1) Las Vegas (NBC, 2006) Episode: “White Christmas” Perhaps not the most original series set in Vegas, but this episode has a cheeky story — three kids are abandoned on Christmas Eve, plus a thieving elf, create some holiday high jinks for a gang. Thanks to its tight set design (Vegas casinos sure know their holiday neons) and, happily, not making the kids so adorable the saccharine might kill us, you can actually enjoy this one.
2) Twisted Sister: A Twisted Christmas — Live in Vegas! (DVD, 2012) All the goofy trappings are here: Dee Snider in whorish makeup in a Santa suit, metal versions of Yuletide classics like “Silver Bells” and “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause.” It gets a little redundant, but give the band credit for its full-throttle gusto.
3) CSI (CBS, 2013) Episode: “The Lost Reindeer” Santa is murdered at an elaborate holiday party, complete with reindeer and hot Santa’s helpers! Among CSI’s best qualities were its dark humor and insouciant approach to the aberrant, both on display in this fun episode, which sends up Christmas clichés with deadpan, grisly charm.
4) Ocean's Eleven (1960) Danny Ocean (Frank Sinatra) gathers a group of his WWII buddies to rob five Las Vegas casinos on New Year’s Eve. Dated? Of course, but this is where the swinging-cats era of Vegas began. And it’s a gas to see vintage haunts like the Desert Inn and the Sands in their New Year's Eve splendor.
5) Finding Mrs. Clause (2012) Feeling neglected by Santa (Will Sasso), Mrs. Claus (Mira Sorvino) takes a trip to Las Vegas; Santa follows, and things goes awry in the way only a Lifetime production could. Worth watching for the sheer likability of its leads, who are skilled enough to keep much of the treacle at bay.
6) Reno 911! (Comedy Central, 2009) Episode: “Secret Santa” A nod to our sister city: Odd lights are seen and suddenly three black-clad, mysterious deputies show up at the station, raising the obvious question: Must they be included in the office’s Secret Santa ritual? This one captures the egotism and discomfort of that office holiday formality quite well.
7) El Camino Christmas (2017) A young man (Luke Grimes) seeking his father ends up trapped in a liquor store with five other people on Christmas Eve in the fictional desert town of El Camino, Nevada. A violent, anti-feel-good holiday film, the work of its game case — Tim Allen, Jessica Alba, Vincent D’Onofrio — is undercut by awkward shifts between comedy and noir and more glibness than is needed. Still: interesting attempt.