Christmas Specials Wiki
Christmas Specials Wiki

Elmo Saves Christmas book

The cover to the storybook adaptation

Elmo Saves Christmas is a 1996 Christmas special based on the PBS series Sesame Street, narrated by guest star Maya Angelou. Its plot is inspired by the short story Christmas Every Day by William Dean Howells.



The special is told in flashback by Maya Angelou as she recounts the events to Telly, Zoe, Baby Bear, and some children in her apartment:

It is once again Christmas on Sesame Street. Elmo takes some cookies home for Santa Claus. Big Bird's best friend, Snuffy, is going to Cincinnati to spend Christmas with his grandmother and will return the day after. Meanwhile, Elmo plans to stay up all night on Christmas Eve to see Santa descend from his chimney. He falls asleep, until being awakened when Santa gets stuck halfway up his chimney. By freeing him, Elmo gets to choose either a pink teddy bear or magic snow globe as a gift. When he chooses the snow globe, he is granted three wishes, wasting his first one for a glass of water because he is thirsty.

On Christmas Day, the excitement and joy delights Elmo so much that he wishes for it to be Christmas every day, so he uses that for his second wish. At first, everyone is thrilled about it being Christmas again, thanks to a news report given by Kermit. However, this proves to be a very costly mistake as Santa explains to Elmo that Christmas would no longer be special if it was every day. Lightning, a reindeer-in-training (and the reason he got stuck in Elmo's chimney), uses his super speed to take Elmo to the future to see what Christmas is like throughout the year. As the seasons change, Elmo sees everyone's Christmas spirit go downhill: Big Bird is sad because Snuffy is still spending it with his grandmother in Cincinnati, Maria and Luis become increasingly exasperated over a lack of work due to the Fix-It-Shop being closed all year, Grover struggles selling Christmas trees, which have been dwindling, and It's a Wonderful Life plays continuously on television, meaning that general unhappiness is evident. Also, Santa's elves are exasperated and fatigued at their continued work shift and slack off on the job, and the other holidays of the year (especially Easter, coincidentally the day of Jesus' resurrection, and Independence Day, a day when Christmas in July is also ironically celebrated) are overshadowed by Christmas. However, Oscar is the only one who enjoys all the misery - the pile of broken toasters on the workbench in front of the Fix-It-Shop, the mounting Christmas trash, endless repeated airings of It's a Wonderful Life, and the fact that everyone is as grouchy and miserable as him - declaring it as a "bah humbug Christmas every day".

By next year's Christmas, Sesame Street is shut down:

  • The Count is "all Christmassed out" after counting all 365 consecutive Christmas days.
  • The carolers (especially Bob) have lost their voices from singing every day.
  • Christmas trees have become an endangered species, according to Grover.
  • Big Bird cries over missing Snuffy for a whole year.
  • All the businesses (including the Fix-It Shop) are permanently closed.
  • And Santa has decided to retire and move to Florida.

Regretting his second wish, Elmo now realizes "if every day was Christmas, there wouldn't be Christmas at all." He decides to use his third wish to undo it (although he was originally going to wish for rollerblades, according to Oscar's thought), but he shakes the snow globe too much, causing it to fly out of his hands and break before the wish can come true, which means it will be Christmas forever. All looks lost, until Elmo remembers Lightning's super speed and ability to go forward and backward in time, so they fly back in time to the Christmas Eve when it all started, before he chose the snow globe, thus changing the past (and erasing everyone's memories except his own and Lightning's in the process). After saving Santa again, he chooses the pink bear, but best of all, Santa reveals that he has a new gift: a plush cow with rabbit ears called a "Moo-Bunny", which Elmo delightedly chooses. Also proud of Lightning's part in helping Elmo, he offers to promote him so he may pull the sleigh with the other reindeer. Later, Snuffy reunites with Big Bird, who tells him that just as he was about to leave for Cincinnati, his grandmother came to Sesame Street instead. As the special ends, Elmo learns that although Christmas doesn't occur every day, everyone can still keep its spirit in their hearts every day of the year, as he and the rest of the cast convene around the big Christmas tree in the yard and sing "Keep Christmas With You (All Through the Year)."


