5 great Christmas TV shows to watch in December

Christmas can make for some terrific television. In fact, most people have fond memories of bundling up and watching holiday programs on TV with their loved ones.

As holiday stories, old and new, begin to dominate the winter airwaves, Christmas will surely be on many people’s minds this December. And so, in this season of good cheer, audiences should kick back and enjoy these seasonal shows to celebrate this most wonderful time of year.

The Santa Clauses (2022-present)

The cast of "The Santa Clauses" season 2.
Disney / Disney

Audiences who grew up with Tim Allen playing jolly ol’ Saint Nick will find this Disney+ series a nice treat. After spending almost three decades delivering presents all over the world, Scott Calvin decides he must find someone else to take his place as Santa Claus and reinvigorate Christmas for the modern world.

While Calvin may have lost some of his fire, Allen proves as lively as ever with his upbeat performance as Santa. Though not everyone is into Disney’s cheesy children’s shows, The Santa Clauses still has enough charm to satisfy fans of this long-running franchise.

Both seasons of The Santa Clauses are now streaming on Disney+.

The Great Christmas Light Fight (2013-present)

The title screen for "The Great Christmas Light Fight."

Everyone knows a family in their town that goes all-out with their festive decorations, turning their holiday into a construction project. This seasonal reality show shines a spotlight on those families as they compete to make such dazzling and whimsical displays out of their homes, and the results are nothing short of Christmas miracles.

From gingerbread mansions to candy cane cottages, contestants continue to create these spectacular holiday-themed homes as the series now plows through its 11th season. Even those not into decorating their house for Christmas will enjoy seeing all these winter wonderlands come to life.

The Great Christmas Light Fight airs every Sunday on ABC and can be streamed on Hulu the following day.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022)

The Guardians wave goodbye in "Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special."
Marvel Studios / Marvel Studios

Who better to celebrate Christmas with than the Guardians of the Galaxy? To cheer up Peter as he mourns Gamora’s death, Drax and Mantis travel to Earth to bring him back a very special Christmas present: Kevin Bacon. Naturally, things go as badly as possible, as the two oblivious aliens get into all kinds of mischief as they seek out and kidnap the legendary Footloose star.

But at the heart of all the shocking sci-fi shenanigans is the titular team growing closer than ever before, with Star-Lord gaining a newfound sister in Mantis. The Guardians also deliver another Awesome Mix for people to rock out to this holiday season. Those disappointed by Marvel’s disappointing slate this year can break in the new year with this unorthodox Christmas adventure.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is streaming on Disney+.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)

The Grinch with a toy mouse in Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!".

If anyone knows the tale of the Grinch, chances are they had first heard it through this classic TV special. Annoyed by the people of Whoville, the furry green curmudgeon decides to ruin everyone’s holiday by stealing all their gifts and decorations.

An unusual children’s story, yes, but a story that flipped the script on how people had come to envision Christmas while exploring the holiday’s true meaning. And with the incomparable Thurl Ravenscroft singing that now iconic theme song, this adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s classic tale arguably made the Grinch just as synonymous with Christmas as Santa Claus himself.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is streaming on Peacock.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

The cast of "A Charlie Brown Christmas."
Lee Mendelson Film Productions / Lee Mendelson Film Productions

Move over, Great Pumpkin! It’s time for a Peanuts Christmas special. When Charlie Brown finds himself depressed in this season of good cheer, he decides to lift his spirits by directing a holiday play with all the other kids. But in true Charlie Brown fashion, not everything goes as planned, and he struggles to create a genuine Christmas experience for everyone.

This animated classic is a poignant and heartwarming tale about friends coming together and finding true Christmas joy. Hands down, this is the quintessential Peanuts tale, featuring such iconic moments as the kids ice skating together, breaking out some bizarre dance moves, and decorating Charlie Brown’s tiny tree. But the special’s music alone has become just as memorable, capturing the joy and nostalgia of the holidays in its purest form.

A Charlie Brown Christmas is streaming on Apple TV+.

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