2019 Christmas Programming: Episodes, Specials, Marathons, and More

2019 Christmas Programming: Episodes, Specials, Marathons, and More

Every year, there seems to be more and more Christmas and holiday programming. And that’s on top of the established programming. From Christmas and holiday episodes of television to specials, marathons, original movies, and parades, there is a lot of content.

So now that large amount of content — starting Friday, December 13… as there has already been too much since November — is conveniently listed here. The only exception? Holiday marathons for non-holiday entertainment. Sure, there are “Harry Potter” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street” marathons during the holidays, but those aren’t exactly holiday-specific — no matter how many times they celebrate Christmas at Hogwarts — you see?

“Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” (CBS)

As is the annual tradition, the Rankin-Bass production of “Rudolph” has a spot on the holiday viewing schedule once more. It airs Saturday, December 14 (at 8 PM ET) on CBS.

“Frosty The Snowman” (CBS)

CBS is making a night out of Rankin-Bass productions on Saturday, December 14, and “Frosty The Snowman” has the 9 PM ET timeslot.

“Frosty Returns” (CBS)

After “Frosty The Snowman” airs (on December 14, at 9:30 PM ET), it will be immediately followed up by this sequel special.

“I Love Lucy Christmas Special” (CBS)

This one-hour special will feature a pair of colorized “I Love Lucy” episodes, “The Christmas Episode” and “Paris At Last.” It airs on Friday, December 20 (at 8 PM ET).

“A Home for the Holidays with Idina Menzel” (CBS)

In its 21st year, “A Home for the Holidays” will see Idina Menzel host — introducing stories about adoption from foster care — and perform songs from her new Christmas album. Adam Lambert, Ne-Yo, and Kelly Rowland are also set to perform, when “A Home for the Holidays” airs on Sunday, December 22 (at 9 PM ET).

“The Marvel of This Night: Christmas at Duke University Chapel” (CBS)

An hour-long holiday special of music and readings, airing on Christmas Eve (at 11:35 PM ET).

“Christmas Stars” (Lifetime)

“When aspiring R&B artist Layla (Erica Durance) crosses paths with amateur songwriter Spence (J.T. Hodges), she thinks she’s found her shot at finally getting a record deal. But as the holidays approach, the fast-paced, high stakes music business threatens to change their sound and relationship — especially when the label executives begin to see Spence as the real star.” This Lifetime Christmas movie premieres on Friday, December 13 (at 8 PM ET).

“88th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade” (The CW)

Airing on Friday, December 13 (at 8 PM ET), the 88th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade — which actually occurred on December 1 — will see Mario Lopez as Grand Marshall, along with hosts Erik Estrada, Laura McKenzie, Dean Cain, and Montel Williams.

Disney Channel Holiday Party @ Walt Disney World” (Disney Channel)

Disney Channel’s “Zombies 2” stars Meg Donnelly and Milo Manheim will co-host this half-hour (Friday, December 13, at 8 PM ET) holiday party — featuring performances by Shaggy and Pentatonix — with Matthew Morrison.

“A Christmas Winter Song” (Lifetime)

“Clio (Ashanti), a Christmas shop owner, forms a special musical bond with Fred (Stan Shaw), a former jazz singer down on his luck. Having just lost her own father, Clio helps Fred reconnect with his own daughter and grandchildren, just in time for the town’s annual Christmas concert.” The Lifetime original Christmas movie premieres on Saturday, December 14 (at 8 PM ET)

“Joe Bob’s Red Christmas” (Shudder)

Joe Bob Briggs, host of Shudder’s “The Last Drive-In,” will be hosting a triple feature of holiday horrors on Friday, December 13. The triple feature will be available to stream live on Shudder (9 PM ET), as well as on-demand later in December.

American Housewife” (ABC)

In “American Housewife’s” winter finale (airing December 13), “The Bromance Before Christmas”: “Katie looks forward to sharing her favorite childhood Christmas tradition with Taylor, but a surprise visit from her mom, Kathryn (Wendie Malick), threatens her holiday cheer. Meanwhile, Greg is blindsided by Katie’s good intentions; and to make matters worse, Oliver and Anna-Kat break a family heirloom.”

“Fresh Off the Boat” (ABC)

In “Jessica Town” (on December 13): “Jessica is thriving in the merriment of Christmas, the time of year she takes full control of the household and everything is perfect, until Louis does the unthinkable — tries to help — turning her Christmas dream into a holiday nightmare. Meanwhile, Eddie, Emery and Evan find themselves on the naughty list for breaking an expensive gift, which might just require the assistance of elves or Grandma Huang to fix.”

