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TV stations pack the lineup with Christmas spirit

Posted 12:00am on Monday, Dec. 02, 2013

So much Christmas on television. Only so many hours in a day.

In the weeks to come, at practically any time of day or night, you can find festive holiday-themed programming somewhere on the TV landscape.

In addition to nearly a dozen new Christmas movies still to premiere this month on channels such as Lifetime and the Hallmark Channel, there are myriad holiday specials and series episodes on the schedule.

If you pick a gem, it’s a great way to get into the ’tis-the-season spirit.

The only problem: With all this wall-to-wall cheer, White Christmas runs the risk of morphing into white noise. It can wear on your nerves, make you grumpy and turn you into — dare we say it? — a Grinch.

So to help cut through the clutter and prevent a case of Christmas TV fatigue, we’ve looked over the lineup and made a list. And yes, we checked it twice.

Very merry movies

Santa Switch (7 p.m. Saturday, Hallmark Channel): An out-of-work dad who’s facing divorce wants to give his kids the expensive holiday he never had. Suddenly, a chance encounter and a little magic turns him into Santa Claus. Starring Ethan Erickson, Sean Astin and Anne Dudek.

Christmas in the City (7 p.m. Saturday, Lifetime): The new consultant at Wolmans ruins the Christmas spirit throughout the department store by replacing Santa with a male underwear model. It’s up to Wendy, a new employee and young mom, to save the day. Starring Ashley Williams and Ashanti.

Holidaze (7 p.m. Sunday, ABC Family): A corporate workaholic is sent to her sleepy hometown at Christmas to persuade the reluctant townspeople to build a new discount store. While there, she reconnects with family and her childhood sweetheart. Starring Jennie Garth and Cameron Mathison.

Christmas Belle (8 p.m. Sunday, ION): Belle goes on a holiday-season business trip with an unpleasant client, but as the two spend more time together, a budding relationship starts to form. That’s when her longtime boyfriend arrives, complicating matters. Starring Haylie Duff and Nicholas Gonzalez.

Marry Me for Christmas (6 p.m. Dec. 14, UP TV): A hard-charging New York ad exec has it all — except that, to her family’s disappointment, she’s still single. This year, to quiet the comments, she arrives to visit her boisterous family with a fake fiance. Starring Malinda Williams and Brad James.

Hats Off to Christmas! (7 p.m. Dec. 14, Hallmark Channel): A widowed mother who manages a small-town Christmas hat shop must train a hotshot New York business consultant for a job she had wanted. Will their initially icy relationship lead to romance? Starring Haylie Duff and Antonio Cupo.

Christmas on the Bayou (7 p.m. Dec. 14, Lifetime): When a big-city marketing exec discovers that her workaholic ways are taking a toll on her son, she decides to spend Christmas with him and his grandmother in her bayou hometown. Starring Hilarie Burton, Tyler Hilton and Markie Post.

A Snow Globe Christmas (9 p.m. Dec. 14, Lifetime): A cynical television executive complains that the sickly-sweet Christmas movies she produces aren’t like real life. Then she hits her head and awakens in a perfect snow-globelike small town. Starring Alicia Witt and Donald Faison.

Finding Christmas (7 p.m. Dec. 15, Hallmark Channel): When a New York City ad exec and a small-town North Carolina resident swap homes for the holidays, four unlucky-in-love people find out about Christmas magic. Starring Tricia Helfer, JT Hodges, Mark Lutz and Cristina Rosato.

All I Want for Christmas (8 p.m. Dec. 15, ION): An inattentive business executive receives an extraordinary gift from one of Santa’s helpers: a Christmas pin that allows her to hear every unspoken thought of anyone she encounters. Starring Melissa Sagemiller, Brad Rowe and Tom Arnold.

Lights, camera, Christmas!

