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From Rudolph to George Bailey, here’s when to see holiday shows

 
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Lady Gagcelebrates with Miss Piggy Kermit Frog special airing Nov. 28 ABC.

Lady Gaga celebrates with Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog on a special airing Nov. 28 on ABC.

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WATCH AT WILL
There’s no need to wait for TV channels to air holiday shows when they’re already available on demand.

Most of the older specials listed above are available for a fee on iTunes and Amazon Instant Video, and some are bootlegged on YouTube. Here’s what is on other services:

HULU

“Kelly Clarkson’s Cautionary Christmas Music Tale” (starting Dec. 12), “Michael Buble’s 3rd Annual Christmas Special” (starting Dec. 18).

NETFLIX

“The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “White Christmas,” “The Polar Express.”

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Updated: November 27, 2013 3:43PM



Time-honored movies and specials are TV’s main Christmas tradition, but this year even the new shows have old faces, with Lady Gaga doing her second seasonal special and Michael Buble returning for his third. Hallmark and Lifetime have been in full holiday rotation for weeks, and here are airtimes for some other seasonal favorites:

TUESDAY, NOV. 26

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (7 p.m., WBBM-Channel 2): Rudy wants to fit in, and Hermey wants to be a dentist.

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 27

“Planes, Trains and Automobiles” (7 p.m., WGN-Channel 9): Steve Martin. Mismatched travelers struggle to get home for Thanksgiving.

THURSDAY, NOV. 28

“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” (7 p.m., WLS-Channel 7): Snoopy serves a feast of toast and popcorn.

“Lady Gaga & the Muppets’ Holiday Spectacular” (8:30 p.m., WLS-Channel 7): The pop star sings with famous people and puppets.

FRIDAY, NOV. 29

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (7 p.m., WLS-Channel 7): Animated classic about a mean one trying to ruin Whoville’s holiday.

SATURDAY, NOV. 30

“The Flight Before Christmas” (7 p.m., WBBM-Channel 2): An ambitious reindeer tries to find his missing father.

SUNDAY, DEC. 1

“Bozo, Gar & Ray” (7 p.m., WGN-Channel 9): With the classics “Hard­rock, Coco and Joe,” “Suzy Snowflake” and “Frosty the Snowman.”

MONDAY, DEC. 2

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” (7 p.m., WLS-Channel 7): Overwhelmed by the season’s greed, the blockhead takes charge of the pageant.

TUESDAY, DEC. 3

“Scrooged” (7 p.m., ABC Family): Bill Murray. A cynical TV executive visits his past, present and future.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 4

“Christmas in Rockefeller Center” (7 p.m., WMAQ-Channel 5): Stars help light up New York’s big tree.

THURSDAY, DEC. 5

“Polar Express” (6 p.m., ABC Family): Tom Hanks. A boy is invited along on a rail journey to the North Pole.

FRIDAY, DEC. 6

“Frosty the Snowman” (7 p.m., WBBM-Channel 2): A magician’s hat brings the button-nosed fella to life.

SATURDAY, DEC. 7

“Christmas in the City” (7 p.m., Lifetime): Ashanti. An evil store exec replaces Santa with beefcake.

SUNDAY, DEC. 8

“Home Alone” (9:30 p.m., AMC): Macaulay Culkin. A boy takes on bumbling burglars.

MONDAY, DEC. 9

“Kung Fu Panda Holiday” (7 p.m., WGN-Channel 9): Po is torn between warrior duties and family traditions.

TUESDAY, DEC. 10

“A Year Without a Santa Claus” (8 p.m., ABC Family): The Miser brothers and Saint Nick’s exhaustion imperil the holiday.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 11

“Kelly Clarkson’s Cautionary Christmas Music Tale” (9 p.m., WMAQ-Channel 5): Musicians and comedians help the singer spoof Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”

THURSDAY, DEC. 12

“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (6 p.m., ABC Family): Chevy Chase. Relatives gather at the Griswold home.

FRIDAY, DEC. 13

“White Christmas” (6 and 8:45 p.m., AMC): Bing Crosby. Comedians help the owner of a Vermont inn.

SATURDAY, DEC. 14

“It’s a Wonderful Life” (7 p.m., WMAQ-Channel 5): James Stewart. Angel-to-be shows a small-town dad how much he has mattered.

SUNDAY, DEC. 15

“A Christmas Carol” (9 a.m., TCM): Reginald Owen. A holiday-hating curmudgeon gets the spirit.

MONDAY, DEC. 16

“Disney Prep & Landing” (7 p.m., WLS-Channel 7): Elves make sure homes are ready for Santa.

TUESDAY, DEC. 17

“The Santa Clause” (4 p.m., ABC Family): Tim Allen. A divorced dad puts on the suit and inherits Santa’s job.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 18

“Michael Buble’s 3rd Annual Christmas Special” (9 p.m., WMAQ-Channel 5): Mary J. Blige and Mariah Carey join the crooner in Vancouver.

THURSDAY, DEC. 19

“A Christmas Carol: The Concert” (7 p.m., WTTW-Channel 11): A choral adaptation of the Dickens classic, recorded in Skokie.

FRIDAY, DEC. 20

“The I Love Lucy Christmas Special” (7 p.m., WBBM-Channel 2): The Ricardos and Mertzes reminisce in a vintage episode, now colorized.

“Christmas in Washington” (7 p.m., TNT): Hugh Jackman hosts D.C. festivities.

SATURDAY, DEC. 21

“Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir” (9 p.m., WTTW-Channel 11): Narrator Tom Brokaw and tenor Alfie Boe join the singers.

SUNDAY, DEC. 22

“Christmas in Connecticut” (1 p.m., TCM): Barbara Stanwyck. A homemaking specialist fakes a family holiday.

MONDAY, DEC. 23

“Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” (5 p.m., ABC Family): The burgermeister’s ban on toys con­verts a young do-gooder into Santa.

CHRISTMAS EVE

“A Christmas Story” (7 p.m., TBS): Peter Billingsley. Will the Red Ryder BB gun really shoot his eye out? (Repeats for 24 hours)

CHRISTMAS DAY

“Christmas Midnight Mass” (midnight, WGN-Channel 9): Live from Holy Name Cathedral.



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