My Annual Christmas Tradition: “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “The Snowman,” “Yes, Virginia”

Merry Christmas! It’s hard to believe that it’s already December 25th. But it is. After this year, it’s definitely a welcome arrival. And hopefully at least for today, we can all enjoy the warmth and comfort of the holiday.

I know every year aside from time with family and friends, good food and all the presents, one thing I always make sure to do is watch my four favorite Christmas specials. Usually I’ll pop them in on the evening of Christmas Eve as we usually prepare the many foods for nochebuena dinner at midnight. And every year when I do get to watch these four specials, they as magical and emotional as they were the first time I watched them.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

The classic. The all-time great. A Charlie Brown Christmas will always be a staple in my house every year. The combination of the usual Peanuts fun and humor with the groundbreaking monologue by Linus about the meaning of Christmas, it truly is a must-watch for me. Always brings joy and hope. All the warm feelings of the holiday season perfectly packaged in a 30-minute special.

Yes, Virginia

This may not be the most well-known Christmas special. But I find myself tearing up every year each time I watch it. Based on the famous 1897 editorial “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” it is a wonderful story that presents the meaning of Christmas in a way that is accessible and relatable, no matter if you celebrate the holiday or not.

The Snowman / The Snowman and the Snowdog

I imagine The Snowman (and its sequel The Snowman and the Snowdog) is as much a tradition in the UK as A Charlie Brown Christmas is here in the United States. I was so lucky to have discovered this timeless classic years ago and it was easy to add it to our annual Christmas traditions. So much heart. So much warmth. The sincere and touching story of both specials are just irresistible in their simplicity, but hugely impactful in their message.

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