Holiday viewing at its finest
Let’s face it: You can’t escape Christmas. Between the retail ads, the decorations, the ubiquitous music and everyone wishing you “happy holidays,” you’re basically surrounded. And you probably like it that way.
Same goes for television. Between broadcast, basic and premium cable, you can watch holiday content 24/7 if you so choose. So choose to sit yourself down for the first half of this week and check out some of the more noteworthy programs on tap.
Topping the list the morning of Tuesday, Dec. 25, is ABC’s annual “Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade,” in which Jordan Fisher and Sarah Hyland host the annual holiday processions in Florida and California.
That night on NBC, the grumpy green guy twice tries to ruin the holiday for the denizens of Whoville, first in the 1966 animated holiday classic “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and then in the 2000 feature film starring Jim Carrey “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
If holiday movie marathons are what you seek, it doesn’t get any better than the yearly TBS/TNT “A Christmas Story” marathon starting Monday, Dec. 24, and ending Tuesday. So get ready for 24 hours of little Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) pining for a Red Ryder BB Gun and being admonished with “you’ll shoot your eye out.” Additionally, there are “Harry Potter” marathons Sunday on USA Network and Monday on Syfy.
If that’s not enough, there are also wall-to-wall holiday movies to be found the first half of the week on Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries and Sunday on Freeform and AMC.
For fans of classic films, the first half of the week offers up a veritable cornucopia of options, starting with the James Stewart/Donna Reed mainstay “It’s a Wonderful Life” Monday on NBC. There is also “Holiday Inn” and the 1951 Alistair Sim version of “A Christmas Carol” Sunday, Dec. 23, on Turner Classic Movies; “Christmas in Connecticut,” “Babes in Toyland,” “The Bishop’s Wife” and “A Christmas Carol” (1969) Monday on TCM; and “Love Actually” and “The Wizard of Oz” Sunday and Monday, respectively, on TNT.
Classic television is also well-represented this week, most notably with the Festivus episode of “Seinfeld” titled “The Strike” and the “Friends” installment “The One With the Holiday Armadillo,” both airing Sunday on TBS. There are also holiday episodes of “Modern Family” (Sunday, USA), “Monk” (Monday, WE tv) and “Doctor Who” (Monday, BBC America).
For religious programming, tune in to NBC on Monday night for “Christmas Eve Mass.” And for the historical perspective, try “The Story of God” marathon on Monday on National Geographic, “Christmas Through the Decades” Tuesday on History, and an episode of Travel Channel’s “Expedition Unknown” titled “True Cross of Christ” on Tuesday.
And if none of the above work for you and all you want to do is sit in front of the TV and veg, there is HMM’s “A Very Happy & Friends Yule Log” marathon of fire and holiday tunes Monday and Tuesday and an “Outlander Yule Log” Monday on Starz.