Hello, Spongey here.
On December 27, 2010, I posted a list of my favorite Christmas specials, as my very first post on the blog. Yes, I posted it after Christmas…for some reason. As mentioned before, I attempted a blog before but it didn’t really get off the ground. Eventually I finally settled on this, which was basically a better place for my random postings than Deviant Art. I’ve gone into my inspiration before and all that, no need to really repeat it.
My days on Blogger were…not the best, but things like this take trial and error. I tried a bunch stuff until finally getting into the groove and being almost barely competent at this whole blog thing. It wasn’t my first review per say, we’ll get to that come 2021, but it was my first official attempt at this and was my first list.
That was 10 years ago, Christ, time sure flies. To put that in prospective, I was 15 at the time. I think I just threw my back out thinking about that. Anyway, that post was honestly not the worst I suppose but was certainly not good, as per usual for the time. Since then I’ve gotten into reviewing Christmas episodes and have thus seen way more and focus more on those than stand alone specials and movies.
Since I more or less finished up doing those, aside from the new ones from the networks, I wanted to really cap it all off. I kicked around the idea of a best holiday episodes from the Networks but figured that was a bit too small scale. Then I recalled that original list and figured it needed an update.
So that an easy decision, a list of my favorite Christmas episodes that could mix on ones I’ve reviewed and a few I hadn’t touched on since they weren’t part of what I already looked at. However, I had an idea to finally allow adult shows some time to shine on these. I wanted to allow those to qualify and actually asked on DA for some suggestions I could check out.
That was in 2018, as yes I do plan this far ahead….and I never go to doing that outside of a couple. Whoops. However, they did still qualify and a few will be mentioned…sort of. See, this was very hard to pin down. I had my obvious choices but it was impossible to pick from the ones outside of that. They were all still really good but which ones could sit along these old favorites?
It was hard…so I picked none and only went with the 7 that first came to mind. Yep, that’s all we got here. However, like Norty before me, I have tons of Honorable Mentions to make up for it. To make this more special, I’ll stickto the big ones close to my heart for this but just know the ones I’ll get into in the runners up are mostly pretty close.
This is mostly taken up by ones I’ve gone into before so be warned of that. And even the few that I hadn’t are ones you’d expect. Still, I am passionate about these. Since most of these are heightened by nostalgia, adult ones still didn’t quite make it in. A few did make the runners up though.
Now, if that upsets you…I have a special project for next year that will really make up for that, hopefully. I’ll announce that at the end though. Oh and I wanted to do this on that special day I posted the first one, but I didn’t want to be late given this isn’t an especially great post anyway.
That said, let’s finally get into this,
This, is Spongey’s Favorite Christmas Episodes
This will be in airing order, aside from the last one which is my big number one. Let’s start with…
The Santa Experience [Rugrats]
Writers: Joe Ansolabehere, Peter Gaffney, Paul Germain & Jonathan Greenberg
Oh good, we get to start with one I hadn’t fully talked about before. Except for on DA ages ago but I doubt anyone reading this saw that. This was on the crappy version but even back then I said nothing because…I forgot to. At least now I can make up for it.
The rest of these are very much set in stone but I slightly wasn’t sure about including this one since as great as it is, is truly one of my all time favorites? I barely said yes just so I could talk about here and honestly it stands out among my honorable mentions. That and like so many others, nostalgia plays a part.
Infact, aside from an obvious one coming up it might be the one I have the most nostalgia for. I had it on VHS as a kid so I watched it quite a lot, to the point where I basically have the script memorized. It’s almost hard to truly judge it because every single line/moment I am just so used to that I couldn’t quite critique anything.
But of course there’s plenty to love and I did connect with it for a reason. The plot is a case where there’s a bunch of plots going on but the main gist is that the families decide to have an old fashioned Christmas in a cabin, and from there we get our many subplots. But first, one big reason this one is good for all the little moments.
There’s sections of technically not a lot of plot but it uses this to have so many charming little moments. This could have been a problem in an episode with various plots, almost like they still couldn’t fill the whole time. But they are able to use these moments to add to the charm of them having this old fashioned Christmas.
It’s not the funniest episode on here but it has some funny bits from Angelica explaining how presents got started, from the little bits of Charlotte talking on the phone, to Lou announcing he’s gonna “drink egg nog and fall asleep in front of the TV”. I don’t know why that little bit gets me every time and has stuck with me.
