Shining Time Station Wiki
This article is about the special. You may be looking for the VHS.

'Tis A Gift is a Christmas special. It is set between the first 2 seasons.


The spirit of the Christmas Holidays has hit Shining Time Station as it becomes busier than ever. Schemer tries to get passengers to vote for him to be Santa's Helper in the towns Christmas Pageant, by unnecessarily making it a Champaign to vote against Stacy. J.B. King begins to look for Mr. Conductor leaving him presents around the station hoping he receives them. The station sees the arrival of two new faces; A man named Mr. Nicholas who believes a certain train called The Northern Star will arrive to collect him to the confusion of the staff, and Vickie, a shy girl who unintentionally ruins Matt and Tanya's fun and preparations.

As the night goes on St. Nicholas helps Vicki come out of her shell giving her the courage to engage more with the station. Once Mayor Flopdinger announces he will be Santa's Helper the adults in the station erupt into confusion. This all changes as Vicki starts to sing for them to the pure delight of her mother. As the station all comes together in harmony to sing carols Mr. Nicholas [revealing to be Santa Claus himself] leaves for The Northern Star as Mr. Conductor leaves with him to help. Everyone is chosen to be Santa's Helper and the station come together as one to celebrate the Christmas spirit.

Cast and Characters

Main Cast

Special Guest Star

The Flexitoon Puppeteers

Guest Starring

Mentioned characters

Thomas the Tank Engine characters

  • Thomas
  • Edward
  • Henry
  • Gordon
  • James
  • Percy
  • Toby
  • Donald and Douglas
  • Annie and Clarabel
  • Terence
  • Sir Topham Hatt
  • Mrs. Kyndley
  • Duck (does not speak)
  • Harold (does not speak)
  • Father Christmas (does not speak)
  • Bertie (not named, does not speak)
  • Bill and Ben (cameos)
  • Diesel (cameo)
  • BoCo (cameo)
  • Troublesome Trucks (cameos)
  • Trevor (cameo)
  • Jeremiah Jobling (cameo)
  • Farmer Finney (cameo)
  • Stephen Hatt (cameo)
  • The Stone-dropping Boys (cameos)
  • Jem Cole (cameo)
  • The Vicar of Wellsworth (cameo)
  • The Little Boys (cameos)
  • The Ffarquhar Policeman (cameo)
  • The Lady with the Floppy Green Hat (cameo)
  • Harold's Pilots (cameos)

Thomas Stories

Thomas hates wearing his snow plow. Snow is silly soft stuff and Thomas thinks he’ll plow right through it just fine without a snow plow. Ultimately, Thomas gets stuck and it’s up to his new friend Terence the Tractor to pull him out of the snow.

It has been a whole year since Ms. Kyndley saved Thomas from a nasty accident. Christmas day is almost upon them and the engines decided to thank her properly by throwing a Christmas party for her. Unfortunately Ms. Kyndley is snowed in and Thomas has to rescue her this time so she can make it to the surprise party.

Thomas is sent by Sir Topham Hatt on a special mission to get a Christmas tree and bring it back for a party. But Thomas gets caught in a snow drift and goes missing. The Scottish twins Donald and Douglas are sent to rescue Thomas help him back to the party with the Christmas Tree.

Jukebox Band Segment Songs

  • Over the River and Through the Woods
  • Jingle Bells
  • It's Christmastime at the Railway Station
  • Simple Gifts (with Vickie)

Cartoons and Songs


  • This episode marked the last of several things:
  • This episode also marked the first of a few things:
    • This is the first time The Rainbow Sun is mentioned outside of the theme song.
    • This is the first hour-long episode.
  • This episode was the only time for several things:
    • This is the only Season 1 episode to be released on VHS.
    • The only Christmas-themed episode of the series.
    • This is the only episode to use an entirely different opening and closing sequence.
    • This is the only episode where an incarnation of Mr. Conductor leaves the show on-screen.
  • This is the second time "Terence the Tractor" is told by Mr. Conductor.
  • This special is dedicated to all those who helped to build Shining Time Station.
  • Although generally considered to be a "special", this was the 21st and final episode of Season 1.
  • Upon its VHS release in 1992, the Thomas stories in this episode were rearranged. "Thomas's Christmas Party" was made the first story, while "Thomas and the Missing Christmas" became the final story. As Ringo Starr had left and thus never created a US version of the latter, the original UK soundtrack was used, removing all mentions of "The Fat Controller".
  • The footage used for the opening and closing sequences were filmed at the Grand Canyon Railway in Williams, Arizona, and features their locomotive #18. Incidentally, the 18 makes a second appearance as it's whistle, a Southern Pacific six-chime, is used for Mr. Nicholas' heard-but-not-seen "Northern Star". The locomotive used to resides at the Mt. Hood Railroad in Oregon but as of today it's at the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad in Colorado.
  • The special was taped in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where it would remain for the rest of the series.
  • The music video, The Hobo Song, was originally going to be cut out as the producers felt it would be too emotional for young viewers, but the final decision was made that it would be kept in as it conveyed an important message.
  • Mr. Conductor's line, "See? With the help of Terence..." is cut from the VHS version as Thomas' Christmas Party is the first Thomas story instead of Terence the Tractor.
  • Based on what Mr. Conductor said before telling the story, Thomas' Christmas Party may have taken place in December 1989 as it was "Last Christmas".