A Guide to Holiday TV

11 years ago

In keeping with the tradition of Christmas arriving earlier and earlier every year in store displays and advertising, television programming is following suit.

Love A Charlie Brown Christmas?  It was on last night.  Never miss Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!?  On tonight - if you see my post right when it goes up you might be able to catch it on ABC at 8:30 pm (right after Shrek the Halls). 

Have I saddened you?  I'm sorry and I've got good news - both those shows will repeat and I've got ways for you to ensure you never miss the holiday classics and suggestions on how you can find new favorites.

Check here to see a handy schedule of Christmas specials of every kind including classic Rankin/Bass stop motion animation, live action, made-for-the-holidays TV movies, special holiday episodes of everything from children's shows to a very special Journeyman, and food and decorating specials.

Many of the classic holiday television shows are available on DVD.  My favorite is Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer from 1964 and featuring the voice of Burl Ives.  Who among us has not felt at some time that we lived on the Island of Misfit Toys?  You can buy it alone or as part of various collections of holiday shows.

You can also buy to enjoy over and over again, reliving your childhood with Frosty the Snowman and The Little Drummer Boy.

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is available in the form of the 1966 animated television version, the 2000 live action version starring Jim Carrey or (and I promise I won't tell if you turn of the TV for this one) the original 1957 book.

You can enjoy A Charlie Brown Christmas on DVD or bring the feelings back with just the soundtrack which is a holiday classic in it's own right.  Be sure you understand the controversy about the different (original vs. remastered) versions before you buy.

Cable channel ABC Family is has Christmas programming for 25 days.  You can see the schedule here and be sure to look for days like December 8 when they have Christmas programming all day.

And don't forget the Yule Log.  The original television programming of a continuous loop of a logs burning in a fireplace set to holiday music originated in New York City on station WPIX in 1966.  You can still see it there and on various other stations around the country.  It is now available in high definition.  You can download a portable version to your iPod or purchase a similar DVD.

And I recognize that this list is focused solely on Christmas so I'd love to hear from you any favorite television shows celebrating other winter holidays.

Maria Niles is getting into the holiday spirit at Beyond Help

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