Onto the various plots, the first one to be brought up is how Chuckie is afraid of Santa and he and Tommy hatch a scheme to catch him. I just like how it diverts from the norm and has a kid be afraid of Santa. The way Chuckie describes him does sort of sell you on that even with how silly it is. This mostly ties into Chaz dressing up as Santa in order to help make Chuckie’s Christmas special since Chaz’s were “Depressing”.
It’s a good sentiment and leads to a nice moment. Phil and Lil get a Gift of the Magi story with the twist being that Angelica is the cause of it in in a rather devious scheme. I like how these two go together and my favorite of the plots is Angelica’s. With how much of a brat she is, it’s nice to see her starting to regret her plan once she finds out what being naughty means.
The conclusion is that really nice although it also comes with a pretty great joke. Speaking of conclusions, this does have one of those Santa Ex Machina things I often have mixed feelings about. It’s weird to have implied canon Santa in a sort of down to earth show but there’s just something about that works for me but again it might just be because I’m used to it. Also somehow I also now learned Tony Jay voices Santa and now I’m wondering why the characters don’t ask him why he sounds like Lipshitz.
Anyway, even aside from nostalgia this is a favorite for how it’s able to capture the little moments alongside the solid plots. Each one flows well into each other and has a solid conclusion. Nothing feels wasted or anything like it, it all just works really well. It combines the little moments with the stories well to create a special experience that I still love going back to.
Even if I couldn’t justify it being on here, it’s still at the very least great for how it does all these things. It’s just very well executed and nice to watch. It’s one I loved watching all the time and still do so today.
It is indeed a great Santa experience. Oh and shout out out the Hanukkah episode, it’s about as great as this one to be honest.
A Pinky and the Brain Christmas
Writer: Peter Hastings
Now it truly begins. I also talked about it in the best things I reviewed that year although it’s not as talked about on my end compared to some of these. It was one I had seen a few times before and it is a big favorite for others. And for good reason. I was worried I’d find petty nitpicks upon re-watching but thankfully it’s nearly perfect.
It’s mostly know for the ending and that is the big thing that pushes it over the edge. But before that it’s still notable for being really funny. It likely would have just been a typical episode just with Christmas but the clever humor this show has makes it really work. There’s tons of good jokes all over the place and it mostly keeps a good clip with them.
That ending is really strong though, and gets me every time. It’s easy to impress me with a nice moment in another wise highly comedic show but this keeps it in tone with the rest of it and it pays off the whole thing with Pinly’s letter, so it doesn’t come out nowhere.
It would mostly just be a really good one but it becomes a favorite with how it balances these main things. That and, as usual, the nostalgia and how it has been built up by others. But yeah, still ranks up there are a standout with it’s clever humor and really heartwarming ending.
…Got no quip on this one, sorry.
Christmas Who/It’s a SpongeBob Christmas [SpongeBob]
Writers: Walt Dohrn, Paul Tibbit, and Mr. Lawrence/Luke Brookshier, Marc Ceccarelli, Derek Iversen, and Mr. Lawrence
The former is our second I haven’t technically reviewed, although it almost feels like I have. It’s burned into my brain and I have talked about it in some places. You all likely know it by heart so there isn’t too much to say.
However, I’ll see what I can say. This is my most nostalgic one so it is hard to review objectively in a way. Does it still work when you strip away nostalgia? To me, yes. First off, this was the first 22 minute special for the series and they do a good job with the time given to them.
The way it’s paced makes it feel like a normal episode stretched out, but not in a bad way. he first half is mostly about the jokes and it allows for more of them. There’s plenty of great bits, from Patrick comparing Santa to a genie to Mr. Krabs wanting a pony with a saddlebag full of money, and so on. I’ve always loved “Maybe Santa will get be a dictionary since I can understand what you just said”.
I think we take granted how unique the premise to this one is. It could have just had them already know about Christmas but instead they have no idea what it is and Sandy has to teach them, then SpongeBob spreads it around town. It allows for fun takes on certain traditions and it just makes it stand out as a whole.
From there it has the expected stuff with Squidward being a grump about all of it, and then comes that second half. The sad part with Santa not coming happens earlier than you might remember, although maybe it just goes by faster since I’ve seen it so much.
