When it's over, then I cheer
I'm glad it's only once a year
I hate Christmas!
- Oscar the Grouch tells Big Bird that if he [Big Bird] can't figure out how Santa gets down people's chimneys, people won't get presents for Christmas. Big Bird becomes obsessed with finding the answer.
- Bert & Ernie enter a "Gift of the Magi" Plot, buying gifts for each other.
- Cookie Monster attempts to contact Santa Claus so he can ask for cookies, but he keeps eating his writing instruments.
'Christmas Eve on Sesame Street'' contains examples of the following tropes:
- Anti-Christmas Song: Oscar's "I Hate Christmas"
- Creator Cameo: Writer/producer/director Jon Stone provided the voice of Santa on the phone that Cookie Monster ends up eating.
- Everyone Is Christian At Christmas: The only character explicitly non-Christian is Mr. Hooper, when Bob wishes him a Happy Hanukkah.
- Extreme Omnivore: No surprise from Cookie Monster here, as he eats each of his methods of contacting Santa because his insatiable appetite gets the better of him, consuming his pencil, his typewriter, and his telephone (and just as Santa actually answers).
- "Gift of the Magi" Plot: Ernie and Bert go through this, involving their rubber duckie and paper clip collection, respectively.
- Mathematician's Answer: When Kermit returns from conducting his survey back asking neighborhood kids how they believe Santa gets down tiny chimneys.Big Bird: What did you find out about how Santa gets down those chimneys?Kermit: Well, the demographics of our survey would indicate that the solution is not altogether definitive.Big Bird: *Beat* What does that mean?
- My God, What Have I Done?: Oscar actually experiences this when Maria gives him something of a "reason he sucks" speech when it's believed that Big Bird ran away over Oscar teasing him that Santa won't bring anybody presents because he can't get down a tiny chimney.
- One-Shot Character: For this special, Patty, a little girl who hangs with Big Bird throughout the special. She also tries to help him figure out how Santa gets down tiny chimneys, though she grows more and more concerned about Big Bird's well-being as he grows more and more depressed as the special progresses.
- Third Line, Some Waiting: Cookie Monster is the "C" plot.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Maria really rips Oscar a new one when Big Bird goes missing:Maria: Oscar, I hope you're satisfied, you had to start all that stuff about Santa and tiny chimneys, and you've upset Big Bird so much, he's gone.Oscar: W-well, I didn't know he'd do anything dumb like that, I was only teasin' him.Maria: Teasing him? Telling him that Santa's not going to bring anybody any presents because he can't get down a tiny chimney, now you call that teasing?!Oscar: Well, uh, he'll come back, he's part homing pigeon! Besides, what's the big deal? He lives outdoors all the time, anyway!Maria: Now look here, Oscar... the nest is something different, that's his home, he's got an electric blanket, he's got heating pads, and he's around all the people that he loves. But here it is Christmas Eve, and he's out there somewhere in this big city, and it keeps snowing, and it's getting colder, *On the verge of tears* and he could be in serious trouble unless we find him! So what are you going to do about it?!Oscar: Well, I'm gonna find him, and bring him back! Get me off'a here!
- Staircase Tumble: How Oscar (and his trash can) leave the skating rink in the opening; the use of different shots from different camera angles crank it Up to Eleven, making it look as if Oscar crashes through mulitple rooms.
- The Stinger: Cookie Monster eats the needles off Gordon's Christmas tree.
- True Meaning of Christmas: Big Bird insists that finding out how Santa gets down tiny chimneys is important, but Gordon tells him otherwise.Gordon: No, Big Bird. That's not important. What is important is... well... we lost you tonight, and we were all very worried about you... and now we've got you back, safe and sound... and we're all together at Christmas.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: After returning from the skating party, both Count and David disappear for the rest of the special, though David suddenly reappears during the closing reprise of "Keep Christmas With You (All Through the Year)," as if he too had been searching for Big Bird all that time.