No Right Answer: Best Christmas Special Ever

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It's a Wonderful Life + Miracle on 34th Street + Christmas Story + How the Grinch Stole Christmas > A Charlie Brown Christmas

Seriously, stack them all up against Charlie Brown and they win hands down.

I have to go with "everything else". Charlie Brown IS one of my favorites, but every year there are movies which I must watch as part of my regular, healthy variety of Christmas-time activities. Just having Charlie and the gang is not enough.

Nostalgia is like cocaine. I can't stop at just one hit.

Well this is awkward....

He said that you can't watch Die Hard every year, but...that's exactly what my brother and I do every Christmas morning.

We watch Die Hard.

I will add my voice to the mix - it is just not Christmas without a Doctor Who special. They're always lots of fun! :)

HELL YES KISS SAVES CHRISTMAS. PTERODACTYLS AND GUITAR RIFFS, RIGHT ON.

Also, Nazis did celebrate Christmas. They tried to eliminate its religious overtones and make it a celebration of family togetherness, especially mothers and young children. Also the superiority of the German people.

I'm too young to even know anything related to Charlie Brown but the one Christmas related thing that will never ever die in my head is The Nightmare Before Christmas. It perfectly defines Christmas because it approaches it as if it were completely alien and unrelateable and makes it relatable purely because the protagonist discovers its existence and finds its true meaning by trying and failing to make it something else, something that Christmas just isn't.

A very close second is Christmas On 34th Street

Asita:

InsomniJack:
As much as I really like the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, it's not A Wonderful Life. Or Home Alone. Or The Santa Clause. Or A Muppet Christmas Carol. Or Batman Returns. Or Love Actually. Or The Nightmare Before Christmas. Or Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer. Or Scrooged.

And it's certainly not frakking Die Hard.

So I say there's no reason for it to be exclusive to Charlie Brown.

Scrooged will always be second banana to the 1970 Scrooge with Albert Finney. And this is why:

And I think A Muppet Family Christmas deserves an honorable mention here too. Word to the wise: If you're in the states and see it on TV: RECORD IT. The dvd/vhs copies available in the US make some rather glaring cuts to the material (The special has rights for the songs for TV, but neglected to get some of them for VHS/DVD).

True, Scrooged is for a niche audience. But I always get a kick out of watching Bill Murray. I hadn't seen the 1970 one with Albert Finney, but I don't doubt that he was terrific in his role.

But to me, A Muppet Christmas Carol and Michael Caine as Scrooge will always be extra special to me.

I was actually just reading about the cuts made to the home editions before writing this post. It mentioned that it's only cut from the first DVD release, as well as for the 10th Anniversary Widescreen edition. Might be too much of a hassle to hunt down the specific copies, but hey: it's the age of online shopping. Anything is possible.

Muppet Christmas Carol. The fact it wasn't mentioned is a crime.

Charlie Brown is fine... the first time. But seeing it more than once, it gets old. I honestly prefer the Garfield Xmas special more than that, and that's just one special. There is Futurama's story. The Simpsons' xmas special. So many other options. Charlie Brown, can't compare anymore.

This is the first time in a while Kyle remembered the whole point of the drinking segment was to get a spit take disqualification. Granted, it didn't work, but try to make Chris laugh, Kyle!

Despite saying he would come back to it, we never heard about how awesome the music is for Charlie Brown Christmas. This was what put Vince Guaraldi in every home in America and associated his work with Charlie Brown for all time. Muppet Christmas Carol is the only TV special or movie I can think of whose soundtrack would even compare to Charlie Brown.

Also, on top of the message about commercialization (which is still a pointed commentary 45 years later, even though no one remembers aluminum Christmas trees any more, except your dad when he was Charlie Brown's age), there is Linus' recitation of the gospel message at the end. It nearly didn't air for that reason but it was a dealbreaker for Schulz, kinda like the network specifically wanted Rodenberry to take Spock out of Star Trek, and he changed the entire crew EXCEPT for Spock. And you basically still won't see anything like that these days; for everyone else the True Meaning of Christmas (tm) is being with your family or giving gifts rather than getting them (another timeless commentary, Schulz?). Frankly, it blew my mind to see the recent Glee holiday episode toss in their reference to that scene; that would have been the last show I'd expect to see that.

If I had to go by only the material offered in this episode, Charlie Brown would win going away. But Everything Else was poorly defended. People have mentioned the Muppet Christmas Carol multiple times and it's right there with Charlie Brown for me. But It's a Wonderful Life is not only my favorite holiday movie, it's my favorite movie of any sort, anywhere, ever. As charming as the Charlie Brown special is, that movie is just too classic to deny.

Armchair Quarterback says: a better holiday NRA might have been something like:
- Best Scrooge Ever: Bill Murray vs. Mr. Magoo
- Best Holiday Song Ever: Do They Know It's Christmas vs. Same Auld Lang Syne

That stupid British comedy that Germans watch religiously at Christmas for the win!

azurine:
I vote for Charlie Brown's Christmas. I can't think of any other Christmas special that deals with the subject of Christmas being devalued to a commercial event.

Sarcasm? Because making money producing cheap knock-offs about getting away from the commercialisation of Christmas and back to the true (religiously neutral, happy holidays everyone) meaning of Christmas is all there is on Christmas, on account of people being fine connoisseurs of irony

InsomniJack:
True, Scrooged is for a niche audience. But I always get a kick out of watching Bill Murray. I hadn't seen the 1970 one with Albert Finney, but I don't doubt that he was terrific in his role.

But to me, A Muppet Christmas Carol and Michael Caine as Scrooge will always be extra special to me.

I was actually just reading about the cuts made to the home editions before writing this post. It mentioned that it's only cut from the first DVD release, as well as for the 10th Anniversary Widescreen edition. Might be too much of a hassle to hunt down the specific copies, but hey: it's the age of online shopping. Anything is possible.

Oh you've got no arguments from me there. A Muppet Christmas Carol is among my favorite renditions of the tale.

Phineas & Ferb's Christmas Vacation. Not only a great Christmas special, but also the perfect P&F episode.

I am laughing me lungs out here because Kyle brought up the Nazi's and then said "but they have Sinterklaus". No, they don't, that the Dutch (meeeee :O).

The best way to show that everything other than Charlie Brown is the best, is to prove that the parody of Charlie Brown is better than Charlie Brown.

I can't remember if I've seen that Charlie brown Christmas thingie, but danish television sends Die Hard about every year.
I vote for everything else.

ChrisW212:
Muppet Christmas Carol. The fact it wasn't mentioned is a crime.

They actually did one of the best translation from text to screen out of any of The Christmas Carol movies out there. Something you wouldn't expect from a Muppet Movie.

Since I'm a little late on this topic, I just want to add the original A Christmas Carol book probably saved the traditional Christmas we have today. It came out at a time when many people were abandoning the holiday especially in the United States. It also popularized the phrase "Merry Christmas".

But I want to add Woodland Critter Christmas is still #1 for me.

Is there a difference between a Christmas Special and a Christmas Movie?

I think there is, you need to separate the 2.

Best Christmas Special: Charlie Brown or Star Wars

Best Christmas Movie: A Christmas Story (what else is played for 24hrs straight?)

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