The most special TV specials this holiday season

USA TODAY - There's something delightful about curling up in front of the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate to watch those holiday specials — both the perennial classics and new additions.

So what should you make sure is on your schedule for holiday viewing this year?

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, Nov. 22 (Wednesday at 8 ET/PT) (ABC)

As you get your traditional Thanksgiving meal prepped, take a little time to relax with this Charlie Brown special. The classic cartoon features Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts characters as they try to have a special meal but end up eating toast and popcorn made by Snoopy.

DreamWorks Trolls Holiday, Nov. 24 (Friday at 8:30 ET/PT) (NBC)

Poppy, the eternally optimistic Troll queen, tries to bring a new holiday to Bergen Town in this special. But are the Bergens ready to take on a new holiday tradition? If you’re not sure about trying something new, start the night off with the Chuck Jones cartoon How the Grinch Stole Christmas (8 ET/PT). 

Robbie the Reindeer, Nov. 25 (Saturday at 8 ET/PT) (CBS)

Two episodes celebrate the adventures of Robbie, a reindeer voiced by Ben Stiller. In the first, “Hooves of Fire,” Robbie competes in the Reindeer Races to get a spot pulling Santa’s sleigh. In the second, “Legend of the Lost Tribe,” he has to stop Blitzen (Hugh Grant) from building a reindeer theme park.

Wrapped Up in Christmas, Nov. 25 (Saturday at 8 ET/PT) (Lifetime)

Heather is the manager of a local mall and in charge of cancelling the leases of underperforming stores. So it's complicated when she falls for Ryan, a man trying to save his aunt's failing toy shop. That could really dampen their new Christmas love.

The Christmas Train, Nov. 25 (Saturday at 8 ET/PT) (Hallmark)

Hallmark's new movie, based on David Baldacci's novel, follows Dermot Mulroney as a journalist on a cross-country train trip at Christmas. Danny Glover, Joan Cusack  and Kimberly Williams-Paisley co-star.

Switched for Christmas, Nov. 26 (Sunday at 8 ET/PT) (Hallmark)

Twin sisters at a pre-Christmas lunch envy each other's lives. So why not swap places until Christmas Day? Candace Cameron Bure plays Kate and Chris, who discover new things about themselves and each other by switching up their normal lives.

A Very Merry Toy Store, Nov. 26 (Sunday at 8 ET/PT) (Lifetime)

Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez play toy-store owners Connie and Will, whose family rivalry has gone back generations. But when a new big-box store opens right before Christmas, they band together to save both of their shops.

CMA Country Christmas, Nov. 27 (Monday at 8 ET/PT) (ABC)

Reba McEntire hosts this country music tradition, with performances by Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Alan Jackson, Lady Antebellum and Little Big Town. McEntire also performs a song from her new album My Kind of Christmas.

A Very Pentatonix Christmas, Nov. 27 (Monday at 10 ET/PT) (NBC)

The a cappella group returns to NBC for its second holiday special. The group is slated to duet with singer Jennifer Hudson and welcome Jay Leno.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Nov. 28 (Tuesday at 8 ET/PT) (CBS)

This classic special, narrated by Burl Ives, tells the story of a reindeer who is called upon to step up with his shiny red nose to help Santa deliver his gifts. (And make sure the kids are in bed for the more recent annual tradition, The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show,  (10 ET/PT).

85th annual Christmas in Rockefeller Center, Nov. 29 (Wednesday, at 8 ET/PT) (NBC)

There is something special about New York City at Christmas, particularly with an extra-large tree in the middle of a major tourist spot. The annual lighting ceremony includes performances by Pentatonix, Jennifer Nettles, Gwen Stefani and The Tenors.

A Charlie Brown Christmas, Nov. 30 (Thursday at 8 ET/PT) (ABC)

Charlie Brown and his little Christmas tree return in this annual cartoon classic. Charlie takes over directing duties for the school Christmas pageant with less-than-stellar results and needs to be reminded about the true meaning of the season.

The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration, Nov. 30 (Thursday at 9 ET/PT) (ABC)

Frozen stars Kirsten Bell and Idina Menzel perform a new song, “When We’re Together,” from the upcoming Disney short Olaf’s Frozen Adventure. The celebration also includes performances from Joey McIntyre, Lea Michele, Ciara, Darius Rucker, Fifth Harmony and Hanson. And Disney will give viewers a peek at the new Star Wars-themed lands for Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings: Holiday Magic, Dec. 11 (Monday at 8 ET/PT) (Freeform)

The new series won't debut until 2018, but viewers can get a sneak peek with this special holiday edition. Watch as Disney's cameras get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to pull off a winter wonderland wedding at Disney World and a proposal in Hawaii.

Gwen Stefani’s You Make It Feel Like Christmas, Dec. 12 (Tuesday at 9 ET/PT) (NBC)

The Voice judge and No Doubt singer hosts her first Christmas special, featuring holiday-themed sketches, music performances and a guest appearance by her boyfriend and fellow Voice judge, Blake Shelton.

Taraji’s White Hot Holidays, Dec. 14 (Thursday at 8 ET/PT) (Fox)

Empire star Taraji P. Henson hosts her  latest special with musical performances from artists including Chaka Khan and Salt-N-Pepa, and guests Taye Diggs and Jay Pharoah. The Christmas favorite will be followed by a holiday-themed Showtime at the Apollo (9 E/PT).

How Murray Saved Christmas, Dec. 24 (Sunday at 7:30 ET/PT) (NBC)

When Santa gets injured, a cranky diner owner named Murray has to step in to deliver the bearded one’s presents on Christmas Eve. The animated special features the voices of Jerry Stiller, Sean Hayes, Jason Alexander, John Ratzenberger and Dennis Haysbert.

It’s a Wonderful Life, Dec. 24 (Sunday at 8 ET/PT) (NBC)

Grab some cocoa and settle in for this classic Christmas movie. After a series of unfortunate events befalling his building and loan business, a suicidal George Bailey discovers what it would be like if he had never existed, with some help from a guardian angel named Clarence. The film stars Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed and Henry Travers as the angel who gets his wings.


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