The Five Best Christmas Shows. Ever.

What do you love about Christmas? Is it the promise of presents? The seasonal sense of peace and goodwill to all men? Perhaps it is eating until you can eat no longer… (Oh but go on, I’m sure you can manage another mince pie). Another thing to look forward to during this time of year is the stuff we get to watch on telly. Christmas specials have become an annual and eagerly anticipated part of our yuletide routine, and over the years there have been some right belters. In no particular order here are twelve of the most memorable festive moments…

The Office Final Episode
After announcing they wouldn’t be making a third series of their smash-hit series, Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais softened the blow by giving us a two-part Christmas special which aired on the 26th and 27th December 2003. As well as providing some usual hilarity in the antics of its much-loved characters (David finally telling Finch to ‘f**k off’) the true satisfaction came in seeing the long-awaited union of Tim and Dawn. Finally. Hooray!

The Snowman
Not just a vehicle for the career-launch of Aled Jones… this animated feature has been capturing imaginations since its release in 1982. With an intro by none other than David Bowie and through beautiful animation, the film brings to life the story of a young boy who is taken on a magical adventure to the North Pole. The plot is well-known for its ability to make grown-ups cry as well as breaking young hearts. (Yes kids, snow does melt.)

Only Fools and Horses
Del-Boy and Rodders are national treasures. The 1996 Christmas episode ‘Heroes and Villains’ always seems to come out on top in the favourite episode stakes and it is not difficult to see why; an impressive 21.3 million tuned in to see the pair dress up as superheroes for a party which turns out to be a wake. A comedy classic ensues.

This choice might be unknown to many, but Seinfeld fans will recall the tradition ‘Festivus’, an alternative to Christmas described in a classic episode entitled ‘The Strike’. To celebrate you must partake in the Airing of Grievances, whereby family members tell you of all the ways you’ve disappointed them during the past year. Instead of the traditional tree, the holiday is also celebrated by the assembly of an aluminium pole. As Frank Costanza shrewdly explains…“It requires no decoration. I find tinsel distractingâ€?.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
There have been quite a few versions of C.S. Lewis’ classic tale, but this 1988 version seems to stick in the minds of many. Despite the animation seeming a bit dated now (you’ve probably seen more impressive beaver costumes at Halloween) the version is synonymous with the type of nostalgia we just can’t get enough of at this time of year.