Christmas in Rockefeller Center (7 p.m. Wednesday, NBC): New York celebrates the lighting of the world’s most famous Christmas tree for the 81st time. Musical guests include Mary J. Blige, Toni Braxton, Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson, Goo Goo Dolls, Ariana Grande and Jewel.

The Great Christmas Light Fight (8 p.m. Monday, ABC): Leave it to reality TV to turn Christmas cheer into a competition. Twenty families from across America will decorate their homes to the extreme, with big-dollar prizes going to those with displays that would make even Clark Griswold envious.

Christmas carolers

CMA Country Christmas (8 p.m. Monday, ABC): Country music’s top stars perform holiday songs and share holiday memories. Host Jennifer Nettles is joined by Trace Adkins, Luke Bryan, Sheryl Crow, Lucy Hale, Jake Owen, Kellie Pickler, Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker and Michael W. Smith.

Kelly Clarkson’s Cautionary Christmas Music Tale (9 p.m. Dec. 11, NBC): The Grammy-winning North Texan and her guests celebrate the season with a comedic musical take on a traditional Christmas morality tale. Musical guests include Blake Shelton, Reba McEntire and Trisha Yearwood.

A Hollywood Christmas at the Grove (9 p.m. Dec. 14, KTXA/Channel 21): This holiday special set at The Grove in Los Angeles, features performances by Mary J. Blige, Toni Braxton, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Gavin DeGraw, CeeLo Green, Il Volo and Jewel.

A Home for the Holidays (7 p.m. Dec. 18, CBS): The 15th annual special allows Celine Dion, the host, to plug her November album, Loved Me Back to Life, while celebrating the joys of adoption. Musical guests include Ne-Yo and Chris Young.

Michael Buble’s 3rd Annual Christmas Special (9 p.m. Dec. 18, NBC): The Grammy-winning singer performs holiday standards (such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, I’ll Be Home for Christmas and Let It Snow) alongside Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige and Cookie Monster.

Christmas in Washington (7 p.m. Dec. 20, TNT): Hugh Jackman hosts the annual special from the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Musical guests include Backstreet Boys, Sheryl Crow, Anna Kendrick, Janelle Monae and Pat Monahan.

’Tis the season sitcoms (and dramas)

Dads (7 p.m. Tuesday, Fox): When Eli and Warner fire an employee before the holiday season, the ex-game designer gets revenge by including offensive words in their family-friendly Christmas game.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Fox): Jake is assigned to protect Holt when death threats are sent his way; Amy attempts to coordinate a Christmas photo for the squad.

The Mindy Project (8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Fox): Mindy throws a Christmas party in an attempt to spend time with Cliff, a lawyer whom she has a crush on, but everything goes wrong.

Glee (8 p.m. Thursday,Fox): Members of New Directions audition for roles in McKinley’s living Nativity scene. Meanwhile, in New York, Rachel, Kurt and Santana work as Santa’s elves at a mall.

The Goldbergs (8 p.m. Dec. 10, ABC): Barry signs up for the school’s holiday talent show, but the school doesn’t approve of karate as a talent; Pops coerces Erica to perform in the talent show, too.

Trophy Wife (8:30 p.m. Dec. 10, ABC): Pete, Katie, Diane and Jackie wake up Christmas morning hung over, find the house in disaster and recount the events of Christmas Eve.

The Middle (7 p.m. Dec. 11, ABC): Sue’s extreme allergic reaction to the Christmas tree threatens to ruin her holiday; Brick lies to the school about his Christmas wrapping-paper sales.

Back in the Game (7:30 p.m. Dec. 11, ABC): Terry tries to plan a special family Christmas, but The Cannon chooses to spend the holiday with his old war buddies instead.

Modern Family (8 p.m. Dec. 11, ABC): Jay takes Manny out to cut down their own Christmas tree; Mitchell is forced to do last-minute shopping when he and Cam get Lily the wrong gift.

