Now, I never saw the first Smurfs one with Gargamel, but I did see the one where they were helping out a poor woodcarver, and the Christmas Carol one based off the Movie (which was better than the movie)... but I hear awful things about that first one... so it has 2 out of 3. TMNT had that terrible concert one and that pretty good 2k3 episode based on a comic book story... Star Wars is forever scarred by the Holiday special. The guy who thought Jar Jar Binks was a great character thinks it was an embarrassment. The guy who said we need to focus episode one on a Pod Racing child Anakin instead of Obi Wan and Qui Gon Jinn and the rise of Darth Maul thought the holiday special was an embarrassment. If I were Disney, I'd bury that thing and make something much better.
You should watch the Smurfs Christmas special with Gargamel- it is awesome! It features one of the most terrifying Smurfs villians ever, in my opinion- and it is very much in keeping with the Smurfs. I also LOVE the other one you mentioned where the Smurfs help the poor woodcarver- that one brings me to tears- such a good Christmas special.
I had always heard that the idea for Jar Jar Binks came from George Lucas' young female relative (I forget if it was a granddaughter or niece or something or whatever...) But maybe that was just an Internet story. In any case, I like the Star Wars prequels just fine. (And The Star Wars Holiday Special, for that matter.)
As far as Sesame Street and Christmas goes- of course, I think "Christmas Eve on Sesame Street" would win hands down as the most beloved and best special ever. And I do LOVE it.
And yes, I also LOVE "Elmo Saves Christmas"- it's a great one too. (And I don't have any issues with Elmo to begin with- I love him too.
And "Elmo's World: Happy Holidays" is really good too. I LOVE that the show actually presented a Christmas pageant (directed by Prairie Dawn, of course!) and told kids about the birth of Jesus. (Of course, I wish He had been presented clearly as the Savior Christ The Lord, as Luke 2:11 declares Him to be- but I suppose I can only expect so much out of a secular non-sectarian production. As a Christian, I just appreciate that they actually told kids that the birth of Christ is the reason for celebration of Christmas and were respectful of Christ.)
And I also appreciate that the show spent time explaining the origins of both Hannukah and Kwanzaa. (I suppose they could have delved into Saturnalia and the Winter Solstice if they really wanted to cover all the bases, but you can only get so much history into a kids' show. Probably better to stick with holidays that are still widely celebrated the most during December.
And the title of the video is quite right in using the term "Happy Holidays"- as it entails the origins and celebrations of multiple holy days for different people. (Since "holidays" itself originates from the words "holy days".)
What I get annoyed with is when we have specials that are not clear in their labelling. I have "A Sesame Street Christmas Carol" on DVD and enjoy watching it. There are actually even some elements that echo "A Special Sesame Street Christmas". (Seeing as how both videos have Oscar in the role of Scrooge in a take on Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol". And the Ghost of Christmas Present on ASSCC looks fairly similar to the Ghost of Christmas Present on ASSSC.
And hey- the Ghost of Christmas Future on "A Sesame Street Christmas Carol" is i-Sam (a CGI version of Sam the Robot! That's pretty awesome!
And yes- the video does show clips from three other classic Sesame Street Christmas specials- "Christmas Eve on Sesame Street", "Elmo Saves Christmas" and "Elmo's World: Happy Holidays". The thing is- it shows the clips about celebrating Hannukah and Kwanzaa on there- I just didn't feel that was necessary, seeing as how the Ghost of Christmas Present (in the book anyway) shows how people are presently celebrating Christmas on Christmas Day. (Yes- I know we want to be sensitive to people who believe differently and celebrate other things, so I suppose that's why they wanted to show that some people at this time of year are celebrating Chanukah and Kwanzaa instead. Still, it felt tacked on and out of place, in my opinion.)
Anyway- that quibble aside, it's still a fun special and worth watching. And Oscar the Grouch is pretty much the main Sesame Street Muppet starring in that special (i.e. in new footage, that is- of course, we have cameos from the various flashback scenes.)
And there are other characters like the Joe Marley Muppet who is pretty funny.
And there's also "Elmo's Christmas Countdown", which I enjoy as well. I think it's pretty cool that it teaches kids about the concept of an Advent calendar, which is a great Christian tradition at Christmas- which obviously some non-Christians use as well in a secular celebration of Christmas. That special wasn't heavy on the idea of the Advent season as a time in Christian churches for reflection upon the birth of Christ and the salvation He came to bring- but the concept of an Advent calendar was still there and that's way cool. And there were even some Christmas carols that speak of the birth of Christ- like "Do You Hear What I Hear?" Awesome! (And "Carol of the Bells", which has some distinct Christian lyrics proclaiming the birth of Christ- but those lyrics aren't always used- if any at all. And "I Saw Three Ships" is also a classic Christian Christmas carol proclaiming the birth of Jesus.)
And with all of those on hand- yeah, I still enjoy "A Special Sesame Street Christmas" too. Mainly for the adaptation of "A Christmas Carol"- and for all the fun guest star appearances. And some great songs- even if they aren't specifically Christmas songs.
Oh well- everyone is welcome to their opinion on it. But as I said before, I'd still rather have such material available on DVD so that those who enjoy can have it to enjoy- and those who don't can ignore it.