Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Of course, it had to be. Rudolph, his song, and his Christmas special are all Christmas icons. You’ve probably been singing the song since Thanksgiving. Where is Charlie Brown’s Christmas carol?
Besides its overall influence on the Christmas holiday, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer also sheds light on a controversial issue that continues to take over our modern society: individual differences.