Elmo Saves Christmas book

The cover to the storybook adaptation

Elmo Saves Christmas is a 1996 Christmas special, based upon of and starring the characters from the television series Sesame Street, narrated by guest star Maya Angelou. Its plot is based off of the short story Christmas Every Day by William Dean Howells.


It is once again Christmas time on Sesame Street. Big Bird says goodbye to his best friend, Snuffy, as he goes off to Cincinnati to visit his grandmother for the holiday, until the day after Christmas. Meanwhile, Elmo plans to stay up all night on Christmas Eve to see Santa Claus descend from his chimney. He falls asleep, until being awakened when Santa gets lodged halfway up his chimney. By freeing him, Elmo is granted the privilege of choosing a gift. When he chooses a magical snow globe instead of a pink teddy bear, he is granted three wishes. Using the snow globe, his first wish is a glass of water because he is thirsty.

On Christmas morning, the excitement and joy delights Elmo so much that he wishes it could be Christmas every day, so he uses this as his second wish. This proves to be a very costly mistake because Santa explains to Elmo that Christmas would no longer be special if it occurs every day. At the urging of Santa, Lightning, one of his reindeer-in-training (and the reason he got stuck in Elmo's chimney), uses his speed to take Elmo to the future to see what Christmas is like for the rest of the year, especially in the spring (on Easter), and the summer (on Independence Day). He sees Big Bird starting to miss Snuffy, since he is still spending Christmas with his grandmother in Cincinnati, Maria and Luis getting increasingly cranky and upset over the Fix-It Shop being closed all year, and everyone getting annoyed at It's a Wonderful Life being the only thing on TV, meaning that general unhappiness is evident. Also, the elves are annoyed at their continued work shift and slack off on the job. Even the other holidays (especially Easter and Independence Day) are overtaken by Christmas. Oscar is the only character who enjoys it truly because he obviously is being surrounded by old wrapping paper and worn-out Christmas trees, and seeing everyone else feeling as grouchy and miserable as him, declaring as a “bah humbug Christmas every day”.

By next year's Christmas, Sesame Street is ruined:

  • The Count is "all Christmassed out" after counting all 365 days of Christmas every day.
  • The carolers have lost their voices from singing every day.
  • Christmas trees have become an endangered species.
  • Big Bird becomes very sad over missing Snuffy for a whole year.
  • All the stores (especially the Fix-It Shop) have gone out of business.
  • And Santa has decided to retire and move to Florida.

After regretting his second wish, Elmo suddenly realizes that "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), but he shakes the snow globe too much, causing it to tumble out of his hands and break before the wish can come true, which means it is Christmas forever. Everyone groans into an even deeper depression and leaves, until Elmo then suggests that Lightning could fly him back to the Christmas Eve when it all started, before he wished it was Christmas every day, thus clearing away everyone else's memories. After saving Santa again, he chooses the pink bear, but the best of all, Santa immediately offers him a new gift: a "Moo-Bunny", a soft toy that is a cow with rabbit ears. Also proud of Lighting's part in helping Elmo, Santa offers to promote him so he may pull the sleigh with the other reindeer. On Christmas morning, Big Bird is reunited with Snuffy early, because just as he was about to leave for Cincinnati, his grandmother came to Sesame Street instead. Elmo learns that although Christmas can't be every day, it's important to have its spirit in your soul every day of the year. The special closes with its final song, "Keep Christmas With You (All Through the Year)" (previously featured in Christmas Eve on Sesame Street).


Home video releases

US releases

International releases


Elmo Saves Christmas cast shot

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

Actor/actress / Muppeteer Character(s)
Kevin Clash Elmo
Baby Natasha
Brown Elf
Benny Rabbit
Joey Mazzarino Lightning
Lavendar 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
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 (Narrator)
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 CountdownChristmas with Ernie & Bert • "Monster Monster Day" • Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas • "A Furchester Christmas"
The Muppets John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas TogetherA Muppet Family ChristmasThe Muppet Christmas CarolIt's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas MovieA Muppets Christmas: Letters to SantaLady Gaga & the Muppets' Holiday Spectacular • "Single All the Way" • "A Very Muppet Babies Christmas" • "Summer's Super Fabulous Holiday Surprise"
Other shows and specials The 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" • "A Berry Bear Christmas" • "Cretaceous Conifers" • "Don's Winter Wish" • "A Song For Everyone" • "The Holiday Tree"
Merry 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 Along
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