The best, worst and weirdest Christmas TV specials of all time
It's officially the time of year when we welcome awkward claymation, melancholy cartoon characters and variety show trainwrecks into our homes and hearts.
But isn't kind of strange that we watch 75-year-old movies and 50-year-old televisions shows at Christmas time?
We thought it was — so we assembled a Day 6 panel to discuss the best, the worst and the weirdest Christmas TV specials have to offer.
Not much love, actually
Denis McGrath considers A Charlie Brown's Christmas as the Goodfellas of holiday specials; it's a must-watch every year and sometimes a must-watch multiple times.
"If it's on, it doesn't matter where it is in the show, I have finish it," he says.
He also says that while the TV special remains the same, he is different every year — and that is what makes holiday programming so special.
"When you come back to them, you've been around the sun one more time. You're a little bit different, so when we watch them, it sparks a feeling about how much we've changed."
McGrath has a lot of love for Charlie Brown and Rudolph, but not as much for one of the most popular holiday movies of the past decade.
"I think the people who like Love, Actually are the saddest, most deluded human beings. They can't be saved," he says. "It's the death of hope. No one good in that movie gets anything good."
Victoria Ahearn disagrees. She says the film has redeeming qualities, including the performances of Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson.
"That scene when she's in the bedroom crying to the Joni Mitchell song "Both Sides Now" — I have a lump in my throat every time."
She wrapped up the damn cat
Unfortunately, Love, Actually didn't make Ahearn's must-watch list; but 1983's A Christmas Story did.
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and Gremlins are also on her list.
From the zany aunt who wraps her cat; to the brother from out of town who pretty much ruins everything; to more reflective moments, Ahearn says they offer more than just laughs.
As for Gremlins, it's not really a Christmas movie; but it is set at Christmas time and it's just awesome fun.
Bewitched by special episodes
Speaking of suspicious green creatures, Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Stole Christmas tops Bill Brioux's holiday viewing list.
How The Grinch Stole Stole Christmas turns 50 years old later this month, but according to Brioux, it still feels new.
"I don't know why, but it seems new every year. It doesn't seem to age as much Rudolph, which looks sort of 'stop-motion-y' now. Still charming nonetheless."