Arthur's Perfect Christmas is an hour-length Christmas special based on the Arthur children's books by Marc Brown and the animated series on PBS. It debuted on VHS and DVD on September 12, 2000, before airing in prime-time on PBS on Thanksgiving Day of that year.
The special opens with scenes of citizens of Elwood City busy preparing for Christmas, while Pachelbel's Canon is played in the background on piano. Arthur then sings the first of many of the special's musical numbers, "Perfect Christmas," in which he lays out his list of the things he wants in the upcoming Christmas:
- A large amount of snow
- An amazing dinner
- A spectacular Christmas tree (most importantly, without tinsel)
- Everyone will love the presents he gets for them.
However, things don't always work out quite as he wanted them to.
As the special progresses, a number of other storylines are revealed:
- D.W. wants a new toy called "Tina the Talking Tabby," for Christmas and Santa Claus is unable to find it at any store as soon as he gets the letter.
- Uncle Fred is going on a trip to Florida, but his car just so happens to break down in Elwood City on the way there. So for the meantime, he and his dog, Rory, are staying at the Reads' house for Christmas.
- The timing of the Frenskys' celebration of Hanukkah conflicts with that of Muffy's "holiday extravaganza," causing Francine to miss the party. When Muffy states that Hanukkah isn't as important as Christmas, Francine stops speaking to and calling her.
- Ever since Buster's parents got divorced, Christmas has been a difficult time for him and his mother, Bitsy. She wakes him up early on the days before Christmas and makes him pancakes, thinking that it's Christmas Day. Then he has to explain to her that it isn't yet. While he, Arthur, and their friends are at the party they suggest he create his own holiday, Baxter Day. He is skeptical, but he agrees to give it a try.
- Every Christmas, Binky volunteers at a homeless shelter with his father and this year, he's trying to bake something special to bring. However, he's forgetting some things in the recipe, like not taking the shells off the pecans when he makes a pecan pie.
- The Brain's family is celebrating Kwanzaa.
- George's family is revealed to be Swedish and they celebrate St. Lucia Day.
In the end, things don't work out quite as everybody may have hoped they would, but it seems to be for the better.
- "Perfect Christmas" (by Arthur and his family)
- "Boogie Woogie Christmas" (Rock and roll song by The Squabs)
- "What's the Use of Presents?" (by Muffy, with Arthur on soundtrack version)
- "Baxter Day" (by Buster)
- "Santa Lucia" (by George and the Lundgren family)
- "Perfect Christmas [Reprise]" (by Arthur)
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