“Holiday Date” (Hallmark Channel)

“When Brooke’s (Brittany Bristow) boyfriend, Ethan, breaks up with her just before the holidays, she agrees to go home with Joel (Matt Cohen), an actor who will pose as her boyfriend. She’s built up the ex-boyfriend to be the perfect guy and ‘Mr. Christmas,’ but discovers Joel is Jewish and has never celebrated the holiday. What he lacks in experience he makes up for in enthusiasm and happily participates in yuletide festivities. When his secret is revealed, the family is eager to add Joel’s Hanukkah traditions into their holiday celebration, but soon become suspicious about his true identity.” This Hallmark Channel original movie — one of the few to incorporate Hanukkah into its Christmas offerings… sort of — premieres on Sunday, December 22 (at 8 PM ET).

“Christmas in Montana” (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)

“Before the holidays, Sara (Kellie Martin) goes to Montana to help resistant Travis (Colin Ferguson) save his ranch. Can time on the ranch help restore her faith in Christmas in time for a miracle?”

Find out when “Christmas in Montana” premieres on Saturday, December 14 (at 9 PM ET).

“The Christmas Caroler Challenge” (The CW)

Hosted by Dean Cain and Laura McKenzie, this is a six-episode, hour-long Christmas caroling competition series. It premieres on Sunday, December 15 (at 8 PM ET) and will be airing two back-to-back episodes a week.

“Rediscovering Christmas” (Lifetime)

“Mia (Jessica Lowndes) is a window dresser in a big city department store, living and breathing Christmas for months to get the store ready for the holidays. But now that the season is actually near, she’s a little burned out on holly, sugarplums and Santas of all shapes and sizes. All she wants is a tropical beach getaway with her sister Sara. But, plans change when Sara begs for Mia’s help putting on the annual Snowflake festival in their home town in Vermont. Just when she thought she was out – Santa pulls her back in.”

Also starring B.J. Britt, “Rediscovering Christmas” premieres on Sunday, December 15 (at 8 PM ET) on Lifetime.

“A Cheerful Christmas” (Hallmark Channel)

Premering on Sunday, December 15 (at 8 PM ET), in “A Cheerful Christmas”: “Lauren (Erica Deutschman) and her best friend Colleen think they have landed their dream job – giving people the best and most magical Christmas ever as their personal ‘Christmas Coaches.’ This holiday season promises to be their biggest ever when they land a royal client, the Anderson family, who has moved from England. When Lauren meets James (Chad Connell), the eldest son, he wants nothing to do with planning Christmas as he’s busy negotiating a big acquisition for his father’s company. But Lauren won’t be thwarted in helping this royal family embrace the true spirit of Christmas. The more she prods James about their family holiday traditions the more he opens up. Sparks start to fly but she faces competition in the form of an old childhood friend and business colleague of James. Now Lauren must win his heart while giving the Andersons their best Christmas ever.”

“Good Eats: The Return” (Food Network)

Back-to-back holiday-themed episodes of “Good Eats: The Return” air on Sunday, December 15 (at 8 PM ET), with “Whole Latke Love” and “Holiday Spirit(s).” (That second one is about holiday booze.)

Angel Falls: A Novel Holiday” (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)

A loose sequel to 2017’s Hallmark holiday movie “Angel Falls,” in “Angel Falls: A Novel Holiday” (premiering on Sunday, December 15 at 9 PM ET):

“Book editor Hannah (Jen Lilley) must work with former rival Ryan to help a potential writer find her way. Angel Anthony reminds them about Christmas spirit and the value of community.”

A Very Merry Cavallari Holiday Special” (E!)

In this special Christmas episode of “Very Cavallari” (airing Sunday, December 15 at 10 PM ET):

“It’s Christmas-time in Nashville and Kristin and Jay find themselves with conflicting opinions on how to decorate their house for the holidays. This year, Kristin wants to throw the biggest holiday party that Uncommon James has seen, complete with a surprise musical guest, and recruits Brittany and Colby to execute it to perfection. Meanwhile, Jay has something up his sleeve as a holiday surprise to Kristin.”

“Nick Cannon’s Hit Viral Videos — Holidays 2019” (Fox)

Airing Monday, December 16 (at 8 PM ET), this edition of “Nick Cannon’s Hit Viral Videos” promises “comical holiday mishaps to adorable pets to mischievous kids — and everything in between!”

