Delightful Holiday Episodes to Stream

Daniel Hautzinger
 Victoria and Prince Albert with their family Christmas in 'Victoria.' Photo: ITV Studios
Celebrate the holidays with your favorite holiday special episodes, like from 'Victoria.' Photo: ITV Studios

As stores and homes put up lights, menorahs, and trees and Christmas music begins to permeate the dark nights, you might be feeling the holiday spirit. We've got just the thing: holiday episodes from some of your favorite dramas and mysteries, available to stream anytime by WTTW Passport members. Mix up eggnog, hot chocolate, or a wintry cocktail and settle in for some joyous good times. 

Don't miss our line-up of holiday specials beyond dramas, including numerous concerts, a new Call the Midwife, and more.

All Creatures Great and Small

Tristan in elf costume in 'All Creatures Great and Small.' Photo: Playground TelevisionTristan is a reluctant elf for Siegfried's Christmas party. Photo: Playground Television

It's a good time to revisit the holiday episode of All Creatures Great and Small, given that it's the finale of season one and season two is just around the corner, premiering on Sunday, January 9 at 8:00 pm. Happiness is in the air as Siegfried throws a Christmas Eve party, but worries lurk beneath, as Tristan dreads seeing his exam results, Mrs. Hall awaits against hope the arrival of her son, and James waits for Helen's marriage the next day. Find our recap here.

In addition to streaming all of season one, you can catch All Creatures Great and Small this month on Sunday and Saturday evenings on WTTW.

Downton Abbey

This year we have a special treat on Christmas Day: WTTW and PBS stations are airing the original Downton Abbey film from 2019. But there are also several finales from the six seasons of the TV series that involve Christmas, including the explicitly holiday-themed season two special, the season five finale, and the series finale itself, which ends on New Year's Day, 1926.

If you want to catch Downton organically on WTTW rather than streaming at your own pace, you can find it airing Thursday nights.


Victoria with Sarah in the snow in 'Victoria.' Photo: ITV StudiosThe Christmas episode of 'Victoria' features some lovely snowy scenes. Photo: ITV Studios

Given that the Germanic Prince Albert helped popularize Christmas trees in Britain, it's only right that Victoria would have a Christmas episode: the season two finale. (Recap it here.) It's complete with grand decorations, ice-skating, and an elaborate feast that includes a figgy pudding.

Speaking of unusual British foods, WTTW's World of Food has explored what a Victorian Christmas looked like. And you can get an even more vivid sense of Victorian food and what went into making it in our video exploring the diets of the rich and the poor of the era.

Atlantic Crossing

No episodes of this drama about the Norwegian Crown Princess Märtha and FDR during World War II are specifically holiday specials, but three of the eight episodes do include Christmas celebrations, however muted because of the war. In episodes four and six, the holidays are the rare occasion where Crown Prince Olav is reunited with his family in America. In the series finale, Olav declines to make the Atlantic crossing to visit his family over the holidays, despite several people's advice. Recap episodes four, six, and eight.


Amanda, Sidney, and Geordie in 'Grantchester.' Photo: Colin Hutton and Kudos/ITV for MASTERPIECESeason three of 'Grantchester' began with a Christmas special. Photo: Colin Hutton and Kudos/ITV for MASTERPIECE

Unlike All Creatures Great and Small, Downton Abbey, and Victoria, (but like Call the Midwife), Grantchester has started, rather than ended, its seasons with a Christmas episode. Season three began with an approaching holiday—and baby. There was a different vicar back then, predating Will. Recap it here.

Lucy Worsley's 12 Days of Tudor Christmas

Lucy Worsley's '12 Days of Tudor Christmas.' Photo: Burning Bright ProductionsJoin Lucy Worsley for a Tudor-era feast and festivities. Photo: Burning Bright Productions

This last one is not, alas, a drama or mystery. But it inhabits a fascinating past, as many of our dramas do, and is a delight—so we thought it was worth including. Join historian Lucy Worsley as she discovers how many of our contemporary traditions stemmed from festivities in the Tudor era. You can also watch Lucy Worsley's 12 Days of Tudor Christmas on WTTW on Sunday, December 19 at 7:00 pm