Television's Seven Best Holiday Specials Ever

The holidays are all about engaging in traditions, whether its your mom's penchant for goofy sweaters or the always-awkward yearly Christmas party at the office. One of the more enjoyable customs associated with X-Mas is the annual onslaught of holiday specials that dominate the tube over the next few weeks.

Most of these 30-minute-long throwbacks, which typically preempted regular programming, can be a bit heavy on the schmaltz and saccharine (and often have a lesson to be learned at the end), but such things are a staple of the "most wonderful time of the year."

We've been watching these Christmas-themed cartoons and television programming since we were wee tykes and have compiled a list of some of the best and most memorable holiday specials. Read on for a rundown of our favorites, which includes a few surprises.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.