For the holidays, your TV is giving you the best Christmas gift you could ask for: a stocking full of the best Christmas TV specials! This is a list of some of the best Christmas TV specials for the second week of December 2009 (December 6-12), and it includes a few fun, new Christmas TV specials, some animated classics, and made-for-TV Christmas movie specials. So get your holiday started off right with the great Christmas TV specials for the second week of December 2009 here, and be sure to DVR them (all times are Eastern):
December 6, 2009
Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas – ABC Family, 7:00 a.m. – If the kiddies are up early on Sunday, they can catch one of the many Disney animated TV Christmas specials featuring Mickey and the gang. Unlike past Mickey animated Christmas TV specials, this one features modern, computer-animated versions of the Disney characters, which kids will enjoy seeing. This is also one of the best animated TV specials for kids with short attention spans, as it is a collection of 5 short stories featuring different Disney characters like Goofy, Mickey, Minnie, Scrooge, and Pluto. There’s a ‘Fantasia’ inspired ice skating competition, Pluto runs away to the North Pole, Goofy’s son Max is all grown up, and Huey, Dewey, and Louie go to extremes to get on Santa’s good list. So when it comes to animated modern Christmas TV specials, this is definitely one of your best bets.
Dora’s Christmas Carol Adventure – Nickelodeon, 8:00 p.m. – This is one of the best animated Christmas TV specials on this list for younger kids, as they get to go on a Christmas adventure with their favorite explorer. Dora plays the role of the three spirits from ‘A Christmas Carol’ to help her pal Swiper get back on Santa’s nice list, but she needs your kids’ help! This is one of the cutest animated Christmas specials on this list for young kids because it’s fun to watch, but they still get a good dose of learning from it (it’s kinda like Christmas milk and cookies: the cookies are the enjoyable part, but at least the milk is healthy).
12 Men of Christmas, Lifetime, 9:00 p.m. – If you missed one of the sexy new Christmas movies of 2009, don’t miss this made-for-TV movie about a calendar full of hot, helpful men again. Adorable ‘Pushing Daisies’ star Kristin Chenoweth has more men on her hands than she knows what to do with while creating an almost-nude calendar (for a good cause). So will she get the calendar made in time for a little end-of-the-year holiday love? Watch and find out on one of the sexiest Christmas TV specials on this list! And if you miss it again (or just couldn’t get enough monthly men), it comes on once more on December 8, 2009 at 9:00 p.m.
Robot Chicken “Dear Consumer” – Cartoon Network (Adult Swim), 11:45 p.m. – This is one of the few new animated Christmas TV specials for adults’ eyes only, even though it features children’s toys. With 3-second skits and a large cast of pop culture characters (including a few action figures you may have gotten one Christmas long ago), this is one of the most unique animated Christmas TV specials of 2009 you’ll see.
Metalocalypse “Dethmas” – Cartoon Network (Adult Swim), 12:30 a.m. – And here’s another of the anitmated Christmas TV specials of 2009 for adults on Santa’s naughty list. The best metal band in the world, Deth Klok, will attempt to make your 2009 Christmas one of the most brutal. There will be a Murderface Christmas special, plenty of family drama, and, best of all, everyone’s favorite rock n’ roll clown makes an appearance. But be forewarned: this will likely be one of the bloodiest and deadliest animated Christmas TV specials you’ll ever see.
December 7, 2009
Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town – ABC, 8:00 p.m. – And here’ s one of the great Rankin-Bass animated Christmas TV specials, still just as fun to watch in 2009 as it was almost forty years ago. It stars the voices of Fred Astaire and Mickey Rooney in one of the multiple animated Rankin-Bass Christmas TV specials that tells the story of Santa Claus’ life and how he came to be. Is it historically accurate? With wizards, magic, and Santa being adopted by a family of elves as a baby, of course not, but you can’t have good animated Christmas TV specials without plenty of fantastical fiction (followed by a message to kids about how to be a better people just in time for Santa to see them being good on his magic crystal snowball).
Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday Special – FOX, 8:00 p.m. – Carrie Underwood and FOX try the variety show format once again in one of the most unique TV Christmas specials of 2009 on this list, although Carrie Underwood trying to sing some serious Christmas songs and be silly sounds a little dubious to me. But with Christina Applegate, Kristin Chenoweth, and Dolly Parton joining her onstage, these blondes will make your Christmas a little more fun, and will definitely be at the top of Santa Baby’s nice list. If you’re looking for new Christmas specials for 2009, this is one of the few out there that’s not animated, so don’t miss it.
The Backyardigans: The Action Elves Save Christmas Eve – Nickelodeon, 12:00 p.m. – And here’s another of the best animated Christmas TV specials for very young kids featuring characters from one of their favorite TV shows. It’s up to Tasha, Uniqua and Pablo to save Christmas by find Santa’s magic sack, but can they locate it in time for him to deliver toys? This is one of the few new animated Christmas TV specials of 2009, and one that your kids won’t want to miss.
December 8, 2009
Charlie Brown Christmas; Prep & Landing – ABC, 8:00 p.m. – Here’s some back-to-back animated Christmas specials that the whole family will enjoy. First you’ve got Charlie Brown’s woeful Christmas tale about commercialism, uncooperative Christmas pageant participants, and that sad little tree. It’s one of the many classic animated Christmas TV specials we see on TV year after year, but never get tired of. Then you’ve got one of the new Christmas TV specials of 2009, a very well-done computer-animated cartoon about Santa’s elves and the high-tech gear they use to help him out on Christmas. They’re two very different animated Christmas TV specials, but your family will definitely enjoy the old and the new.
Mickey’s Christmas Carol – ABC Family, 7:00 p.m. – And here’s one of my favorite animated Christmas TV specials of all time. Mickey and his pals re-enact Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ with hilarious (and, at one point, frightening) results. I love the three spirits, one of which is a clumsy Goofy, although I must admit that last one definitely scared me as a child. Still, I enjoy this heart-warming story about a reformed cold heart, and it’s one of those animated Christmas TV specials I don’t get tired of seeing every year.
A Scooby-Doo Christmas- Cartoon Network, 7:00 p.m. – Cartoon Network is showing a whole sleighfull of animated Christmas TV specials for 2009, many of which are more modern Christmas tales that kids today will really enjoy. One of my favorite animated Christmas TV specials the network is showing for 2009 stars a gang more synonymous with Halloween and ghosts, which apparently don’t take a break for the holidays (the spooky culprit here is a headless snowman). Not one of the best animated Christmas TV specials of all time, but still unique and entertaining.
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! – Cartoon Network, 8:30 p.m. – Next up on Cartoon Network, you’ve got one of my all-time Christmas favorites about everyone’s favorite mean, green, Christmas hating guy that puts Scrooge and his “Bah, humbug!” to shame. With his cute dog, scheme to steal Christmas, and the deep voice of Boris Karloff telling his tale, The Grinch and the story of how he almost hijacked Christmas is definitely one of the best animated Christmas TV specials of all time, and one of the few that’s narrated completely in rhyme.
Ed, Edd ‘n Eddy: Jingle, Jingle, Jangle – Cartoon Network, 9:30 p.m. – And finally you’ve got everyone’s favorite cul-de-sac trio predictably trying to see how they can get more goods on Christmas Day, by infiltrating their neighbors’ homes and gathering their Christmas gifts. But will the Eds’ Christmas plan work, or will they permanently be on Santa’s naughty list? (At least this series of animated Christmas TV specials on Cartoon Network will keep your kids off of Santa’s naughty list for awhile.)
December 9, 2009
Billy & Mandy Save Christmas – Cartoon Network, 7:00 p.m. – There are a lot of monstrous Christmas animated TV specials airing on Wednesday, starting with this creepy Christmas cartoon where Santa gets turned into a vampire. Can Billy, Mandy, and their good pal Grim (the Grim Reaper) find the head vampire and turn Santa back to normal in time to save Christmas? It may not be one of the most heartwarming animated Christmas TV specials you’ll ever see, but at least it’s perfect for the 2009 vampire craze.
Shrek the Halls – ABC, 8:00 p.m. – Everyone’s favorite ogre is celebrating the holidays, but since he has no idea what Christmas is about, he reads up on it in the book ‘Christmas for Village Idiots’. He follows the books advice on how to celebrate the holidays, but his pals Donkey, Puss in Boots, and Gingy don’t make things easy, ruining his decorations and angering Shrek until he kicks them out. But “Christmas isn’t Christmas until someone cries”, and everything turns out alright in the end. This is one of the best modern animated Christmas TV specials you’ll see, and kids can just never get enough of Shrek and his pals.