It’s really nice to see Squidward to go out of his way to make him happy, even if he gives away everything he owns. I also love how the things the people asked for come up again and how he resolves that.
Although, since Santa pops up at the end, it’s rather dick-ish for him to not appear. But Drunk Santa is funny so I forgive him. Speaking of possible flaws, it’s odd how Sandy just vanishes after her scene.
Thankfully those are the only legit gripes I can think of. Otherwise, much like Pinky and the Brain, it’s able to have a lot of the usual humor alongside the heart that makes people remember it. So it indeed does hold up when you take nostalgia out of it. Topping it all off is Patchy, who brings some low budget charm and good gags.
Oh and as for It’s a SpongeBob Christmas, it’s on here since I do watch it every year now as well. On its own it would be closer to an honorable mention but either way I do think its great for the animation alone. It’s a lot fun and frankly no matter which one you go with, you are in for something special.
One introduces Christmas to the ocean in a fun way and the other gives us some top notch stop motion, not much to really dislike in either. …End of segment.
The Fright Before Christmas [Danny Phantom]
Writers: Marty Isenberg, Sib Ventress, Steve Marmel.
Another one I haven’t spoke about much at all, not even elsewhere. I watched it a few times as I kid and liked it but it’s not until the last few years where I’ve grown to truly love it, after it has gotten even more praise recently.
The plot is that Danny is a grump around the holidays because his parents ruin things by always arguing over if Santa is real. He goes to the Ghost Zone to vent steam but ends up ruining the latest work of a fellow named The Ghost Writer, voiced by Will Arnett. Upon finding out he destroyed a Christmas poem, he’s happy. So Ghost Writer uses his magic keyboard to trap Danny in a Christmas poem, where everything is told in rhyme.
You gotta love how creative this is. I’ve seen episodes done in rhyme but this in a far more meta and clever way. And that rhyming is so well done. Seriously, I have a hard time doing it for one section, how does anyone do it for this long just for one full episode? They make good use of it, most of it feels natural enough and they get some good jokes out of both it and Danny’s annoyance. Plus the obligatory Orange frustration.
They also make good use out of how Ghost Writer is writing all this, and thus literally contrives things to his whim. So certain bits like Danny being blamed for the chaos that is created is justified in universe in a clever way. There’s of course some fun action, even if they mostly do things you’d expect.
I really like the third act, where Danny seems to have solved this but actually ends up screwing himself over which ends up leading to him learning the lesson. I especially enjoy that the truce that the other ghosts have, which plays a role in the ending. The ending is of course very nice, as expected.
It really is the creativity that makes this one of my favorites. The stuff with Danny learning not to be a grump, even if his reasons make sense, works well but on its own it would be typical. But then you add in the rhymes and him being trapped in a story, and you have one of the most unique Christmas episodes out there.
I also love how Sam is cheery,the opposite of what you’d expect. It adds to how this toys with your expectations a tad in fun ways. As a whole, it takes a setup that has been done before and makes it special with it’s rhymes and clever storytelling.
It has a lot going for it and is certainly worth a read…er, watch I mean. Hey, I did it without rhyming.
Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation [Phineas and Ferb]
Writers: Jon Colton Barry and Pierro Piluso
I feel like I’ve talked about this one a few times. Perhaps. Okay, I don’t need to say more, you all get why I think this one is so great. It’s got everything from good jokes, great songs, nice moments and solid handling of many plots.
What makes it a big favorite is both the creativity and plot handling. Phineas of course always has many plots going on but usually they are simple so it’s impressive they tend to do even better with longer than form stories like this. As for the other thing, the concepts either do fun spins on established things or offer something now.
Like how Phineas wants to thank Santa for all his done and sees him as a hero or how Doof is apathetic towards Christmas instead of feeling strongly about it. Things like that help put it above and beyond, along with everything else.
There’s small things to nitpick as I went into before, but otherwise it really has become a modern classic for me. While all of these are must watches for me every year, this is one of the biggest ones. It does just about everything really well, and there is a reason I bring it up a lot.
Although it bugs me that the title doesn’t actually has a “‘s” in it, it’s just Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation. Weird.
