5 crowd-pleasing holiday specials

Looking for something holiday-themed that the whole family will enjoy? These five specials have stood the test of time and will be loved by young and old alike.

3. 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer'

Yes, this is the one where Santa Claus is kind of a jerk. Reindeer Rudolph is born with a nose that glows red and is shunned by the rest of the North Pole community until he teams up with fellow outcast Herbie the elf and learns that sometimes being different isn't such a bad thing – especially when your glowing nose may be able to save a holiday. The special, produced by Rankin/Bass, first aired on NBC in 1964 and went through a few changes over the years. One addition was planned after TV audiences wondered what had happened to the residents of the Island of Misfit Toys, and a scene was created showing Santa arriving to distribute them to children. The scene first aired in 1965 and has been included ever since.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

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