The Nightmare Before Christmas – Disney, 8:00 p.m. – To complete this trifecta of animated Christmas TV specials featuring monstrous characters, I’ve got to put one of the most original animated Christmas movies ever made on this list. Jack Skellington wants to make Christmas just as magical as Halloween is to him, but good little boys and girls don’t appreciate the yuletide fear and the havoc he wreaks on their favorite holiday. (But kids like me who always loved Halloween best might not feel the same way about Jack’s thoughtful gesture!). This is one of my favorite animated Christmas TV specials/movies, and one that many kids enjoy watching for two holidays of the year.
December 10, 2009
Holiday in Handcuffs – ABC Family, 8:00 p.m. – When it comes to Christmas made-for-TV movies, I’ve been trying to stick to those that are new for 2009, but this movie starring Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez is so delightfully cheesy, that I had to list it here. When Melissa Joan Hart’s character kidnaps Mario Lopez’ character so that she has a guy to bring home to her family for Christmas, will they fall in love, or will she end up in jail? (Take a wild guess.) This is one of the goofiest made-for-TV Christmas movies you’ll ever see, but I’ve always loved Melissa Joan Hart, so it’s one of the many guilty Christmas pleasures out there worth partaking in.
A Flintstone Christmas – ABC Family, 10:00 p.m. – In one of the many ‘The Flintstones’ animated Christmas TV specials, Barney and Fred have to fill in for Santa, but Fred is late for his Christmas party hosted by his boss and could lose his job. Will his holiday and those of all the kids of the Stone Age be saved in time for Christmas Day? This is definitely one of the best classic Christmas animated TV specials you’ll see, and it’s pretty amazing that Fred makes such a great Santa.
Casper’s Haunted Christmas – Cartoon Network, 5:00 p.m. – And here’s another of the Christmas animated TV specials with a spooky theme. Casper has to scare someone before Christmas, and the ghostly trio is forced to make sure he does this. But when Casper’s good behavior gets in the way of his scaring, they conjure up his cousin spooky to do the job. So will Casper get his scare, or will he be banished to the dark? Watch this most spook-tacular of animated Christmas specials to find out.
Community: Comparative Religion – NBC (8:00 p.m.) – And now we move on to some of the funny Christmas TV specials that I’m really looking forward to (and that aren’t animated). ‘Community’ is definitely one of the best new shows of 2009, and I’m extremely impressed with how good ‘The Soup’ star Joel McHale does with his role of playing the likeable jerk. The show’s Christmas special will focus on the different backgrounds of the study group as they attend a Christmas party together, and 80’s movie wimp Anthony Michael Hall will star as the school bully. Out of all of the NBC Christmas TV specials, this is the one I’m looking forward to most.
Parks and Recreation: Christmas Scandal – NBC (8:30 p.m.) – And here’s another new show of 2009 that I ended up being pleasantly surprised by. At first it felt too much like a ‘The Office’ wannabe, but now it’s found it’s own shtick, and it’s really started shticking on me. Poor Leslie just can’t catch a break, as she inadvertently ends up in a sex scandal while working on the Pawnee Winter Wonderland Festival. At least the Christmas plot for this show is an extremely unique one.
The Office: Secret Santa – NBC (9:00 p.m.) – Michael hates that Phyllis is playing the office Santa; everyone is having trouble getting into the holiday spirit due to the difficulties Dunder Mifflin is having; Oscar has a secret holiday crush; and hilarity ensues. ‘The Office’ may be struggling a little in 2009, but I still admit that this is one of the Christmas TV specials I look forward to most.
30 Rock: Secret Santa – NBC (9:30 p.m.) – It’s Christmas at 30 Rock, where Jack has developed an interest in a social networking site that reconnects him with an old crush. Meanwhile, Lemon tries to come up with the perfect Christmas gift for Jack (the guy’s got to have everything), and Kenneth tries to organize a secret Santa swap. This isn’t one of my favorite NBC comedies, but I do think that this will be one of the Christmas TV specials that I try not to miss.
