This season, parents can introduce their kids to fondly remembered GenX kitsch favorites such as "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," check...

Share story

This season, parents can introduce their kids to fondly remembered GenX kitsch favorites such as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” check out new made-for-TV specials and fill up on classics like “Miracle on 34th Street.”

Not that we recommend it, but families could spend the entire month in front of the TV, feeling warm and gooey. For the biggest holiday fix, ABC Family Channel offers its 25 Days of Christmas, with two new specials, all those Rankin/Bass animated toons and movies (“The Polar Express.”)

Many series offer holiday episodes; we’ve listed only kid-friendly specials or movies.


“How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” 8 tonight. Jim Carrey goes green and gets a back story as the Grinch.

Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade, 9 a.m. Dec. 25. Floats and celebrity guests.

ABC Family Channel

The cable channel will premiere two new TV movies.

“Santa Baby,” 8 p.m. Dec. 10 and 12 and 2 p.m. Dec. 16. Jenny McCarthy stars as Mary, a New York business executive who happens to be Santa’s daughter. When dad has a heart attack, she returns home to modernize Santa’s workshop. The funniest scenes are with the elves, here portrayed with a notable lack of PC concern as good-hearted simpletons fueled by cocoa and cookies. McCarthy equates pouting with emoting but in the end Mary “embraces traditions old and new, and discovers true love along the way.”

“Christmas Do-Over,” 8 p.m. Dec. 16 and 20 and 11 a.m. Dec. 23. “Scrooged” + “Groundhog Day” — Bill Murray = “Christmas Do-Over.” The idea of re-living a horrible Christmas Day with the whole family is rife with comedic possibilities; too bad it cribs nearly the same plot arc as “Groundhog.” But originality isn’t exactly a holiday mandate, so enjoy Jay Mohr (“Jerry Maguire”) as a dad who bungles hundreds of holidays before learning the Christmas spirit. Divorced parents beware: The plot hinges on Mohr winning back his ex-wife (Daphne Zuniga) and son. Avoid it if you don’t want to kindle little Christmas hopes.

The rest of the lineup includes Rankin/Bass animated shows from the ’60s to ’80s:

“Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July,” 9 a.m. today.

“The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus,” 11 a.m. today and 7 p.m. Dec. 12.

“The Story of the First Christmas Snow,” noon today and 4 p.m. Dec. 24.

“Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey,” 12:30 p.m. today, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19 and 4:30 p.m. Dec. 24.

“Pinocchio’s Christmas,” 1 p.m. today and 5 p.m. Dec. 24.

“Jack Frost,” 2 p.m. today and 6 p.m. Dec. 24.

” ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” 3:30 p.m. today and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 24.

“Rudolph’s Shiny New Year,” 4 p.m. today and 7 p.m. Dec. 13 and 22.

“The Year Without a Santa Claus,” 5 p.m. today; 7 p.m. Dec. 15 and 20; and 9 p.m. Dec. 24.

“Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” 6 p.m. today, 8 p.m. Dec. 15, 7 p.m. Dec. 18 and 8 p.m. Dec. 24.

“The Little Drummer Boy,” 7 p.m. Dec. 14 and noon Dec. 24.

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” 9 p.m. Dec. 15

“Frosty’s Winter Wonderland,” 7 p.m. Dec. 19 and 24.

And movies:

“The Polar Express,” 7 p.m. today, 8 p.m. Dec. 14 and 25.Tom Hanks does multiple voices in this animated tale.

“To Grandmother’s House We Go,” 8 a.m. Dec. 10. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, before they were tabloid fodder.

“A Mom for Christmas,” 10 a.m. Dec. 10 and 1 p.m. Dec. 23. A girl’s wish for a mom brings a mannequin to life.

“Santa Claus: The Movie,” noon Dec. 10. The legend of Santa, starring Dudley Moore and John Lithgow.

“Scrooged,” 2 p.m. Dec. 10 and 10 a.m. Dec. 16. Bill Murray goes evil in this comedy.

“Chasing Christmas,” 4 p.m. Dec. 10 and 8 a.m. Dec. 16. Another “A Christmas Carol,” this time with Tom Arnold.

“Snow,” 6 p.m. Dec. 10 and 9 a.m. Dec. 23. Santa’s son (Tom Cavanagh) reluctantly takes over the family business.

“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” 8 p.m. Dec. 13 and 11:30 a.m. Dec. 17. A boy wages war against Santa.

“Mr. St. Nick,” noon Dec. 16. A Miami resident (Kelsey Grammer) prepares to take over the North Pole business.

“Christmas in Boston,” 4 p.m. Dec. 16. Childhood pen-pals try to meet in person.

“Three Days,” 6 p.m. Dec. 16 and 25. An angel gives a couple a second chance.

“Once Upon a Christmas,” 1:30 p.m. Dec. 17. More Santa progeny: Kathy Ireland is the daughter.

“How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” 8 p.m. Dec. 17. The Jim Carrey version.

“Christmas Romance,” 3 p.m. Dec. 23. A banker falls in love with a single mom (Olivia Newton-John).

“Eloise at Christmastime,” 8 p.m. Dec. 23 and 10 a.m. Dec. 24. Julie Andrews plays Eloise’s nanny at the Plaza Hotel.

“The Christmas Secret,” noon Dec. 25. A professor (Richard Thomas) ends up at Santa’s (Beau Bridges) shop.

