34 memorable Christmas episodes of classic TV shows

Get in the holiday spirit with comedies, dramas and mysteries filled with Santas, carols, lights and trees. Watch television Christmas specials from the 1950s to 1990s.

Don't just stare at a DVD of a burning yule log on your television screen. Set the seasonal mood with A Very Merry MeTV. You can catch current favorites like The Mary Tyler Moore Show and CHiPs in the festive spirit, but we are also digging in the vault for some rarely seen series on MeTV. You'll get a chance to catch shows from the 1950s to 1990s, everything from Our Miss Brooks to 21 Jump Street. Lesser seen shows from the 1970s like Vega$ and The White Shadow will pop up in our thirty nights of celebration. Father Dowling, Kojak and MacGyver will solve Christmas mysteries. These stories are loaded with trees, carols and lights.

There's a week of Thanksgiving-themed shows, too, appropriately around Turkey Day. You can download the complete schedule for more info. Here are 34 treats we look forward to unwrapping in the weeks to come (and when you can see them). What is your favorite Christmas episode of all time?

1. The Andy Griffith Show "Christmas Story"

The only Christmas outing in Andy's run has a very Frank Capra vibe and also features Margaret Kerry, the actress who served as the original model for Disney's Tinkerbell.

December 25 at 9PM | 8C

2. The Beverly Hillbillies "Christmas at the Clampetts"

The clan gets a bunch of nautical Christmas gifts, including a boat with a monkey named "Skipper."

December 4 at 9:30PM | 8:30C

3. The Bob Newhart Show "Bob Has to Have His Tonsils Out, So He Spends Christmas Eve in the Hospital"

Bob has to have his tonsils "yanked" and frets over missing all the good Christmas food. All is well in the end, as he has “sweet potatoes out a straw and a glass of ham.”

November 16 at 9:30PM | 8:30 C

4. The Brady Bunch "The Voice of Christmas"

Speaking of throat ailments, Carol gets laryngitis and will not be able to sing at church on Christmas. A department store Santa promises Cindy that she will get her voice back in time.

November 20 at 9:30PM | 8:30 C

5. Cheers "A House Is Not A Home"

Diane is haunted by the memories of the couple who lived a long and happy life together in the home she and Sam have purchased. She wants to give them a Christmas they'll never forget.

December 15 at 9:30PM | 8:30C

6. CHiPs "Christmas Watch"

At the community church, thieves run off with a 15th century bell that means a great deal to the local kids.

December 11 at 9PM | 8C

7. The Commish "No Greater Gift"

Tony investigate the murder of an old women during a Christmas burglary. Also, a homeless woman has been sleeping in the manger.

November 27 at 9PM | 8 C

8. The Donna Reed Show "A Very Merry Christmas"

Donna is upset that nobody seems to appreciate her fruit cakes. Throwing a Christmas party for kids in the hospital cheers her up. 

December 21 at 9PM | 8C

9. The Doris Day Show "It's Christmas Time in the City"

Doris throws a Christmas party in her apartment. Grumpy Mr. Jarvis threatens to call the cops if there is too much noise. That doesn't stop Day from belting out "Silver Bells"! Worth it for the singing alone.

November 19 at 9PM | 8C

10. Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman "Mike's Dream: A Christmas Tale"

A spin on Dickens, this "A Christmas Carol" style dream leads a doctor to wonder what her life would have been like if she had not become a medicine woman. 

November 30 at 9PM | 8 C

11. Family Affair "Christmas Came a Little Early"

Buffy asks Uncle Bill if they can have an early Christmas holiday because an ill neighbor girl might not live through December.

November 16 at 9PM | 8C

12. Father Dowling Mysteries "The Christmas Mystery"

A woman is shot and the trail leads to a department store on Christmas Eve.

December 7 at 9PM | 8C

13. Gilligan's Island "Birds Gotta Fly, Fish Gotta Talk"

Will Gilligan's Christmas wish come true? Will the cast-aways be rescued? Spoiler alert: No. There were still two more seasons to get through.

December 15 at 9PM | 8C

14. Happy Days "Christmas Time"

Howard tries to sell the Cunninghams on a new artificial tree. Meanwhile, Fonzie's receives a gift from his estranged father and long-buried emotions are stirred up. Proof that Winkler delivered more than "Aaaayyyy."

December 23 at 9:30PM | 8:30C

15. Hill Street Blues "Santaclaustrophobia"

Belker goes undercover as Santa Claus and has to deal with a fresh street kid who knows he is a cop.

