See my previous blog post for the 60s and 70s, and go ahead if you are looking to get started with the 80s! This would be for the youngest Gen Xers and Millenials, as well as Gen Z at the bottom of this post.
The Snowman (1982): While not a series, this animated short film based on Raymond Briggs' book is a Christmas classic and has been a staple of festive TV schedules in the UK since its release.
After a night of heavy snowfall, young James builds a snowman in his backyard. To his amazement, the snowman comes to life at midnight. James and the snowman explore the house, playing with various items without waking James' parents. They discover a covered motorcycle in the garden, take a joyous ride through the woods, and then cool off the melting snowman in the garage freezer.
While in the freezer, the snowman becomes agitated upon seeing a picture of the arctic. Seizing the opportunity, he grabs James, and they run through the garden, taking flight into the night sky. They soar over landmarks like the Royal Pavilion and Brighton Palace Pier, then journey north along the Norwegian coast. Their adventure continues through an arctic landscape, eventually reaching the aurora borealis. I won't spoil the end.
Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends (1984-2021): The popular animated series often had Christmas-themed episodes during the 1980s.
The series follows the adventures of Thomas, an anthropomorphised blue steam locomotive on the fictional North Western Railway on the Island of Sodor, and many other anthropomorphised locomotives on the North Western Railway, including Edward, Henry, Gordon, James, Percy, and Toby. They work for Sir Topham Hatt, primarily known as the "Fat Controller".
In the United States, it was first broadcast along with the spin-off series Shining Time Station on PBS' PTV Park block in 1989.
Willo the Wisp (1981-2005): This animated series, featuring Kenneth Williams as the narrator, had a Christmas special titled "Willo the Wisp's Twelfth Night" in 1982.
The stories were set in Doyley Woods, a small beech wood in Oxfordshire.
Willow is a ball of light, and they aim to trick their victims, and these are the opening credits.
From Christmas I just managed to find this character who is a TV saying it wants a miserable Christmas for all!
Teletubbies (1997-2001): While not specifically Christmas-themed, Teletubbies became a cultural phenomenon in the late 90s, and special episodes often aired during the festive season. There are four differently coloured characters known as the Teletubbies, named after the television screens on their bellies! Surreal.
Recognised throughout popular culture for the uniquely shaped antenna coming out of the head of each character, the Teletubbies communicate through gibberish and were designed to bear resemblance to toddlers. As actors where effectively adults, they would be in a way AB from the ABDL acronym. :)
And I found a Teletubbies Christmas episode!
Bob the Builder (1998-2011): This animated series about a construction worker and his talking machines often had Christmas episodes during the late 90s. The show is about the life of a builder named Bob, and his talking vehicles who help him fix things. Bob has a wife named Wendy and a cat named Pilchard. The slogan of the show is "Can we fix it? Yes we can!", and that preceded in years the "Yes we can" Obama's campaign (2008). Bob the Builder was a visionary.
Tweenies (1999-2002): Tweenies was a popular children's series in the late 90s and had Christmas-themed episodes, such as "Tweenies: Merry Tweenie Christmas" in 1999. The programme is focused on four pre-school aged characters, known as the "Tweenies", playing, singing, dancing, and learning in a fictional playgroup in England. They are cared for by two adult Tweenies and two dogs.
In the Night Garden (2007-2009)
British preschool children's television series created, written and composed by Teletubbies co-creator. The characters include Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy, Makka Pakka, the Tombliboos, the Pontipines, the Wottingers, the HaaHoos, the Ninky Nonk, the Pinky Ponk, the Ball and the Tittifers.
It also had songs. The protagonists had a similar Teletubbie shape but less colour. I like them more due to their neutral colours, that I find relaxing.
"Peppa Pig" (2004-present): "Peppa Pig" has been a significant and enduring hit for small children since its debut in 2004. The animated series revolves around Peppa, a lovable pig, and her adventures with her family and friends. The show is known for its simple storytelling, colorful animation, and educational elements. But did you know that Peppa Pig is banned in China?
I have a lot of unresolved questions about Peppa Pig's series, things like what are Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig’s actual names? What were they called before they became parents? And why does no one ever call them by their first names? [shrugs].
Whatever your generation is, I hope you can all have a bit of fun and that it brings only good memories. If not, you can try skip generation! :)