How to watch your favorite Christmas movies and TV specials

Christmas TV is like Lake Wobegon: Everything is special.

Surf through your channels at any hour before Dec. 26, and you’re bound to stumble upon a Christmas special — even though there’s very little that’s “special” about most of them.

A handful, though, are worth revisiting, year after year — and decade after decade.

Here’s a look at the 12 specials you shouldn’t miss:

‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’

(8 p.m. Nov. 30, ABC)

Remember the true meaning of Christmas — and jam out to the Vince Guaraldi Trio as the kids do the Running Man decades before it was a real dance — as Charlie Brown adopts the saddest Christmas tree ever.

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”

(8 p.m. Tuesday, CBS)

Revisit the classic 1964 animated tale that took an anti-bullying, pro-misfit stance long before either was fashionable. Although it still makes no sense that children would turn down a water pistol that shoots jelly. That sounds kind of amazing.

“Frosty the Snowman”

(8 p.m. Friday, CBS)

That jolly happy soul is back to be tormented by an evil magician, who tries to melt him and is willing to let a little girl freeze to death, all so he can regain an old silk hat.

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”

(8 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Dec. 25, NBC)

His heart is full of unwashed socks, his soul is full of gunk, yet despite that, the Grinch (voiced by the great Boris Karloff) has become a holiday institution.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

(9 a.m. Thursday, NBC)

Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and Al Roker will once again banter awkwardly while Jimmy Fallon and The Roots, Flo Rida, the Goo Goo Dolls, Smokey Robinson, Wyclef Jean and 98 Degrees join the casts of Broadway’s “Anastasia,” “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Once on This Island” and “SpongeBob SquarePants” in the parade’s 91st annual edition.

“Christmas in Rockefeller Center”

(8 p.m. Wednesday, NBC)

Gwen Stefani and Pentatonix are among the performers scheduled during the lighting of the 75-foot Norway spruce. They also have their own NBC specials, “Gwen Stefani’s You Make It Feel Like Christmas” (9 p.m. Dec. 12) and “A Very Pentatonix Christmas” (10 p.m. Monday and 8 p.m. Dec. 6).

“The Year Without A Santa Claus”

(3:35 p.m. Dec. 1, 2:40 p.m. Dec. 11, midnight Dec. 13, 3:40 p.m. Dec. 14, 3:30 p.m. Dec. 19, 2:30 p.m. Dec. 20 and 2:20 p.m. Dec. 22 on Freeform)

Ostensibly the story of the year Mrs. Claus almost had to take over for Santa, all anyone remembers are the showstopping musical numbers by Heat Miser and Snow Miser.

“Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town”

(8 p.m. Friday, ABC, and 1:10 p.m. Dec. 3, 1:35 p.m. Dec. 11, 11 a.m. Dec. 12, 7:30 a.m. Dec. 18, 3:30 p.m. Dec. 20, 9:30 a.m. and 10:55 p.m. Dec. 21, 1:15 p.m. Dec. 22, 11:05 a.m. Dec. 24 and 8:30 a.m. Dec. 25 on Freeform)

Fred Astaire narrates this tale of Kris Kringle (voiced by Mickey Rooney), the Winter Warlock and a penguin named Topper that explains how, if Sombertown’s mayor, Burgermeister Meisterburger, never injured himself while stepping on a toy duck, the world wouldn’t have Santa Claus.

“A Christmas Story Live!”

(7 p.m. Dec. 17, Fox)

Maya Rudolph portrays Ralphie’s mom, Chris Diamantopoulos (“Silicon Valley”) is The Old Man and Matthew Broderick narrates this musical event featuring new songs by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“La La Land,” “Dear Evan Hansen”). The annual 24-hour movie marathon returns to TBS and TNT on Dec. 24.

The “Doctor Who” Christmas Special

(TBA Dec. 25, BBC America)

Before Peter Capaldi hangs up his coat as the Twelfth Doctor and regenerates into Jodie Whittaker’s new Doctor, he’ll team up with his former self (David Bradley’s First Doctor) in the episode “Twice Upon a Time.”

