Your Yuletide Guide to Holiday TV Specials: December 12 to 25

Part 2 of TV Week's guide to Christmas specials, movies, concerts + more this holiday season

Cozy up in front of the TV to enjoy some new holiday offerings and old favourites that are sure to get you in the spirit of the season

Becoming Santa

Saturday, December 12, 5 p.m. & 9 p.m., Lifetime

Holly (Laura Bell Bundy) has never introduced her boyfriend Connor (Jesse Hutch) to her family. Knowing she can’t wait any longer, Holly decides to finally bring Connor home to meet the parents for Christmas. He’s in for a shock when he discovers Holly’s parents are none other than Santa and Mrs. Claus (Family Ties’ Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter)!

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas

Sunday, December 13, 3 p.m., Showcase

Maggie Dunlop (Brooke Nevin) is thrilled when her longtime crush (Robin Dunne) moves to her small town. Determined to show him the magic of Christmas, she decides to create 12 Christmas gifts that will prompt him to do fun Christmas tasks in order to renew his love of the season.

A Jann Arden Christmas at The Social

Sunday, December 13, 8 p.m., CTV; Thursday, December 17, 8 p.m., CTV2

The ladies of The Social welcome Jann Arden, who will perform songs from her new album, A Jann Arden Christmas, while celebrity chef Lynn Crawford presents mouthwatering appetizers and cocktail guru Adam MacDowell mixes up unique drinks based on characters from Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas tales.

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Monday, December 14, 8 p.m., CBC

The animated classic will make your heart grow three sizes as horror icon Boris Karloff narrates the timeless tale of the green grouch who pulled a Whoville heist.

Credit: DreamWorks Animation LLC

Shrek the Halls

Tuesday, December 15, 8:30 p.m., CTV2 & ABC

The Mike Myers-voiced ogre is less than thrilled when his plans for a quiet Christmas with his family go south thanks to Donkey, Puss in Boots and the rest of the gang barging in.

Wainwright Noël Nights

Wednesday, December 16, 8 p.m., CBC

Continuing the tradition started by their mother Kate McGarrigle, siblings Rufus and Martha Wainwright have mounted Noël Nights holiday concerts for years, and this year’s performance forms the basis for a new musical special.

Frosty the Snowman

Thursday, December 17, 7 p.m., CBC; Friday, December 18, 8 p.m., CBS

He was just an inanimate pile of snow until a girl placed a magical hat atop his head, bringing him to life in this all-time-great holiday romp based on the classic Christmas tune.

iHeartRadio Jingle Ball

Thursday, December 17, 8 p.m., The CW

The Weeknd, 5 Seconds of Summer, Demi Lovato, Fifth Harmony, Zedd, Nick Jonas, Selena Gomez and more will perform at the annual holiday celebration from New York’s Madison Square Garden. 

Olive, the Other Reindeer

Friday, December 18, 6 p.m., YTV

Drew Barrymore lends her voice to the title character in this quirky animated special about a dog named Olive who pitches in to take the place of an injured reindeer on Santa’s sleigh so he won’t have to cancel his annual Christmas Eve toy delivery.

A Home for the Holidays

Friday, December 18, 9 p.m., CBS

LL Cool J (NCIS: Los Angeles) hosts this annual special celebrating home and family with touching stories about adoption and foster care to raise awareness for this important social issue. Inspirational stories of families are enhanced with performances by Christina Aguilera, Jason Derulo, Rascal Flatts and Ed Sheeran.

A Christmas Melody

Sunday, December 20, 9 p.m., W Network

Kristen (Lacey Chabert), a beautiful, stylish divorcée with a young daughter, closes her small Manhattan boutique and returns to her Ohio hometown to live in her parents’ former home. It’s an adjustment for Kristen—especially when she runs into her former high school rival Melissa (singer Mariah Carey, who also makes her directorial debut), who tries to make Kristen feel as unwelcome as possible. But with a little holiday magic and music, Kristen and Emily find that home is where the heart is.

I Love Lucy Christmas Special

Wednesday, December 23, 8 p.m., CBS

This special features two back-to-back episodes of the classic 1950s sitcom, “The Christmas Episode” and “Lucy Does a TV Commercial.” Both were colourized with a nod to the decade in which the shows were filmed and will air as one hour, with no commercial interruption in between episodes.

Credit: Flickr/Jared

Disney Parks Unforgettable Christmas Celebration

Friday, December 25, 9 a.m., ABC

The 32nd annual holiday telecast will feature performances by Seal, Ariana Grande, Tori Kelly and Reba McEntire, but the real stars of the show are all your Disney and Pixar favourites, including Donald, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Chip and Dale, along with characters from Inside Out, Toy Story and many others.  

Credit: Simon Ridgway

Doctor Who Christmas 2015

Friday, December 25, 6 p.m., Space

It’s Christmas Day in the future and the TARDIS is parked on a snowy village street, covered in icicles, awaiting its next adventure. Alex Kingston returns as Professor River Song for the highly anticipated Christmas special, where her character meets her husband’s new incarnation, in the form of Peter Capaldi, for the first time.

Credit: Sophie Mutevellian

Call the Midwife Holiday Special

Friday, December 25, 6 p.m. & 9:30 p.m., WTVS; 9 p.m., KCTS

Festive spirit is in plentiful supply as the city of Poplar gets ready for the holidays. As the community pulls together to prepare for a televised carol concert, Nonnatus House is rocked to the core when one of their own goes missing, causing a full-scale manhunt. 

Credit: CBS Photo Archive

The Andy Griffith Christmas Special

Friday, December 25, 8 p.m., CBS

Enjoy a holiday return to Mayberry with Andy, Opie, Barney and Aunt Bee as CBS serves up two colourized Christmas episodes (aired back to back) of the beloved sitcom.