“Greatest Holiday Commercials Countdown 2019” (The CW)

On Monday, December 16 (at 9 PM ET), this holiday special counts down the 12 — one for each of the 12 days of Christmas — of the best holiday commercials ever. No. 1 should be the Folgers commercial. 

“Good Trouble” (Freeform)

“Good Trouble’s” two-episode holiday special (“Nochebuena” and “A Very Coterie Christmas”) is also a “The Fosters” reunion, as the Adams-Foster clan come to town for Christmas. It airs Monday, December 16 (at 9 PM ET).

“Christmas With the Tabernacle Choir Featuring Kristin Chenoweth” (PBS)

On Monday, December 16 (at 9 PM), the Tabernacle Choir back the Emmy and Tony Award-winning Kristin Chenoweth up as she sings holiday favorites.

“Holidays with the Houghs” (NBC)

On Monday, December 16 (at 10 PM ET), the Hough siblings are taking over people’s televisions once more with “Holidays with the Houghs.” A little song, a little dance, a little sibling rivalry.

A Very Brady Renovation: Holiday Edition” (HGTV)

On Monday, December 16 (at 10 PM ET), Food Network’s Ree Drummond and HGTV’s Jasmine Roth join the “Brady Bunch” cast to make ’70s-inspired treats and create retro DIY decorations to adorn the home.

“The Ornament of the World” (PBS)

“The Ornament of the World” airs on PBS on Tuesday, December 17 (at 8 PM ET). “Filmed in Cordoba, Granada, Seville and Toledo, this is the story of a remarkable 800-year period when Muslims, Christians and Jews in medieval Spain forged a common cultural identity that often transcended their religious differences.”

“Masters of Illusion: Christmas Magic 2019” (The CW)

It’s magic… but Christmas-themed. (And hosted by Dean Cain.) “Masters of Illusion: Christmas Magic 2019” airs Wednesday, December 18 (at 9 PM ET).

“A Very Born This Way Christmas” (A&E)

On Wednesday, December 18 (at 9 PM ET), the “Born This Way” holiday special follows Elena, John, Megan, Rachel, Sean, Steven, Cristina, and Angel as they spread cheer and reflect on their personal growth over the years.

“A Christmas Carol” (FX)

In Steven Knight’s take on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” — premiering Thursday, December 19 (at 7:30 PM ET) — Guy Pearce stars as Ebenezer Scrooge. 

“The Christmas Temp” (Lifetime)

Premiering on Friday, December 20 (at 8 PM ET), in Lifetime’s “The Christmas Temp”:

“An out-of-work artist (Sara Canning) discovers a special Christmas temp agency that matches her with a handful of festive jobs, but falls into a creative rut while juggling holiday preparations and feelings for the agency’s HR manager (Robin Dunne).”

“Christmas on my Mind” (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)

In “Christmas on my Mind” (premiering Saturday, December 21 at 9 PM ET): “Lucy Lovett (Ashley Greene) wakes up holding a wedding dress, assuming she’s about to marry the love her life Zach Callahan (Andrew Walker), only to discover they broke up two years ago, and her fiancé… isn’t Zach.” This sounds more like a nightmare than a mystery, to be perfectly honest.

“Christmas Wedding Runaway” (UPtv)

On Sunday, December 22 (at 7 PM ET), “a runaway bride (Sarah Mitich) does some soul-searching when she’s trapped in a snowed-in cabin with her grandmother and an old flame at Christmas.”

“Ultimate Hanukkah Challenge” (Food Network)

In the “Ultimate Hanukkah Challenge” (Saturday, December 21 at 9 PM ET), the four competing chefs will be putting their own spin on classic Hanukkah foods and treats.

“The Christmas Hotel” (Lifetime)

In this Lifetime movie directed by Marla Sokoloff (premiering December 21, 8 PM ET): “Erin (Tatyana Ali) grew up in the small town of Mt. Holly but always dreamt of living in a big city. Her first job — working the desk at the Mt. Holly Inn — started her on a path to New York where she now works at the prestigious Windsor Hotel. When her boss tells her she will receive a promotion if she can pull off a big project, she is thrilled — until she realizes the project is in her hometown. Erin returns home to discover that the locals don’t appreciate their precious Mt. Holly Inn being bought out by a big corporation. And heading up the charge? Erin’s ex-boyfriend Conner (Sean Patrick Thomas). But when several hotel staff members come down with the flu, Erin is forced to enlist Conner’s help with the hotel’s Christmas events. As they two re-establish their relationship, Erin has to figure out if what she really wants is a promotion or to be home again.”