Super Fun Night (8:30 p.m. Dec. 11, ABC): Richard reluctantly drives Kimmie, Marika and Helen-Alice to a remote cut-your-own tree lot upstate and the trip goes horribly wrong.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (9 p.m. Dec. 11, CBS): The CSI team investigates when a man is murdered at an elaborate holiday party, complete with real snow and live reindeer.

The Millers (7:30 p.m. Dec. 12, CBS): When Carol’s overbearing parents announce they’re coming to visit for Christmas, Carol tries to keep them from finding out about her marital breakup.

Two and a Half Men (8:30 p.m. Dec. 12, CBS): Walden helps Jenny get a second date with a one-night stand; Alan’s transgender girlfriend’s ex-wife hits on him at Christmas.

The Michael J. Fox Show (8:30 p.m. Dec. 12, NBC): Mike and Annie’s awesome gift exchange hits a snag when Mike learns he has to anchor the news on Christmas Eve.

Last Man Standing (7 p.m. Dec. 13, ABC): Mandy plays Santa by anonymously arranging a holiday surprise for Blanca, the Baxters’ housekeeper; Vanessa gives Boyd a “magical” Elf doll.

The Neighbors (7:30 p.m. Dec. 13, ABC): Larry goes way over the top when getting Christmas gifts for Debbie’s kids; Reggie and Amber struggle with getting each other the perfect gift.

Raising Hope (8 p.m. Dec. 13, Fox): The town blames Burt for ruining Christmas when, as interim mayor, he is forced to cancel the Natesville Christmas Festival.

Grimm (8 p.m. Dec. 13, NBC): After a string of delinquent teens goes missing, an old Wesen tale leads to the suspect: an evil Santa who brings more than just a lump of coal to those who are naughty.

The Simpsons (7 p.m. Dec. 15, Fox): Springfield is inundated with holiday revelers after the nuclear power plant springs a radiation leak, causing snow to fall all over town.

Bob’s Burgers (7:30 p.m. Dec. 15, Fox): After purchasing a last-minute tree, the Belcher family spends Christmas Eve trying to outrun a truck shaped like a giant candy cane.

Family Guy (8 p.m. Dec. 15, Fox): Peter infuses Lois’ dad with the holiday spirit, while Stewie learns the meaning of confession.

American Dad (8:30 p.m. Dec. 15, Fox): Grandpa Jack recounts the story of how, as a boy, he was captured by the legendary Minstrel Krampus, a demon that punishes naughty children on Christmas.

NCIS (7 p.m. Dec. 17, CBS): After a mysterious illness strikes children from military families, Gibbs and the team investigate to find a cure before the holidays.

Kirstie (9 p.m. Dec. 18, TV Land): Arlo surprises Maddie with a Christmas gift that she cannot return: a visit from her estranged mother.

The Exes (9:30 p.m. Dec. 18, TV Land): While the gang prepares for its first Christmas together, Holly must decide between spending the holiday with her friends or the perfect guy.

Unscripted Christmas

Porter Ridge (9 p.m. Tuesday, Discovery): When the Porter Ridge gang and Dog Killer Ridge crew plan Christmas parties, a competition grows as to which ridge will have the more spectacular party.

The Legend of Shelby the Swamp Man (9 p.m. Tuesday, History): The Swamp Man delivers homegrown gifts from the swamp to everyone on his list in “A Very Shelby Christmas.”

Celebrity Holiday Homes (7 p.m. Dec. 6, HGTV): Three designers create holiday decor for celebrity guests Ali Sweeney, Jo Dee Messina and Wayne Brady.

My Crazy Obsession (8 p.m. Saturday, TLC): Four Christmas fanatics who are always in the holiday spirit reveal the amount of time, money and effort they put into their obsessions.

Duck Dynasty (9 p.m. Dec. 11, A&E): The Robertsons plan to perform a live Nativity for the church at Christmas, so the wives organize rehearsals to ensure that the event is a success.

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