Holiday TV Specials to Watch

by | December 6, 2013 | Comments

Need a little holiday cheer on the tube this season? No sweat; Rotten Tomatoes has got you covered. From live television specials to reliable old favorites, here is a list of the various themed programming you can tune into this holiday season:


Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town
ABC, December 9 (Mon), 9pm
The title says it all, but this is the origin story of how Santa came to be.

White Christmas
AMC, December 13 (Fri), 7pm
“Vermont should be beautiful this time of the year.” Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen star in one of the holiday’s all time favorites.

It’s A Wonderful Life
NBC, December 14 (Sat) and December 24 (Tue), 8pm
Curl up by the fire and tune into this heart-warming story of a man who loses his way, only to find he already has the greatest gift of all.

A Charlie Brown Christmas
ABC, December 19 (Thu), 8pm
It simply isn’t the holiday season without catching this 1965 animated classic where Charlie Brown tries to find the true meaning of Christmas.

A Christmas Carol (1951)
TCM, December 19 (Thu), 7pm
Haunted by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet to Come, Scrooge is given a second chance at redemption on Christmas Eve.

Scrooge (1935)
TCM, December 19 (Thu), 8:30pm
TCM follows up the 1951 adaptation of Charles Dickens’s novel with the earlier 1935 version, which airs directly after.

Dr. Suess’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas
ABC Family, December 22 (Sun), 7pm; ABC, December 24 (Tue), 8pm
There are a few more chances to catch this oldie but goodie. You simply can’t miss the Grinch carve the roast beast!

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
CBS, December 14 (Sat), 8pm
Misfit Rudy saves the day with his bright red-nose. A feelgood story that will have you singing along!

A Christmas Story
TBS, December 25 (Wed), All day marathon
You’ll shoot your eye out! Hang with Ralphie on Christmas day when you’re bound to catch at least one showing of this all-day marathon.



Disney’s Prep & Landing
December 16 (Mon), 8pm
Dave Foley and Sarah Chalke lend their voices to one of Disney’s newer animated classic-in-the-making where a happy-go-lucky elf tries to show his grumpy new partner the true spirit of Christmas.

Disney’s Prep & Landing 2: Naughty vs. Nice
December 16 (Mon), 8:30pm
Lanny and Wayne return in this follow-up to the 2009 newbie, Prep & Landing.

I Want A Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown!
December 21 (Sat), 8pm
Charlie Brown is always there to save the day with Snoopy in tow. Snoopy’s brother Spike might be just what Linus and Lucy’s little brother, Rerun, are looking for this Christmas.

Shrek the Halls
December 23 (Mon), 8pm
Shrek, Fiona and the gang put their own spin on holiday traditions in this animated TV special.

A Chipmunk Christmas
December 23 (Mon), 8:30pm
Alvin, Simon, and Theodore are up to their old hijinks in this 1981 Christmas special which spawned the famous Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late).


Kelly Clarkson’s Cautionary Christmas Music Tale
December 11 (Tue), 10pm
Hang out with the first American Idol winner as she performs a loose version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Joining her are Trisha Yearwood, Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Robin Williams and many more.

Michael Bublé’s 3rd Annual Christmas Special
December 18 (Wed), 10pm
With special guests including Mariah Carey and Mary J. Blige, Bublé performs some of his most popular hits and holiday classics.


Frosty Returns
December 14 (Sat), 9:30pm
Tune in as Frosty helps save Christmas in this sequel to the 1969 classic Frosty the Snowman.

A Home for the Holidays With Celine Dion
December 18 (Wed), 8pm
In its 15th annual special, Celine will be performing songs from her latest album “Loved Me Back to Life” and is joined by musical friends including Chris Young and Ne-Yo.

The CW

iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2013
December 18 (Wed), 8pm
Join Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke, Pitbull, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grand, Austin Mahone and more at the concert hosted by New York’s Z100.

ABC Family

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys
December 20 (Fri), 4pm
Richard Dreyfuss and Jamie Lee Curtis lend their voices to this follow-up of the 1964 classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Holiday Movie Marathon
December 22 (Sun), All day
Grab a cup of hot cocoa and relax for an all day movie marathon of some holiday favorites.

The Santa Clause Marathon
December 24 (Tue), All day
Chill with tool man Tim (Allen) as he takes on the role of the guy with the big red bag in: The Santa Clause, The Santa Clause 2, and The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause. It will be hard to miss as they will be showing around the clock on Christmas Eve!

Comedy Central

Jeff Dunham’s Very Special Christmas Special
December 13 (Fri), 11pm
Get silly and celebrate the holiday season with the comedian and his signature characters.

A Russell Peters Christmas
December 14 (Sat), 11pm
Michael Bublé, Pamela Anderson, Jon Lovitz and Scott Thompson join in on this blend of stand-up, stop-motion animation, music and sketch-comedy.


The Time of the Doctor
BBC America, December 25 (Wed), 9pm
Check out Matt Smith’s final episode as the 11th Doctor.

Elf Marathon
Starz, December 24 (Tue), 24-hour marathon beginning at noon
Hang out with Will Ferrell and a pre-New Girl Zooey Deschanel this Christmas Eve for some good times and good laughs.