Home video releases

US releases

International releases


Elmo Saves Christmas cast shot

The cast sings "Keep Christmas with You (All Through the Year)" at the end of the special.

Muppeteer/actor/actress Character(s)
Kevin Clash Elmo
Brown Elf
Benny Rabbit
Joey Mazzarino Lightning
Lavender Elf
Caroll Spinney Big Bird
Oscar the Grouch
Martin P. Robinson Mr. Snuffleupagus
Telly Monster
Pumpkin Elf
Frank Oz Grover
Cookie Monster
David Rudman Baby Bear
Fat Blue Elf
Fran Brill Zoe
Green Elf
Easter egg customer
Carmen Osbahr Rosita
Steve Whitmire Kermit the Frog
Jerry Nelson Count Von Count
Mr. Johnson
News Flash Announcer
Bob McGrath Bob Johnson
Sonia Manzano Maria Rodriguez
Emilio Delgado Luis Rodriguez
Desiree Casado Gabi Rodriguez
Alison Bartlett O'Reilly Gina Jefferson
Roscoe Orman Gordon Robinson
David L. Smyrl Mr. Handford
Carlo Alban Carlo
Maya Angelou Herself
Charles Durning Santa Claus
Harvey Fierstein Easter Bunny
14 Karat Soul Themselves


External links

Jim Henson Productions and Related Shows
Sesame Street and related shows Christmas Eve on Sesame StreetA Special Sesame Street ChristmasElmo Saves ChristmasElmo's World: Happy Holidays!A Sesame Street Christmas CarolElmo's Christmas Countdown • "Peter Alexander präsentiert Spezialitäten" • "Christmas Special (Barrio Sésamo)" • Christmas with Ernie & Bert • "Jul med Jeppe, Marie og Elmo" • "A Christmas Present in Summer" • "Boot" • "Monster Monster Day" • Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas • "A Furchester Christmas" • "Holiday at Hooper’s" • Sesame Street: The Nutcracker Starring Elmo & Tango • "Yip Yip Tree Tree" / "The Snowman Scarecrow"
The Muppets John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas TogetherA Muppet Family ChristmasThe Muppet Christmas CarolIt's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie • "Christmas (From the Balcony)" • A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa • "Ringing of the Bells" • Lady Gaga & the Muppets' Holiday Spectacular • "Single All the Way" • "Ho Ho Ho!" • "Christmas" (Muppet Moments) • "Santa Claus" (Muppet Moments) • "A Very Muppet Babies Christmas" / "Summer's Super Fabulous Holiday Surprise" • "It's a Wonderful Elf-bot" / "A Merry Litter Christmas"
Other shows and specials The Jimmy Dean Show: Episode 114The Jimmy Dean Show: Episode 214The Jimmy Dean Show: Episode 314Santa Claus Routine with Arthur GodfreyChristmas ReindeersThe Great Santa Claus SwitchEmmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas • "The Bells of Fraggle Rock" • The Christmas Toy • "Refrigerator Day" • Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree • "Mrs. Zabarelli's Holiday Baton" • "The Siberian Tiger and the Reindeer" • "A Berry Bear Christmas" • "Holidays" • "Hooblebumper Box Day" • "Oh Christmas Tree" • "Sid's Holiday Adventure" • "Cretaceous Conifers" • "Don's Winter Wish" • "The Annoying Orange Generic Holiday Special" • "Orange Carol" • "Joy to the World (Pajanimals)" • "War on Christmas (No, You Shut Up!)" • "A New York Christmas to Remember" • "A Song For Everyone" • "The Holiday Tree" • "Whitebeard/Coral Day" • "Traditions on Ice" • "Night of the Lights"
Christmas Eve on Sesame StreetMerry Christmas from Sesame StreetJohn Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas TogetherA Sesame Street ChristmasElmo Saves Christmas: Holiday FavoritesA Green and Red ChristmasBob! from Sesame Street: Christmas Sing AlongHoliday Classics . It's Christmas Time