What to Watch: A Guide to Christmas TV Movies and Marathons

A Christmas Story - P 2011

A Christmas Story - P 2011

It’s the most wonderful time of the year again, which means plenty of holiday programming on TV.

Christmas classics including 1947’s Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life will both air on Christmas Eve.

Additionally the tradition of 24-hours of A Christmas Story will reach its 15th year this year, playing on TBS beginning at 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Also a yearly tradition, the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade will air on ABC on Christmas Day.

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Here are some of the many TV holiday highlights for the upcoming holiday:

December 23

Olive, The Other Reindeer
CW, 8 p.m. ET/PT
This CGI animated special follows a dog named Olive (voiced by Drew Barrymore) who makes her way to the North Pole to volunteer as a replacement reindeer.

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas
ABC Family, 8 p.m. & 10:30 p.m. ET/PT
A curmudgeon (Jim Carrey) living atop Mount Crumpit sets out to quash the yuletide preparations of the Christmas-loving Whos of Whoville. ABC Family will play the live-action holiday treat twice in a row as part of its “25 Days of Christmas” programming.

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Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
CW, 9 p.m. ET/PT
Based on the hit song, this goofy and heartwarming adventure features young Jake Spankenheimer on the quest to track his missing Grandma down on Christmas Eve.

December 24

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
TCM, 8 p.m. PT/ET
In the holiday classic, an old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane and a young lawyer defends him by arguing in court that he is the real thing.

A Christmas Story
TBS 8 p.m. ET/PT
TBS will show the annual marathon of A Christmas Story beginning on Christmas Eve and running for a straight 24 hours.

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
ABC Family, 9 p.m. ET/PT
Once again left behind by his family, Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) lands in Manhattan and battles two burglars he faced before.

It’s a Wonderful Life
NBC, 9 p.m. ET/PT
Frank Capra’s holiday classic stars James Stewart as a banker who learns what life would have been like if he was never born.

December 25

Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade
ABC, 12 p.m. ET/ 9 a.m. PT
The 28th annual event will be hosted by Nick Cannon and Mario Lopez and features performances by Christina Aguilera and Justin Bieber.

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The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
FAM, 3 p.m.
The 2006 comedy stars Tim Allen as Santa, who is faced with keeping his new family happy, and stopping Jack Frost from taking over Christmas.

Bad Santa
Comedy Central, 7:58 p.m. PT/ET
Billy Bob Thorton stars as a conman who dons a Santa Suit so he can rob department stores on Christmas Eve.

The Polar Express
ABC Family, 8 p.m. PT/ET
Based on a book by Chris Van Allsburg, this animated feature follows a boy who doubts the existence of Santa Claus as he takes a train up to the North Pole.

12 Men of Christmas
Lifetime, 8 p.m. PT/ET
In this 2009 Lifetime film, Kristen Chenoweth stars as a New Yorker who escapes to Montana to help the local rescue squad raise money with a sexy calendar.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
ABC Family, 10 p.m. PT/ET
Spend the holidays with The Griswolds.