Christmas Specials Wiki
Christmas Specials Wiki


Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas is a Christmas special spun off from Sesame Street that premiered on HBO on November 25, 2016 (making it the first Sesame Street Christmas special to come out following the show's move to HBO) and featuring guest stars Audra McDonald, Zosia Mamet, and Jim Gaffigan (as Santa Claus). It won the 2017 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Program.


From the press release:

Once Upon a Sesame Christmas opens with the lyrical number "Holiday Lights", a musical glimpse into the homes of Sesame Street families celebrating winter holidays, and unfolds into a fanciful bedtime story that brings the past alive. After a day of holiday fun, while being tucked into bed on Christmas Eve, Elmo asks, “Why do we leave cookies out for Santa?"

Elmo's father spins a tale about a dreary Sesame Street of yesteryear, a place so unfriendly not even Santa Claus would visit, viewers are transported to a period-perfect 19th-century city neighborhood, with characters in authentic hand-sewn costumes, but marked by unkindness and a serious lack of holiday spirit. Luckily, Elmo's great-great-great-grandmonster moves there with the best of intentions and endless good will, gradually winning over the unhappy citizens and bringing kindness and cheer to Sesame Street once and for all.[1]


The cover to the DVD release.

A DVD of the special was released by Sesame Workshop's then-current video distributor, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, on October 10, 2017. It also included the 2006 direct-to-video special A Sesame Street Christmas Carol as a bonus feature, along with two Christmas-themed Sesame Street segments that originally premiered online, "Twas a Night Before Cookie" and "Elmo's Christmas Song", six other holiday shorts from Sesame Studios' YouTube page, and a downloadable storybook version of the special's plot through DVD-ROM.


  1. "Holiday Lights"
  2. "Let Santa Know We're Here"
  3. "Two is You and Me"
  4. "Deck the Halls"
  5. "Kindness"


Actor/Muppeteer Character(s)
Alan Muraoka Alan
Suki Lopez Nina
Caroll Spinney Big Bird
Oscar the Grouch
Jim Gaffigan Santa Claus
Audra McDonald Caroler
Zosia Mamet Bella
Billy Barkhurst Ernie
Jennifer Barnhart Holly
Tyler Bunch Louie
Leslie Carrara Abby Cadabby
Ryan Dillon Elmo
Haley Jenkins Lavender Anything Muppet Woman
Eric Jacobson Bert
Two-Headed Monster
David Rudman Cookie Monster
Two-Headed Monster
Matt Vogel Count von Count
Carmen Osbahr Rosita
Kolette Tetlow 19th century downtrodden child
Julius Thomas III 19th century
Present day SE
Liz Hara
Chris Thomas Hayes
Kathleen Kim
Tim Lagasse
Spencer Lott
Lara MacLean
Andrew Moriarty
Additional Muppet performers


Behind-the-scenes photos



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" • "Holiday at Hooper’s"
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" • "It's a Wonderful Elf-bot" / "A Merry Litter Christmas"
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