December 11, 2009
A Muppets Christmas: Letters To Santa – NBC, 8:00 p.m. – This is one of the newer Christmas TV specials for 2009, having debuted last year. The muppets are trying to deliver their letters to Santa at the post office, but through a mishap, they end up having to try and deliver their letters in person by going to the North Pole. Can they make it there in time? Kids will love the muppets, and parents will love the human cast that includes the likes of Whoopi Goldberg, Nathan Lane, Michael Bloomberg, Petra Nemcova, and Uma Thurman.
The Office (UK) Christmas Special – Cartoon Network (Adult Swim), 12:00 a.m. – I love that Adult Swim is airing ‘The Office’ UK Christmas special, which is a mockumentary-style look at the lives of the inhabitants of the UK office three years after they starred in the documentary that made them famous. They are all reunited at a Christmas party, with hilarious results. It was aired as a two-part special in the UK and is one of the longer Christmas TV specials on this list, but definitely worth watching.
December 12, 2009
Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey – ABC Family, 9:00 a.m. – And here’s my favorite of the many Rankin-Bass animated Christmas TV specials. The story here is a bit like Rudolph-meets-the-nativity, with Nestor playing a donkey misfit made fun of by other barn animals due to his enormous ears. But when Mary and Joseph need a donkey that can hear angels singing to get them to Bethlehem, Nestor realizes his big ears aren’t so bad after all. This is one of the sadder Rankin-Bass animated Christmas TV specials because Nestor’s mother freezes to death in it, but Nestor is definitely one of the cutest Rankin-Bass characters you’ll ever see, and you’ll truly be glad that things get better for him in the end.
The Flight Before Christmas – CBS, 9:00 p.m. – And here’s another of the many animated Christmas TV specials starring ultra-cute characters. A young reindeer with vertigo wants to be part of Santa’s sleigh team, but will flying lessons from a flying squirrel be enough to earn him a slot on the sleigh? When Santa and his team get in trouble, it sure seems that way. Kids will love this updated version of Rudolph starring a reindeer with a different handicap, and this is one of the many animated Christmas TV specials attempting to be more modern with computer animation.
Olive, the Other Reindeer – Cartoon Network, 1:00 p.m. – This is one of the animated Christmas TV specials, however, that opts for a truly unique animation style (it’s like a 3D storybook). When very a different dog named Olive mishears “all of the other reindeer” as “Olive, the other reindeer”, a great North Pole adventure ensues, where goofy Olive ends up being just as important as she thought she was after all. It’s one of the cutest animated Christmas TV specials you’ll see, and one of the most original.
Bah Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas – Cartoon Network, 2:00 p.m. – This modern Looney Tunes Tale features Daffy Duck as a Scrooge-like character. Despite retelling ‘A Christmas Carol’ yet again, this is still one of the most fun animated Christmas TV specials to watch, and it’s amazing that the Looney Tunes characters are still delighting audiences today.
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – CBS, 8:00 p.m. – This is one of the most well-known animated Christmas TV specials of all time, and it’s hard not to love the Rankin-Bass retelling of Rudolph, complete with an abominable Bumble, wannabe dentist elf, and a singing snowman. If you’ve missed it all the times it’s been on already this month, here’s your next chance to catch it.
iCarly: iChristmas – Nickelodeon, 8:00 p.m. – For kids that are all Rudolphed-out, they might enjoy watching the iCarly Christmas special instead. In an ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ spoof, Carly learns what life would have been like if Spencer had been born normal, and it’s not so wonderful, after all. She then accepts Spencer’s electromagnetic Christmas tree, and enjoys an abnormal holiday.
Christmas in Canaan – The Hallmark Channel, 8:00 p.m. – And here’s one of the new made-for-TV Christmas movies of 2009, starring Billy Ray Cyrus as a farmer who forces his son to spend time with a black classmate during the Civil Rights movement, forming an unexpected friendship. Racial tension in their town builds over the years, leading to one unforgettable Christmas. This does, at least, sound like one of the truly original Christmas TV specials out there, so it’s worth giving a chance.
I know this is an extensive and exhaustive list of Christmas TV specials, but hopefully you’ll find some animated Christmas TV specials, movies, and Christmas-themed episodes of your favorite shows here to make your holidays happy with a little help from your DVR.