Holiday TV Viewing Guides Help You Find the Season’s Best Shows

charlie-brown-christmas-smallWhat holiday special tells you that the season is really here?

I know that I’m ready for the winter celebrations when I catch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for the first time every December. This sweet half-hour celebration of acceptance in spite of differences, friendship in the face of adversity, and a singleminded focus on goals sucks me in every time. Hermie wants to be a dentist, Rudolph wants to fly, and neither of them want to be treated badly along the way. Who among us can’t relate at least a little bit to wanting to accomplish things with some support? I know I can.

Whether it’s Rudolph, the Grinch, or Frosty, it’s quite possible that there’s a show on any night of the week that might make it feel like the holiday season has arrived at your house. How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Charlie Brown Christmas are my other go-to holiday shows. My friend’s son’s repeated viewings of Mickey’s Christmas Carol mean that Christmas hasn’t arrived in their midst until that’s been on in the house at least once.

Holiday programming started early this year. Rudolph was on for the first time before Thanksgiving, which wasn’t a popular decision for some people who felt that was jumping the pre-Christmas gun. If you need help keeping track, this handy guide tells you just about every holiday special that’s on through the day after Christmas. ABC Family has their daily December programming conveniently collected in one place. Television Without Pity offers this guide that includes some one-off specials, including the Duck Dynasty Christmas Special and Kelly Clarkson’s Cautionary Christmas Music Tale, and TV Guide has listings too. Some shows will only air once this season, so if you don’t own DVDs, make sure you’re checking the listings so you can make sure the DVR is ready.

Here are 11 of the best classic holiday specials to look out for:

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