Who’s naughty or nice? Pick the best — and worst — holiday TV specials and movies

Here's your chance to separate the Christmas classics from the not-so-jolly junk.

"I killed it!" Where does "A Charlie Brown Christmas" fit in among your favorite holiday specials? United Feature Syndicate Inc.

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In today’s fractured media environment, it’s surprising that a sizable portion of the population would get itself so worked up about the airing of a 55-year-old Christmas special. But that’s just what happened when Apple TV+ streaming service snatched up “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” along with its fellow Peanuts holiday specials “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.”

No broadcast airing? Blasphemy!

Never one to ignore the zeitgeist, Apple TV+ quickly responded to the outcry by sharing the specials with PBS, which will broadcast “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on Sunday, Dec. 13, locally at 7:30 p.m. on GBH. And for good measure, you can watch it for free on Apple TV+ any time from Dec. 11-13. (And presumably whenever you want, now and forever, if you’re a subscriber.)


Crisis averted, but questions remain: Where does Charlie Brown stand in the esteemed pantheon of holiday TV specials? Ahead of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”? Behind “The Year Without a Santa Claus,” home of the iconic Heat Miser and Snow Miser? Is “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” truly the stuff nightmares are made of? And where does “A Rugrats Chanukah” fit in?

You can let us know what you think by taking the poll below (or here), and for good measure we’ve also asked about your favorite holiday movies making the rounds of cable television this month. Are you a George Bailey person, or more of a Clark Griswold type? (We’ve included theatrically-released films only, so you don’t have to pick your favorite Hallmark Christmas movie — that could keep us here until Easter. And yes, we’ve listed “Die Hard” as a Christmas movie; deal with it.)

Take the poll to let us know your favorites (and the stinkers too — “Star Wars Holiday Special,” we’re looking at you), and check back next week for the festive results.


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