Nostalgia is a key component to the holiday season. It’s a time for us to go back to our childhoods, to relive activities and traditions from when we were kids, and things were happier, we felt safer, and times were simpler — or at least they felt that way. For millions of Americans, those traditions include ‘annual viewings of holiday TV specials. Not Christmas films, or films that have become associated with Christmas. We’re talking about holiday programming made specifically for television. There have been dozens of holiday TV specials over the years, with entries from the 1950s remaining just as popular 70 years later, and newer entries finding their way on to the Christmas canon. So for this episode of the Great Pop Culture Debate, our panelists are here to discuss: What is the Best Holiday TV Special?

Host Eric Rezsnyak and panelists Bob Erlenback, Derek Mekita, and Michael Barber get nostalgic by discussing some of their favorite Christmas TV specials from childhood to today.

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The Round 1 match-ups are:

Match-Up 1: “The Star Wars Holiday Special” vs. Dolly Parton’s “A Smoky Mountain Christmas”

Match-Up 2: “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol” vs. “Frosty the Snowman”

Match-Up 3: “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (1966) vs. “Babes in Toyland” (1986)

Match-Up 4: “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” vs. “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

Match-Up 5: “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” vs. “Will Vinton’s Claymation Christmas”

Match-Up 6: “He-Man & She-Ra: A Christmas Special” vs. “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town”

Match-Up 7: “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special” vs. “A Muppet Family Christmas”

Match-Up 8: “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (1964) vs. “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure”

Want to play along at home?

Find the downloadable listener bracket here.

Looking for more related content?

Check out these other episodes from Great Pop Culture Debate:

Best Holiday Movie

Best Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon

Best “Doctor Who” Companion

Also make sure to check out Eric Rezsnyak’s Top 10 List of Macy’s Parade Fails.

Have a say in future episodes!

Finally, if you want to have a say in what episodes we tackle next, vote in our Topic Polls! And we would love to have you pick your faves in the polls currently open for your votes!

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Host: Eric Rezsnyak

Panel: Bob Erlenback, Derek Mekita, Michael Barber

Producer: Mike Rapin

Editor: Jeffery Perry

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