Every Christmas time, much like with movies, there’s certain TV specials you just have to watch. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen that knucklehead Charlie Brown ruin everybody’s Christmas or the picnic basket-stealing Yogi Bear become a thorn in Ranger Smith’s side because he refuses to hibernate, you just have to watch it again… because it’s tradition damnit! Now quit your moaning and let’s get to the viewing!
Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean
There is such a genius to Rowan Atkinson’s facial expressions and physical humour that you don’t even need Mr. Bean to speak a single line of dialogue to enjoy numerous laughs. This special sees the titular character enjoy all the aspects of Christmas, including shopping, picking out a tree, opening cards, celebrating Christmas Eve, opening presents, and preparing a Christmas feast. It’s quite the adventure from start to finish, much like everyone’s holiday season.
A Garfield Christmas
That sardonic little kitty is ready to wreak havoc on the Christmas holiday… or sleep right through it! Garfield, Odie, and Jon are off to the country for a “good ol’ fashioned Christmas, down on the farm” with Jon’s family. While Odie looks for the perfect present to give Garfield, Jon’s family goes through the normal Christmas routine and Garfield even gets a dose of the Christmas spirit, finding long lost letters from Jon’s late Grandpa to his Grandma, whom Garfield is quite fond of.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
The Peanuts gang are out to celebrate Christmas and the only person in the entire world that can ruin their fun is Charlie Brown… he ruins everything, after all! This is an interesting special, in that it looks at Christmas as an over-commercialized and secular holiday, while examining the true meaning of Christmas. A difficult subject for a children’s cartoon. Still, the special is a classic with memorable music and images.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Before Jim Carrey and CGI, the Grinch was simply an animated Christmas hater, who reached his breaking point and ventured into Whoville to ruin the Whovillians Christmas celebration. His efforts, however, don’t result in the despair he expected and he realizes that Christmas is about more than presents, decorations, and food. The Seussian language is pretty special stuff and the show is wonderfully narrated by Boris Karloff and features a number of memorable songs.
A Muppet Family Christmas
The best thing about The Muppets is that they provide entertainment children young and old alike. Here, the whole gang arrives at Fozzy’s mom’s place for the holiday and are later joined by the Sesame Street folk, making for one packed house. My favourite scene in this crossover is when Cookie Monster demolishes a freshly-baked tray of cookies, causing Animal to chime in: “That my kind of fella!”
Mickey’s Christmas Carol
I love it when the oft-used Scrooge McDuck gets his fair share of screen time! In the Disney rendition of A Christmas Carol, McDuck gets to play the big cheese, Ebenezer Scrooge – a perfect fit if there ever was one. The rest of the Disney gang fills in all the important roles of the tale. Not surprisingly, this special was released in 1983 (all the best things were!) and has gone on to become a treasured classic (much like the Sip Advisor!).
Yogi’s First Christmas
Yogi and Boo Boo usually sleep through the Christmas season thanks to their annual hibernation, but this year will be different, as the Hanna-Barbara gang (Snagglepuss, Huckleberry Hound, Augie Doggie, and Doggie Daddy) arrive at Jellystone Lodge to celebrate Christmas and in their merriment, awaken the bears. It’s a good thing, too, as Yogi saves the day from Herman the Hermit and Snively the brat child, earning the reward of a picnic basket he can enjoy in the spring.
Bugs Bunny’s Looney Christmas Tales/Bah, Humduck
It’s no surprise for you little sippers to learn that the Sip Advisor loves his Looney Tunes. Cartoon violence is among my favourite activities and I can’t wait for the day that I have my own animated special and I’m the one getting bopped with mallets and crushed with anvils. These two specials insert the Looney Tunes gang into the Christmas holiday, with Yosemite Sam and Daffy Duck as two different versions of Ebenezer Scrooge, Wile E. Coyote chasing the Roadrunner in frigid temperatures, and the Tasmanian Devil as Santa Claus.
Drink #239: Grinch
- 2 oz Midori
- Splash of Lemon Juice
- Dash of Simple Syrup
- Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry
Some honourable mentions include Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, A Chipmunk Christmas, Opus’ A Wish for Wings that Work, and the Rankin/Bass Specials (including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town, and Frosty the Snowman). Have any suggestions for must-see Christmas specials? Help make my holiday season a little more merry!
Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Instead of using the Lemon Juice and Simple Syrup, I simply topped the martini with Lemonade and killed two birds with one stone. It was a pretty tasty drink thanks to that little maneuvering. I like to think that the Maraschino Cherry I used for the garnish is like the Grinch’s heart which grew three sizes that fateful Christmas day!