The best Christmas TV specials to watch during the holidays

2020 has been a year full of uncertainty and with many of us facing lockdown restrictions over the holidays, TV is more important than ever to entertain us and lift our spirits. With so many different Christmas themed TV shows and movies out there it’s hard to know what to watch. Here I have picked out a selection of the best Christmas TV specials to watch during the holidays this year.

The best Christmas TV specials to watch during the holidays

father ted

A Christmassy Ted (Father Ted)- Available on Four on demand.

Arguably one of the best Father Ted episodes and certainly the longest, A Christmassy Ted has become something of a tradition. Originally aired in 1996, the episode is still a fan favourite today and frequently shown on channel 4 over the festive season.. The special has some of the most memorable moments from the entire show (Ireland’s largest Women’s lingerie department, the golden cleric and that tea machine!). A classic that is sure to brighten up Christmas no matter what!


Christmas special part 2 (The office UK)-  Available on Netflix. 

As the finale of the office UK, the Christmas special was always going to be a memorable one. As Cringingly funny as ever, the Christmas episode features all the main characters of the show together for the final time. However, the best moment is undoubtedly when Dawn and Tim finally get together at the end, after two seasons of immense build up. The best bittersweet ending the show could have had.

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Gavin and st

Christmas special (Gavin and Stacey)- Available on BBC iplayer

To the dismay of many, the Gavin and Stacey series ended in early 2010, so when it was announced that there was going to be a Christmas special in 2019 fans were delighted, and it didn’t disappoint. The Christmas special saw the return of all the main favourite characters, catchphrases and inside jokes (What did happen on that boating trip?). However, the biggest revelation of all was when Nessa proposed to Smithy after a long winded relationship that played out throughout the seasons. Even with the cliff-hanger ending this is a great Christmas special to watch!

peep showw

Seasonal beatings (Peep Show)– Available on Netflix.

The Peep show Christmas special, Seasonal Beatings, has become something of a fan favourite since it first aired in 2010. The episode is frequently shown around Christmas and features all the hilariously awkward moments one has learned to expect from Peep Show. The slow build of awkward tension at dinner ends with a hilarious blow up from Mark at the end which will have you covering your eyes, cringing and hysterically laughing all at the same time. 

late late

The late late toy show- Available on RTE Player.

Showing annually on RTÉ since 1976, The Late Late Toy Show has always been a favourite with Irish viewers. This year’s episode was no exception, airing last week, it brought in a record 1.7 million viewers worldwide. The show is still available to watch on RTÉ Player. Expect a lot of heart-warming moments, one of the best (spoiler alert) is when Dermott Kennedy surprises a young fan, Michael, by singing with him during a performance of his song Giants. Michael’s reaction is everything. In a year as unpredictable as 2020 it’s great to see a favourite Christmas show back and better than ever! 


The one with the holiday armadillo (Friends)– Available on Netflix.

Although Friends ran for 10 seasons, there were not many Christmas focused episodes, as producers tended to focus more on thanksgiving. The One With the Holiday Armadillo however did put Christmas as the main focus. When Ross tries to find a Santa suit to teach his son Ben about Hanukkah they are all sold out, so he instead opts for a hilarious armadillo suit. Thus one of the most memorable friends moments was created. This one is a classic and always leaves the viewer in high Christmas spirits! 

black mirror

White Christmas (Black mirror)- Available on Netflix

If you’re looking for some light hearted Christmas television, this one probably isn’t for you. In true Black Mirror style this episode is as scary and dystopian as the rest. Centred on three connected stories and with a jaw dropping conclusion, this is an episode any sci-fi lover will not want to miss!

Aoife McDowell
Aoife McDowell


  1. Nice tips! Thank you! Must give these a watch! ????

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