About Christmas TV History

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

1980s Christmas: A Muppet Family Christmas

This 1987 hour-long TV special seems to be everyone’s favorite Jim Henson Productions Christmas special. And with good reason--it features not only the Muppets but the characters from Sesame Street, Muppet Babies and Fraggle Rock as well.

The story begins with the entire Muppet cast traveling in a pick-up truck to surprise Fozzie Bear’s mother at Christmas. When they arrive at her farm house, Mrs. Bear has to cancel her holiday vacation plans for Malibu in order to entertain her new guests. She also has to accommodate Doc and Sprocket (from Fraggle Rock) who had come to rent her farm house to enjoy a quiet Christmas in the country. Guests continue to arrive and the farm house becomes quite crowded and chaotic--though Kermit is still waiting for Miss Piggy to arrive. Meanwhile, the Sesame Street gang show up caroling. The new guests include: Bert, Ernie, Big Bird, the Count, Grover, Oscar the Grouch, Cookie Monster and more. Miss Piggy has yet to arrive when a snowstorm blows in.

The multitude of house guests entertain themselves by watching home movies of the Muppet babies. The guests also stage a holiday pageant of the story ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ while Fozzie works on his new comedy act with a snowman. And, the Swedish Chef considers preparing Big Bird for Christmas dinner. But Kermit worries about Miss Piggy reaching the house in the storm.

In another room, Robin finds a Fraggle hole where the young frog and Kermit pass through and make new friends with the Fraggles. Eventually Miss Piggy makes her grand entrance, arriving safely by dog sled. The crowded house full of merrymakers begin their annual carol sing and begin to exchange gifts.

This musical special includes the familiar holiday classic songs: ‘We Need A Little Christmas;’ ‘Jingle Bells/Jingle Bell Rock;’ ‘Deck the Halls;’ ‘The Christmas Song;’ Happy Holidays;’ ‘Ding Dong Merrily on High;’ ‘I Saw Three Ships;’ ‘Good King Wenceslas;’ ‘The Holly and the Ivy;’ ‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas;’ ‘Caroling Caroling’ and ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas.’ This special also includes the original songs ‘Pass It On;’ ‘It’s in Every One of Us’ and ‘We’ll Be Together At Christmas.’

The ending has a very special, touching moment. As the entire Muppet gang celebrates Christmas together, the master puppeteer himself, Jim Henson, looks over the festivities from the kitchen offering to do the dishes so the Muppets may continue to celebrate. Below I've included this nostalgic clip that includes Henson. The entire Muppet Family Christmas special also is available on Youtube.


  1. Looks awesome! I will have to try and watch this with my son this year. He is getting older, but right now he still likes the traditional holiday specials!

  2. I have this on VHS and try to watch it every year. It's one of my favorite specials.

  3. I don't think I've seen this one. I still think about and miss Jim Henson almost every day. He was just wonderful.