“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” (Hallmark Channel)

“When a New England Christmas decorating competition searches for the town with the most Christmas spirit, the Mayors of East and West Riverton go all out to get their towns to the top of the holiday heap.”

“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” premieres December 22 (8 PM ET). Eric Mabius and Tricia Helfer star.

“I Want a Dog For Christmas, Charlie Brown” (ABC)

Linus and Lucy’s little brother Rerun, simply put, wants a dog for Christmas. Sure, Snoopy is his best friend… but that’s simply not enough. “I Want a Dog For Christmas, Charlie Brown” airs Sunday, December 22 (7 PM ET).

“Kids Say The Darndest Things” (ABC)

In this special holiday episode — on Sunday, December 22 (8 PM ET) — Tiffany Haddish chats with the kids about their favorite holiday traditions.


“Christmas at Belmont” (PBS)

Airing on Monday, December 23 (9 PM ET), “Christmas at Belmont” features Belmont University students performing along with Michael W. Smith, CeCe Winans, and the Nashville Children’s Choir.

A Family Christmas Gift” (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)

“When Amber (Holly Robinson Peete) spends the holidays with her Aunt Dora (Patti LaBelle) and helps plan a fundraising Christmas Concert, it brings Amber closer to her aunt and a new love into her life.”

“A Family Christmas Gift” premieres Sunday, December 22 (9 PM ET). Again, Patti Labelle is in this.

“Double Holiday” (Hallmark Channel)

Premiering Sunday, December 22 (8 PM), in “Double Holiday”:

“Career-minded Rebecca’s (Carly Pope) plans for Hanukkah go askew when a promotion opportunity comes up at work. When the company CEO asks Rebecca and her insufferable office mate, Chris (Kristoffer Polaha) – also her main competitor for the promotion – to plan the company’s Christmas party, she realizes they must overcome their opposing styles in order to succeed. Forced to work together on the holiday party, Chris learns more about Rebecca and her family’s Hanukkah traditions, while she also begins to see him in a new light. Although feelings slowly develop between the two, the ongoing competition over the promotion threatens to undermine it all.”

“A Date By Christmas Eve” (Lifetime)

“When Chelsea Simms (Vanessa Lengies), the good-hearted brand strategist for the popular dating app The Nice List, discovers the app has granted her magical powers, she uses her newfound ability to make all of the ‘naughty’ people in her life learn how to be good again. But when her plans go awry and Fisher (Evan Williams), the kindly neighbor who has always carried a torch for Chelsea, is magically added to the naughty list by mistake, Chelsea must race against time to set things right before Christmas Eve.”

“A Date By Christmas Eve” premieres on Lifetime on December 22 (8 PM ET).

“A Christmas Story” marathon (TBS)

TBS’ annual “A Christmas Story” 24-hour marathon begins at 8 PM ET on Christmas Eve.

“Baby in a Manger” (UPtv)

“With the help of a handsome young police officer, a social worker searches for the mother of a baby she has found abandoned in a nativity scene at her church.” Based on the best-selling Harlequin book “Child in a Manger,” “Bay in a Manger” premieres on Christmas Eve (7 PM)

“Lucy Worsley’s 12 Days of Tudor Christmas” (PBS)

On Christmas Day (8 PM ET), Lucy Worsley goes on a 12-day extravaganza to discover “that much of what we enjoy in contemporary Christmas — from carols to turkey, gift-giving to mistletoe and mulled wine — has surprising Tudor origins, rooted in devotion and charity.”

“When Calls the Heart Christmas” (Hallmark Channel)

“As Christmas approaches in Hope Valley, Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) prepares for Little Jack’s first Christmas and birthday, surrounded by her closest friends. Despite the friends that want to give Baby Jack a special Christmas, she misses Jack more than ever.” The “When Calls he Heart Christmas” special — sans Lori Loughlin — airs on Christmas Day, at 8 PM ET.

“Call the Midwife Holiday Special” (PBS)

In the “Call the Midwife Holiday Special,” “Mother Mildred and the Nonnatus House team go to the Outer Hebrides in response to a nursing shortage. Navigating the terrain, they strive to keep up with the needs of the locals.” It premieres on PBS on Christmas Day at 9 PM ET.

