The holidays are upon us! As a young child, the holiday television specials were the thing to look forward to each year. As each air-date drew near, the schoolyard was filled with talk about which one was the best, and long debates on the legitimacy of “He who smelt it, dealt it.”

We’ve long settled the debate*, but the question of which holiday special is the best, still perplexes us today.


[poll id=”466″]

*It was Mike. It was always Mike.



About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. I love all of these. We make special plans to watch all of them every year and they all bring in that Christmas spirit, but nothing beats A Charlie Brown Christmas!

  2. Daniel Langsdale on

    While I like me some Heat Miser/Snow Miser, I had to go with Charlie Brown. It actually remembers the religious core of the holiday (something these other shows cannot claim) and it does it in a way that doesn’t feel ham-fisted or holier-than-thou. I give it five stars of Bethlehem.

  3. Frederick Pagliarulo on

    It’s funny because every one on the list was a big part of my childhood Christmas memories, except for the one I voted for, “Simpson’s Roasting on an Open Fire”, which I first saw in my early 20’s. For some reason, it became my favorite.

  4. well my #1 would be Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer & the Island of Misfit Toys, but since that’s not there I voted for A Charlie Brown Christmas.

  5. I must weigh in in favor of the Grinch. Unlike the other movies on this list, it is one that I go back and watch year after year. The story by Dr. Seuss is one of my all-time favorites, and within the time constraints of half hour television specials, this one successfully exhibits the spirit of the tale without being a word for word reading of the book. The songs used in this special are all original, so they don’t feel shoe-horned in, unlike the music in some of the other specials on this list. The animation is understated and simple, but so expressive! I love the contrast between the softness of Max the dog and the hard edges of the Grinch. No holiday season is complete without a viewing of The Grinch.

  6. Tsk, no Emmet Otter? For shame!

    But from the list, The Simpsons. I get enough of the overly warm and fuzzy from the few Christmas specials I do enjoy, so I like that with The Simpsons special, it doesn’t feel shoved down my throat. You still get the nice Christmas feel, but wrapped in a package I can easier relate to.

  7. sorry the best Christmas movie special will always be the muppets Christmas carol but if I have to pick one from the list, give me Charlie Brown

  8. Once again you do the disservice of not offering “I hate X holiday” option. So now i am forced to chose a lie to move on in the polls. Sad very sad!

  9. I agree with Tim Kiester. I like all of these (except I’ve never seen the Simpsons one) but How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a story I can watch over and over again.Can’t get enough of Boris Karloff’s glorious singing voice.

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