Christmas Episode

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Known in Britain as a "Christmas Special" (not to be confused with a Christmas Special, a series or franchise based on Christmas itself), the Christmas Episode is a one-off seasonal episode of an ongoing series, typically a comedy or comedy drama. Sometimes the Christmas Episode will be shown in two or three parts over consecutive nights, typically in the build-up to Christmas Day. Only the most popular shows get their Christmas episodes shown on Christmas Day itself.

Note that unlike other holiday episodes included in a series, the Christmas Episode is usually a special production or commission separate from the season it occurs alongside; as such, it generally just features the series's core cast (and sometimes, popular secondary characters) and is not necessarily in continuity to the rest of the season — though it can also be used to set up major changes in continuity through events such as a Christmas wedding or (and this is a popular one for obvious reasons) a Christmas birth, which can then be canonized in the next year's season. Alternatively, the Christmas Episode may be the last-ever episode of the series, as happened with the UK version of The Office, Doug (before getting Un-Cancelled), and Only Fools and Horses (although the latter had more Christmas Episodes commissioned afterwards).

In Britain, a more recent variation is a specially recorded Christmas day message on Channel 4 which is then run in competition to the Queen's televised Christmas message (recent years have seen announcements from Ali G and Marge Simpson). However, since this is breaking the Fourth Wall, it is not typically part of an actual story.

During the 1980s and 90s, British Christmas specials usually took place in some decidedly un-Christmassy part of the world such as Florida (Only Fools and Horses) or Majorca (Birds of a Feather). This has proven unpopular in recent years.

If a Christmas Episode is depressing in tone, this is a case of Twisted Christmas. British Soap Operas in particular tend to make the Christmas Episode the most depressing episode of the entire year. (Which is saying something; Brit Soaps like EastEnders tend to be depressing anyway.) It is not uncommon for a long running character to die in Christmas Episodes of this kind, and another occurrence is a disastrous Wedding Day where everything goes wrong and the wedding doesn't occur, or a disastrous Birth where the baby, mother or both die in the process.

May overlap with Vacation Episode if travel is involved.

See also Christmas Special, which is based on Christmas itself instead of a pre-existing series. Also see You Mean "Xmas", where a world where Christmas doesn't exist gets a similar holiday for the purposes of having an episode for it. Compare Christmas in Japan. See April Fools' Plot or Very Special Episode for another themed episode found in shows. If the plot is taken by a certain Dickens' tale, you might be prompted to say Yet Another Christmas Carol. Action-adventure shows may have An Ass-Kicking Christmas if those elements don't take a holiday. Dramatic shows may lighten up the tone for a Merry Christmas in Gotham. Saving Christmas, of course, is not unheard of.

For other holidays see Halloween Episode, Thanksgiving Episode and Valentine's Day Episode.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
Note that in Japan, Christmas has roughly the same cultural significance as Valentine's Day does in the West — so Anime Christmas Episodes can have an additional romance theme to them. See Christmas in Japan for details.