December 8 at 9PM | 8C

16. Kojak "How Cruel the Frost, How Bright the Stars"

Christmas Eve is anything but peaceful for Kojak and his men. A woman is convinced her boyfriend is going to commit some kind of crime-but she doesn't know what

December 9 at 9PM | 8C

17. Laverne & Shirley "Christmas Eve at the Booby Hatch"

The cast gets to show off other skills. Lenny and the Squigtones play their original song “The Jolliest Fat Man.” Carmine tap dances to "Jingle Bell Rock." And our girls twirl batons while dressed as elves.

December 23 at 9PM | 8C

18. The Lucy Show "Together for Christmas"

Lucy, Viv and the kids are spending their first Christmas together and Lucy and Viv do nothing but argue over their family's special traditions. 

November 17 at 9:30PM | 8:30 C

19. MacGyver "The Madonna"

MacGyver and the kids at the Challenge Center are taught the true meaning of Christmas by a mysterious homeless woman.

December 2 at 9PM | 8C

20. Make Room for Daddy "The Singing Sisters"

Danny helps two nuns who are cheated out of money for a Christmas song they wrote. 

November 19 at 9:30PM | 8:30 C

21. The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis

Maynard all the money saved up for the Christmas dance — $55.78 — to a poor shoeshine boy. How will he earn the money back? Santa Maynard!

November 17 at 9PM | 8C

22. The Mary Tyler Moore Show "Christmas and the Hard-Luck Kid II"

Mary is forced to work not only on Christmas Day but Christmas Eve, too. Lou Gives Mary a blank check in her Christmas card. This ties in with That Girl (see below). 

December 10 at 9:30PM | 8:30C

23. M*A*S*H "Dear Dad"

Hawkeye, in holiday garb writes his father and tells him of the 4077th.

December 18 at 9PM | 8C

24. The Odd Couple "Scrooge Gets an Oscar"

Another Dickens spin, this time with Oscar as the ultimate grouch. 

December 24 at 9:30PM | 8:30C

25. Our Miss Brooks "The Magic Tree"

Connie Brooks is resigned a lonely Christmas with a cat. After buying a "magic" Christmas tree from a slick salesman, she falls asleep and dreams that her friends pop in as a surprise. She wakes up and… Well, you can probably guess.

December 21 at 9:30PM | 8:30C

26. Petticoat Junction "The Santa Claus Special"

The gang at Shady Rest decorate the train for the holiday. The Cannonball choo choo covered in Christmas lights is quite a site to behold.

December 4 at 9PM | 8C

27. Saved by the Bell "Home for Christmas"

Zack, Slater, Screech, Kelly and Jessie are working at the mall for the holidays, where they befriend a homeless man and his daughter.

December 14 at 9PM | 8C

28. That Girl "Christmas and the Hard-Luck Kid"

Ann received an unexpected gift as a thank you for a kind gesture from her days teaching at a boarding school. How does this relate to the Mary Tyler Moore "sequel" above? Well, both were written by James L. Brooks.

December 10 at 9PM | 8C

29. Touched by an Angel "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear"

Wayne (Randy Travis) gets upset when Joey breaks a meaningful Christmas ornament.

December 17 at 9PM | 8C

30. 21 Jump Street "Christmas in Saigon"

In this early Johnny Depp vehicle, Internal Affairs shows up to investigate Officer Harry Ioki under the suspicion he entered the country illegally. Tom (Depp) takes Harry home to his mom.

November 18 at 9PM | 8C

31. Vega$ "Christmas Story"

This late-'70s series focused on a private eye named Dan Tanna (Robert Urich) in Sin City. In this seasonal outing, Dan's long lost daughter shows up.

December 16 at 9PM | 8C

32. Welcome Back, Kotter "A Sweathog Christmas Special"

Merriment, mistletoe and menorahs are the beginnings of a Merry Christmas celebration with the Sweathogs and Gabe and Julie Kotter. Catch "Hark, The Sweatkings" at 9PM, too.

December 3 at 9:30PM | 8:30C

33. The White Shadow "A Christmas Present"

This pioneering basketball drama (read 7 fascinating facts about the show here) was not afraid to get seriously heavy.

December 1 at 9PM | 8 C

34. Wonder Woman "The Deadly Toys"

This jolly fun outing features secret military weapons, an android, killer toy planes, toy butterflies with truth serum, and none other than Frank Gorshin, a.k.a. the erstwhile Riddler of Batman!

December 22 at 9PM | 8C
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