"A Nature Carol" is the special extended Christmas-themed musical episode of the PBS Kids show Nature Cat, produced and aired as the seventh and eighth episodes of its third season simultaneously on the PBS Kids Video app and on the PBS Kids' Channel as the "Family Night" event on November 29, 2019.
It is Christmas time in the backyard as Daisy is setting up the pine cone and flower garland, Squeeks creates a cheese snowman, and Hal finishes putting on the lights in his doghouse. Fred (b.k.a. "Nature Cat") arrives with a huge list of gifts of what he wanted for Christmas. The Narrator states that's something's different with him and he needs an extra special Christmas episode to help him. Then the episode's title appears.
Fred is excited for Christmas that he tells his friends that the holiday's all about presents, lights, and music. He heads to Hal's doghouse and puts even more lights and a snowman on it. When he goes to Daisy's garland, he sings a musical number of what it's like when he has a "Great Big Christmas". Soon after he finishes singing, Granny Bunny arrives asking the gang to go to the "Christmas Critter Crochet-a-Thon". But Fred declines, wanting to not have time. Granny Bunny leaves as Nature Cat would rather decorate the woods, but Daisy ends up leaving wanting to help Granny Bunny.
He then goes with Hal and Squeeks decorating the woods. When they are done, Fred turns on the lights, but some critters were shocked about this. Just then, someone kept turning the lights off and he keeps turning them back on. He finally notices a group of mice next to him. They introduce themselves as the Scratchits: Bob, Martha, Belinda, Peter, and Tiny Tim. Nature Cat insists that he wanted to have a lot of lights, but the Scratchits do not buy it so he gives a set of lights to them and they head off without saying "thank you" to him. Squeeks then concludes that the Scratchits cannot find any food and space to stay safe and storms off. Nature Cat then gives Hal sweaters and puts on giant speakers in the forest, playing very loud Christmas music. The Scratchits return, as they insist to turn it off, but Nature Cat doesn't care and turns it up louder. As a result, the Scratchits have no choice but to depart the forest. Hal is sad about this and he walks back to the doghouse. Fred proceeds to get some rest anyway so he can be ready to celebrate Christmas.
He gets scared by a familiar face, but decides to ignore it and begins to sing a song heading back to his house about Christmas when he wakes up in the morning and arrives in the parlor, now in his pajamas. When the song is over, he falls asleep, and then some time later, the grandfather clock chimes and Fred jolts awake thinking Santa will be here. But Ronald arrived instead, as he states he is a spirit named "Ronald Morely" to warn him about something different: wanting too many presents. Fred asks why he remembers that he is supposed to warn him and Ronald sings a blues song about wanting more presents. After the song finishes, Fred feels he isn't changed so Ronald says that now that he feels that way, he will tonight be visited by three spirits and he leaves the house. Fred doesn't care and falls asleep again, as the clock chimes again and the Narrator states that something strange is about to happen.
The lights on the Christmas tree glitch, awakening Fred as he looks up and Daisy, in a pink dress, appears introducing herself as the "Spirit of Nature Past". Using her old telephone booth, she proceeds to take him to many years ago in his backyard and he saw young versions of Daisy, Squeeks, and Hal preparing for Christmas. Just then, Nature Kitten arrives and his little friends gave him a present which is his first hat and sash. He then puts them on and shows them his Nature Curiosity List. Then he sings his first song with them called "Say Hello to Nature". After that, Fred and spirit Daisy find themselves in a snow landscape as he saw his young self and his friends stumble into a squirrel who tells them that someone is disturbing his log. They run up to see young Ronald in a toy crane wanting to play with it, but young Daisy and Hal state that the log is the squirrel's home. Nature Kitten proceeds to have his first brawl with Ronald for the log. But Nature Kitten stands victorious and gives his log to the squirrel. Spirit Daisy talks to Nature Cat about how his past self cared about nature and that he needs a visit from more spirits.
