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November 29 2008

2008 Holiday Movies To Warm The Heart

In what is becoming an annual list, I’m going to share the holiday programming I enjoy every year.  However, I am changing the format a bit this year with ones I think everyone should own on DVD, and then following it up with a list of what is airing in the month of December, and on what channels and times you can find them (if you are in the USA that is).

A Charlie Brown Christmas – It’s amazing this show has aired every year since 1965, and it never seems to get old.  This was the first of the Charlie Brown specials, and was probably the best of them.  Interesting how something that aired in 1965 still seems so relevant in how Christmas has become all about consumerism.

A Christmas Carol – Patrick Stewart is a classically trained actor and he brings a powerful tone to the role of Scrooge. A fantastic version of this classic tale of Christmas spirit.  This has become one of my first watch items each Christmas season.

A Christmas Story – Being set in the 1940’s does nothing to diminish the fun, or relevance, of this movie. Every kid has had that “dream” gift on their Christmas list that it seemed no one wanted you to have. Fun, cute and so many quotable lines. “You’ll shoot your eye out” if you miss this one!

Elf – I am shocked how fast I took a liking to this film, and I watched it multiple times last year around Christmas.  I then spend the entire year screaming, “YOU SIT ON A THRONE OF LIES!  You smell of meat and cheese!”

Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas – Sadly it seems the only version floating around of this Jim Henson special is somewhat cut up from the original version with Kermit the Frog cut out of the beginning and end.  Still, Henson’s work was always magical, and this special from 1977 is just another example of how good he really was.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas – This is a special I really never got wild about, but it’s a mainstay of the season, so it makes it.

It’s a Wonderful Life – Come on…do I even really need to discuss this one? Is there anyone alive who hasn’t seen this? Actually I did find someone a few years ago…and I promptly pointed her out for the heretic she is… and then I bought her a copy and mailed it to her, forcing her to watch it.  This is one of my all time favorite movies. Jimmy Stewart is amazing.

Love Actually – Really, the only connection to Christmas is the time of year, and a couple of holiday jokes, but it’s cute and sweet. Never mind it has a stellar cast of English actors and actresses.

Miracle on 34th Street – While some can believe it’s like a film length ad for Macy’s department store, it’s still a cute film with a central message that Christmas can be magical for any number of reasons.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – The Vacation movies have been a mixed bag (as has most of Chevy Chase’s career), but this film is so easy to relate to. We all have those dreams of the perfect family Christmas, just to have them dashed and never have them live up to our hopes. Plus, the Cousin Eddie scene in white sweater, with green dickie, is worth the entire price of the movie!

The Nightmare Before Christmas – Not only is it a sweet story, and amazing to watch, how can you not love a movie that can make both the Halloween AND Christmas movie lists?  And without it, would Hot Topic have anything to sell.

The Original Television Christmas Classics (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer / Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town / Frosty the Snowman / Frosty Returns / The Little Drummer Boy) – I recommend this primarily for Rudolph, but now you can only get it with all this other stuff. Oh well. What is Christmas without Rudolph? Nothing I tell you!  Although Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town is pretty darn amusing also.

Santa Claus – The Movie – This movie got ravaged by critics, but it is cute, funny and warm. Deal with it.

Star Wars Holiday Special – This thing has never been released to video, and aired only once on television on November 17th, 1978.  It is two hours of solid pin set in the Star Wars universe.  What is even sadder is the original cast of Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels and so on all appear in the special… along with the likes of Harvey Korman, Art Carney and Bea Arthur.  Yes… you read all of that correctly.  You can find the Star Wars Holiday Special online, but be prepared to cringe.  The only cool thing is that it does feature the first appearance of Boba Fett, albeit in an animated form.

And yes, I know a lot of these movies show up on TV, but if it’s something like It’s A Wonderful Life, PLEASE don’t watch it on commercial television. It is deserving of your hard earned money being spent on a DVD of it. Same with Christmas Vacation. Christmas Story I don’t mind because it’s a 24-hour marathon, I usually watch it 3 – 4 times through out the time period. Yes… 3 – 4 times, I love it that much.

2008 Holiday Specials On TV Schedule

I will be putting this list up by network and in order of airing.

ABC:

Dec. 1, 8-9pm: Shrek the Halls and Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated version)
Dec. 2, 8-9pm: Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
Dec. 5, 8-10pm: Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (live-action version)
Dec. 8, 8-9pm: A Charlie Brown Christmas
Dec. 9, 8-9pm: America’s Funniest Home Videos Christmas Special
Dec. 13, 8-9pm: America’s Funniest Home Videos Christmas Special
Dec. 13, 9-11pm: Surviving Christmas
Dec. 14, 8-10pm: The Santa Clause 2
Dec. 15, 8-9pm: I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown
Dec. 16, 8-9pm: A Charlie Brown Christmas
Dec. 20, 8-9pm: I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown
Dec. 20, 9-11pm: Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat
Dec. 22, 8-8:30pm: Shrek the Halls
Dec. 23, 8-9pm: Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated version)
Dec. 30, 8-9:30pm: Happy New Year, Charlie Brown and Rudolph’s Shiny New Year

CBS:

Dec. 3, 8-9pm: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Dec. 12, 8-9pm: Frosty the Snowman and Frosty Returns
Dec. 20, 8-10pm: Elf
Dec. 23, 8-9pm: 10th Annual Home for the Holidays with Faith Hill

Fox:

None… apparently they have no holiday spirit!

