Since I prefer TV to movies, I am always more than happy to curl up and put on some of my favorite holiday TV specials. For me, the holiday television specials are one of the best parts of the Christmas season. I love seeing the sentimental sides of my favorite television characters, and holiday specials are always good for that. I find that writers frequently come up with some creative holiday plots and find ways to apply them uniquely to their TV shows. Sure, I enjoy the Christmas specials of the shows that I watch regularly like The Office and Brooklyn 99, but I also love watching kid’s TV specials on Christmas. Like visiting Disney World, Christmas makes me feel like a kid again, and the kid in me is still in awe of the Christmas magic that is so present in TV kid’s specials.
All Grown Up — The Finster Who Stole Christmas
I have a lot of feelings about All Grown Up in general. I am all about fan art that gender- or race-bends characters or reimagines then in any way. All Grown Up is like that fan art brought to life. I love that we get to see how the characters evolved and interact with each other in their teen years. In the holiday special, Chuckie is determined to make Christmas better for his family since his father is Christmas inept. He inadvertently steals a family’s Christmas tree and proceeds to have a nervous breakdown in very Chuckie-fashion. Of course, the gang jumps in and tries to help in any way they can in this wacky misadventure. It’s one of my favorites, for sure.
Plus, when Chuckie has his holiday-induced meltdown, Lil says the hilarious and shocking line, “Chuckie, I’ve never seen you like this. It’s kind of attractive.” I am LIVING for it.
Kim Possible — A Very Possible Christmas
Obviously Kim Possible is a badass show to begin with. Is there anything cooler than a high school cheerleader saving the world? In this episode, we get to see not only Kim have her trademark amazing adventures, but her family also joins in and helps her to find Ron who seems to have disappeared. This episode has everything: family love, awesome fight scenes, and some classic Kim Possible world travel in impossibly short amounts of time. If you love Kim Possible, it needs to be added to your Christmas playlist.
Rocket Power — A Rocket X-Mas
I love surprises, and this Christmas episode makes me feel all warm and fuzzy because the Rocket children are trying to surprise their dad with a new surfboard. Like you do on Rocket Power. The only problem is that to earn enough money for the surfboard, they have to walk neighborhood dogs every day, meaning that they miss out on all of their dad’s family traditions. Is their surfboard surprise worth missing time with their dad and hurting his feelings? The Rocket kids think so, and when things go awry, they have to work even harder. We also see Squid do a nice geek flex and use his tracking device to find the dogs when they run away. There’s nothing like spending Christmas in sunny California, and if I can’t do that, at least this helps me get close.
Fairly OddParents — Christmas Every Day & Merry Wishmas
“Christmas Every Day” is a classic. Yes, it builds on a Groundhog’s Day-type plot, but unlike the Bill Murray classic, everyone is aware that they are living in a world where Christmas keeps repeating. Don’t get me wrong, the mechanics of everyone reliving the same day and not just moving on with their lives is more than a bit confusing, but still cool and unique. The Santa in the Fairly OddParents universe is also super badass. In contrast, the Santa in the more recent Christmas episode “Merry Wishmas,” is a lazy mooch. While the plot is still kind of interesting with Santa moving into Timmy’s house, the episode is self-proclaimed “creepy” and strange, like many of the other newer Fairly OddParents episodes (like the one where Timmy’s dad is half bird and lays and egg on his head…like, what?). I mean in this episode, Timmy’s dad does become Nog Man: The Caped Crusader of Nog, so there’s that…whatever “that” is. Regardless of how much this episode weirds me out, it’s still a staple Christmas classic for me…just one that I watch once I’ve finished all the others multiple times.
Jimmy Neutron — Holly Jolly Jimmy
This has been one of my favorite Christmas specials ever since I first watched it. While the “saving Christmas” storyline isn’t entirely original, it still fits perfectly with the Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius plot. Unsurprisingly, Jimmy doesn’t believe in Santa, and when he takes his friends to the North Pole to prove that there is no Santa Claus, he accidentally scrambles Santa’s atoms with one of his inventions. Tale as old as time. This show has always been a bit quirky, and this episode was no different, including several odd musical numbers and a newly-invented holiday (Happy Pule, everyone!). If you can’t tell, I’m a fan of any universe where Santa is real, even more so when there’s a nonbeliever who becomes a believer by the end.
iCarly — iChristmas
The iCarly Christmas special gets me every time. Similar to It’s A Wonderful Life (a movie which I have never enjoyed), Carly wishes that Spencer was “born normal” and then is transported into a parallel universe where Spencer doesn’t have any of his usual quirks. Her world is turned upside down as she tries to navigate this universe and understand the repercussions of her actions. The most poignant moment is when she visits her best friend Sam in juvie and in this new universe, Sam hardly has any idea who she is. Carly pleads with her and tries to prove that they are actually best friends with a disbelieving Sam. This scene may or may not make me cry every year. As a usually level-headed character, it is different to see Carly showing so much extreme emotion throughout the episode. It makes this special even more touching. Sure, Miranda Cosgrove isn’t the best fake-crier, but we try not to mention that…
Are any of these shows that you enjoy every year? What should I add to my list?