All of a sudden, Fred is back in the house for the second time as the clock chimes once again and he finds a giant present beside him. He opens it, revealing it to be none other than Squeeks in a green robe who introduces herself as the "Spirit of Nature Present". With her magic cheese grater, she transports him to his backyard as they saw Daisy singing the first part about that it "doesn't feel like Christmas", blaming Nature Cat for the decorations. The spirit takes him to the forest still with speakers playing Christmas music as Squeeks comes in singing the second part of the song, blaming Nature Cat for the music. Finally, they come across Hal shocked about his decorated doghouse as he and the others sing the third and final part of the song, blaming Nature Cat for all the lights. After the song concludes, Fred borrows spirit Squeeks' magic cheese grater, sending themselves back to the forest as he finds the Scratchits' home completely filled with nothing but presents. She takes him to another part of the forest as the Scratchits are walking and Tiny Tim feels he doesn't have a home. The rest of the family sing a reprise of "It Doesn't Feel Like Christmas" as they finish up the pinecone tree and place it in the snow. After the reprise, they all engage in a group hug and Nature Cat assures spirit Squeeks that the Scratchits will be just fine, and they opened up their presents, consisting an acorn helmet, a pinecone soccer ball, and a twig sled. They watch them play with their presents and spirit Squeeks said that she will show Fred anything he desires and gets blown away by the cold wind.
Fred is back in the house for the third time and the clock chimes once more. He is then confronted by a hooded cloaked figure who reveals himself as Hal and he introduces himself as the "Spirit of Nature Yet to Come". He gets out his cloaked Mr. Chewinsky and with that, he and Fred fall in a huge portal, transporting them to his backyard, now with lights and Hal's boarded up doghouse. When they find his hat and sash abandoned in the snow, spirit Hal states that in the future, Nature Cat was not himself anymore. They look to see his future self, in a Santa hat and a green sweater, singing a song about himself and that his new name is "Christmas Cat". After the song ends, he gets out a frisbee and throws it at a snowman and spirit Hal states that he is lonely in the future. When he finds his Nature Curiosity List buried in the snow, spirit Hal said that he stopped being curious about nature. Nature Cat asks him about his friends, but he said that they all moved away because of this while the Scratchits and the animals on the other hand never returned and that is what happens when there are no more nature heroes. Fred asks what to do about this because he wanted to change. However, spirit Hal just departs as if he's off duty leaving Nature Cat all alone and depressed. He sings an emotional ballad about realizing his newfound personal thoughts and feelings about the impending Christmas spirit as things are bound to be okay and that it is within him all along.
That morning, Fred finally awakens back in his house once more as the Narrator states that it is Christmas Day. He tells him to look under the tree after Nature Cat said that he was desperate and wonders what day it is. After he notices that presents were under the tree, he changes into his nature attire as the Narrator said that he realized that Christmas was about giving to his friends and animals. It is then time for him to get back to his backyard and sings a reprise about what he can do now that it is Christmas morning. Immediately after the song, he goes to Daisy as he swings on a garland, wiping away all the decorations and puts in one garland, stating that her garden is just the way it is. Squeeks arrives complaining about the noise, but Fred reassures her that there is no more noise as if she is right all along. After wishing Squeeks a Merry Christmas, he and the others go to Hal's doghouse as he himself triumphantly emerges wearing a Santa suit. He tells Hal that he doesn't care about the decorations and getting gifts and that he wants to get back and help others like the Scratchits. Fred then finds them having a bean for their Christmas feast. He checks in their bag to find no lights and music, but a lot of goodies inside it, much to Tiny Tim's joy. The Scratchits ask about their lights and music but he got rid of it all and apologizes to them all and promises to never mess it up again as they all engaged in another group hug.
Later, everyone (including Granny Bunny and Houston) gathered together in a huge table as Fred proceeds to celebrate Christmas. Squeeks suggests playing games, Daisy suggests opening up stockings, and Hal suggests eating some Christmas cookies. However Fred gives a present to Tiny Tim and he opens it, revealing his small hat and sash. He puts them on and with that, guess what he and Fred yelled out? "TALLY HO!" In the final scene of the special, Fred and the rest sing a holiday finale about seeing the world with brand new eyes at Christmas in nature as snow falls in the background.
- "It's Gonna Be a Great Big Christmas" - Nature Cat (with Daisy, Squeeks and Hal)
- "When I Wake Up in the Morning It'll Be Christmas" - Nature Cat
- "I Want More" - Ronald "Morely"
- "Say Hello to Nature" - Nature Kitten, Puppy Hal, Bunny Daisy and Mouseling Squeeks
- "It Doesn't Feel Like Christmas" - Daisy, Squeeks and Hal
- "It Doesn't Feel Like Christmas (Reprise)" - Tiny Tim and The Scratchits
- "Call Me Christmas Cat" - Future Nature Cat
- "Christmas Spirit, Are You There?" - Nature Cat
- "When I Wake Up in the Morning It'll Be Christmas (Reprise)" - Nature Cat
- "Brand New Eyes at Christmas" - Nature Cat and full company