In all honesty, my expectations for this year's Christmas Special were pretty low. I have never been a huge fan of the Doctor Who Holiday themed episodes, they always come across as gimmicky, overly sappy and in the worst case scenario, like last year, the plot just seems to become frivolously secondary.
Tag that along with the fact that I didn't care at all for Oswin's characterization from her surprise first appearance in Asylum of the Daleks, my feelings were tepid to say the least.
Thankfully those concerns dissipated once it began. The Snowmen somehow finds a lot of that Christmasy wonder that several of the previously installments of the course of it's run have failed to do and it strikes a nice balance with it actually being useful to the plot, whilst not hinder it in the process.
The way in which the Villains are defeated does seem very questionable and their origins were never explicitly explained, which may mean they will return in the future, which I don't mind.
My biggest surprise however was the fact how much I enjoyed Clara as the new companion. Weather each version or iteration will be different ever time remains to be seen, although Clara did seemed very toned down from premiere.
I am liking that Moffat is taking an unusual approach to his companions, while Amy having the Doctor be her imaginary friend was a far more subtle change to the normal companion introduction, Clara's is far more enigmatic and confusing, one which poses a large amount of speculation and head scratching.
Overall, an enjoyable romp. Looking forward seeing where "The Fall of the Eleventh" and the question that should never be answered will fit in to this and the 50th anniversary.