He's a mean one, all right. This Boris Karloff-narrated Dr. Seuss classic is a timeless gem. Though the Grinch is about as cuddly as a cactus as he plots to steal Christmas from the folks in Whoville, the singing and celebrating Whos eventually melt his cold heart and teach him the true meaning of Christmas. An annual must.
2 of 7 United Features Syndicate/Everett Collection
A Charlie Brown Christmas
This Emmy-winning holiday favorite is as traditional to the season as mistletoe and greeting cards. Charles Schulz's Peanuts characters come alive with the help of pianist Vince Guaraldi's jazz soundtrack. From Snoopy decorating his doghouse to Sally writing to Santa Claus to Charlie Brown disappointing everyone by choosing a tiny, bedraggled Christmas tree for the school Nativity production, this heart-warming classic can still entertain both kids and grown-ups alike.
3 of 7 Classic Media/CBS
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Fundamentally a cheerful parable about accepting and celebrating each others' differences, this is the sweet saga of Rudolph, a reindeer who's sensitive about his shiny nose, and his friend Hermey, an elf who'd rather become a dentist than a toy maker. But when Santa is fogged in on Christmas, he turns to Rudolph for help, and suddenly that bright red nose saves the day. This tale is one that never loses its charm.
4 of 7 Everett Collection
Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
Ever wonder how Santa came to be his jovial, gift-giving self? This special tells the tale of an orphaned Kris Kringle who longs to bring joy to the children of Sombertown by giving them toys that mayor Burgermeister Meisterburger has made illegal. With the help of his adopted elf family, Kris builds a toy workshop and spreads joy to the good children of the world. Featuring the beloved titular Christmas song, this is sure to please the whole family.
5 of 7 Jim Henson Company
Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas
Sure, the puppets in this early Jim Henson special show their strings a bit, but that's all part of the fun of this naive and earnest retelling of The Gift of the Magi. Cuddly Emmet Otter and his rhythm-loving pals put together a jug-band for the local talent show, in hopes of grabbing that big-money prize to help Emmet by his mom a gift. Battling slimy funk band the Riverbottom Gang, they all get a lesson in the true value of gift-giving.
6 of 7 Classic Media/CBS
Frosty the Snowman
A spirited snowman is brought to life by a magician's hat, winning over little Karen as well as the audience. After discovering that it has actual magic powers, the bumbling Professor Hinkle demands his hat back, and Karen, Frosty and Hocus Pocus, Hinkle's rabbit, attempt to outrun the warming weather by traveling to the North Pole.
7 of 7 Nickelodeon
A Rugrats Chanukah
Nickelodeon's Rugrats secured its place in television history with A Rugrats Chanukah. One of TV's few special episodes for the Jewish holiday, the story revolves around the kids learning the tale of the Maccabees' war against the Greeks as they fought for the right to keep their Hebrew traditions. The babies acting out their own version of the story is enough to entertain a child of any religious denomination, so learning the historical meaning behind latkes and dreidels is just an added bonus.