Christmas is a magical time of the year, not simply limited to one day, but rather to a whole season filled with shopping, parties, and time spent with loved ones and friends. Each year, decorations are hauled out of basements or rediscovered in attics, memories of Christmases past are unboxed and hung on walls and trees. As we prepare for another festive season, it is not just the excitement of unwrapping presents that gets us into the holiday spirit, but also the joy of gathering to watch our favorite Christmas TV specials.
For many, these seasonal programs bring back memories of our childhood and a time when Christmas sparked wonder and warm feelings, reminding us why the season is so remarkable. Whether it’s a tale of Santa’s origins or a variety show that brings together all of our beloved Muppets in Jim Henson’s universe, these specials will always hold a special place in our hearts.
Some Christmas specials span decades and are based on songs and books, and there are also those that feature famous faces and some of our favorite claymation figures—from the most magical toymaker of all time to the reindeer who lit the way—but all of these X-Mas specials have one thing in common: They fill us with happiness and cheer.
To get you into the holiday spirit, Stacker surveyed the history of Christmas TV specials, compiling together the top 10, according to IMDb user rating. To qualify, the film either had to be labeled as a TV special on IMDb or as a TV movie with a runtime of 60 minutes or less. At least 500 votes were required to be considered.