A Muppet Family Christmas first aired in 1987 on ABC. The special was about The Muppet Gang spending The Holidays at Fozzie Bear's Mother's cabin. Unbeknownst to them, She is about to embark to Malibu for the Holidays. She hires Doc and Sprocket (from Fraggle Rock) to housesit while she is away. Before she leaves Fozzie and the gang show up and she cancels her plans. Doc and Sprocket are none too happy about the sudden change of plans. Miss Piggy informs Kermit she will be behind to take care of last minute shopping, but a blizzard ends up putting her behind.
The Sesame Street gang then make an appearance as they sing carols and interact with the Muppets. The Swedish Chef then tries to measure a Turkey but the turkey tips Swedish Chef off to possibly using Big Bird for Christmas dinner. However, Big Bird gives him a gift and reminds him that it must be hard being away from his family in Sweden for Christmas. The two then sing a duet of The Christmas Song. The Muppet and Sesame Street combo then decorate the cabin while Kermit and his nephew stumble upon The Fraggles who do not know about Christmas but have a similar tradition of passing on a pebble to people they think of most.
Miss Piggy finally makes it and the Muppet and Sesame Street combo sing around a 10 minute medley of Christmas Carols The Count singing "I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In", Big Bird singing "Happy Holiday", and Miss Piggy and Kermit singing "I'll Be Home for Christmas". The special ends with a cameo from Jim Henson himself.
TV Guide has listed it as one of the greatest Christmas specials of all time. But, why is it so rare to find? Why is it never on TV?
There are legal reasons why this is not on TV. For one, The Muppets are owned by Disney. Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock are owned by different companies although they were also Jim Henson Creations. Disney would not allow the airing of it because they want to be sticklers to the copyrights.
It's also rare because the newly released DVD and VHS versions (which are still around) were heavily edited from the original TV airing in 1987. Among scenes that were cut was a home movie of the Muppet Babies singing Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Fozzie and Elmo lighting the Christmas Tree (at this time Elmo was not a major character on Sesame Street. That wouldn't come until a decade later.), and some of the songs were cut for copyright reasons.
The DVD and VHS versions that are on eBay typically sell for $45 and over. However, there are unedited versions in some countries that go for over $100.
Here are the "Deleted Scenes"
I don't see why they were cut honestly. I had a VHS version but it was edited as well. The unedited version is on Youtube as well as the edited version. If you get a chance you should definitely check it out! It is awesome and heartwarming. Not commercialistic at all!