Just like favorite Christmas music, lots of people have a special holiday show that they have to watch each year before they can say they've had Christmas.  I'm one of those people.  I used to watch them for me.  Now I make sure that I watch them with the kids.  Rankin & Bass's version of Rudolph The Rednosed Reindeer is one of those classics.  The new one that I have to watch every year is "Elf" with Will Ferrell.  But just what is it that makes a holiday special a classic? Do you have a favorite that you have to watch each year?  Let's start the conversation....put your selection in the comments section under this post.

The most popular holiday specials have a few important things in common. USA TODAY's Robert Bianco lists five factors, with good and bad examples of each. A show may not need all five to succeed, but if it doesn't have at least four, it shouldn't expect to be invited back for next years reindeer games.