“CMA Country Christmas”

(8 p.m. Monday, ABC)

Country music superstar and part-time Caesars Palace headliner Reba McEntire sings and hosts holiday performances by Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Alan Jackson, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town and Trisha Yearwood at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House.

“It’s a Wonderful Life”

(8 p.m. Dec. 24, NBC)

It’s technically not a special. But this is your only chance to see George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) run through the streets of Bedford Falls, screaming like a maniac, on the way to his “wonderful old drafty house.”

Contact Christopher Lawrence at or 702-380-4567. Follow @life_onthecouch on Twitter.

This "Alice in Wonderland" cocktail changes colors and flavors while you sip
Take a tour of The Underground at The Mob Museum
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
Disneyland debuts new foods for Pixar Fest on Friday
Pixar Fest takes place ahead of California Adventure’s Pixar Pier expansion. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sneak Peek at New Decorations, Merch and Parade for Disneyland's Pixar Fest
Las Vegas Philharmonic celebrates 20th anniversary season
Orchestra’s 2018-19 season features premiere, more (Carol Cling/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Las Vegas' newest bar is a reggae lounge
Jammyland serves island-inspired cocktails. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
This boozy milkshake is big enough to share with seven of your best friends
Fiddlestix makes an "8 Man Milkshake" that's packed with alcohol. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five Chris Stapleton songs you need to hear
D. Michael Evola opened E-String to make New York style pizza
Shamrock Macarons at Morels at Palazzo
Zuma serves a sushi roll topped with 24-karat gold
La Cirque covers their quail and foie gras in real gold
Jean-Georges Steakhouse seves chocolate gold bars
3 ways you can eat gold in Las Vegas
Artist Kathleen Nathan On The Virtues Of Library Galleries
The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District’s art galleries offers artists a more relaxed vibe for showing their work. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada SPCA Competes In Tournament Of Tails
The NSPCA and its mascot cat, Prince, are competing in an online voting challenge for a $5,000 grand prize.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Eureka's cocktail comes with a "buzz button" that will shock your taste buds
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed Deadline reports that New Line has purchased Chase and Lawrence Konner’s screenplay for their “Sopranos” prequel film. The working title for the prequel is “The Many Saints of Newark.” Chase created the HBO series, which ran for six seasons, and Konner served as a writer. “The Many Saints of Newark” is set during the 1960s riots in the New Jersey city between the African-American and Italian communities. Multiple characters from the series, albeit younger versions, are expected to star in the film. The Sopranos won 21 Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards during its run.
The Big Bounce America is coming to the Las Vegas Valley
The Big Bounce America. (Courtesy Big Bounce America)
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History According to The Hollywood Reporter, 26.5 million watched the Oscars, a 20 percent drop from last year. The 26.5 million viewers would be an all-time low for the Oscars. Overnight returns had the lengthy ABC telecast averaging a 18.9 rating among households between 8 and 11 p.m. ET. Last year, 32.9 million viewers tuned in to watch the ceremony. The previous low for viewership was 32 million viewers in 2008 when Jon Stewart was host. The Shape of Water picked up an award for Best Picture, while Gary Oldman and Frances McDormand won Best Actor and Actress, respectively.
March First Friday theme is “Think”
First Friday art, culture, music and food event takes place on the first Friday of every month in and around the studios and galleries of the Arts District in downtown Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon)
Cirque’s One Night for One Drop gets ready for the big night
Cirque du Soleil’s “One Night for One Drop” performed a dress rehearsal for the annual benefit show. This year’s show at Mandalay Bay is based on the life of singer-songwriter Jewel. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The Kosher Experience provides kosher foods to Las Vegas families
2018-19 Broadway Las Vegas at The Smith Center
Ten touring productions are on The Smith Center’s 2018-19 Broadway Las Vegas season schedule. (The Smith Center)
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like