Maybe you’ve already had your fill of holiday programming, but this is when it gets serious.
With Christmas coming at midweek this year, that leaves several days for networks to offer signs of the season … some of which have been shown already this year but still are hugely appropriate for viewing. And maybe even more so, the closer to the actual holiday we get.
Here’s a sampling of some of the home-screen gifts being presented in the coming days.
“The Wizard of Oz” (1 p.m. Sunday, TNT): It had a 3-D and IMAX retrofitting recently, but there’s something comforting about going “Over the Rainbow” with the Judy Garland-starring 1939 classic at home.
“Home Alone” (3 and 8 p.m. Sunday; 9 a.m. and 7:15 p.m. Monday, AMC): Young Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) makes things tough for thieves (Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern) who invade his house in this 1990 family favorite.
“Hollywood Game Night” (10 p.m. Monday, NBC): Host Jane Lynch returns with a special holiday edition of the contest, with Ray Romano, Rachel Bilson (“Hart of Dixie”), and spouses Andy Roddick and Brooklyn Decker among the celebrity players.
“White Christmas” (2 p.m. Monday; 12:15 a.m. Tuesday, AMC): Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye make a delightful team in the 1954 movie classic infused with Irving Berlin songs.
“Shrek the Halls” (8 p.m. Monday, ABC): It’s holiday time for the ogre (voiced again by Mike Myers), Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz), Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and their friends in this repeat of an animated special.
“The Great Christmas Light Fight” (9 p.m. Monday, ABC): Who’s decorated their house best this year? The winner – as far as this limited series goes – is determined in the finale.
“The Polar Express” (8 p.m. Monday, ABC Family): Thanks to motion-capture animation, Tom Hanks plays several roles in director Robert Zemeckis’ genuinely magical 2004 version of the Chris Van Allsburg book.
“A Christmas Carol” (1:15 p.m. Tuesday, Turner Classic Movies): Reginald Owen makes one of the screen’s very best Scrooges in this 1938 rendering of the Charles Dickens classic.
“It’s a Wonderful Life” (8 p.m. Tuesday, NBC): Another holiday movie tradition, director Frank Capra’s 1946 classic stars James Stewart as seemingly hapless George Bailey, whose plight helps angel Clarence (Henry Travers) earn his wings.
“A Christmas Story” (Tuesday, TBS): What would Christmas be without the annual 24-hour marathon of Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) dreaming of getting a Red Ryder BB gun? Darren McGavin and Melinda Dillon play his parents in the richly nostalgic, Jean Shepherd-inspired 1983 movie.
“Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (8 p.m. Tuesday, ABC): Whether you prefer your Grinch animated or live action, you can have either or both this Christmas Eve. The cartoon classic narrated by Boris Karloff is followed by the Ron Howard-directed 2000 movie starring Jim Carrey.
“Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featuring Alfie Boe and Tom Brokaw” (8 p.m. Tuesday, PBS): Veteran newsman Brokaw hosts as singer Boe performs with the choir in an encore of a program recorded in Salt Lake City.
“Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade” (10 a.m. Wednesday, ABC): Music and merriment fill the tourist destinations again, as Mickey Mouse and company offer their yuletide best.