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November 25, 2014

Deck the Halls With Our 12 Favorite Christmas Episodes

by David Hofstede, posted Dec 15th 2009 4:05PM
Friends / The OC
From the 1950s through the 1980s, most successful TV series aired at least one Christmas show. Such seasonal events are less plentiful now, when most networks air reruns during the holidays -- but the classics of the past are gifts that keep on giving. Taking our cue from 'The 12 Days of Christmas,' we bring you a dozen holiday-themed episodes rich in tidings of comfort and joy.Friends / The OC
From the 1950s through the 1980s, most successful TV series aired at least one Christmas show. Such seasonal events are less plentiful now, when most networks air reruns during the holidays -- but the classics of the past are gifts that keep on giving. Taking our cue from 'The 12 Days of Christmas,' we bring you a dozen holiday-themed episodes rich in tidings of comfort and joy.

Friends'Friends' ('The One with The Holiday Armadillo')
Santa Claus, Superman and a giant armadillo walk into a New York apartment ... What sounds like set-up to a bad joke is transformed into a 'Friends' Christmas show that rivals the series' annual Thanksgiving classics in laughs per minute.

'The Vicar of Dibley' ('The Christmas Lunch Incident')
When you're as popular a clergy-person as Geraldine, you're going to get plenty of holiday invitations. The mistake is accepting all of them. Poor Geri eats three lunches, and washes them down with the world's worst knock-knock joke.

'Bewitched' ('A Vision of Sugar Plums')
An angry orphan (played by 'Lost in Space's Billy Mumy) has no use for Christmas, until Samantha flies him to the North Pole to meet the real Santa Claus. Funny and touching, 'A Vision of Sugar Plums' is everything classic holiday TV should be.



'The Partridge Family' ('Don't Bring Your Guns to Town, Santa')
When the Partridge bus breaks down in a Western ghost town, an old prospector entertains the family with a fanciful tale of a famous Christmas past. The sentimentality of the final scene, featuring a Partridge cover of 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,' may cause a few unexpected sniffles.

'Green Acres' ('An Old Fashioned Christmas')
While Lisa dreams of spending the holidays in New York City, Oliver defies the Hooterville law against cutting down your own Christmas tree. Rockefeller Center or a rural small town prison -- guess which one Oliver chooses?

The OC'The O.C.' ('The Best Chrismukkah Ever')
Raised in a mixed-faith home, Seth introduces Ryan to the concept of Chrismukkah, a combination holiday that puts Moses and Jesus both on his side. Later, comic-book geek Seth receives the best gift ever when Summer dons a Wonder Woman costume to the strains of the seductive 'Santa Baby.'

'The Monkees' ('The Christmas Show')
The most famous made-for-TV pop band baby-sits a spoiled rich kid, teaching him the true meaning of Christmas. Anyone who still believes the Monkees were not a genuinely talented quartet might change their mind after hearing their wonderful a cappella performance of the Spanish Christmas carol 'Riu Chiu.'



'The Brady Bunch' ('The Voice of Christmas')
Cindy, aka "the youngest one in curls," asks Santa Claus (played by Otis the drunk from 'The Andy Griffith Show') to cure her mommy's laryngitis so that she can sing 'O, Come All Ye Faithful' at the holiday church service. Will Carol get her voice back in time? Come on, it's 'The Brady Bunch'!

'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' ('Christmas and the Hard Luck Kid')
Lou Grant tells Mary that she won't be home for Christmas, because she has to work. The producers of the DVD deserve coal in their stockings for editing out the song 'White Christmas' in the scene where Mary sits alone in the newsroom.

Married ... With Children'Married ... With Children' ('It's a Bundyful Life, Parts 1 & 2')
Those who find standard Christmas sitcom episodes more nauseating than 10-day-old egg nog may enjoy this version of 'It's a Wonderful Life,' Bundy-style. Comedian Sam Kinison plays Al's guardian angel.


'The Avengers' ('Too Many Christmas Trees')
At a Charles Dickens-themed Christmas party, John Steed's visions of sugar plums are replaced by frightening images of an evil Father Christmas. Don't miss the inside joke about Cathy Gale, Steed's former partner in crime-fighting.

The Homecoming: A Christmas Story'The Homecoming: A Christmas Story'
This television movie, based on author Earl Hamner's reflections on growing up in rural America during the Great Depression, inspired the television series 'The Waltons.' Powerful and heartfelt, 'The Homecoming' remains one of the most moving Christmas stories made for television.


Plus check out more holiday goodies at Moviefone:
Worst holiday movies
Movie lovers' holiday gift guide
Holiday movie preview
Quiz: Movie Santas

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