(Also, I’m glad the extended edition finally has a streaming home on Disney+ after only being in the TV reruns)
It’s Christmas, You Dorks! [Harvey Beaks]
Writers: C. H. Greenblatt, Shane Houghton, Kevin A. Kramer, Amalia Levari,and Dani Michaeli
I feel like I’ve talked about this one a lot when really I’ve only done so twice. The other time being in the best things I reviewed that year. I also went into on DA before properly reviewing. Still, it’s very new for something I’ve praised so much. Newer episodes can be great but it’s rare they become a big all time favorite like this one.
It really is the presentation, being told in this Fantasia-ish way, that makes this one of my favorites. I will admit the segments themselves are merely cute and simple, which is fine for this format. It’s easier to convey those kind of stories though only music but I suppose they could have been even sweeter/slightly deeper in some ways. I’m reaching to find flaws but that is just something to keep mind.
Either way, I love it as it is. The music is so strong and it helps make it feel good. If I were to rank these as a viewing experience, this would be high up there as the music just makes it FEEL like Christmas. Well, I guess it captures winter better than Christmas exactly, until the last couple segments anyway. Still, the feel is strong either way.
It’s such a feel good episode above all else, and it has become such a joy to re-watch every year. The show is on Hulu, and while I’m not sure if this news or it’s been there for a while so those who have it have really no excuse to give this a shot this year.
Overall, a very unique presentation helps make this a joy, and it’s a modern classic to me for that reason.
And now for our last one, which is my full on favorite Christmas episode of all time. No matter how many great adult show classic I watch in the future, I doubt they will top this. And it’s…
Arnold’s Christmas [Hey Arnold]
Writer: Steve Vicksten
Yep, I’m going the very predictable route. It’s the same same as Norty’s for one but even aside from that this one gets praised a lot. It almost feels like I have talked about even though I have not. I will end up just parroting everyone else but screw it, this episode deserves it.
This episodes some things the best Christmas episodes tend to do but adds in the best elements of the best of Hey Arnold to create something truly special.
Basically, Arnold gets Mr. Hynuh in the boarding house gift exchange and is unsure what he wants. Eventually he explains that he doesn’t want much but also his daughter had to be given away during the Vietnam war. So Arnold makes it his mission to find her, which is quite the tall order.
There’s plenty of stories about trying to get someone the perfect gift but this one adds in a rather intense spin. Having to find a person is an interesting spin on its own, as it adds in an extra emotional element. If they fail, there’s an even bigger sense of failure that will hang over their head. Sure, he’s more or less given up on finding her at this point and when it seems like they did fail, he’s sort of okay with it. But there is still that bigger margin for failure that makes the stakes seem a bit higher.
Okay, this would be way easier these days with the internet but I digress.
The war element also makes it more intense, it’s an example of this show was able to get into interesting topics for a show like that. The backstory did not need to go that hard but it did I appreciate that. Going onto to smaller things, the guy at the place is interesting as he’s a bit of grump but he’s not really being a jerk.
He’s got a busy schedule so he simply doesn’t have the time to find a person so his hesitation is somewhat justified. This episode doesn’t have as big of a focus on humor as basically any other one but it throws in a few moments early on, like how Gerald always get people a tie.
I feel that Helga’s subplot doesn’t get mentioned enough. She tries to find the right for Arnold while also having somewhat she really wants. (“Not another moral dilemma!”) The way she plays into the main story is really great and brings in the main theme nicely.
It all leads to an extremely emotional ending. It’s one of those that gets to me almost every time I watch it. I’m not just jumping on a bandwagon with my love with it, it’s been a favorite for as long as I can remember. It’s just that others have me appreciate it on an even deeper level.
As has been said before, above all else it just an excellent atmosphere. The animation and music and general tone help to make this just feel like Christmas. Every element is nearly perfect and elevates the whole thing. Even the dialogue is really good. As corny as Arnold’s “What better time for a miracle than Christmas” is, it’s on point and they call back to at the end.
It has everything you need for a great Christmas episode in one package but adds in its own spin to make it stand out. Plenty can have good theming, plenty can be sweet but very few can really just make me feel like this one does. All this takes up from just a great episode to my favorite.
It’s a very easy choice to make and usually I try to be more creative but for once, I can’t help but cliche. Everything makes Arnold’s Christmas my personal favorite Christmas episode of all time. I can see people preferring others based on their own tastes but this fits mine perfectly. …It’s good.
