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Weekend Recs: Christmas Specials

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

Christmas is a little over a week away, and this means that Christmas specials will begin (if they already haven’t) filling the airtime of most cable channels and streaming recommendation lists. In the spirit of the season, or simply as a way to bring some merriness into the bleak week of finals, this weekend’s recs will share some Christmas specials for festive enthusiasts and Grinches alike.

If you have 4 minutes and 18 seconds…and need some (violent) humor in your day, watch this SNL “A Christmas Carol” sketch. If you’re a fan of old SNL, you’ll be happy to know it features prior cast members, Steve Martin and Martin Short.

If you have 22 minutes…and need some Michael Scott cringe (or hilarity), watch “Christmas Party” from The Office‘s 2nd season, available in Falvey’s DVD Collection. Although The Office has quite a few Christmas episodes, “Christmas Party” was the first and, arguably, one of the best.

If you have another 22 minutes…and look forward to another Belcher family Christmas each year, watch the most recent Bob’s Burgers holiday special, “The Plight Before Christmas.”

If you have 51 minutes…and are a fan of the family-friendly classics, watch The Year Without a Santa Claus. If you have cable, you will likely have ample opportunities to catch this old-timey Christmas special, and it is, in my opinion, one of the bests. (I mean, the Snow Miser and Heat Miser songs earn their iconic status).

If you have 1 hour and 28 minutes…and have a chaotic family that keeps the holidays interesting, watch Four Christmases. An ode to children of divorce and emotionally immature parental figures, this Reese Witherspoon/Vince Vaughn comedy might just make you feel a bit better (or at the very least, validated) about your Christmas-time family antics and woes.

If you have 1 hour and 45 minutes…and want to watch a slightly newer “classic,” check out the ultimate Jim Carey holiday film, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, available in Falvey’s DVD Collection. In all honesty, this is my favorite Christmas movie of all time, so I might be a bit biased when I say it is worth a watch, but…it’s worth a watch.

Photo by Samira Rahi on Unsplash

Bonus: this recommendation practically goes without saying, but watch Elf this holiday season, also available in Falvey’s DVD Collection.

If you have 2 hours and 7 minutes…and are tired of re-watching old Christmas films, watch Spirited. Released over Thanksgiving, this film updates Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol with a comedic twist. Plus, as a bonus, it stars Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell.

Bonus: For all the MCU fans, Iron Man 3 and Hawkeye are both set around Christmas time and are perfect for those who want something only tangentially related to the holidays.


Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Library.


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Last Modified: December 16, 2022