The turkey hasn’t even been put in the oven, but our thoughts are turning toward the Christmas season….and all the wonderful holiday specials that will be gracing our TV’s. Here are our 10 favorite Christmas TV specials to share with the family*(show times and channels are included, but please check your local listings or our own favorite guide on TV Pop Crunch as the dates get closer)*.
A Charlie Brown Christmas – Everyone’s favorite “every-kid” is disheartened by the commercialism of Christmas. The true meaning of Christmas is restored when he and his friends breathe new life into a needy tree. Showing on ABC Family, Dec 1, 7pm.
A Christmas Story – The story of 9-yr old Ralphie and his one Christmas wish (“an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock, and this thingwhich tells time”) will take you back to your own childhood Christmases and dreams of a special gift dancing in your head. Showing on TBS throughout the season, especially on Dec 24 and their annual marathon on Dec 25.
[Elf](http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0319343/) – A new classic. Buddy Elf – a human baby abandoned and raised in the North Pole, leaves Santa to find his real father in New York City and ends up teaching his estranged Dad the meaning of Christmas. Just don’t be surprised if the definition of the 4 food groups changes forever for your kids. Showing on USA throughout the holidays.
[How the Grinch Stole Christmas]((TV_special%29) – Little Cindy Who, no more than two, couldn’t melt the heart of the Grinch, but she melted mine. However, I think the character I most loved in the movie was the poor puppy dog, especially when pulling (and pushing) the Grinch’s sleigh. Showing on ABC on Nov 30 (7pm).[Polar Express]((film%29) – Seeing this movie forever changed how I listen to bells at Christmas-time. The beautiful animation alone would make this worth seeing, but the story is truly heart warming as well. Showing on ABC Family on Dec 3 (5 pm and 7:30pm), Dec 23 (9pm).
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – Needs no description – although did you know he was created as a sales promotion for Montgomery Ward? Most of us can sing the theme song by heart … and have loads of variations on the ending (“You’ll go down in history….like Columbus”). Showing on CBS on Dec 2 (7pm) and Dec 12 (7pm).
[Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Claus_Is_Comin%27_to_Town_(TV_special%29) – Probably the most classic of all the stop-motion Christmas specials produced by Rankin Bass that all of us adults grew up with as children. Burgermeister Meisterburger and the Winter Warlock are no match for Kris Kringle. Showing on ABC Family Dec 12 (4pm), Dec 24 (7pm).
The Year without a Santa Claus – The catchiest tune of all the holiday movie specials is showcased in this show (“I’m Mr. Heat Blister, I’m Mr. Sun…”). Who can resist the cuddly character of the Snow Miser and Heat Blister? Showing on ABC Family, Dec 1 (6pm), Dec 8 (7pm), Dec 11 (6pm) and Dec 12 (2pm).
The Waltons Homecoming – If this year’s Christmas will be leaner for your family than those past, make sure to rent this movie and watch with your kids. Set during the Great Depression, Dad has gone off to find work, and is trying to make it home on Christmas Eve to be with his family. Your kids may realize just how blessed they are as they see life in 1933 rural Virginia. This classic isn’t shown on TV often anymore – and I couldn’t find it on the 2009 schedule (much to my dismay) – so you’ll need to rent (or buy) the DVD.
[Twas the Night Before Christmas](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twas_the_Night_Before_Christmas_(1974_TV_special%29) – Father Mouse builds a singing clock to lure Santa to Junctionville, but his son breaks it – then repairs it – just in time so their town doesn’t miss Christmas after all. The music in this special makes it my overwhelmingly my choice when I want to be picked up – especially “Christmas Chimes are Calling Santa“…though, “Even a Miracle Needs a Hand” is great, too. Showing on ABC Family on Dec 7 (6pm), Dec 9 (9:30pm), Dec 24 (12pm, 5:30pm).