  • Ai Yori Aoshi: Enishi's Christmas Episode doubled as a Shout-Out to Ah! My Goddess.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia had a special with Finland dressing up as Santa and answering fan mail with his puppy Blood-Smeared Flower Egg. France then hijacks the special and runs around molesting other countries and forcing them to strip.
    • There was also one where the Allies and Axis are visited by Finland as Santa, who gives them gifts, and one where Italy, Germany and Japan interview the other countries about their Christmas traditions. In the Webcomic, there's a strip where Britain and Germany call a truce on Christmas and play a game of soccer/football, based on a real-life event. There is an episode in the anime where America holds a Christmas party.
    • And then came Hetalia Bloodbath 2010...
  • Azumanga Daioh had one of these. Complete with Chiyo-Dad as Santa; courtesy of Sakaki's imagination.
    • The manga had two.
  • Episode 11 of The Big O features "Heaven's Day."
  • The Chrono Crusade anime has an episode where Chrono, Rosette, and Azmaria celebrate Christmas with the rest of the Magdalene Order before they begin their journey to California to save Joshua. The manga follows a slightly different timeline and mentions Christmas, but doesn't have a traditional "episode" per se—the final battle actually takes place over Christmas Eve and ends at sunrise on Christmas Day.
  • Crayon Shin-chan had an episode with 3 Christmas themed parts, the first being about a troupe of performers coming to Shin's kindergarten class to put on a play, the second about Shin helping his mother (and her firends) give away some gifts and the third about Shin's parents fretting over how they're going to get their son a Christmas present.
  • Dai-Guard has one where the cast attempted to have a Christmas party, but threat of attack forced everyone to wait on standby. They simply move the party to Dai-Guard's hanger and invite the repair and ground crew to join them.
  • The Death Note manga had a couple of four-panel cartoons with Light and Ryuk. "Since when do shinigami celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ?"
  • Digimon Adventure 02 used the Christmas episode for a Relationship Upgrade.
  • Doraemon has plenty of these.
  • While Eyeshield 21 is not essentially Christmas themed, the Deimon Devil Bats aspire to and eventually do go to the Christmas Bowl, the biggest game of the year played on Christmas.
  • In later volumes of Happy Happy Clover, the main characters Clover and Mallow discover the story of Santa Claus. But their school teacher, named "Professor Hoot" takes the book away from them and doesn't allow them to read the rest of it. Since he told them that the whole Santa story was for "Grown-Ups". But Clover tells about Santa Clause to Kale's baby brothers, which he would later find out and start ripping the letters to shreds. Clover and her friends then decided to deliver their Christmas gifts to Kale's brothers much to their amusement on Christmas morning. Near the end of the story, Clover and her friends wake up and see presents laying around them home wondering if Santa actually did visit them on Christmas Eve.
  • Hamtaro has several of them, the first involving the Ham-hams making sure that Boss has a good Christmas since "Santa never comes to field hamsters" and the second involving Hamtaro playing the part of Santa Claus and delivering presents to his friends, with a little help from Bijou. And it had (at least) three more that were never dubbed in English
  • Haruhi Suzumiya starts off The Movie (and the novel it's based on) with a Christmas Party, though it is very decidedly not the focus of the story.
  • Episode 12 of I Can't Understand What My Husband is Saying takes place on Christmas, but Kaoru and Hajime can't spend the day together due to Kaoru having to work late. So Hajime goes to a party with Kaoru's friends and their husbands. And since she has to work the next day, they can't spend any time together that night either, so it ends with Hajime reaching for a box of tissues.
  • Ichigo Mashimaro concludes with one of these. Nobue tries to preserve Matsuri's belief in Santa Claus by shutting down Miu's attempts to tell her the truth, and by dressing up as Santa Claus herself.
  • The iDOLM@STER has one of these.
  • Episode 11 of Is the Order a Rabbit? starts with a Christmas Marketnote , and the main bulk of the plot has the girls and the side characters working at Rabbit House to serve customers during this time of year. Cocoa also secretly gives Chino a present while she's sleeping, but then falls asleep next to her, though Chino appreciates the thoughts behind the gift.
  • The Irresponsible Captain Tylor OVA episode "White Christmas" has Tylor trying to make a Christmas Eve date with Yuriko, only to get sidetracked by a kid whose mother is stuck working late.
  • Itsudatte My Santa! the whole thing is a friggin christmas episode
  • Jewelpet
    • Jewelpet (2009): Episode 38, in which Big Bad Dian decides to ruin Christmas for everyone using a brainwashed Io. At the end it turns out that Santa Claus is way cool.
    • Jewelpet Twinkle: Episode 39 features Akari taking her love interest Yuuma on a tour of Jewel Land on Christmas Day.
    • Jewelpet Sunshine: Episode 38. The first half is about the Jewelpets helping Sakuran do her job as Santa's helper. The second half is a messed up midnight mass, only with a Jerkass Crystal Dragon Jesus instead of plain ol' Jesus.
    • Jewelpet Kira Deco: Episode 38, in which Peridot is Santa's helper and instead of reindeer, Santa uses an ice turkey-phoenix thing to get around.
    • Jewelpet Happiness: Episode 38, about the gang setting up their Cafe for Christmas, only to have an overeager Jewelpet screw things up. Nene and Mouri develop their romance as a bonus.
    • Lady Jewelpet: Episode 38 shows Christmas as celebrated by Petit Ladies in the Royal Palace. Much romantic drama ensues between Momona, Cayenne and Elena.
  • K-On! and its manga has one of these.
  • Kaitou Saint Tail. Interestingly, in the manga, the corresponding chapter had nothing to do with Christmas at all.
    • Particularly baffling since the manga does have one or two Christmas chapters.
  • Kamichu! has a Christmas episode. Pretty interesting, considering the show follows the daily life of a Shinto Goddess.
  • A bonus chapter in Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days is set on a rather cold day, in which most members of Organization XIII decided to take a day off against Saïx's wishes.
  • Love Hina's was a tearjerker.
  • Episode 9 of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's is called "Christmas Eve". It starts out like a Christmas episode up until Nanoha and Fate visit the hospital where Hayate's staying so she won't be alone on Christmas. Little do they know that Hayate's the Morality Pet of their enemies and the Mana battery for their Artifact of Doom. What follows is An Ass-Kicking Christmas that lasts for 3 episodes.
    • Episode 11 is called "A Present For Christmas", although more than one present is given. Fate gets to meet Alicia, and The Book of Darkness gets a name (Reinforce).
    • The first Megami Sound Stage takes place on Christmas Eve in A's, although strangely enough, it suggests that after Nanoha and Fate visited Hayate, they went to training without any further problems. In the sound stage, Nanoha and Fate discuss topics like believing in Santa and what they do to celebrate Christmas, in addition to their thoughts on the current situation.
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, twice. There were actually three episodes that took place on Christmas, but one was plot-important and didn't focus on the holiday itself... although it did have a Christmas birth.
  • Chapter 8 of Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid had Tohru decide to throw a Christmas party. Due to the anime rearranging the timeline, the party was changed into an excuse for Kobayashi to get out of the company cherry blossom viewing festival. The anime had its own Christmas episode later on when all the dragons performed a very loose adaptation of The Little Match Girl at a retirement home.
  • There is also one in Ninin Ga Shinobuden, in which Kaede shows the Ninjas the true meaning of Christmas. Hilarity Ensues. (Honestly, that episode is one of the funniest of that series, hands down).
  • Nisekoi had a story arc in the manga that ran from late 2012 to early 2013 that dealt with Raku attempting to get Chitoge's extremely busy mother to spend time with her daughter on Christmas.
  • One Piece anime had a filler (which went on to become regular filler) of the cast in Feudal Japan with Luffy as a detective. The first episode had a Christmas ending with Chopper, who was vaguely busy all day, being one of Santa's reindeer. Chopper, the blue-nosed reindeer.
  • Ojarumaru has one of these.
  • Pokémon has several episodes that are Christmas- or winter-themed, and the true Christmas one ended up being banned from TV for containing Jynx, perceived by one woman to be an offensive caricature (but not before it got released to video).
  • Pretty Cure series tend to have a Christmas episode every year. HeartCatch Pretty Cure!'s is significant that the others as theirs goes directly into the finale, where others tend to be something of a Breather Episode before that.
  • Ranma ˝ has one with nearly all of the characters appearing in it, at least for a little bit.
  • The Three Sisters Agency was started on Christmas in R.O.D the TV. The episode shows them sharing birthday cake with NeNeNe.
  • R.O.D the TV features a particularly heartwarming episode that doubles as a Christmas episode and an Origin Story for the Paper Sisters.
  • Sailor Moon did not have a literal Christmas Episode, but the second movie is implied to take place during Christmas. Say what you will, but it gave us this scene. Added to that, the girls form a Christmas tree to fight the villain.
    • This is more explicit in the manga story the film was based on, where Luna's transformation is treated as a Christmas gift.
  • School Rumble. Harima uses Tenma's present for Karasuma as transportation.
  • Sgt. Frog had an episode where Keroro plots to take over the world at Christmas while everyone's guard is down, but everyone drops out one by one. Eventually he goes to help Kogoro by dressing up as Santa and giving away Christmas presents (so as to get onto Santa's good list and to get a present for Christmas).
  • Shugo Chara!: The show tends to move with the date upon the episodes creation and further release, and, there - fore, has several ones taking placed within winter: however only a portion (One where Su loses her way home, and upon being found via Amu and her other Chara, Amulet Clover is created for the first time, and one involving Amu strengthen her path with Lulu at her house within christmas, and some more, slightly less christmas focused ones around them.) are more than slight Christmas-related tryings.
  • Strawberry Marshmallow's episode revolves around the discovery that Matsuri still believes in Santa, and efforts to keep her from finding out otherwise, to the point of climbing a ladder to her bedroom to leave the latest Harry Potter book by her bed. In the anime, Nobue wonders afterwards what the point was of delaying the inevitable. (Also in the anime, Miu invents a story in which she asked for such far-out gifts when she was little that "Santa" gave up and wrote her a letter telling her that her parents would be taking over that duty, and to please go easy on them.)
  • Tokyo Mew Mew had a two-parter with a Mew Aqua time bomb on top of the giant city Christmas tree. It also inserted foreshadowing for an event in the Grand Finale that also happened in the manga, but there, went unexplained.
  • Toradora! gets a lovely one where all the main school age characters end up alone and probably in tears because they've all been ignored, rejected or rejected someone they did like. Merrrrry Christmas! Ho ho ho!
    • Except for Yuusaku. Nobody who's willing to be in that costume could possibly be feeling down.
  • Vandread has an entire episode, with the Captain trying to entice young maids with her Santa Suit, a Yule Log, Snow-making Machines, and, oh yeah, machines trying to destroy them hiding in a comet's tail that looks like a Christmas Tree.
  • Wandering Son had one where Nitori and Takatsuki hang out with Yuki and her boyfriend.
  • In an early YuYu Hakusho manga chapter, Yusuke meets the spirit of a girl who fell ill and died while waiting for her boyfriend, Kenji to show up to meet her on Christmas Eve of the previous year, not knowing that she'd been stood up. When Kenji shows up to meet another girl on this Christmas Eve, she realizes that he never cared for her, and Yusuke takes her out for some fun, enabling her to happily pass on. Yusuke then takes revenge on Kenji by pretending to be one of his other girlfriends; when he tries guessing which one, his current girlfriend gets angry after realizing how unfaithful he is.

