Yep, I’m back with the third and final installment in my “Favorite Christmas Shows” series! In this post I’ll be looking at my Top 20 all-time favorite TV shows. Now obviously, this list could be MUCH longer: TV has been doing Christmas episodes for at least 67 years! (The oldest show on this list dates from 1954.) But after making a VERY long list of Christmas TV episodes that I like, I’ve narrowed it down to my favorite ones. I’ve given the episode title, the show it came from, the year it first aired, and the season and episodes numbers. There’s also a line or two about the episode
And here they are, in reverse order!
#20: Christmas at the Clampetts
(The Beverly Hillbillies, 1963, Season 2)
Mr Drysdale gives the Clampetts a television set for Christmas, and Granny thinks it some newfangled washing machine. This is a very funny episode!
#19: Blackadder’s Christmas Carol
(Blackadder, 1988, between Series 3 and 4)
For those of you that know Blackadder, let’s just say this is Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in reverse. Wonderful cast and typical Blackadder humor!
#18: Bah, Humbug
(WKRP in Cincinnati, 1980, Season 3, Episode 7)
Mr Carlson eats one of Johnny’s “special” brownies at the station Christmas party and his dreams are like A Christmas Carol influenced by, well, one of those brownies!
#17: The Strike
(Seinfeld, 1997, Season 9, Episode 10)
OK, so maybe not strictly a Christmas episode: but it’s the FESTIVUS episode!
#16: The Star of Jacob
(Father Brown Mysteries, 2016 Series 5, Episode 1)
A mysterious stranger, a missing donkey, an outbreak of laryngitis in the church choir and a kidnapped baby threaten to spoil Christmas festivities. Good thing Father Brown is around to sort it all out!
#15: Perspectives on Christmas
(Frasier, 1997, Season 5, Episode 9)
All the main characters see the same events in very different ways. A great Frasier episode.
#14: The Santa Simulation
(The Big Bang Theory, 2012, Season 6, Episode 12)
Leonard gives “Dungeons and Dragons” a Christmas twist, and Sheldon’s treatment of Santa comes back to haunt him (literally!)
#13: Night of the Meek
(The Twilight Zone, 1960, Season 2, Episode 11)
A wondrous Christmas tale, told by Rod Serling and Art Carney, about a sad old man who has one wish: to make people happy. His wish comes true in a most unexpected way.
#12: Miracle on 3rd or 4th Street
(Frasier, 1993, Season 1, Episode 12)
Frasier has all his Christmas plans fall apart, so he volunteers to work at the station all day to forget about his problems. Instead he spends the day listening to other people’s problems and ends up even more depressed. But he finds the Christmas spirit in a most unlikely place.
#11: The Orphans’ Christmas
(The Adventures of Long John Silver, 1957, Season 1, Episode 3)
This is a great Christmas story about Jim Hawkins, Long John Silver, and how they and the others at the inn saved Christmas for a group of orphans, and brought meaning to the life of the nasty orphanage director.
#10: Santa Claus and the 10th Avenue Kid
(Alfred Hitchcock Presents, 1955, Season 1, Episode 12)
Absolutely wonderful story about a convict just out on parole. His parole officer can only find him one job: as a department-store Santa. He hates the job but in the end, finds one little boy that needs him
#9: ANY Andy Williams Christmas Special!
(The Andy Williams Christmas Specials: 1967, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973)
These were always great, and a staple of the holiday season. Yes, the clothes and hairstyles are very dated, but the shows are pure gold! And what says Christmas more than Andy Williams singing carols?
#8: Christmas Crackers
(Are You Being Served?, 1975, Series 3, Episode 9)
The staff at Grace Brothers are dealing to the usual bad treatment from their bosses, but they make the best of the situation!
#7: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
(The Honeymooners, 1955, Season 1, Episode 13)
One of the greatest TV shows ever made, this Christmas episode from The Honeymooners will send you bang! zoom! straight to the moon!
#6: Dear Sis
(M*A*S*H, 1978, Season 7, Episode 14)
In an episode that features Father Mulcahy, the folks at M*A*S*H 4077 find out what’s really important at Christmastime.
#5 A Winter Carol
(Touched by an Angel, 2001, Season 8, Episode 11)
Written and aired not long after the 9-11 attacks, this episode will leave you in tears. Great message about valuing what we have, and dealing with the setbacks in life. Very powerful show.
#4: A Vision of Sugar Plums
(Bewitched, 1964, Season 1, Episode 15)
Yes, Bewitched! This is a gentle, heart-warming story about believing and caring for others.
#3: The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis
(The Big Bang Theory, 2008, Season 2, Episode 11)
Sheldon didn’t want a Christmas gift from Penny, but loses his mind when he opens it! Leonard has to deal with a rival, but gets his own back in the end. Great episode of a great series.
#2: A Christmas Story
(The Andy Griffith Show, 1960, Season 2, Episode 11)
The Andy Griffith Show was great TV, and still is. This one has a funny story about how Christmas brings us all together, even when we don’t think we want to be with anyone.
#1: Death Takes a Holiday
(M*A*S*H, 1980, Season 8, Episode 5)
A wonderful and thoughtful episode, the scene with Klinger and Winchester is as moving as any you’ll see this holiday season.
Well, that’s MY Top 20 Favorite TV shows! What would YOUR list look like?