Settle in with your remote and a glass of eggnog to enjoy the season’s festive TV offerings
On the first day of Flip-mas, my teevee gave to me… More programs than I could see!
YES, that’s right, seasonal-special surfers — the holiday TV season is upon us. And it should come as no surprise, given the way some U.S. cable networks — led by Lifetime and the Hallmark Channel — have basically turned themselves into year-round Christmas-movie production factories, that the coming month’s listings are filled with more festive-themed titles than ever before.
On the chillier side of the CanadaU.S. border, Lifetime and W have already eased into an all-Christmas, all-the-time movie schedule, while other specialty nets such as Showcase, AMC and ABC Spark are including one or more seasonal titles in every night’s lineup.
If you’re into holiday programming, you needn’t look far to find it. Among this year’s highlights are a brand new offering on a new streaming-content platform — Bill Murray’s Netflix special A Very Murray Christmas (Dec. 4) — and a half-century celebration for one of the tube’s most beloved festive titles, A Charlie Brown Christmas (ABC, Nov. 30).
With all that in mind, our annual fridge-magnet-friendly festive TV calendar offers a selective guide to Christmassy viewing, including new seasonal titles and where-to-watch tips for your favourite must-see classics.
Recommended newcomers and seasonal-viewing staples are highlighted to help you sort out your schedule. We haven’t supplied showtimes because in many cases, the airtimes differ depending on which cable or satellite provider is carrying the program; check your listings or guide.
Here’s what we’ve unwrapped under 2015’s TV-watching tree: SATURDAY, NOV. 28:
Frosty the Snowman (CBS) Frosty Returns (CBS) A Gift Wrapped Christmas (Lifetime) The Story of Santa Claus (CBS) SUNDAY, NOV. 29:
Scrooged (CBC, 8 p.m.) Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas (Fox) Holiday Baking Championship (Food) MONDAY, NOV. 30: It’s Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown (ABC) A Charlie Brown Christmas (ABC) Russell Peters Christmas (CTV) The Great Holiday Baking Show (ABC, 9 p.m.) TUESDAY, DEC. 1: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (CBS) Disney’s A Christmas Carol (Global) Christmas with the Kranks (AMC) It’s a SpongeBob Christmas! (YTV) WEDNESDAY, DEC. 2: Christmas in Rockefeller Center (NBC) How the Grinch Stole Christmas (NBC) The Three Tenors Christmas (PBS) A Saturday Night Live Christmas (NBC) Jingle All the Way (AMC) THURSDAY, DEC. 3: Toy Story That Time Forgot (ABC) The Polar Express (Global) CMA Country Christmas (ABC) FRIDAY, DEC. 4: A Very Murray Christmas (Netflix) Scrooged (AMC) Vegas Christmas Special (History) On Strike for Christmas (W) SATURDAY, DEC. 5: It’s a Wonderful Life (NBC/ CTV) His and Her Christmas (Global) Farmhouse Rules: Home for the Holidays (Food) SUNDAY, DEC. 6: I’ll Be Home for Christmas (CBC) Northpole: Open for Christmas (Bravo) Elf (ABC Spark) Last Chance for Christmas (Lifetime, 8 p.m.) MONDAY, DEC. 7: The Great Christmas Light Fight (ABC) Happy Holidays: The Best of the Andy Williams Christmas Shows (PBS) Michael Bublé’s 3rd Annual Christmas Special (CTV) Greatest Holiday Commercials Countdown (Global) The Naughty List (YTV) TUESDAY, DEC. 8: 22 Minutes Holiday Special (CBC, 8:30 p.m.) Straight No Chaser — Songs of the Decades: Holiday Edition (PBS) WEDNESDAY, DEC. 9: Dragons’ Den Holiday Special (CBC) Taraji and Terrence’s White Hot Holidays (Fox) THURSDAY, DEC. 10: Michael Bublé’s Christmas in Hollywood (CBC) Christmas Through the Decades (History) Miracle on 34th Street (AMC)
White Christmas (AMC) FRIDAY, DEC. 11: Bob’s Broken Sleigh (Family) The 84th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade (CW) SATURDAY, DEC. 12: The Flight Before Christmas (ABC) Jamie’s Cracking Christmas (Food) Becoming Santa (Lifetime) SUNDAY, DEC. 13: A Muppet Christmas Carol (CBC) Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too (CBC) On the Twelfth Day of Christmas (Showcase) MONDAY, DEC. 14: The Curse of Clara: A Holiday Tale (CBC) How the Grinch Stole Christmas (CBC)
TUESDAY, DEC. 15:
Shrek the Halls (ABC) WEDNESDAY, DEC. 16: Rufus and Martha Wainwright’s Noël Nights (CBC) THURSDAY, DEC. 17: Disney Prep & Landing (ABC) Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice (ABC) Get Santa (CBC) The Christmas Truce (Showcase) iHeartRadio Jingle Ball (CW) FRIDAY, DEC. 18: Yes, Virginia (ABC) A Home for the Holidays (CBS) Christmas in Connecticut (TCM) SATURDAY, DEC. 19: I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown (ABC) Olive, the Other Reindeer (YTV) The Spirit of Christmas (Lifetime) SUNDAY, DEC. 20: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (CBC) The Lawrence Welk Show: Christmas (PBS) MONDAY, DEC. 21: Murdoch Mysteries: A Merry Murdoch Christmas (CBC) Simply Nigella: Nigella Christmas Special (Food) Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (PBS)
TUESDAY, DEC. 22:
A Christmas Story (CBC) WEDNESDAY, DEC. 23: The Magic Hockey Skates (CBC) I Love Lucy Christmas (CBS) Happy Holidays with Bing & Frank (TCM) THURSDAY, DEC. 24:
White Christmas (CBC) Merry Christmas Mr. Bean (CBC) How Murray Saved Christmas (Family) CHRISTMAS DAY: No TV today; you’re probably going to need those remote-control batteries to power up a new toy anyway. Tinsel, ribbons, eggnog, turkey, stuffing, shortbread, hugs, songs and snoozes to all, and to all, a very Merry Christmas!
From left, Paul Shaffer,
George Clooney, Bill Murray and Miley Cyrus in Netflix’s A Very Murray Christmas, a twist on classic