    Comic Books 
  • The Transformers UK featured several Christmas issues:
    • In "Christmas Breaker", Optimus Prime got dressed in a Santa suit and Circuit Breaker didn't kill Jazz due to Christmas. Yeah.
    • In "The Gift", Buster helps Jetfire to appreciate his Earth heritage as a Christmas gift.
    • In "Stargazing", a kid tries to have Starscream do good deeds due to the Christmas spirit. At the end, Starscream still doesn't care for others, but he wishes the kid Merry Christmas.
    • In "Cold Comfort and Joy", while Optimus blames himself for the war reaching Earth, a misunderstanding causes the Powermasters to fight the Wreckers.
    • In "The Greatest Gift of All", Optimus uses the last shard of the Creation Matrix to restore the environment of an area damaged by a battle, as a gift to Earth.
    • While issue 302 didn't include any UK-original comic story, it included a short No Fourth Wall text story of Dreadwind having Yet Another Christmas Carol which convinces him to leave the letters page..
  • The DCU and Marvel Universe Holiday Specials, featuring Christmas with various superheroes.
    • A particularly good one that takes place out of continuity has Superman attempting to visiting an upset child dressed up like a Santa Claus-verison of himself. Batman shows up and chides Superman for acting childish and making himself look silly, which tarnishes his reputation as an icon for good. Superman reluctantly agrees and ditches the costume, but still decides to leave all the gifts he was going to bring for the kid. But as he enters his house, the first thing he sees is Batman dressed up as Bat-Santa... he actually just wanted to hog all the glory for himself. Supes gets pretty pissed and proceeds to smash Batman's face in.
  • Marvel had at least six featuring The Punisher. Frank Castle dressing as Santa to gun down mafiosi? Two years in a row? Crazy Awesome!
    • Marvel even did a story once where a little blind boy who was kidnapped by bad guys on Christmas Eve gets rescued by Ghost Rider and is convinced for the rest of his life that he was saved by Santa Claus.
    • And another time Doctor Doom took the mantle of Santa Claus.
  • The Hellraiser comics had a Christmas special. Seriously.
  • A Green Lantern storyline had Larfleeze (an Orange Lantern who represents avarice) discovering Christmas and attempting to celebrate it. Hilarity Ensues. It ends with a bit of a Tear Jerker, however...
  • The Hack/Slash bonus story Slashing Through the Snow, featuring a wannabee slasher named Rudolph. Despite the name, he was a Bad Santa. Also, it was done in chibi-style.
  • Against all odds, Sin City had a Christmas one-shot called Silent Night. Outside of the title and the funny pin-ups in the back, the comic simply looks as if it takes place on a snowy night.
  • Hitman #22: The Santa Contract. Tommy and Nat are hired to kill a radioactive murderer in a stolen Santa suit on Christmas eve. The best part is the rhyming narration In the Style of... "Twas the Night Before Christmas".
    "Word!" Said his homie, "I got my nine! Now let's go bust a cap in that nuclear swine!" So they took their nine 'mils and a big forty four, and a hand grenade Tommy'd been keeping in store, and enough ammunition to fight a small war. And went off to inform vile Bob of the score.
  • For a few years, Superman would do a Christmas issue where the hero answers some letters that pile up in the Metropolis post office.
  • The Beano often has a bumper issue for Christmas usually being on sale for two or three weeks rather than the usual week. The Christmas issue would also often feature long stories involving all the current Beano characters. Which is unusual seeing as the Beano is an Anthology Comic.
  • The Smurfs had "Little Peter's Christmas" and "The Smurfs Christmas" as its comic book stories.
  • The Christmas issue of Jem and the Holograms involves the titular band being paired up for Secret Santa with their rivals The Misfits.
  • The Beetlejuice comic books had a "horror-day" issue in which the cover story, "Get Me to the Church on Slime," takes place at Christmas. The focus isn't really on Christmas, however, but rather on the fact that Lydia's celebration of the holiday gets hijacked by her ghostly best friend being forced into marriage. It Makes Sense in Context (kind of).

