The Art Of The TV Christmas Special

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer i i

hide captionThe stop-motion holiday special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, first aired on television in 1964.

NBCU Photo Bank via AP Images
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

The stop-motion holiday special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, first aired on television in 1964.

NBCU Photo Bank via AP Images

From A Charlie Brown Christmas to A Colbert Christmas, the televised holiday special is a time-honored tradition. Animators in the late 1960s produced some of the season's most iconic tales. Phil Roman animated the Grinch himself — and Cindy Lou Who — and says How the Grinch Stole Christmas! was a lot of fun to work on.

Dan Snierson, a senior writer at Entertainment Weekly, has his own annual tradition: He watches all the new holiday specials produced each year for cable networks, then puts together an annual checklist of the sap and cliches. Which special — new or old — is your favorite?

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