“The Christmas List,” 2 p.m. Dec. 25. A saleswoman (Mimi Rogers) makes a Christmas list and starts to get everything.

“A Holiday to Remember,” 4 p.m. Dec. 25. A mom (Connie Sellecca) and daughter return to the mom’s childhood village.


“Miracle on 34th Street,” 6 p.m. Dec. 10; 11 a.m. Dec. 12; noon, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 p.m. Dec. 24. The 1947 version with Natalie Wood.

“Prancer,” 8 p.m. Dec. 10; 8 p.m. Dec. 16; 8:15 a.m. Dec. 17; 8 p.m. Dec. 19; 3:15 p.m. Dec. 20; 8 p.m. Dec. 22. A girl befriends a hurt reindeer.

Cartoon Network

Cartoon Network will run holiday-themed shows at 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday this month, with a Friday holiday special. Plus, there’s holiday programs all day Christmas Eve and Christmas.

“Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” 7 p.m. Dec. 15, 8:30 a.m. Dec. 21, noon Dec. 24 and 9:30 a.m. Dec. 25. In this 1966 cartoon, Mr. Grinch is, well, a mean one.

“Casper’s Haunted Christmas,” 12:30 p.m. Dec. 17, 9 a.m. Dec. 21, 1 p.m. Dec. 22 and 2 p.m. Dec. 24.

“Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer,” 7 p.m. Dec. 13 and 24, 11:30 a.m. Dec. 17, 7 p.m. Dec. 18, 11 a.m. Dec. 21 and 23, 8 p.m. Dec. 22 and 8:30 a.m. Dec. 25.

“The Legend of Frosty the Snowman,” noon Dec. 16, 7 p.m. Dec. 20, 2 p.m. Dec. 21 and 9 a.m. Dec. 22. A 2005 made-for-video update.

“The Night Before Christmas: A Mouse Tale,” 1 p.m. Dec. 16.

“Olive the Other Reindeer,” 3 p.m. Dec. 17, 1 p.m. Dec. 21 and 8 a.m. Dec. 22.

“Bah Humduck: A Looney Tunes Christmas,” 7 p.m. Dec. 17, 10 a.m. Dec. 22 and 11 a.m. Dec. 24. Daffy Duck plays a modern Scrooge, with Bugs, Yosemite Sam, Tweety and Taz also appearing in this new version of the classic tale.

“Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol,” 7 p.m. Dec. 19 and 6:30 a.m. Dec. 24.

“The Night B4 Christmas,” 8 a.m. Dec. 21, 10:30 a.m. Dec. 24 and 6 a.m. Dec. 25.

“Frosty the Snowman,” 5 p.m. Dec. 24. The Rankin/Bass 1969 animated special.


“Elf,” 8 p.m. Dec. 16. Will Ferrell plays an adopted elf searching for his birth family.

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” 8 p.m. Dec. 21. The Rankin/Bass tale with the Abominable Snowmonster.

The Disney Channel

“The Santa Clause 2,” 8 p.m. Dec. 17. Santa, aka Scott Calvin (Tim Allen), deals with a naughty son and substitute Claus.

Christmas show marathon, starts 6 a.m. Dec. 24 with 24 hours of holiday-themed episodes and movies.

i network

“Mary Christmas,” 7 p.m. Dec. 10. The 2002 TV movie with Cynthia Gibb as a reporter covering a holiday story.

“The Santa Trap,” 7 p.m. Dec. 17. A Christmas Eve booby trap goes awry when Santa (Dick Van Patten) is caught.


“The Year Without a Santa Claus,” 9 p.m. Dec. 11. Harvey Fierstein and Michael McKean play Heat Miser and Cold Miser and John Goodman is Santa in this new live-action movie.


The cable channel’s holiday-themed shows will encore in a three-day marathon from Dec. 23 through Christmas Day.

“I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” 5 p.m. Dec. 13, Noggin. In a special based on Holly Hobbie’s book of the same name, Puddle gets ready for Christmas with his cousin Opal while awaiting his best friend Toot’s arrival from Scotland. Some of the book’s charm is lost in the animated translation — it feels more like a series of vignettes than a coherent plot — but fans will overlook the slow pace and focus on the characters’ old-fashioned holiday.


“A Chanukah Celebration,” 1:30 p.m. Dec. 16 and 3 p.m. Dec. 17. Actress Fran Drescher hosts this special with recipes, music, stories and puppets.

“Chanukah on Planet Matzah Ball,” 8 a.m. Dec. 17. A music-driven video follows an alien family learning about Hanukkah.

“The Nutcracker,” 9 p.m. Dec. 21 and 24. This production was staged in 2000 by the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House in London.

“Arthur’s Perfect Christmas,” 3:30 p.m. Dec. 22, 8 a.m. Dec. 24 and 7 a.m. Dec. 25. This returning one-hour special follows Elwood City’s residents as they prepare for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.


“How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 24. The “real” (animated) version.

“A Christmas Story,” 8 p.m. Dec. 24; repeats every two hours through 6 p.m. Dec. 25. Never stick your tongue on a frozen pole, and other key lessons of childhood.


“A Christmas Carol,” 8 p.m. Dec. 20. Patrick Stewart becomes Ebenezer Scrooge.

Stephanie Dunnewind: or 206-464-2091.