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Love Finds Andy Hardy, the fourth film in the 16-film Andy Hardy series, finds Andy and his family at Christmas time. Andy is worried about getting a date for the big Christmas dance after his steady girlfriend Polly leaves town to spend the holidays with family elsewhere.

    Literature 
  • Sherrilyn Kenyon's The Dark Hunters series includes a short story based on a character named Gallagher experiencing his first Christmas as a Dark Hunter.
  • War and Peace has a Christmas Episode in the Christmas festivities of the Rostov family, during which Nikolai Rostov takes a level in Badass during a hunting trip.
  • H.P. Lovecraft managed to work his own unique version of a Christmas Episode into the Cthulhu Mythos with a short story called "The Festival", set in a picturesque New England town during the Yule season. This being Lovecraft, expect Eldritch Abominations and terrors aplenty.
  • The Sherlock Holmes canon includes "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle", a story about a stolen gemstone, a man down on his luck, a Christmas goose, and forgiveness. The story is actually set two days after Christmas, but pretty much every adaptation is set either on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
  • The Space Captain Smith universe includes two Christmas themed short stories (When Slay Bells Ring and The Celery and the Ivy), written as free downloads for the fanbase.
  • One of Jean de Brunhoff's Babar books, Babar et le Père Noël (Babar and Santa Claus).
  • Charlotte MacLeod's Rest You Merry is set during the Christmas celebrations in Balaclava County.
  • Tim Dorsey's series about Serge Storms has one novel set during Christmas, When Elves Attack. Serge is determined to win a Christmas decorating contest, using (among other things) a tree stuck halfway through his front door. He does win.
  • Agatha Christie wrote Hercule Poirot's Christmas, later adapted into an episode of the David Suchet series. She also wrote a short story called The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding, which was also adapted into an episode under the name The Theft of the Royal Ruby.
  • The Laundry Files has the short story "Overtime," where Bob - due to being laid up after a mission gone wrong - has failed to fill out his request for holiday leave on time, and ends up doing security detail at the Laundry over break. Given the setting, he really doesn't want to deal with anything crawling down the chimney...
  • Many Rainbow Magic books are about holidays. Christmas itself is particularly popular, having at least five fairies devoted to it.
  • Relativity has the story "Bajo el Muérdago," which takes place at Christmas and has the majority of the main characters visiting one of Sara's foster fathers in South America.
  • The Agent Pendergast series has White Fire, where Pendergast and his sometimes assistant Corrie Swanson attempt to solve a murder mystery during Corrie's Christmas Break.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid had a chapter focusing on Christmas in "Cabin Fever".
  • Dilly The Dinosaur had a story "Dilly and the Book of Bad Behaviour", in which Dilly, the naughty young dinosaur, worries that if he gets excited for Christmas, he'll be naughty and Santa won't come so he disallows his family to mention Christmas.
  • Mog had the story "Mog's Christmas Calamity" in which the titular cat accidentally sets her family's house on fire on Christmas.

