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Favorite Holiday TV Specials

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Family favorites to enhance your holiday spirit

During the holidays, many families enjoy spending time together watching favorite holiday television shows. Whether it's a religious special, a stop-motion animation childhood favorite or a classic film that airs every winter, our time spent viewing holiday favorites is often an integral part of the season. Here are several specials that are just right for this time of the year.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

An undisputed classic of the holidays, the beloved Rankin-Bass stop-motion animated special is perhaps the most widely remembered and adored Christmas special of all time. For many, the holidays just aren't complete without this heartwarming story of how the world's favorite reindeer saved Christmas. Check your local and cable listings for this classic, which may air several times on various channels during the holidays.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Held every Thanksgiving, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade ushers in the holidays for many families. This yearly television special — which highlights marching bands, Broadway performers, elaborate floats and huge balloons that pass over the streets of New York City — is an essential component of celebrating Thanksgiving and often puts the nation in the mood for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. The parade will air Thanksgiving morning on your local NBC station, beginning at 9 a.m. Eastern time.

Frosty the Snowman (1969)

Another Rankin-Bass production, the animated Frosty the Snowman has delighted kids of all ages since it premiered as a television special in 1969. Check your local and cable listing for this beloved cartoon, which tells the story of Frosty and his magical hat. The theme song will have your kids humming Christmas carols for days.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

For many who celebrate Christmas, the holiday would not be complete without at least one viewing of the television classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas. In this nostalgic animated show based on the Charlie Brown comic strip characters created by Charles Schultz, Charlie Brown is disillusioned by the commercialism of the holidays and strives to put meaning back into them. Children of all ages love — and never forget — the sad little Christmas tree that only partly conveys the true spirit of the season.

This is only a tiny sampling of the titles available for your family to enjoy during the holidays. Be sure to check your television listings for other specials like A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973), Santa Claus is Comin' to Town (1970) or How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966).

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