Deck the halls and warm up the DVR: A veritable blizzard of holiday-themed fare is about to blow into your television sets.
Once again the broadcast networks and cable channels have pieced together a vast lineup of festive specials, movies and animated treats. Some are making their debut this season, but most are perennial favorites.
So we’ve made a list (and checked it twice) of prime time’s holiday highlights. Keep in mind that many of these programs – especially those on cable – will receive multiple airings.
The Holiday Hall of Fame
“A Charlie Brown Christmas”: Our round-headed hero bonds with a puny tree and learns the true meaning of Christmas. (Tuesday and Dec. 16, 8 p.m., ABC)
“The Year Without a Santa Claus”: The big guy gets his feelings hurt and decides to go on strike. (Thursday, 9 p.m., ABC Family)
“Frosty the Snowman”: It’s time to chill out with that “jolly, happy soul.” (Dec. 11, 8 p.m. and Dec. 17, 8:30 p.m., CBS)
“Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas”: Quick, put Whoville on lockdown – the grouchy beast is on the prowl once again. (Dec. 23, 8 p.m., ABC)
Gifts that keep giving
“Shrek the Halls”: America’s favorite ogre struggles to get into the Christmas spirit. (Dec. 9, 8 p.m., ABC)
“Disney Prep & Landing”: A covert unit of elves readies homes for the big night. (Dec. 9, 8:30 p.m., ABC)
“A Miser Brothers’ Christmas”: The 2008 sequel to 1974’s “The Year Without a Santa Claus.” (Dec. 9, 10 p.m., ABC Family)
“Frosty Returns”: Apparently, there’s still some magic in that old silk hat. (Dec. 11, 8:30 p.m. and Dec. 17, 9 p.m., CBS)
“The Flight Before Christmas”: A young reindeer yearns to be an expert flyer just like his father. (Dec. 11, 9 p.m., CBS)
“Yes, Virginia”: A curious, letter-writing girl questions the existence of Santa Claus. (Dec. 17, 8 p.m., CBS)
“The Polar Express”: All aboard for a magical train ride to the North Pole. (Today, 6 and 8:30 p.m., ABC Family)
“The Nightmare Before Christmas”: Jack Skellington brings some ghoulish delight to the holiday. (Saturday, 11 p.m., ABC Family)
“Miracle on 34th Street”: A department store Santa restores our faith in humanity. (Dec. 8, 8:30 p.m., ABC Family)
“A Christmas Carol”: Reginald Owen plays the miserable miser in this 1938 version of the Dickens classic. (Dec. 10, 5 p.m., TCM)
“It’s a Wonderful Life”: Every time you watch this Capra classic, an angel gets its wings. (Dec. 11 and 24, 8 p.m., NBC)
“Meet Me in St. Louis”: Judy Garland has herself a merry little Christmas in this 1944 musical. (Dec. 11, 5 p.m., TCM)
“White Christmas”: Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye work to make your days merry and bright. (Marathon starts Dec. 11, 8 p.m., AMC)
“Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas”: The inferior, live-action Jim Carrey version. (Dec. 23, 8:30 p.m., ABC)
“A Christmas Story”: We triple-dog dare you to watch this nostalgic keepsake over and over and over. (Marathon starts Dec. 24, 8 p.m., TBS)
“Scrooged”: Bill Murray goes for the laughs in a modern twist on the flinty grouch. (Marathon starts Dec. 25, 10 a.m., AMC)
Freshly wrapped TV movies
“Farewell Mr. Kringle”: A cynical, Christmas-hating journalist (Christine Taylor) is sent by her editor (Vivica A. Fox) to the charming town of Mistletoe. (Saturday, 8 p.m., Hallmark Channel).
“A Very School Gyrls Holla-Day”: The girls find themselves locked in the mall after it closes and try to stop a pair of unlikely thieves on Christmas. (Saturday, 9 p.m., Nickelodeon)
“On Strike for Christmas”: Daphne Zuniga stars as a fed-up mom who tires of toiling around the holidays. (Sunday, 8 p.m., Lifetime Movie Network )
“The Santa Incident”: After Santa’s sleigh is downed by a heat-seeking missile, a family nurses him back to health. (Tuesday, 8 p.m., Hallmark Channel)
“An Old-Fashioned Christmas”: Jacqueline Bisset stars in this saga based on a short story by Louisa May Alcott. (Dec. 11, 8 p.m., Hallmark Channel)
“Christmas Cupid”: It’s Dickens with a twist as a high-powered Hollywood publicist (Christina Milian) meets the ghosts of boyfriends past, present and future. (Dec. 12, 8 p.m., ABC Family)
Traditions, music and more
“Big Time Christmas”: The “Big Time Rush” gang, along with Miranda Cosgrove and Snoop Dogg, debut original holiday tunes. (Saturday, 8 p.m., Nickelodeon)
“Penguins of Madagascar: The All-Nighter Before Christmas”: The zoo-dwellers discover the truth behind Santa’s magic in this new animated special. (Dec. 12, 7 p.m., Nickelodeon)
“Mariah Carey: Merry Christmas to You”: The pop princess performs songs from her new holiday album. (Dec. 13, 9 p.m., ABC)
“Christmas in Washington”: Mariah Carey, Miranda Cosgrove, Maxwell, Annie Lennox and others light up the capital. (Dec. 17, 8 p.m., TNT)
“12th Annual A Home for the Holidays”: Celebrities share inspirational stories about adoption. (Dec. 22, 8 p.m., CBS)
Here’s my full story from spokesman.com: By Betsy Z. Russell BOISE – Even after months of hearings, overwhelmingly positive public comments and stacks of statistics showing Idaho would save millions, ...
Coeur d'Alene City Administrator Jim Hammond dropped by this AM with an old Spokesman-Review political cartoon by Milt Priggee, my old editorial board colleague. The cartoon showed Post Falls signing ...
NATURE -- Lightning took a reindeer herd by storm on Friday. More than 300 wild reindeer have been killed during a thunder storm in central Norway. The Norwegian Environment Agency ...
A GRIP ON SPORTS • The thud you heard yesterday afternoon may just have been Mariner fans coming back to earth. After a season of exceeding expectations – and outplaying ...
sponsored You’ve probably heard of co-ops: food co-ops, childcare co-ops, housing co-ops, energy co-ops.