During all of December we have some great romance steals for every type of reader. We’re excited to welcome Sheryl Nantus who is sharing her Topy 5 Holiday Television Specials and be sure to check out Hard Play on sale for just 99¢!
There’s nothing lovelier than to curl up in front of the television set in the evening during the holidays and watch some innocent, wonderfully cute holiday specials—it’s not only great for the children but for the young-at-heart among us, giving a break from the stress and tension that can build up at this time of year.
But what to watch? Well, here’s my top 5 Holiday Television specials—if you can’t find them on your television schedule, check out other streaming services for some great viewing!
Prep and Landing
One of the newer entries on the block, Prep and Landing deals with two elves assigned to preparing the houses for Santa’s arrival. Prep and Landing, right?
Wayne is the old, jaded veteran who feels that he’s been passed by on the promotion ladder—and his instinct proves to be right as he discovers he’s missed out on a major promotion and this year, once again, has to go out and ready a house for Santa’s visit. His new partner (even worse because his old partner is the one who GOT the promotion!) is Lanny—a wet-behind-the-ears elf just out of the Academy who is one eager beaver and a stickler for the rules.
Wayne, annoyed at the world, decides to let Lanny take the lead on their particular mission—which goes haywire as a child wakes up during their visit, messing up the “not a creature was stirring” part of the deal. Throw in a major snowstorm and it’s not looking too good for anyone!
I loved this show when it first premiered in 2009 and grabbed the Christmas Tree ornament that year! Definitely something different for the kids!
Prep and Landing: Naughty vs. Nice
I know, right? A sequel? After the first one seemed to work out so well? But before you change the channel, check this one out…
Wayne and Lanny are back again, along with an insight into the North Pole—while the pair work on prepping houses for the “Nice” visits, there’s a whole subculture of elves who do the “Naughty” visits—dropping coal into stockings, since Santa’s not going to visit. And believe it or not, Wayne’s younger brother, is one of these coal elves!
The plot is rather silly, but it’s a Christmas special after all. Last year one of the elves lost one of their electronic gadgets to a bad child who chased them out of the house and now it’s been used to hack into Santa’s computer system and put ALL of the world’s children on the Naughty list. Wayne, Lanny and Noel butt heads as they race to get the gadget back and save Christmas.
It’s a funny slice of life at the North Pole and an excellent sequel, although it does stand on its own as well.
Santa Clause is Comin’ to Town!
All right—for those of you who still remember the plethora of stop motion specials that filled the airwaves during the holidays years ago, this will just be another blurry memory. But this origin story of Santa Claus is a pretty entertaining watch, if only for the way it explains the name change, the beard, the toymakingand the flying reindeer! Yes, ALL of them!
And the Burgermeister Meisterburger… has there ever been a better villain? He’s singlehandedly responsible for almost ALL of the mythos around Kris Kringle… add in a dancing penguin and FRED ASTAIRE as the Postman, and you’ve got a great show that’ll likely keep the kids busy as they enjoy the classic stop-motion creations.
The Little Drummer Boy
Another classic stop motion special, I dare you to not get weepy through this one. Sweet, heartfelt telling of the story where Aaron, the boy, is orphaned and turns against humanity, choosing to live with his animal friends and playing his drum for them. Insert the Magi and the usual Christmas story with a bucketful of emotional scenes that will tug at your heartstrings. The lamb, the donkey and the camel who are the main figures in this show are far past adorable and I’m always crying by the end scene—won’t spoil it for you, but needless to say it’s a reminder of how the season isn’t always about presents and parties.
And my #1…
A Wish for Wings that Work!
I know, I know—you thought I was going to bring up Charlie Brown’s Christmas Special… and while I do enjoy that show, it always annoyed the hell out of me when old Charlie gets mistreated for most of the show and it only redeems itself when Linus quotes the Bible.
This, however… THIS is a prize! If you don’t know who Opus the Penguin is, or even if you do, this is a great place to start. Opus is a penguin, as noted, who desperately wants to fly. He’s got the helmet, he’s got the desire and he’s got the best friend in the world—Bill the Cat, who specializes in coughing up hairballs!
Wait! Wait! Don’t leave just yet!
Opus dreams of flying, so much that he tolerates the teasing of a group of nearby ducks, who point out his failings each and every time they can. Even a Flightless Fowl Support Group can’t help him come to terms with the fact that he’s never going to fly.
Until Santa’s sleigh crashes into the nearby icy lake and Opus does what penguins do best…
This one’s a bit hard to find, but if you’re into quirky characters and plenty of inside jokes, it’s a fun watch. If you’re a Bloom County fan, it’s a definite must and if you’re an Opus fan after this, there’s plenty of comics to feed your curiosity afterward!
So there you go – five fun holiday television specials for you to watch and enjoy between helpings of cookies and pie! Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
Hard Play by Sheryl Nantus
On sale for 99¢!
Ex-special forces ranger Dylan McCourt is a stone cold killer who cares only about his military brothers and doing what’s right. He’s used to giving orders and has zero patience for bullshit. Most people tremble when they look him in the eye, but not his infuriatingly sexy new rescue mission, Jessie Lyon. She just juts her chin and says she’s not leaving without clearing her father’s name, to hell with his rules. And was that a one finger salute he sees in her eyes or his imagination? Either way, he knows this is one job his training might not have prepared him for.
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