News Column

Top 10 holiday TV specials of all time: Which one gets your vote? (poll)

December 2, 2013

YellowBrix

Dec. 02--Now that the holiday season is in full swing, TV is unwrapping its seasonal gifts to viewers: specials featuring oddly teamed musical performers (Lady Gaga and the Muppets); made-for-TV movies about Scrooge-y types who discover the true meaning of Christmas; and, most welcome of all, classic programs that have delighted viewers young and old.

So in the spirit of celebration, we're asking you to share your thoughts about which shows earn a place on your holiday viewing schedule.

Do you annually revisit "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," the 1964 charmer, featuring stop-motion animation by Rankin/Bass? Or do you prefer another Rankin/Bass animated oldie, "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town"?

Are you Team Charlie Brown, and look forward to "A Charlie Brown Christmas," with its bliss-inducing music by Vince Guaraldi and ever-relevant tale of Charlie Brown's dismay about Christmas getting too commercialized? It airs tonight, at 8 p.m. on ABC (2).

Speaking of classics, you might prefer "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas," the 1966 animated original, with the voice of Boris Karloff narrating the story of a man with a heart that just might be two sizes too small.

Or you might want to go with something from this century, and enjoy a show of more recent vintage, such as "Shrek the Halls."

Whatever your pleasure, vote for your favorite, and please share any comments about why you chose the show you did. And if you have any rituals associated with watching holiday specials, we'd love to hear about those, too.

Personally, I like to go for full-on old-fashioned holiday cheer, and drink hot chocolate while watching "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." If there's a better way to feel like a kid, no matter how old you are, I don't know what it might be.

And as long as I'm waxing nostalgic, here's my annual pitch for the animated "Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol," the venerable 1962 musical version of Dickens' tale, with the best score of any of the musical adaptations. Not to mention, a stellar vocal performance by Jim Backus as the nearsighted Mister Magoo, who here stars as Ebenezer Scrooge. This isn't worth watching on TV anymore, since it gets cut up and ruined, so this year, I'm buying my own copy on DVD. Because it's not Christmas without it.

If you have nominations for shows not included on our list, don't be shy -- let us hear about them. We'll compile votes and return with a list of the Top 10, here on Oregonlive, and in The Oregonian.

Happy holiday viewing!

-- Kristi Turnquist

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