grift of the magi christmas special (1999)
Still going strong since 1989 making it the longest running Amercian sitcom, The Simpsons is beloved the world over for its knee slapping comedy and its incisive and subtle exploration of American society and culture through the power of parody. Its also got Homer Simpson - one of the best characters ever drawn.
Since its run for sooooooo long The Simpsons have several really good Christmas episodes but Grift of the Magi has to take top honours.
In the episode mafia boss Fat Tony successfully extorts a large sum of money from Springfield Elementary School, forcing Principal Skinner to close it down. However, a toy company called Kid First Industries, led by Jim Hope, later buys the school and privatises it. Classes now start focusing on toys and marketing only, and soon a new toy called Funzo that resembles the children's ideas is released by Kid First Industries in time for the Christmas shopping season. Bart and Lisa decide to destroy all Funzos in Springfield but Gary Coleman, Kid First Industries' security guard, tries
to intercept them.
There's the Christmas caroling to get you in the festive spirit, Krusty's Non Denominational Holiday Funfest is hilarious, and there's influences from A Christmas Carol and It's a Wonderful Life.
But underneath it all is the real dig that they have at the over commercialisation of Christmas reminding us that in the end Christmas is about people.