And now for my long list of HONORABLE MENTIONS. Usually this would be before my favorite, but this is so many it would bog things down. This will be split into two parts:
EPISODES I’VE REVIEWED:
I’m only giving links if the post hasn’t been linked already.
Merry Christmas Kenan [Kenan and Kel]: A pretty funny time that has an especially nice ending.
Frozen Out [Static Shock]: What could have been a cheesy Very Special Episode ends up being a really emotional and effective story with this poor homeless girl.
A Very Possible Christmas [Kim Possible]: A pretty fun plot with plenty of action
A Huey Freeman Christmas [The Boondocks]: https://spongey444.wordpress.com/2017/12/23/a-look-at-modern-cartoon-network-adult-swim-christmas-episodes/ Another solid example of how good this show’s writing could be, just more Christmas-y with an effective ending.
A Lost Claus [Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends]: The ending can feel a bit cheap but it’s still very satisfying in execution, otherwise thi has really solid atmosphere and is just an really interesting story all around.
Christmas at the Tipton/A London Carol [Suite Life]: https://spongey444.wordpress.com/2015/12/08/a-look-at-disney-sitcom-christmas-episodes/ The former handles different plots well and works in religion in an interesting way while the latter is a good take on the classic story with a shockingly emotional future segment.
Hey Hey It’s Knishmas [Chowder]: A creative take on a holiday combined with a rather sweet story.
A Cousin Kyle Christmas [Kick Buttowski]: A really nice plot where Kick ends up doing something nice for Kyle and is just a really pleasant watch.
Holly Jolly Secrets [Adventure Time]: Okay, as a Christmas episode it’s not the most fitting due to the very nature of it but that makes it stand out and of course it’s a stand out for the series with the big reveal about Ice King.
The Christmas Special [Regular Show]: Just a really fun plot that doesn’t feel the need to have any forced moments, it simply does a really good job at being fun.
North Pole Down [Penn Zero]: Not only a really fun Christmas episode, but one of the better pilot episodes that has a plot that introduces you to the show really well.
Goodwill Towards Men [Haunting Hour]: https://spongey444.wordpress.com/2015/10/16/haunting-hour-season-5-retrospective/ In my Top 10 Episodes remake, I said I’d get the chance to talk about this again and yep this is what i meant. This episode’s premise is really unique not just for a Christmas episode but for this show in general. Despite some cheesy-ness it gets horror out of a very realistic situation and is a good take on class themes. Especially with how the twist works out, generally. Would actually be high if this were ranked.
Holiday in Echancia/Winter’s Gift/Mystic Wassalia [Sofia the First]: The former does the “Might not be home for Christmas” stuff very effectively, the second has a really good story, and the third one may not hits the heights of the others but still manages to be pretty nice. Winter’s Gift is my favorite of these yet it ha the weakest song of them, weird.
11 Louds a Leapin’ [The Loud House]: Like the best episodes of this show, it’s able to pack in a lot with the various character while being a very solid and coherent story, with a predictable but nice ending.
A Christmas Peril [Milo Murphy’s Law]: https://spongey444.wordpress.com/2017/12/20/a-look-at-disney-nick-cartoon-network-christmas-episodes-2017/ The main plot has a fun take on the show’s typical shitck but it really sticks out for the wild and rather nice subplot with Dakota and Cavendish.
A Hearth’s Warming Tail [My Little Pony Friendship is Magic]: https://spongey444.wordpress.com/2020/02/28/spongeys-favorite-episodes-mlp-friendship-is-magic-seasons-6-9/ A solid take on A Christmas Carol with fantastic atmosphere.
EPISODES I HAVEN’T REVIEWED:
Night of the Meek [The Twilight Zone]: A nice subversion from what you’d expect from a show like this, with a disillusioned man who gets the chance to give kids presents and basically becomes Santa. A bit cheesy but very nice with a good performance by Art Carney. The 80’s remake was pretty good too.
Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire/Marge Be Not Proud [The Simpsons]: The former has some of that early season weird-ness but still work well as a pilot with a nice feel, and the latter is a great Bart/Marge story even if it stands out a bit more for that than the Christmas element.
Twas the Night/A Johnny Bravo Christmas [Johnny Bravo]: The former is a really fun story told in rhyme, narrated by Adam West. The latter is an old favorite with a fun plot and nice moments.
