My Guide To A Classic TV Christmas

Dec 15, 2017

Nothing like seeing old friends at the holidays – Bob Hartley, Mary Richards, Laura Ingalls, Hawkeye Pierce, Ben Cartwright, Roseanne Conner, Ralph Kramden, Ray and Debra Barone, Lucy and Ricky Ricardo.

Fred and Ethel too.

Robert Stack (right) and Bruce Gordon in "The Untouchables" in the late 1950s
Credit ABC Television

Or seeing rare Christmas episodes from "The Untouchables, Rod Serling's "Twight Zone," "Touched By An Angel," "7th Heaven," "Bonanza," "Father Knows Best," "Green Acres," "Gunsmoke" or "The Love Boat," or those old Christmas specials starring Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Johnny Cash, Mac Davis and Sonny and Cher. 

And seeing those classic cartoon characters who have been part of our holidays for years: The Grinch, Little Drummer Boy, Jack Frost and Nestor, The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey.

You can see them all in the next 10 days leading up to Christmas.  Some are on over-the-air Channel 25.3 (Get TV) and Channel 25.5 (Light TV).

Here's my guide to a Classic TV Christmas.... from "Mama's Family" to yours!

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16

Little Drummer Boy (7 a.m., Freeform): Greer Garson narrates this animated story about a child going to Bethlehem.

Mickey’s Christmas Carol (9:35 a.m., Freeform): Mickey Mouse and classic Disney characters' version of "A Christmas Carol."

"Mickey's Christmas Carol"
Credit ABC Television

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas (10:05 a.m., Freeform): Kelsey Grammer narrates three Disney cartoons, including "The Gift of the Magi" with Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

Mickey's Twice Upon A Christmas (11:35 a.m., Freeform): More Disney Christmas cartoons.

I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown! (8 p.m., Ch 9 ABC): Lucy’s family wants a dog.

Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls on "Little House on the Prairie" in 1975.
Credit NBC Television

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17

Little House on the Prairie (2 p.m., Ch 5.2 MeTV): Laura (Melissa Gilbert) searches for her kidnapped baby.

Bob Newhart Show (4 p.m., Ch 5.2 MeTV): Bob invites his therapy group to his Christmas party.

Mary Tyler Moore (4:30 p.m. Ch 5.2 MeTV): Mary cancels Christmas plans because she has to work.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 18

7th Heaven (3 p.m., Ch 25.3 Get TV): The Camden family prepares for Christmas in 2003.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 19

The Year Without A Santa Claus (3:30 p.m., Freeform): Animated. Santa takes the year off.

Green Acres (6:30 p.m., Ch 25.5 Light TV): Oliver plans an old-fashioned Christmas.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 20

The Year Without A Santa Claus (2:30 p.m., Freeform): Animated. Santa takes the year off.  

Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town (3:30 p.m., Freeform): Fred Astaire narrates a musical look at Santa.

7th Heaven (5 p.m., Ch 25.3 Get TV): Santa visits the Camdens in 1998.

"A Charlie Brown Christmas"
Credit ABC Television

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 21

Nestor, The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey (8 a.m., Freeform): Animated. A donkey leads the way to Bethlehem.

Jack Frost (8:30 a.m., Freeform): Jack Frost becomes human and helps a knight win his lady love.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (8 p.m., Ch 9, ABC): The "Peanuts" gang celebrates Christmas in 1965.

Vanessa Williams & Friends: Christmas in New York (8 p.m., Ch 25.3 Get TV): With Phil Collins and Shania Twain in 1996.

A Saturday Night Live Christmas (9 p.m., Ch 5 NBC): The best of "SNL" holiday sketches.

Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour (9 p.m., Ch 25.3 Get TV): 1973 Christmas episode.

Cher Show (10 p.m., Ch 25.3 Get TV): A 1975 Christmas special with Redd Foxx and the Hudson Brothers.

Laura Petrie (Mary Tyler Moore) with blonde hair on the "Dick Van Dyke Show" in 1961.
Credit CBS Broadcasting Inc.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22

I Love Lucy Christmas Special (8 p.m., Ch 12 CBS): The 1956 Christmas classic when all four stars dress as Santa on Christmas, and the newly colorized 1955 "Fashion Show" when Lucy buys a $500 dress.

The Dick Van Dyke Show: Now In Living Color! (9 p.m., Ch 12 CBS): Two newly colorized episodes: Laura (Mary Tyler Moore) dyes her hair blonde in 1961, and Laura's revealing painting in 1964.

Mama's Family (9 p.m., Ch 5.2 MeTV): Mama is unhappy about playing Santa at the mall.

Johnny Cash Christmas Show (9 p.m., Ch 25.3 Get TV): From 1977 with Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Clark.

Johnny Cash Christmas Show (10 p.m., Ch 25.3 Get TV): From 1983 with June Carter Cash, Merle Haggard and Ricky Skaggs.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 23

Gunsmoke (1 p.m., Ch 5.2 MeTV): Seven homeless children en route to California find a Christmas they have never known.

Jonathan Winters' A Christmas Carol (9 p.m., WVXU-FM 91.7): The late comic genius reads Charles Dickens' classic.

"Everybody Loves Raymond" cast in 1998.
Credit CBS Broadcasting Inc.

Johnny Cash Christmas Show (9 p.m., Ch 25.3 Get TV): From 1977 with Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Clark.

Johnny Cash Christmas Show (10 p.m., Ch 25.3 Get TV): From 1983 with June Carter Cash, Merle Haggard and Ricky Skaggs.  

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 24

The Love Boat (5 p.m., Ch 5.2 MeTV):  Judy, Gopher and Isaac each play Santa in 1984.

Everybody Loves Raymond (8 p.m., TV Land): Romance on Christmas morning ends when Ray’s family drops in.