“Alexa & Katie” (Netflix)

On December 30, Netflix releases “Alexa & Katie’s” Season 3 holiday episode. (A little late, but OK.) In the episode: “Alexa goes on Christmas break and finds herself pulled between Spencer and her ex-boyfriend Dylan, putting her in a potentially dramatic love triangle. Fortunately she figures out what’s really going on with Spencer and jumps at the chance to help him figure things out over the holidays.”

“A Christmas Story Live!” (Fox)

On Christmas Eve (8 PM ET), Fox will be reairing the 2017 “A Christmas Story Live!” special.

“Shrek the Halls” (ABC)

Twelve years later and this half-hour Christmas special (airing December 17 at 9:30 PM) is still getting a lot of mileage. In “Shrek the Halls”:

“Just when Shrek thought he could finally sit back, relax and enjoy his happily ever after with his new family, the most joyous of all holidays arrives. It’s Christmas Eve, and everyone is filled with holiday cheer, except for Shrek. He isn’t exactly the picture of yuletide joy, but for the sake of Fiona and the kids, he tries to get into the spirit of things as only an ogre can. Unfortunately, everyone seems to have their own ideas about what Christmas is all about, so when Donkey, Puss In Boots, Gingy and the whole gang try to join in on the fun, Shrek’s plans for a cozy family celebration end up spiraling into one truly unforgettable Christmas.”

“Disney Prep & Landing” (ABC)

On Thursday, December 19 (8 PM ET), witness the never-before-told tale of an elite unit of Elves known as “Prep & Landing.”

“Disney Prep & Landing 2: Naughty vs. Nice” (ABC)

The sequel to “Disney Prep & Landing,” both specials air back-to-back on Thursday, December 19. “With the big 2-5 fast approaching, Wayne and Lanny must race to recover classified North Pole technology that has fallen into the hands of a computer-hacking naughty kid! Desperate to prevent Christmas from descending into chaos, Wayne seeks out the foremost naughty kid expert to aid in the mission — a bombastic member of the Coal Elf Brigade, who also happens to be his estranged brother, Noel.”

“Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade” (ABC)

On Christmas Day at 10 AM ET, it’s time for the annual (since 1983!) Magic Kingdom parade.

“DreamWorks Trolls Holiday” (NBC)

In this short from 2017, “when the Queen of the Trolls, Poppy, finds out that the Bergens do not have holidays, she enlists help from her friends, Branch and the Snack Pack, to help her bring holidays to the Bergens.” “Trolls Holiday” airs on December 14, at 8:30 PM ET.

“Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas” (NBC)

Christmas Day at 8:30 PM ET, it’s time for some Jim Carrey Grinch. (You can also watch it before then, on Freeform. Numerous times.)

“Gwen Stefani’s You Make It Feel Like Christmas” (NBC)

This is a reairing of Gwen Stefani’s 2017 holiday special, set for December 19 (at 10 PM).

“The Price is Right at Night: A Holiday Extravaganza with…” (CBS)

Two special primetime (8 PM ET) editions of “The Price is Right,” first with the cast of “SEAL Team” (December 22) and then with Seth Rogan (December 23)… and maybe some other people.

“White House Christmas 2019” (HGTV)

On December 15 (5 PM ET), HGTV takes its annual tour through the White House at Christmastime. Maureen McCormick and Alison Victoria will host.

“Battle of the Christmas Movie Stars” (Lifetime)

On December 21 (11 AM), it’s time for Lifetime stars to go to war. Or something less aggressive. According to Lifetime:

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year . . . and to celebrate, we are putting the stars of our Christmas movies to the test with holiday-inspired challenges to determine who will be the king or queen of Lifetime Christmas as chosen by the experts . . . our fans! Our stars will compete against their fellow cast mates in DIY challenges, from gift wrapping a co-star to decorating an ugly Christmas sweater. We will determine which of our stars has the most holiday spirit, all while recapping all the highlights of the movies that have aired on Lifetime throughout the holiday season. Let the reindeer games begin!”

“In the Long Run: Christmas Special” (Starz)

In classic Idris Elba fashion, he just so happens to have a casual semi-autobiographical UK comedy series — seemingly out of nowhere. In the second season Christmas special episode (airing December 20, at 10 PM ET), “Walter (Elba) is obsessed with Christmas, hosting the annual Easmon party alongside Agnes with Bagpipes providing a British smorgasbord of cuisine to the West African party.”


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