Christmas specials TV schedule: Rudolph, the Grinch, and Charlie Brown plus new favorites

From thousands of hours of programs, we highlight the favorites we know you’ll want to see, along with some brand new Christmas shows worth a try. Photo: Rankin/Bass

SAN DIEGO, November 28, 2012 –  For many of us, it doesn’t feel like the Christmas season until an appearance by the beloved characters from our favorite Christmastime TV shows: Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy and the Peanuts gang. Rudolph, Frosty, or The Grinch.

Perhaps for you and your family, it’s a cherished Christmas movie: “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Miracle on 34th Street,” or “Elf.”

The magic may come from music of the season performed by your favorites old and new, from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to Michael Buble.

There will be hundreds, perhaps thousands of hours of holiday programming from now through the end of the year. Nearly every broadcast and cable network plans to offer holiday programming. You’ll get a dose of your beloved favorites, some brand new shows, music specials, Christmas movie marathons and more Lifetime and Hallmark Channel fare than you could possibly see.

Some Christmas programming started showing up at Halloween, eek! Most of us don’t start looking for our favorites until the Thanksgiving turkey is cleared from the table.

Your Communities team has highlighted the popular favorites we know you’ll want to see, along with listings for some brand new Christmas specials.

If you are a hard-core Christmas entertainment fan, we highly recommend visiting the website Merry Christmas TV at It has a day-by-day schedule through Christmas. It’s exhaustive, or should we say exhausting. Bookmark it and refer to it so you don’t miss out.

As for the Yule Log burning up your screen – now in high definition, naturally – you’re on your own.

Communities Christmas Program Highlights 

Click on each date for a direct link to the Merry Christmas TV website calendar with complete listings.

Thursday, November 29 

ABC Family, 5 p.m. “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas”

Friday, November 30

TV Guide, 8 p.m. “Cee Lo’s Magic Moment”

An hour-long special based on the new Christmas album by the colorful coach from “The Voice.”

Saturday, December 1

NBC, 8 p.m. “It’s a Wonderful Life”

This is the movie cited most often as the best Christmas movie of all time. Also airs on December 24.

Sunday, December 2

Cooking Channel, 7 p.m. “All-Star Holiday Special: A Taste of Home”

Spend time in the kitchen with seven of your Cooking Channel favorites whipping up holiday fare.

Monday, December 3

NBC, 10 p.m. “Blake Shelton’s Not So Family Christmas.”

A new special with country music’s Artist of the Year and a few friends like Kelly Clarkson, Miranda Lambert, and Reba McEntire singing holiday tunes.  Also airs December 7, 8 p.m.

Tuesday, December 4

CBS, 8 p.m. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”

Take a trip to the Island of Misfit Toys with Rudolph and watch as he saves Christmas. 

Wednesday, December 5

Thursday, December 6

Friday, December 7

Saturday, December 8

Syfy, 8 p.m. “12 Disasters of Christmas”

Hands down the strangest special of the season. Disasters connected to the Mayan prediction and the song “The 12 Days of Christmas” threaten to destroy the world.

CBS, 8 p.m. “The Flight Before Christmas”

The charming young Natalie Wood and Edmund Gween in Miracle on 34th Street. Photo: Twentieth Century Fox.

Sunday, December 9

AMC, 8 and 10:15 p.m. “Miracle on 34th Street”

This 1947 classic airs every night through Thursday, December 13.

ABC, 9 p.m. “Christmas with Holly”

The only new Hallmark Hall of Fame holiday movie for 2012 is the story of a girl being raised by her uncle.

ABC Family, 8 p.m. “The Mistle-Tones”

“Glee” without the social messages as rival vocal groups compete in a Christmas Eve sing-off.

Monday, December 10

NBC, 10 p.m. “Michael Buble: Home for the Holidays.”

Buble’s second holiday special, with Rod Stewart, Blake Shelton, and Carly Rae Jepson.

Tuesday, December 11

Wednesday, December 12

 ABC Family 5 p.m. “The Santa Clause;” 7 p.m., “The Santa Clause 3;” 9 p.m., “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”

A trio of comedy favorites.

Thursday, December 13

NBC, 8 p.m. “Christmas in the White House.”

A brand new special celebrating the season with President Obama and the First Family.

Friday, December 14

CBS, 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. “Yes Virginia” and “Elf on the Shelf”

AMC, 8 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. “White Christmas” (1954)

Saturday, December 15

CBS, 8 p.m.“Elf” 8 p.m.

Call it a modern classic with Will Ferrell stars as Buddy the Elf. Other big names in the cast: Zooey Deschanel, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Bob Newhart, Ed Asner and Peter Dinklage from “Game of Thrones.”

The glory that is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Sunday, December 16

PBS, 8 p.m. “Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir”

TBS, 8 p.m. “A Christmas Story”

AMC, 8 p.m. “A Christmas Carol”

Different versions of the movie run for the next few days, including the 1984 version with George C. Scott and the 1938 classic.

Monday, December 17

Fox, 8 p.m. “Dreamworks Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury;” “Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas” and “Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown.”

Tuesday, December 18

CW, 8 p.m. “It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie”

PBS, 8 p.m. “Merry Christmas, Baby”

Rod Stewart’s first Christmas special. He is joined by Michael Buble, Mary J. Blige and Cee Lo Green.

ABC, 8 p.m. “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” (Also airs on Dec. 25).

ABC, 8:30 p.m. “Shrek the Halls”

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a dose of The Grinch. Photo: Warner Brothers/MGM

Wednesday, December 19

CW, 8 p.m. “Noel”

Thursday, December 20

ABC, 9 p.m. “CMA Country Christmas”

Performers including Sugarland, Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride, Scotty McCreery and Keith Urban.

Friday, December 21

TNT, 8 p.m. “Christmas in Washington 2012” special

ABC, 8 p.m. “I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown”

It’s the modern version of a USO Christmas Tour: WWE Salute to the Troops.

Saturday, December 22

NBC, 8 p.m., “WWE Tribute to the Troops”

An annual event since 2003 with Armed Forces Entertainment in December to honor American troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, a modern USO with pro wrestling stars.

Sunday, December 23

ABC Family, 5 p.m. “The Polar Express”

Monday, December 24

PBS, 8 p.m. “Il Volo Takes Flight at Christmas”

PBS, 9 p.m. “Christmas With Nathan Pacheco”

PBS, 10 p.m. “Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir”

CW, 8 p.m. “Christmas Is Here Again” and Second Star to the Left:

Two animated specials.

TBS, 8 p.m. “A Christmas Story” (24-hour marathon)

TMC, 8:15 a.m. Christmas Eve movie marathon

Among the featured films, are “Miracle on 34th Street,” “White Christmas,” “A Christmas Carol” (1984) and contemporary Christmas movies.

Tuesday, December 25

Lifetime, 8 p.m. “The Christmas Consultant”

Don’t Hassle the Hoff! How could we not list a movie starring David Hasselhoff? He plays a Christmas planner hired by a harried couple to make Christmas nice for their four kids.

Tell us your favorite Christmas specials, concerts, movies or animated shows in the comments section. Did we miss one that you love?

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

More from Media Migraine
blog comments powered by Disqus
Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.


Contact Gayle Falkenthal


Please enable pop-ups to use this feature, don't worry you can always turn them off later.

Question of the Day
Photo Galleries
Popular Threads
Powered by Disqus