Holiday TV 2016: Where and when to watch your favorites

Deck the halls and rev up the DVR. Television programmers are once again making merry by unleashing a veritable blizzard of holiday-themed fare.

The lineup includes a vast array of variety specials, festive movies and animated treats that celebrate the so-called most wonderful time of the year.

To help you get with the program, we’ve made a list (and checked it twice) of the highlights arriving from now until New Year’s Eve. Please note that many programs re-air multiple times. With a few exceptions, we have listed only the initial telecasts that occur in evening hours.

If you don’t spot a favorite here, consult your listings. Our rundown starts with new programming and is followed by a list of air dates for the perennials.

Music, comedy and good cheer

Nov. 24

“The Wonderful World of Disney Magical Holiday Celebration” – Julianne and Derek Hough host a two-hour, music-filled special from the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. (8 p.m., ABC).

Nov. 28

“CMA Country Christmas” – Jennifer Nettles and pals celebrate the holiday from the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. (8 p.m., ABC)

Nov. 30

“Christmas in Rockefeller Square” – The big tree in the Big Apple gets its shine on with performances by Tony Bennett, Neil Diamond, Josh Groban, Tori Kelly, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks and others. (8 p.m., NBC).

“The Great Christmas Light Fight” -Watch contestants get all amped up as they compete in this crazy home-decorating contest. (8 p.m., ABC).

Dec. 8

“Taraji’s White Hot Holidays” – The “Empire” star spreads some cheer and goodwill. Guests include Taye Diggs, Pharrell Williams, Missy Elliott, Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg and more. (8 p.m., Fox).

Dec. 14

“A Pentatonix Christmas” – The vocal group stars in its first holiday special, along with guests Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson. (8 p.m., NBC).

“The Top 12 Greatest Christmas Movies of All Time” – Dean Cain hosts a countdown of the festive flicks that viewers cherish. (8 p.m., The CW).

Dec. 16

“Lidia Celebrates America: Holiday for Heroes” – Chef and food ambassador Lidia Bastianich pays homage to the military, preparing dinner for Navy troops aboard the USS George Washington. (10 p.m., PBS).

Dec. 19

“America’s Got Talent Holiday Spectacular” – Past contestants from the reality show return to the stage to perform holiday-themed acts. (8 p.m., NBC).

“Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir” – Broadway star Laura Osnes, British actor Martin Jarvis and four Metropolitan Opera complement the choir on holiday numbers. (9 p.m. p.m., PBS).

Dec. 20

“Terry Crews Saves Christmas” – The “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star hosts a weeklong series of shows designed to help “hopeless holiday enthusiasts” do Christmas right. (8 p.m., The CW).

Dec. 25

“Call the Midwife Holiday Special” – The Nonnatus House sisters come to the aid of a tiny understaffed and underfunded mission hospital in South Africa. (7:30 p.m., PBS).

Dec. 31

“Live From Lincoln Center: New York Philharmonic New Year’s Eve” – A night of American classics, including works by Rodgers Hammerstein and featuring Joyce DiDonato. (8 p.m., PBS).

“Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2017” – “American Idol” may have ended, but Seacrest is still around to usher in the new year. (8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., ABC).

“Pitbull’s New Year’s Revolution” – Pitbull and his pals celebrate from the sandy beaches of Miami. (11 p.m., Fox).

Holiday movie comfort food

Nov. 23

“Broadcasting Christmas” – A news anchor must decide whether to hire as her co-host a big-shot newscaster, or a reporter whose audition plea goes viral. Melissa Joan Hart and Dean Cain star. (8 p.m., Hallmark).

Nov. 24

“Christmas in Homestead” – An actress (Taylor Cole) finds love while on location filming a holiday movie in a Christmas-obsessed town. (8 p.m., Hallmark).

Nov. 25

“Christmas List” – A woman (Alicia Witt) plans a bucket-list Christmas for her boyfriend, but it all goes haywire when he goes AWOL. (8 p.m., Hallmark).

“An American Girl Story – Maryellen 1955: Extraordinary Christmas” – An artistic youth (Alyvia Alyn Lind) tries to help polio patients have the best Christmas ever. (Midnight, Amazon Prime).

Nov. 26

“All I Want For Christmas” – An executive gets a magic pin from one of Santa’s helpers that allows her to hear the thoughts of other people. (8 p.m., Lifetime).