    Music 
  • The Beatles sent a flexi-disc Christmas record to members of their fan club every year from 1963 to 1969. The records included Christmas songs, jokes, messages to Beatles fans, and general goofiness. In 1970, a compilation album, The Beatles' Christmas Album was released.
  • The Bangles also made Christmas tapes for their fan club in the '80s, "inspired by - okay, a blatant ripoff of" (said The Bangles' Vicki Peterson) the Beatles recordings. They later released Holiday in Bangleonia, a limited-edition CD with both a re-release of their 1983 recording and a new one for 2004. The Bangles revived the tradition in 2009 with an annual holiday podcast.
  • The first song released by Alvin and the Chipmunks was "The Chipmunk Song", aka "Christmas Don't Be Late".
  • It may be unusual for a summer activity like drum corps to have Christmas-themed shows, but the Cavaliers (1991's "Cavalier Anthems Advent Collection") and the Cadets (2012's "12.25") pulled off such shows.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The International Wrestling Association used to have a "Christmas in Puerto Rico" series of events in December.
  • There was a Christmas edition of Monday Night Raw in 1997 with the logo wrapped inside of a wreath, and featured "Stone Cold" Steve Austin stunning a fake Santa Claus, as well as Shawn Michaels pretty much giving Triple H the European Title as a gift (disguised as a match where hbk laid down and pranked Sgt. Slaughter)
  • Starting in 2003, WWE has produced a Christmas episode of one of their main shows (either Raw or Smackdown), in the form of a Christmas-themed wrestling show for the troops in the Middle East.
  • NWA New York's X-Mas Chaos
  • Pro Wrestling Guerilla's Astonishing Christmas
  • An ongoing theme of SHINE end of year shows starting ar 23, where Mia Yim wore red and green, Leva Bates was red and green, Daffney was a reindeer.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Barney & Friends has had two one hour specials. The first was Barney's Night Before Christmas in 2000 and the second was 2002's Barney's Christmas Star.
  • Sesame Street has had a few Christmas specials during its run. The earliest was the prime time special Christmas Eve on Sesame Street in 1978. There was also the commercial broadcast special A Special Sesame Street Christmas in that same year. 1996 had Elmo Saves Christmas and 2007 had the commercial special Elmo's Christmas Countdown. 2016 had Once Upon A Sesame Street Christmas, set in the 19th century, with lots of Identical Ancestors.

    Radio 
  • This trope is Older Than Television, even discounting Literature above and only dealing with episodes of a audio or visual series, with the earliest traceable example dating back to an episode of a 1930 episode of a radio drama featuring a young Betty White, though evidence suggests there might have been a Christmas episode the prior year, when an episode of this series is believed to have aired 23 December 1929.
  • It is also possible to count The second in a series of shorts that would become a series known as Main Street Sketches. The first episode was a Thanksgiving Special
  • Fit the Seventh of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was commissioned by the BBC as one of these, but ended up having absolutely nothing to do with Christmas as Douglas Adams simply couldn't think of an idea. (Seeing as it was still advertised as a Christmas special, this may well be a subversion.) It was, instead, used as a way of tying the first two phases together — and, as a result, which one it's actually attached to is rather vague. The LP and CD of the Secondary Phase opens with Fit the Seventh, clearing up the confusion.
  • I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue had two Christmas Something Completely Different Parody Episodes; I'm Sorry I Haven't A Christmas Carol and Humph in Wonderland, which somehow managed to work all the usual silly games into an almost coherent storyline. (Replacing the Caucus Race with Mornington Crescent was inspired.)
  • This was a continuation of the annual I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again panto, which ran slightly longer than ISIRTA itself.
  • The Burkiss Way had three episodes over its run that were broadcast around Christmas and could be considered Christmas episodes:
    • The second episode of series two, entitled "Lesson 8: Plan Christmas Schedules The Burkiss Way", which mocked the space-filling rubbish that gets shown on TV at Christmas;
    • The sixth episode of series three, entitled "Special Christmas Show", which starts with an announcement that it cannot be opened before Christmas;
    • And the final episode of series five, broadcast on the 26th of December but entitled "Eric Pode of Croydon's Easter Special". It contains nothing about Christmas, but does have a man being diagnosed with Terminal Hogmany.
  • The First Nighter, which ran on NBC radio from 1929 to 1953, first broadcast a Christmas episode titled "Little Town of Bethlehem" in 1937. By popular demand, they performed the episode every year until their last Christmas episode in 1952. The 1945 installment can be heard here.
  • The episode od The Now Show closest to Christmas has a jingle-bells theme tune and a Christmas theme. In 2010, they did a topical-news pantomime.
  • 2011 had The News Quiz Panto, in which Sandi Toksvig went on a magical quest to Radio 4 Land to find the missing pips. Representatives of nearly every show on R4 contributed, from the Gardener's Question Time panel as the magic beans, to the villain of the piece being Graham Seed, supposedly bitter about the death of his The Archers character, Nigel.
  • Cabin Pressure had one on a plane, obviously, in the 2010 episode "Molokai". Featuring an impromptu seven-minute celebration on the flight deck, with turkey made from bits of a chicken sandwich and a green umbrella in lieu of a tree.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space suggests the GM runs a scenario outside the normal campaign during the holiday season, wink wink. The game is obviously based of the adventures of a certain Time Lord...
  • Spirit of the Season is a Christmas and Hanukkah-themed supplement for Spirit of the Century, featuring pulp-adventure versions of Santa Claus, his reindeer (actually humans in this case), and a handful of Jewish allies as ready-made Player Characters.

