Alternative Life Lessons From Rudolph & Frosty

rudolph the rednosed reindeerThe holiday specials are starting!

I don't know about you, but as soon as my daughter was over the age of 2, I had her plopped in front of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (11/30, 8PM on CBS). Yes, she was scared of the Abominable Snow Monster, but I felt it taught her a great lesson: Always let your freak flag fly. That, and being a dentist is cool.

This year I'm plotting out the holiday tales that are not only toddler-friendly (if not toddler scary too, but that's part of the thrill), but offer up life lessons that go beyond the story of Christmas. After all, the holidays are about lots of things to all kinds of people.

Here's what I think is important to teach your tots this holiday season, via the best TV specials.


Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (11/30, 8PM on ABC)

Another one that scared my girl, yet taught her that your creepy old neighbor could just be a misunderstood kook. (Just don't let your little one go over to his house by herself when she wants to try and expand his tiny heart.)

The Polar Express (12/3, 6PM & 8:30PM on ABC Family)

The human + animation element may scare your child (a constant theme in these holiday classics). And if that doesn't get 'em, they'll surely learn that whether you believe in Santa or not, trains are creepy. However, your child will learn that those who believe are rewarded, and those who are greedy won't get the goods.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (12/7, 8PM on ABC)

Your little one will get a taste of the true meaning of Christmas thanks to Linus van Pelt's touching monologue. But, as always, Chuck is there to show you the beauty of the underdog; be it dorky kid or sad Christmas tree. Also, commercialism sucks.

Frosty the Snowman (12/11, 8PM on CBS)

Your child does run the risk of developing an unnatural fear of hot houses with this one, but he'll also learn that Santa kicks butt. So if there's a mean, old, nasty magician in your neighborhood -- he'll get what's coming on Christmas day.

What are your favorite holiday specials you watch with the kids?

Read More >