About Christmas TV History

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Where to Watch Christmas TV Programs in 2023

It's the most wonderful time of the year again! The Christmas TV movies have already begun airing, Christmas music is playing on local radio stations, the days are growing shorter, and the air outside is crisp.

The viewing options for Christmas movies and specials during November and December each year are plentiful. Even though this year's TV programs and movies are far fewer than usual because of the months-long writers' and actors' strike, there is still an abundance of yuletide entertainment. Let me help you with the details of where to find the best holiday programming for 2023. This is not an exhaustive list and new listings are still being released. However, this is where you will find the majority of new holiday programming to watch this year. 


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For many holiday movie fans, the Hallmark Channel is the first name in Christmas TV movies. This year, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries are debuting 40 new Christmas TV movies, alongside many previously released classics from their archives. If you didn't already know, the movie marathon has already begun--Hallmark started Friday, October 20th--and continues all day and all night through the end of December. Hallmark typically debuts their new holiday movies on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Hallmark Movies & Mysteries' new movies debut this year on Thursday nights. 


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The daily schedule of their holiday movies can be found on their website HERE.

HERE is the link to HMM daily schedule on their website.

If you don't have cable TV anymore, don't fret--Hallmark Christmas movies are now streaming on Peacock too, for a limited time.


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Lifetime is debuting 12 new Christmas TV movies in 2023 as well. Those new movies typically debut on Saturdays and Sundays each week until Christmas. This year I'm excited to see "Ladies of the '80s: A Divas Christmas" featuring Loni Anderson, Morgan Fairchild, Joan Van Ark, Linda Gray, Nicolette Sheridan, and Christopher Atkins. It debuts Dec. 2nd--I can't wait!

HERE is a link to a printable calendar for Lifetime's new movies this year.


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Freeform's 25 Days of Christmas block of holiday programming begins December 1st. Sadly, it looks like they aren't premiering any new content here again this year but the cable network will be airing the Home Alone movie trilogy, The Santa Clause movie trilogy, several Rankin/Bass animated classics, and the charming TV movie Eloise at Christmastime.

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For new Disney-produced content, you'll need to subscribe to Disney+. The best thing about the streaming platforms is that you can search their listings using 'Christmas' to discover new titles as well as older content available for viewing. Of course, that search can be done year round too! This year, I'm looking forward to watching season 2 of The Santa Clauses and seeing the new movie Dashing Through the Snow. It stars Lil Rel Howery and Ludacris. As a die-hard sci-fi fan, I'll be watching the new Doctor Who holiday special on Disney+ too (it used to air on BBC America).


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I'm also looking forward to the annual holiday music concert CMA Country Christmas airing on ABC, and elsewhere. CMA Country Christmas airs on ABC on Dec. 14th. Speaking of annual holiday concerts, I never miss Christmas in Rockefeller Center which airs on NBC each year (on the first Wednesday after Thanksgiving) on Nov. 29th. It's a live concert so it goes on rain, snow, or sleet! This concert always features the recording artists with a new Christmas album out and this year is no different--Cher is scheduled to perform! That same night after the New York City concert is another NBC music special-- Christmas at Graceland, taped at Elvis Presley's former home-turned-museum in Memphis, Tennessee. NBC is also featuring another concert, later on Dec. 7th--Christmas at the Opry, hosted by country music's own Wynonna. CBS is also featuring a holiday music concert on Dec. 9th--Merry Soulful Christmas



The 1964 animated TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer will air on CBS on Monday, Nov. 27th. (it will no doubt air again closer to Christmas too). The Grinch and Shrek the Halls will air on NBC on Nov. 30th, and Robbie the Reindeer and Reindeer in Here are on CBS on Dec. 2nd. I believe AMC's holiday programming block of Best Christmas Ever will also be scheduling the deeper-cuts of Rankin/Bass' animated holiday programs, as usual.

Stay close to my social media links for more announcements about fantastic holiday programming. If you'd like reminders of the new Christmas TV movie debuts and other exciting holiday TV  programming, most prominently at Instagram: @TistheSeasonTV.  I'm also on TikTok as well--also under the name Tis the Season TV.

Where on the metaphorical television dial do you watch your favorite Christmas movies and specials?  Feel free to share in the comments below.


Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for an upcoming release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com