    Theme Parks 
  • During the holidays, Disney Theme Parks are famous for going all-out with special seasonal entertainment, but year-round attractions getting Christmas-specific overlays include:
    • Both Disneyland in California and Tokyo Disneyland turn "The Haunted Mansion" into "Haunted Mansion Holiday", themed to The Nightmare Before Christmas. Since Nightmare also encompasses the Halloween holiday, this overlay opens in late September!
    • "It's a Small World" gets a Christmas makeover that, among other things, adds carols to the usual Ear Worm soundtrack at the California, Paris, and Tokyo parks (and briefly in Hong Kong).
    • Starting in The '80s and lasting until the Turn of the Millennium at the U.S. parks, the Country Bear Jamboree became the Country Bears Christmas Special for the holiday season. This version still turns up at Tokyo Disneyland as Jingle Bell Jamboree.
    • The Jungle Cruise at both American parks becomes the Jingle Cruise starting in November, with a thin storyline involving a shipment of holiday decorations being lost in the jungle on the way to the base of operations added to the usual script — along with plenty of seasonal puns.
    • At Walt Disney World in Florida, after Halloween has passed the Magic Kingdom's central icon Cinderella Castle gets an overlay of lights that make it appear iced over at night. The stage show A Frozen Holiday Wish presents this as Queen Elsa of Arendelle's work.

    Video Games 
  • Lemmings had a Christmas-themed Mission-Pack Sequel named Xmas Lemmings.
  • Freezeezy Peak in Banjo-Kazooie where the bear and bird get to play Santa and decorate and "be the star" on the Christmas tree.
  • Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! had a unique code that made all the bonus levels Christmas-themed. After finding the Cheat menu, type in MERRY and suddenly the bonus levels will have Christmas music replacing the normal music, Christmas ornaments instead of stars, and presents instead of green bananas.
  • The Snowflake Mountain world in Diddy Kong Racing.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas level of Kingdom Hearts II.
  • A more literal example would be the Sam & Max: Freelance Police: Season Two premiere Ice Station Santa.
  • The final episode of Season 2 of American McGee's Grimm featured Grimm doing his thing to A Christmas Carol.
  • Folklore had a downloadable Christmas add-on with a seasonal side quest and costumes.
  • Jazz Jackrabbit has a special Christmas "demo", as well as a full Christmas-themed episode.
  • This Touhou Fan Vid gives Flandre a chance to celebrate Christmas.
  • The third bonus level of the second Ouendan game has a guy sending a text message to his girlfriend on Christmas excusing his lateness, and the Anthropomorphic Personification of said text message has to reach its destination.
  • Mission twelve of Elite Beat Agents is set at Christmas. After eleven levels of rescuing cartoon caricatures from wacky, off-the-wall scenarios, "You're the Inspiration" gives us a little girl still waiting for her beloved, recently deceased father to come home for Christmas. Upon completion, the victory text reads "Merry Christmas" in festive red and green.
  • Christmas Nights is a special "demo" of NiGHTS into Dreams... with unlockable material not found in the main game proper.
  • Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko had a Christmas-based level.
  • Persona 3 and Persona 4 have this. In 3 the cultural differences are even explained nicely to the International audiences. So yes, Christmas Eve is usually spent with your Love Interest.
  • Putt-Putt has a Tie-In Novel/Audio Adaptation known as Putt-Putt's Night Before Christmas.
  • Sonic Adventure received a free DLC on the Dreamcast that added snow and a christmas tree to Station Square.
  • Many games also offer seasonal downloads, or have bonus content if you play near to Christmas time.
  • Chapter 3 of Bully is set around Christmas (with one mission actually being titled 'Christmas is Here'). The Updated Re-release includes a number of extra Christmas missions at the beginning of the chapter.
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures has the level "Blizzard of Balls", a disturbing level with parts including battling with a snowman and a reindeer and then the Nerd exacting his revenge on Santa for the years of crappy games every Christmas by killing him and going on a downhill ski with his body.
  • The DLC for Costume Quest took place in winter and during the monsters "yeti festival". Yes the kids where still dressed up for Halloween, why do you ask?
    • As an added bonus if you play the game on Christmas Day (or you know, just change the clock) you unlock an achievement.
  • Star Trek Online has an annual winter event with various minigames and prizes, hosted by Q Junior. The event takes place in a pocket dimension populated with gingerbread people, evil snowmen, and a few Breen.
  • To the Moon has a bonus episode called "SigCorp - Holiday special", which takes place at the main characters' office during a Christmas party.
  • Resonance of Fate had a Christmas-themed chapter in which the trio deliver presents to children at the square. Leanne wore a Santa dress, while Zephyr and Vashyron dressed as anthropomorphic reindeer. The two guys would later repeat this in Chapter 25 of Project X Zone 2, when they wore the same reindeer outfits that they had in Resonance of Fate and scattered 10 gifts around the map before the map starts. In that map, the primary objective was to collect them in a certain amount of turns.
  • A minor example in Fallout 4: if the Sole Survivor happens to be in Diamond City on December 25th, then there will be a Christmas tree and Christmas lights set up. It's about as close to a Christmas Episode you can get in an open-world RPG.
  • The game Clustertruck has a level named "Holiday World" but takes more influences from Christmas.
  • The Saints Row IV DLC "How the Saints Saved Christmas" is an Affectionate Parody of Christmas tropes, in which the Boss must save Santa Claus and learn the true meaning of the Holiday Spirit by going through various pastiches of various Christmas films/specials.
  • Since 2013, PAYDAY 2 has released a Christmas-themed heist for the holidays.
    • 2013's Christmas heist was GO Bank, a port of Counter-Strike: GO's Bank map. The only Christmasy elements are a Christmas tree in the lobby, a stereo playing Hoxton's Christmas album, and a light snow falling outside.
    • 2014's heist was White Xmas. Vlad's brother crashed a plane carrying a cocaine shipment - hidden inside wrapped Christmas presents - in the woods. The crew has to rescue him, then recover as much cocaine as they can.
    • 2015's heist was Santa's Workshop. Vlad has the crew hit a Christmas-themed cocaine distribution warehouse to muscle in on the operation. The goal is to protect the "elves" (cocaine packers) while they pack the "presents" (cocaine), then deliver them through a "chimney" (storm drain with a boat waiting below).
    • 2016's heist was Stealing Xmas, once again contracted by Vlad. Vlad's brother messed up again, first by sneaking a shipment of drugs into a pallet of goods that was shipped to a downtown mall, then by dressing up as Santa and getting drunk on-scene. The crew needs to find the right goods, gather them at the giant Christmas tree in the center, destroy the skylight, and airlift the tree off the scene.

