December may still be a few days off, but holiday specials have already started cropping up in television listings. Nov. 28 marks the unofficial start of the season with NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” and “SNL Christmas”. ClassicTV.com has a comprehensive listing of all the upcoming holiday specials, highlighted below are some fan-favorites and new premieres that are not to be missed.
“Christmas in Rockefeller Center”
This year’s installment of the annual lighting of the tree ceremony boasts performances from The Rockettes, Cee-Lo Green, Tony Bennett, Trace Adkins, Rod Stewart and a host of others. While this is only the 15th annual telecast, 2012 marks the 80th annual tree-lighting extravaganza. The special can initially be seen on Nov. 28 and will be rebroadcast on Nov. 30.
“Blake Shelton’s Not-So-Family-Christmas”
Blake Shelton’s new holiday special is set to premiere on NBC on Monday, Dec. 3. The show is the prolific country star’s first attempt at a holiday special, but promises to be filled with songs, guest stars and some of the mischievous humor he regularly displays on “The Voice.”
ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas
Okay, so this is technically a 25-day long series of programming, but ABC manages to pack in nearly every holiday classic imaginable. ABC Family has devoted a section of their website to the 25-day extravaganza that contains full details. Several days will be devoted to “Holiday Classics” and “Holiday Movie”marathons. The full schedule can be downloaded here. Highlights are listed below:
- “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys”
- “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”
- “Fred Claus”
- “Home Alone”
- “The Santa Clause”
- “Frosty’s Winter Wonderland”
- “The Year Without A Santa Claus”
- “Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas”
- “Miracle on 34th Street”
“Christmas in the White House”
The holiday exploits of the first family and the White House Christmas decorations will be on display for this special. “Christmas in the White House” airs on NBC on Dec. 13 and Dec. 21.
This charming comedy boasts the talents of Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black and Cameron Diaz, as a group of singles navigating the life and the holidays. Winslet and Diaz star as dispirited women who decide to swap houses for Christmas. “The Holiday” shows on TBS on Dec. 2.
“It’s A Wonderful Life”
Perhaps no piece of popular culture is more synonymous with the holiday season than the 1946 Frank Capra classic, “It’s A Wonderful Life”. Jimmy Stewart’s turn as George Bailey is one of the most iconic in the history of cinema. See “It’s A Wonderful Life” on NBC on Dec.1 and Dec. 24.
“A Christmas Story”
TBS’s annual 24-hour marathon starts at 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve and runs all-through Christmas day. “A Christmas Story” ranks as one of the most beloved of holiday films, and for good reason. Ralphie’s fervor to possess a Red-Rider BB gun is a nostalgic reminder to all of the pure joy of Christmas and the whole holiday season.
“Shrek the Halls”
One of the most recent additions to the half-hour Christmas special cannon, “Shrek the Halls” finds Shrek and his lovable cohorts taking on holiday traditions in a decidedly animated manner. “Shrek the Halls” is set to air on ABC on Dec. 18 and Dec. 24.
This page will be updated as additional listings are announced.