It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That is, time for TV shows to roll out a fresh batch of Christmas-themed episodes for our viewing pleasure. But which of the many Christmas episodes we’ve enjoyed over the years have stood the test of time to become a true holiday tradition? You tell us. We’ve ranked the most enduring Christmas episodes ever -- along with a few wild cards -- and placed them in a March Madness-style bracket. Over the next two weeks, we’re asking you to vote for your favorite episodes until we get a winner: the undisputed best Christmas episode of all time.
(1) Seinfeld, “The Strike” (aired December 18, 1997)
Let us first thank you, Yahoo! TV readers, for voting for "Seinfeld" to give "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" a sound drubbing in Round 1 of Mistletoe Madness. We love us a "Honey Boo Boo" ep as much as the next TV junkie, but c'mon… "Seinfeld" is one of, if not the, greatest sitcoms of all time; "Honey Boo Boo" is… on TV. Now, for Round 2, "M*A*S*H" is certainly another classic sitcom, and no man in primetime history has ever rocked the sensitive guy thang more than Alan Alda. But really, what could be better than an episode of one of the best comedies of all time that leads to a new holiday?
(8) M*A*S*H, "Death Takes a Holiday" (aired December 15, 1980)
Again, thanks and congrats to you, readers, for choosing the heart-tugging story of the "M*A*S*H" crew's attempts to spare a dying man's family a tragedy on Christmas Day over the, okay, funny, but certainly less sentimental tale of a homicidal baby wielding a killer candy cane in the "M*A*S*H" vs. "Family Guy" Round 1 battle. You do remember the part about the "KISS Saves Santa" faux movie, right? No, no, you voted with your heart, and it was a wise decision; "M*A*S*H" is clearly the way to go there. But can either of these gems really hold up against the sheer holiday-mocking comedy genius that is Festivus? Continue to vote wisely, channel surfers.
In lieu of a scene from this episode (which we couldn't find for the life of us), enjoy a montage of "M*A*S*H" Christmas photos set to a Norwegian rendition of "O Holy Night" (YouTube is a very strange place):
Which episode deserves to advance to the next round of Mistletoe Madness? Vote in the poll at the top of the page, click here to see the full bracket and vote on other pairings (Round 2 voting ends Friday at 6 PM PT), tweet out your choices using the hashtag #MistletoeMadness, and hit the comments to tell us about all the great Christmas episodes we forgot to include.