    Web Animation 
  • "Da Amazin OT Cristmats Advenchr" in Da Amazin OT Advenchr.
  • Eddsworld: Edd, Matt, Tom and Tord (until 2008) had almost an Eddsworld Christmas Special or a Zanta Claws every year. Also the short "Xmas Day" and "Snowgre".
  • Homestar Runner has plenty, although for some odd reason Free Country, USA celebrates Decemberween instead of Christmas.
    • HSR's first Christmas cartoon, the 2000 short "A Holiday Greeting", had Homestar interrupting Strong Bad's fractured rendition of "O Holy Night" before it got too sacrilegious and wishing the viewers "Happy Holidays".
    • 2001 saw the release of "The Best Decemberween Ever". Homestar goes around looking for advice on finding the perfect gift for Strong Bad, and ends up giving him a DVD of Deep Impact... for the third year in a row, because Strong Bad liked it so much the first time Homestar got it for him.
    • 2002's "A Decemberween Pageant" has Homestar and friends starring in a play about the First Decemberween. It's a convoluted and poorly-acted tale involving two Kobe Bryants, a sailor named Archibald, a Santa-like character known as "Doctor Christmas", an angel, and the King of Town (though it's a bit ambiguous as to whether it's the KOT we know or a predecessor).
    • 2004's Decemberween In July featured a collection of Decemberween-themed shorts, including a Teen Girl Squad cartoon where the girls draw names for a gift exchange... out of the belly of a lion, a kids' book called "That Time Of Year" defaced by Strong Bad, a short in which Puppet Homestar fools around with a battery-operated "Santaman" toy, and the nonsensical Sweet Cuppin' Cakes Decemberween special "Cactus Coffee and the No Tell Motel".
    • Also from 2004 was "Homestar Presents: Presents", where Homestar forgets to do his holiday shopping until 10 PM on Decemberween night. He ends up digging through a box of Bubs old "Aught-Four" crap for his shopping..
    • The Strong Bad Email "what I want" has Strong Bad and Marzipan going over a list of terrible gift ideas.
    • "Decemberween Short Shorts", released in 2006, was a series of extra-short cartoons themed around Decemberween, including Strong Bad having a secret love of tube socks, a scene between ornament versions of the main characters, The Homestar Runner's unsanitary old-timey traditions, and Homestar singing a song to inspire Coach Z to be less creepy so people will want him around on Decemberween.
    • According to Strong Bad in 2007's "Happy Dethemberween", Bubs serves Santa duties as the enigmatic Dethemberween Thnikkaman.
      Strong Bad: He's the Dethemberween Thnikkaman
      And he'll make your dreams come true
      No, there ain't no beatin' that holiday feelin'
      When he says "shut up" to you!
      Bubs/Dethemberween Thnikkaman: Yeah, shut up, kid!
    • In 2008's A Death-Defying Decemberween, Homestar announces he's going to sled down the Steep Deep, not so much a hill as a straight drop, and Strong Bad catches him trying to bury a mattress at the base of the hill. Being Strong Bad, he removes the mattress, only for Homestar to make a perfect landing anyway: turns out the mattress was full of hammers, broken glass and candy canes sucked into points, and Homestar was trying to maim himself to keep from having to visit Marzipan's parents.
    • After a long hiatus, 2010 saw the release of "A Decemberween Mackerel", in which Marzipan and Homestar conspire to save an apparently-sickly Señor Cardgage by cramming him with holiday cheer.
  • My Jungle Book Your Year has "A Very Furi Christmas".
  • "Pimp Lando's Non-Denominational Holiday Special" in the Pimp Lando series, which is also a Hanukkah Episode, a Kwanzaa episode, and a Ramadan episode, though the episode really has little to do with any of these holidays.
  • The fifth Prostitute Mickey short revolves around this. The short had Mickey being mistaken for Ebenezer (the series' version of Scrooge McDuck) by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. The events turn out to only be a dream and Ebenezer returns to demand that Mickey let him piss on him again, but Goofy inadvertently saves Mickey and ends Ebenezer's vile ways by shooting and killing him for his wallet.
  • The (two minute) Christmas episode of Senpai Club has Kurokawa blackmailing Teacher-sensei into going on a Christmas date with her. It ends with Teacher-sensei running away after punching Kurokawa due to her kissing her.
  • The Most Popular Girls in School: "Mall Santa".