NBC:

Dec. 3, 8-9pm: Christmas in Rockefeller Center
Friday, Dec. 5, 8-9pm: Greatest Holiday Moments: TV & Film Countdown
Dec. 10, 8-9pm: Little Spirit: A New York Christmas
Dec. 12, 8-9pm: Greatest Holiday Moments: Songs of the Season Countdown
Dec. 13, 8-11pm: It’s a Wonderful Life
Dec. 17, 8-9pm: A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa (BRAND NEW, MUST WATCH!)
Dec. 19, 8-10pm: Greatest Holiday Moments: TV & Film Countdown and Greatest Holiday Moments: Songs of the Season Countdown
Dec. 22, 8-9pm: Greatest Holiday Moments: Hilarious Home Video Countdown
Dec. 24, 8-11pm: It’s a Wonderful Life
Dec. 25, 10-11pm: Greatest Holiday Moments: Hilarious Home Video Countdown

MyNetwork TV:

Dec. 6, 8-10pm: Miracle on 34th Street
Dec. 8, 8-10pm: Blizzard
Dec. 9, 8-10pm: Olive the Other Reindeer and Santa’s Funniest Moments
Dec. 10, 8-10pm: Home Alone
Dec. 16, 8-10pm: Soul of Christmas
Dec. 17, 8-10pm: Christmas is Here Again and Santa’s Funniest Moments
Dec. 18, 8-9pm: Wrestlemania Holiday Special
Dec. 22, 8-10pm: The Spirit of Christmas
Dec. 23, 8-10pm: Babes in Toyland

The CW:

Dec. 5, 8-9pm: Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
Dec. 5, 9-10pm: The Story of Santa Claus

2008 Holiday Special on TV By Date

(All times listed are EST)
Dec. 1, 8-9pm: Shrek the Halls and Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated version), ABC
Dec. 2, 8-9pm: Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, ABC
Dec. 3, 8-9pm: Christmas in Rockefeller Center, NBC
Dec. 3, 8-9pm: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, CBS
Dec. 5, 8-9pm: Greatest Holiday Moments: TV & Film Countdown, NBC
Dec. 5, 8-9pm: Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer, The CW
Dec. 5, 8-10pm: Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (live-action version), ABC
Dec. 5, 9-10pm: The Story of Santa Claus, The CW
Dec. 6, 8-10pm: Miracle on 34th Street, MyNetwork TV
Dec. 8, 8-9pm: A Charlie Brown Christmas, ABC
Dec. 8, 8-10pm: Blizzard, MyNetwork TV
Dec. 9, 8-9pm: America’s Funniest Home Videos Christmas Special, ABC
Dec. 9, 8-10pm: Olive the Other Reindeer and Santa’s Funniest Moments, MyNetwork TV
Dec. 10, 8-10pm: Home Alone, MyNetwork TV
Dec. 10, 8-9pm: Little Spirit: A New York Christmas, NBC
Dec. 12, 8-9pm: Greatest Holiday Moments: Songs of the Season Countdown, NBC
Dec. 12, 8-9pm: Frosty the Snowman and Frosty Returns, CBS
Dec. 13, 8-9pm: America’s Funniest Home Videos Christmas Special, ABC
Dec. 13, 8-11pm: It’s a Wonderful Life, NBC
Dec. 13, 9-11pm: Surviving Christmas, ABC
Dec. 14, 8-10pm: The Santa Clause 2, ABC
Dec. 15, 8-9pm: I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown, ABC
Dec. 16, 8-9pm: A Charlie Brown Christmas, ABC
Dec. 16, 8-10pm: Soul of Christmas, MyNetwork TV
Dec. 17, 8-10pm: Christmas is Here Again and Santa’s Funniest Moments, MyNetwork TV
Dec. 17, 8-9pm: A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa (BRAND NEW, MUST WATCH!), NBC
Dec. 18, 8-9pm: Wrestlemania Holiday Special, MyNetwork TV
Dec. 19, 8-10pm: Greatest Holiday Moments: TV & Film Countdown and Greatest Holiday Moments: Songs of the Season Countdown, NBC
Dec. 20, 8-9pm: I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown, ABC
Dec. 20, 8-10pm: Elf, CBS
Dec. 20, 9-11pm: Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat, ABC
Dec. 22, 8-8:30pm: Shrek the Halls, ABC
Dec. 22, 8-9pm: Greatest Holiday Moments: Hilarious Home Video Countdown, NBC
Dec. 22, 8-10pm: The Spirit of Christmas, MyNetwork TV
Dec. 23, 8-9pm: 10th Annual Home for the Holidays with Faith Hill, CBS
Dec. 23, 8-9pm: Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated version), ABC
Dec. 23, 8-10pm: Babes in Toyland, MyNetwork TV
Dec. 24, 8-11pm: It’s a Wonderful Life, NBC
Dec. 25, 10-11pm: Greatest Holiday Moments: Hilarious Home Video Countdown, NBC
Dec. 30, 8-9:30pm: Happy New Year, Charlie Brown and Rudolph’s Shiny New Year, ABC

You have a fave? Talk about it!



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