Does the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special float your boat? Or would you rather watch the latest Marvel movie? Can anyone find a reason to watch the latest edition of Mrs Brown?
There was a time not so long ago when TV viewing was far simpler and didn’t lead to fights and arguments.
And if you got it right you were capable of landing tens of millions of viewers across the UK and Ireland.
Over 30 million tuned into EastEnders back in 1986. A decade later nearly as many people tuned in for one of the most memorable Only Fools and Horses scenes of all time.
And while we can’t compete with those kind of numbers herein Ireland there have been a few massive festive shocks along the way like Paul and Hayley’s kiss on Fair City in 2017.
In preparation for tomorrow’s turkey-fuelled telly fest, here are the top Christmas TV moments of all time.
1. EastEnders (1986)
I was only six at the time, but I still remember the uproar about the drama that unfolded in the Queen Vic that night.
After 19 years of marriage, Dirty Den surprised Angie by revealing he knew she had been fabricating her terminal illness. He then handed her his Christmas gift…divorce papers.
2. The Office (2003)
In what was one of the biggest ‘will they or won’t they’ plotlines in years, Office fans finally got to watch Dawn kiss Tim at the Christmas office party.
I can still hear the song ‘Only You’ by Yazoo. It was close to perfect telly thanks to the build-up, writing, acting and the fact that it was Christmas.
3. Father Ted (1996)
Any number of Father Ted moments could have made this list. Dougal performing a funeral, Mrs Doyle guessing the priest’s name, Ted giving Mrs Doyle the tea making machine, the Mission Impossible parody and Ted’s peanut nightmare.
But the highlight was definitely the opener where Ted saved the church’s blushes by successfully rescuing a bunch of priests from ‘Ireland’s largest lingerie department’.
4. Only Fools and Horses (1996)
The famous auction scene where the Trotters finally became millionaires (Dec29, 1996) was a fitting finale to the show that had teased the brothers’ financial security for 15 years.
But it was a scene from the other Christmas special that year that has stayed with fans for longer.
Heading to a fancy dress party, Del Boy and Rodders broke down and ran the rest of the way – but not before they unknowingly stopped and armed robbery. Comedy gold.
5. The Snowman (1982)
I can’t believe this is 39 years old.
I’d watch it again in the morning even though I know every scene inside out.
6. Gavin and Stacey (2010)
Remember when James Corden was bearable and funny?
He wrote and starred in one of the stand out shows of the 00s and when Stacey announced that she had finally successfully got pregnant during the Christmas special, there was a palpable relief among fans.
7. Corrie (2011)
As a last-minute replacement as ‘Mary’ in the nativity play at Weatherfield Community Hall, Katy went in for some extreme method acting by actually giving birth to a baby during the performance.
The newborn was subsequently named Joseph.
8. The Royle Family (1999)
It didn’t always hit the mark over the course of three seasons and 25 episodes but you’d want to have a heart of stone to not get totes emosh during the Christmas special back 22 years ago.
When Denise goes into labour in the bathroom on Christmas Day and Jim calms her down and talks her through it was peak Royle Family, if you ask me.
9. Downton Abbey (2011)
Okay, bear with me on this one. Lady Mary tells Matthew about losing her virginity to Mr Pamuk and claims that she’s ‘impure’ for him to consider for marriage.
Although shocked, he soon decides that it doesn’t matter as he loves her (aww, sweet) and proposes to her anyway. Spoiler alert. She said ‘yes’.
10. Vicar of Dibley (1996)
Do not take this mention as an endorsement for a series that was laboured and unfunny for the most part.
BUT…the 1996 episode where Dawn French’s character had to attend THREE separate Christmas lunches to keep everyone happy was actually a very funny episode.