The holidays are upon us and now is the time to review your local TV listings so you can plan out what to watch with your family and what to record to view later. Here are just a few of our favorite family viewing classics. We’ve done our best to find them in your Cable TV listings to make it easier!
Stop-Action Classics for All Ages
The holiday classics we all know and love from our own youth. The first three movies are all combined into this one DVD: The Original Christmas Classics Gift Set.
1. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
(Dec. 14 CBS 8pm ET)
Everybody knows the song. Who doesn’t love this 1964 classic narrated by Burl Ives, featuring Rudolph, as he overcomes everything to save Christmas.
2. Frosty the Snowman
(Dec. 8 CBS 8pm ET)
A classic about the magical Frosty the Snowman, who came to life thanks to a magical hat and is saved from an early melt, thanks to a little girl named Karen and a jolly old elf. You can’t help, but sing along.
3. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
(Dec. 11 ABC 8pm ET)
With names like Fred Astaire and Mickey Rooney, the wonderful story of Santa Claus comes to life as they tell of his origins.
4. The Year Without a Santa Claus (Deluxe Edition)
(Dec. 24 ABCFAM 8pm ET)
When Santa decides to cancel Christmas, two elves and a reindeer head out to find children who still believe in him. It’s Mrs. Claus to the rescue when they find themselves in trouble between the Miser brothers, Heat and Cold. You’ll find yourself humming the songs for days.
Holiday Shows for Young Children
It can be hard to get children to sit still, but these amusing holiday specials should grab their interest long enough for you to wrap a present or two.
1. Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas (Deluxe Edition)
(Dec. 18 ABC 7pm ET)
The live action version with Jim Carey does a fabulous job digging further into the life of the Grinch and why he dislikes Christmas.
2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Deluxe Edition)
(Dec. 17 ABCFAM 7pm ET)
Dr. Seuss comes to life in this cartoon classic when the Grinch has a plan to steal Christmas from all the Whos in Whoville.
3. A Charlie Brown Christmas
(Dec. 18 ABC 8pm ET)
Until you know what a Charlie Brown tree is, you haven’t experienced Christmas. Our favorite Peanuts characters celebrate the holiday season.
4. The Muppet Christmas Carol
A Charles Dickens classic that young children are sure to appreciate. Filled with memorable songs, this will be a family classic for many years to come.
Holiday Shows for the Family
These movies have enough action and color to keep the kids interested, while a decent plot line to keep you watching.
1. The Polar Express (Widescreen Edition)
(Dec. 13 ABCFAM 8pm ET)
An excellent tale of faith. A little boy doesn’t believe in Santa and takes a magical trip to find the truth.
I prefer the classic 1961 version, but many like the newer 1986 with Drew Barrymore and Keanu Reeves. A young girl has no time for toys, until she travels to Toyland, where she must foil the plans of the evil Barnaby Barnacle to save the land.
The movie starts with the story of Santa Claus and how he came to be then moves on to him saving a misguided elf from the clutches of an evil toymaker. Funny and delightful with a great story line that all can enjoy.
4. Home Alone: The Complete Collection
(Dec. 10 ABCFAM 9pm ET)
Not one of my favorites, but it has become a classic. Kevin, a feisty 8-year-old, is accidentally left to fend for himself over the Christmas holiday, and has to defend his house against two hapless burglars.
It will probably be hard to get the children to sit still and watch these classics, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t sit back and watch them. Maybe while wrapping presents for under the tree?
1. Miracle on 34th Street (Special Edition)
(Dec. 12 AMC 8pm ET)
When an elderly gentleman is institutionalized for claiming to be Santa, it’s up to a young lawyer to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing.
2. It’s A Wonderful Life
(Dec. 24 NBC 8pm ET)
A tale of an Angel that shows a despairing man what life would be like without him in it.
3. A Christmas Story
(Dec. 24 TBS 8pm ET)
Christmas in the 1940s through the eyes of a young boy named Ralphie, who has to convince his parents, teachers, and Santa that a Red Ryder B.B. gun really is the perfect gift.
4. A Christmas Carol (2012 release)
(Dec. 16 TCM 9:30pm ET)
It doesn’t matter what generation you are, everyone has their favorite version. Pick up your favorite, or a new one you’ve never seen, and sit back with the family and enjoy. My personal favorite is the 1971 version, with Alastair Sim as Ebenzer Scrooge.
Christmas is a time for family and tradition. If you don’t have a tradition of watching a few holiday classics, then maybe it’s time to start! Look at your local TV listings to find what holiday classics are playing and set some time aside for some family viewing.
And if you’d like some extra cash for Christmas, maybe you can lower your Cable TV or Internet bill by going with a different service provider. Enter your street address into the top-right corner of this page to see what offers are available in your area.