Arthur’s Perfect Christmas [Arthur]: I oddly hadn’t seen this until kind of recently but either way it’s really good with handling of the stories and above all else: It’s the best Baxter Day episode ever made.
Christmas Every Day [Fairly Odd Parents]: Another nostalgiac favorite, with a fun concept, good jokes, and a great song.
An Even Stevens Holiday Special [As Told by Ginger]: It has the solid strengths this show usually had, with really nice with with the dad and a good message about how just spending time together is more important than what holiday gets more focus. (Bonus points for bringing up belief in Santa and NOT having Santa actually appear in the end)
LazyTown’s Surprise Santa/The Holiday Spirit [LazyTown]: Both end up doing more really nice things with Robbie Rotten, along with the usual fun songs and nice feel.
Ed, Edd, N Eddy’s Jingle Jingle Jangle/Fa-La-La-La-Ed: The former is full of great jokes and atmpshere even if the ending is a bit off, and the latter is certainly one of the best Christmas in July stories out there.
Billy and Mandy Save Christmas: A delightfully dark take on Christmas that has a vampire Santa voiced by Giblert Gottfriend. Need I say more?
Operation NAUGHTY [Codename Kids Next Door]: Easily one of the most creative ones out there with plenty of fun action. I mean, a Christmas themed X-men parody? Come on!
A Very Sunny Christmas [It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia]: A good example of how to do a more mean spirited Christmas episode, with good comedy and an ending that does mange to be a bit nice, in its own weird way of course.
Abed’s Untrollable Christmas [Community]: This show was really good with more gimmick-y episodes and this is a classic example with great stop motion and a solid setup with how Abed is imagining it all.
Dan Vs The Mall Santa: I did a crappy post on the serie ages ago but somehow didn’t mention this one at all. It’s another take on a cynical Christmas episode that manages to have surprises and a nice ending.
And I think that about wraps up my favorite Christmas episodes. Christmas episodes really are special to me. Sure, there’s plenty of cliches that pop up in a lot of them and at this point it’s hard to make a new classic. It is not hard to make a truly great one, as this shows. There are others I couldn’t quite fit in and plenty I have yet to see. This season just has creators feeling the need to go the extra mile, so it’s rare that a Christmas episode is straight up bad per say.
But these were the ones that especially shined for me. I am so glad I got to pin down my favorites and give you all a better list than I could in the past. I wish I didn’t have so many I already talked about but ah well. I’m still cool with this list overall.
Now onto that special project. So, there’s plenty of Halloween and Christmas episodes that are outside of that I would normally cover. I didn’t do the Classic Nicktoons ones since Pieguy did it and that’s actually why I even did all this to begin with anyway. There are cartoons that don’t fall under the three main networks and of course I don’t often get the chance to talk about live action adult shows.
I’ve always had the idea to someday find the excuse to cover some of those in a more official way. I think I finally found it. I put 100 different shows into a randomizer, for both Halloween and Christmas, and will select 31 and 25 respectively to review in one post. I say shows as plenty hacve more than one and if that show is picked, I’ll decide which one I do based on…eh, anything really, mostly my gut feeling.
And I do mean 100. I use Wheel Decide for this stuff and that was the limit…and I still had to make a few cuts. Yep. Granted, that’s because on both I have a few shows I am somewhat familial with mixed in with the others. I have shows for all other time, there’s some old things here I wouldn’t touch otherwise along with random shows that could be fun to touch on, and some cherished classics.
It will be…quite fun. If there’s a show you want me to put in, it’s likely around on there but it will be fun to see which ones others are more interested to see. I will be at the mercy of the wheel so hopefully I get some surprises. I may even make it a yearly thing since there will be plenty left over.
So that will be fun, and I’m already wanting it to be next year already so I can work on this. They will be called “A Look at Random Halloween/Christmas Episodes”, if you’re wondering.
With that announced, it’s time to wrap this up. It has been a wild 10 years but hopefully I’ve manged to keep improving myself as time has gone on.
That adds a meta element to this being the one I used to celebrate 10 years, as it has me showing how far I’ve come since then. Or some such sappy nonsense. That all said, hope you enjoyed this list and check these out if you haven’t already. Get ready for the usual end of year barrage of posts!