“A Heavenly Christmas” – Kristin Davis plays an angel-in-training who tries to help a struggling singer (Eric McCormack). Her mentor? Shirley MacLaine. (8 p.m., Hallmark).

Nov. 27

“Journey Back to Christmas” – A time-traveling World War II nurse (Candace Cameron Bure) meets a man who teaches her the true meaning of Christmas and family. (8 p.m., Hallmark).

Nov. 30

“Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love” – This sequel to last year’s “Coat of Many Colors” has the Parton family facing a “devastating event that challenges their will.” 9 p.m., NBC.

Dec. 3

“Heaven Sent” – A couple’s marriage appears destined for a Christmas breakup – until an 8-year-old runaway angel intervenes. (8 p.m., Lifetime).

Dec. 10

“A Christmas Wedding Date” – After being fired from her high-powered job, a woman has her spirits lifted when she heads home to attend a friend’s wedding on Christmas Eve. (8 p.m., Lifetime).

For the kids

Nov. 25

“If You Give a Mouse a Christmas Cookie” -A mouse and his animal pals try to atone for their blunder after ruining the set for a school’s holiday pageant. (Midnight, Amazon Prime).

“The Snowy Day” – An animated special based on the award-winning book by Ezra Jack Keats. The voice talent includes Laurence Fishbone and Regina King. (Midnight, Amazon Prime).

Dec. 9
“Albert” – An animated movie about a tiny Douglas fir tree that goes on a journey to become the city’s most famous Christmas tree ever. The voice talent includes Bobby Moynihan, Sasheer Zamata, Judah Friedlander and Rob Riggle. (7 p.m., Nickelodeon).

Holiday evergreens

A rundown of returning specials and movies, including the usual chestnuts:

Nov. 24

“Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” (9 a.m., NBC; Re-airs at 2 p.m.)

“The Thanksgiving Day Parade” (9 a.m., CBS)

Nov. 25

“Frosty the Snowman” (8 p.m., CBS)

“Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” (8 p.m., ABC)

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (8 p.m., NBC)

“Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” (8 p.m., The CW)

“Frosty Returns” (8:30 p.m., CBS)

“How Murray Saved Christmas” (8:30 p.m., NBC)

Nov. 26

“Robbie the Reindeer” (8 p.m., CBS)

“The Story of Santa Claus” (9 p.m., CBS)

Nov. 27

“Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas” (7 p.m., Fox)

Nov. 29

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (8 p.m., CBS)

Nov. 30

“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (9 p.m., Freeform)

Dec. 1

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” (8 p.m., ABC)

“The Year Without a Santa Claus” (6 p.m., Freeform)

“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (7:05 p.m., Freeform)

“The Santa Claus” (9:15 p.m., Freeform)

Dec. 2

“Disney’s A Christmas Carol” (5:10 p.m., Freeform)

“I Love Lucy Christmas Special” (8 p.m., CBS)

“The Polar Express” (9:20 p.m., Freeform)

Dec. 3

“Arthur Christmas” (6:45 p.m., Freeform)

“Elf” (8:50 p.m., Freeform)

Dec. 5

“Jingle All the Way” (5 p.m., Freeform)

“Scrooged” (9 p.m., Freeform)

Dec. 8

“Toy Story That Time Forgot” (8 p.m., ABC)

“Shrek the Halls” (8:30 p.m., ABC)

“Disney’s A Christmas Carol” (9 p.m., Freeform)

Dec. 10

“It’s a Wonderful Life” (8 p.m., NBC; re-airs Christmas Eve)

Dec. 12

“Tim Burton’s the Nightmare Before Christmas” (5:30 p.m., Freeform)

Dec. 15

“Disney’s Prep Landing 2: Naughty vs. Nice” (8 p.m., ABC)

Dec. 17

“I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown” (8 p.m., ABC)

“Disney’s Frozen” (9 p.m., Freeform)

Dec. 23

“A Home for the Holidays” (8 p.m., CBS)

Dec. 24

“It’s a Wonderful Life” (8 p.m., NBC)

“A Christmas Story,” 24-hour marathon (8 p.m., TBS)

“Christmas in Connecticut” (8 p.m., TCM)

Dec. 26

“Happy New Year, Charlie Brown” (8 p.m., ABC)

“Rudolph’s Shiny New Year” (9 p.m., ABC)

Contact Chuck Barney at Follow him at and

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