While the calendar says 365 days, 2016 has felt like an extra-long year. No matter how many pine needles we’ve sniffed or twinkly lights we’ve gazed upon, a year like this can make it hard to get that warm Christmassy feeling. Luckily, as always, our glowing companion Mr. TV has come to the rescue.
To get your Christmas kick-started this year, we’ve compiled this list of some of the best Christmas episodes ever made. Some of our choices are universally traditional, while others are decidedly untraditional (South Park, Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Black Mirror, we’re looking at you), but all of them are sure to help you get in the mood for the season of lights.
A Muppet Family Christmas, 1987
The Muppet Christmas Carol gets all the glory, but this little-known classic from 1987 (a banner year for Christmas specials, by the way), is one of Jim Henson’s crowning TV achievements, and a whole lot of fun for the Muppet fan in all of us. The setup has all of the core Muppets — Kermit, Fozzie, Animal, etc. — on their way to Fozzie’s mom’s house to surprise her for the holiday. Unbeknownst to them, Mrs. Bear is already halfway out the door for a nontraditional holiday in Malibu but when the entire clan descends on the house (including even the Fraggles and the Sesame Street gang) a wintery Christmas full of “weirdos” simply can’t be denied. The special is funny, sentimental, and manages to slip in just about every major carol — with an impressive ensemble of dozens of Muppets on screen at once for the finale.
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