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
Since 2014, Doug has acknowledged that he's gotten into a habit of doing a really extreme Nightmare Fuel episode, followed by a Reality Subtext Tear Jerker one.
  • A side story of Trinton Chronicles featured Christmas themes (although it is called Yule) and took place both in the past and present of the story. The current story takes place during the actual month of December and features decorations and the similar themes of Christmas.
  • The Whateley Universe did a whole series of Christmas stories, all for Christmas 2006 (when the stories take place). A couple of them even came out at Christmas time, one year or another.
  • Happy Tree Friends had two, in which the characters sing Christmas songs.
  • 80's Dan had one that was called "Very Inappropriate" for good reason. Let's just say Nazis got shot, and there was a tree star that got involved in an Ass Shove.
  • Demo Reel had "A Blair Witch Hangover". The happiness of the episode could be described in one line:
    Quinn: Christ, this is depressing. And I'm Irish! I'm going to watch Angela's Ashes so I can remember what it feels like to laugh again.
  • RiffTrax, a Spiritual Successor of Mystery Science Theater 3000, does a Christmas-themed riffing or two every year, sometimes as a live movie theater simulcast.
    • 2006: Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey (animated television special; Mike Nelson solo effort)
    • 2007: The Star Wars Holiday Special (feature-length television special), "A Visit to Santa" (short; later reappeared in the 2009 live show)
    • 2008: "Christmas Toyshop" (short)
    • 2009: RiffTrax Live! Christmas Shorts-stravaganza
    • 2010: Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny (film), "Santa Claus' Punch and Judy" (short)
    • 2011: Christmas with RiffTrax: The Magic Christmas Tree plus the short "The Shanty Where Santy Claus Lives"
    • 2012: Christmas with RiffTrax: Santa's Village of Madness (shorts compilation)
    • 2013: RiffTrax Live! Santa Claus Conquers the Martians plus the short "Santa and the Fairy Snow Queen"
    • 2014: RiffTrax Live! Santa Claus (1959)
    • 2015: RiffTrax Live! Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny (alternate cut in which the framing device repackages a cheap adaptation of "Jack and the Beanstalk" instead of "Thumbelina") plus the shorts "Santa Claus' Story", "Custard the Dragon", and "Santa's Enchanted Village" (the last was previously featured in the 2012 show)
    • 2016: RiffTrax Holiday Double Feature (reruns of the 2009 and 2013 shows)
  • The Sonic Amigos has several.
  • Carmilla the Series has The Christmas Special, where Laura, Carmilla, Perry, and LaFontaine find themselves trapped in a diner with a woman who keeps trying to feed them cookies. She's a cannibal.
  • Will It Blend? had the episodes "Christmas Dinner" and "Elf on the Shelf".
  • Every year since 2008 comedian Stuart Ashen has uploaded Christmas specials featuring reviews of products from British retailer Poundland. The specials are as follows:
  • Is It a Good Idea to Microwave This? has done the episodes, "Disco Ball", "Christmas Tree", and the bonus special "Christmas Trees with Gasoline".
  • Episode 4 of A Couple Of Cunts In The Countryside.

    Real Life 
  • The Christmas Truces of World Wars I and II: proof that this sort of thing actually happens real life. For many units the war literally went on pause so troops from both sides could venture out into No Man's Land. Some simply called a truce to bury their fallen comrades, while some units actually mingled, exchanged gifts, and sang carols together. There are even accounts of friendly games of football between opposing units. Unsurprisingly, just like many Christmas Specials, the fight was right back on the next day as if nothing had happened.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ChristmasEpisode