#86 Flipping channels and stumbling on that one Christmas special you loved as a kid

It’s a wonderful life.

When you’re bunkering in the basement to get away from the holiday madness upstairs, it’s always nice when the channel flipping pops you onto your favorite old flashback.

Which classic gem burrows into your heart?

That Rudolph stop-motion special. Sam the Snowman (no relation to Frosty) narrates this epic tale of outcasts Rudolph and Hermey the Elf as they stumble through the North Pole meeting Yukon Cornelius and the Abominable Snowman before taking refuge on the Island of Misfit Toys. Never forget the moral of the story: Follow your heart and become a dentist.

A Charlie Brown Christmas. Like most Charlie Brown cartoons, this one features monotone voices, confusing plots, and dry humor. Thankfully, jazzy piano music and dancing kids makes it all come together.

• Any non-Christmas movie that takes place during Christmas. Sure, Bruce Willis crawling around office ducts in Die Hard might not seem festive, but listen closely to the background music and you’ll hear some Christmas tunes. Let’s throw Lethal Weapon, Gremlins, and Batman Returns, too.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas. All the Whos living in Whoville have a serious problem in that there’s a freakish monster living in the cliffs above their romantic mountain town — dramatically reducing property values by the day. If you don’t love the big rhyming sing-a-long finish to this one, your heart is officially three sizes too small.

Frosty the Snowman. Poor Frosty just doesn’t have the personality of Sam from the Rudolph special. And since they always air this one with Rudolph, the inferiority of Frosty jumps out even more. Honestly, if Frosty is your favorite old Christmas special, then I feel sorry for you. You had a rough childhood.

• Whatever special is on the same time as Frosty on the other channel. A Garfield Christmas, John Denver and the Muppets, or Will Vinton’s Claymation Christmas automatically win.

Finding your favorite holiday special from when you were a kid is like uncovering a hidden stash of buried treasure at the bottom of the sea. It doesn’t matter if you’ve seen it a hundred times, have it on your computer, or own the DVD, either. There’s just something sweet about feeling like it was waiting there as this very moment … and feeling like the stars all aligned to give you a brief little dose of


Photos from: here, here, here, here, and here