In the wake of the pile of bland which was the Glee Holiday Special (I wasn't a fan) I have compiled a list of 5 Christmas Specials which, I believe, usurp all others, and never fail to put me in a cheerful christmas spirit, ad therefore I recommend watching.
I had to add (of the 21st century) because once you go further back than that you have too many classics like "The Snowman" and of course the "Star Wars Holiday Special" to consider. Although if you haven't seen The Snowman, (I don't know if it was a transatlantic success), then you really, really must, because it is one of the most beautiful things ever.
In no particular order, because try as I might, I can't actually choose a top one.
Gavin and Stacey, 2008.
It's funny and sweet, and revolves around a large family gathering, which is what my Christmases have always been, so I enjoy that. It was also the first episode of Gavin and Stacey which I ever saw, so sticks with me for that reason, and is just nice and fun.
Top Scene: Nessa as Santa Claus
Doctor Who- The Christmas Invasion, 2005.
So much about this episode is great; David Tennant's wearing pyjamas, Rose has nice hair, nothing too sinister, nice family christmas at the end. It was also Tennant's first episode, and the first of the traditional Christmas Specials, so that's all very nice as well.
Top Scene: The Doctor having Christmas in the Tyler household, wearing his suit for the first time. See Displaypic.
The Vicar of Dibley- The Handsome Stranger/The Vicar in White, 2006
Hands down the funniest Christmas Specials of all time, which for me have set high standards which have never quite been reached since. They have also stuck with me, because it was the first Christmas I was allowed to stay up late on Christmas Day and watch TV with "The Adults" (I am the eldest of 6 Grandchildren, it was a massive honour at the time), and also the last christmas spent at the house my Grandparents had lived in since my mother was a child, which was such a lovely, lovely house, and holds many of my childhood memories, many of which are from Christmas day, and 4 years after they moved house, is for me still the place I visualise when their home is mentioned. It also has Richard Armitage as the Vicar's love interest and stars Keeley Hawes, what could be better??
Top Scene: The council meetings as usual are a favourite, and the Painting class scenes.
Although not really a Christmas special I want to mention the final two episodes of Series One of Robin Hood, 2006 because they were shown on the 23rd and 30th December, so like the Vicar of Dibley, I watched the first episode at my Grandparent's house in their final Christmas there, and I think I will ever forever have the memory of my twelve year old Robin/Marian shipper self sat most of the way through Christmas in absolute disbelief and worry that Marian may have died. So watching them really does remind me of Christmas.