Whether you just need some entertainment while doing the last-minute gift wrapping or need a really great TV special to keep the kids occupied while you attend to the fruitcake baking, TV networks are presenting plenty of Christmas movies and TV specials to view. From the Grinch to Beauty and the Beast, here are the best bets to watch over the Christmas weekend:
How the Grinch Stole Christmas – 8:00 p.m. NBC
NBC is rebroadcasting the 50th anniversary of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. If you haven’t seen it in a while, you’ll appreciate just how good the older animated TV specials were and understand why we watch them over and over again. NBC will air all 26 minutes of the special instead of cutting it short to fit in with today’s normal running time. The special was written by Dr. Seuss, animated by Chuck Jones, and features the voice talents of Boris Karloff and June Foray.
Dolly Partons’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love – 9:00 p.m. NBC
Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors is a follow-up to last year’s Coat of Many Colors. The new made-for-TV movie has everything one would want for a holiday movie: family, music, faith, and a story set around Christmas. It’s all about Dolly’s family too.
A Home for the Holidays – 8:00 p.m. CBS
Miranda Lambert will headline CBS’ 18th annual A Home for the Holidays that celebrates families who have been changed by adoption. Other performers include Alessia Cara, Rachel Platten, and others.
The Santa Clause – 5:35 p.m. Freeform
The Tim Allen Santa movie that started them all. In short, it’s a story about a guy who filled in for Santa one night and then became him. Still a favorite among many.
Elf – 7:40 p.m. Freeform
Even people who don’t like Will Ferrell love the movie Elf, which is about how a human baby ended up at the North Pole and was raised by elves, then goes on an adventure to New York to meet his real father. The movie stars Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart, Zooey Deschanel, Ed Asner, and Mary Steenburgen.
I Love Lucy Christmas Special – 8:00 p.m.
If you haven’t seen the I Love Lucy Christmas Special, it is definitely worth pausing for. In what has become a yearly tradition, the special features two classic episodes of the series back-to-back and in a vintage colorized format. This year’s special features “The Christmas Episode” and “Lucy Gets in Pictures.”
Prep & Landing – 8:00 p.m. ABC
ABC will feature the original Prep & Landing TV special about how the elves help Santa navigate all the houses on Christmas Eve, followed by its sequel, Naughty vs. Nice, where a trio of elves are faced with a kid on the naughty list. Totally worth your time.
It’s a Wonderful Life – 8:00 p.m. – NBC
For some, it just isn’t Christmas without an annual viewing of the Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life. NBC airs the classic Jimmy Stewart movie and unlike the I Love Lucy Special, it will be shown in glorious black and white.
A Christmas Story Marathon – Beginning at 8:00 p.m. TNT
A love story about a boy and his out-of-reach B.B. gun with worried parents that he would shoot his eye out, A Christmas Story will air over and over again on TNT starting at 8:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve and will continue until 8:00 p.m. Christmas Day.
CMA Country Christmas – 9:00 p.m. ABC
A re-airing of this popular special hosted by Jennifer Nettles includes performances by Kelly Clarkson, Brett Eldredge, Kelsea Ballerini, Andra Day, Idina Menzel, Trisha Yearwood, Loretta Lynn, Amy Grant, Jordan Smith, Joey Alexander, Rascal Flatts, Kacey Musgraves, Chris Young, Brad Paisley, and Sarah McLachlan.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – 9:45 p.m. Freeform
This is the classic Chevy Chase movie we all love because we all have a little Clark Griswald in all of us, right?
Disney Parks Magical Christmas Celebration – 8:00 a.m. ABC
If you’re not ready to get up to open Christmas presents bright and early, send the kids to watch The Disney Parks Magical Christmas Celebration at 8:00 a.m. on ABC. (Of course, then they will be bugging you to take them to Disneyland). Julianne and Derek Hough host with musical performances by Trisha Yearwood, Garth Brooks, Kelly Clarkson, Sofia Carson, and Jordan Fisher.
Beauty and the Beast – 8:00 p.m. ABC
The award-winning animated Disney’s Beauty and the Beast will air on network television for the first time. A tale as old as time and a perfect way to cap off the holiday weekend.
[Featured Image by ABC and NBC]