Father Knows Best: Home For Christmas (8 p.m., Ch 25.3 Get TV): The 1977 reunion movie starring Robert Young.

Everybody Loves Raymond (8:30 p.m., TV Land): Frank and Marie exchange Ray’s Christmas gift, an engraved toaster, for a coffee maker.

Everybody Loves Raymond (9 p.m., TV Land): Ray tries to organize a family photo shoot as a Christmas present for his parents.

Everybody Loves Raymond (9:30 p.m., TV Land): Ray buys Debra an elaborate Christmas gift so he can go on a golf weekend.

Touched By An Angel (10 p.m., Ch 5.2 MeTV): Monica helps a man whose brother (Randy Travis) is lost in a Christmas Eve snowstorm.

Mac Davis Special: The Music of Christmas (10 p.m., Ch 25.3 Get TV): With Gladys Knight, Barbara Mandrell and Ronnie Milsap in 1983.

Everybody Loves Raymond (10 p.m., TV Land): A Christmas letter written from Marie and Debra causes a family tiff.

Everybody Loves Raymond (10:30 p.m., TV Land): Ray takes credit for Debra's gift suggested by Robert and Amy.

King of Queens (11 p.m., TV Land): Doug can't afford a new car.

Jackie Gleason and "The Honeymooners" cast in the 1950s
Credit CBS

The Honeymooners (11 p.m., Ch 5.2 MeTV): Ralph sells his bowling ball to buy Alice a gift.

King of Queens (11:30 p.m., TV Land): Doug’s Christmas bonus.

"Bob Newhart Show" cast in 1977.
Credit CBS

MONDAY, DECEMBER 25

King of Queens (midnight, TV Land): Doug buys Carrie a camera for Christmas.

Perry Como's Christmas in the Holy Land (midnight, Ch 25.3 Get TV): With Richard Chamberlain in 1980.

Bob Newhart Show (12:30 a.m., Ch 5.2 MeTV): Bob spends Christmas Eve in the hospital.

King of Queens (12:30 a.m., TV Land): Doug's parents Christmas visit interfere with plans to get Carrie pregnant.

Mary Tyler Moore Show (1 a.m., Ch 5.2 MeTV): Sue Ann Nivens (Betty White) invites the staff to a Christmas dinner in November.

Bing Crosby and the Sounds of Christmas (1 a.m., Ch 25.3 Get TV): With Robert Goulet in 1971.

King of Queens (1 a.m., TV Land): Doug wants a collectible toy for Christmas.

King of Queens (1:30 a.m., TV Land): Doug guards the Church manger.

Christmas with the King Family (2 a.m., Ch 25.3 Get TV): From 1967.

Golden Girls (2 a.m., TV Land): A lonely Santa takes the women hostage.

Golden Girls (2:30 a.m., TV Land): The women volunteer at a soup kitchen at Christmas.

The Untouchables (3 a.m., Ch 5.2 MeTV): Gangsters shoot Santa at an orphanage Christmas party.

Perry Como's Christmas in Paris (3 a.m., Ch 25.3 Get TV): With Angie Dickinson and Pierre Cardin in 1982.

Roseanne (3 a.m., TV Land): Roseanne plays Santa at the mall.

Roseanne (3:30 a.m., TV Land): Roseanne meets Darlene's new friend while working as Santa.

Perry Como's Christmas in Austria (4 a.m. Ch 25.3 Get TV): With Senta Berger in 1976.

Roseanne (4 a.m., TV Land): Roseanne and Dan annoy neighbors with their gaudy Christmas decorations.

Ruth Lyons (in white) and cast from her "50-50 Club" show on WLWT-TV in the late 1950s.
Credit Candee Records

Ruth Lyons: A Living Legend (4:30 a.m., Ch 5): Profile of former "50-50 Club" host Ruth Lyons.

Roseanne (4:30 a.m., TV Land): Roseanne and Dan are told D.J. might have a learning disability; Darlene discovers that David (Johnny Galecki) has feelings for Becky.

How I Met Your Mother (5 a.m., TV Land): Lilly takes down her Christmas display.

How I Met Your Mother (5:30 a.m.) Canadian Robin hangs out in a bar for Minnesotans.

Cher Show (7 a.m., Ch 25.3 Get TV): A 1975 Christmas special with Redd Foxx and the Hudson Brothers.

Perry Como's Early American Christmas (8 a.m., Ch 25.3 Get TV): With John Wayne and Diana Canova in 1978.

Johnny Cash Christmas Show (9 a.m., Ch 25.3 Get TV): From 1977 with Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Clark.

Perry Como's Christmas Show (10 a.m., Ch 25.3 Get TV): With the Carpenters, Rich Little and Peggy Fleming in 1974.

Vanessa Williams & Friends: Christmas in New York (11 a.m., Ch 25.3 Get TV): With Phil Collins and Shania Twain in 1996.

Bonanza (2 p.m., Ch 5.2, MeTV): A singer (Wayne Newton) returns to Virginia City for Christmas.

"M*A*S*H" stars Alan Alda, Mike Farrell and Harry Morgan in the 1980s.
Credit CBS

M*A*S*H (7 p.m., Ch 5.2, MeTV): Hawkeye’s Christmas letter to his dad

M*A*S*H (7:30 p.m., Ch 5.2, MeTV): Winchester tries to remain anonymous fulfilling a family Christmas tradition.

Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas (8 p.m., Ch 5 NBC): Boris Karloff narrates the 1966 classic cartoon.

The Twilight Zone (12:30 a.m., Ch 5.2 MeTV): A derelict Santa is fired on Christmas Eve.

To see the rest of your favorite old and new films and other holiday specials, here's a link to my entire 2017 Holiday Program Guide.