7 Holiday TV Programming Staples You Can Always Count On

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It’s finally November, so it’s time to start thinking about all of that reliable holiday TV programming we look forward to every year, right?

From marathons and specials to month-long lineups, there’s more than enough festivity to get you in the spirit. Because is it really the most wonderful time of the year without the movies and shows to prove it?

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Martina McBride, Pentatonix, and Rita Ora are also expected to perform.

Below, we’re taking a look at seven holiday programming staples you can always count on each year. Of course, it’s a little early to confirm that all of them will take place, but there’s a good chance.

Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas

Joy Holbrook is an intuitive market researcher in DC who has captured the attention of the account’s CEO and is about to get a sweet promotion, just in time for the holidays. She receives an urgent phone call from home and she rushes back to Crystal Falls, NC to help her Aunt recover from surgery and is reunited with her former crush, Ben. To keep her Aunt focused on healing, Joy volunteers to take Ruby’s place with the town’s legendary baking competition, the “Cookie Crawl,” much to the amusement of Ben who knows Joy has absolutely no idea of the Herculean task before her. Though Joy initially refuses Ben’s attempts to “co-captain,” she begins to soften and let him in, all the while remembering that there truly is no place like home. Photo: Danielle Panabaker, Matt Long Credit: Copyright 2018 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Eike Schroter

Without fail, every year Hallmark offers viewers a slew of new holiday films on both Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Bask in the glow of holiday cheer all through November and December — the 2018 slate has already been revealed, promising viewers a chance to catch its largest lineup since beginning the tradition began over 17 years ago.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade


A true American tradition, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade honors the holiday while also kicking off the Christmas season with the appearance of Santa in his sleigh. And with those familiar floats and exciting live performances, there’s plenty of entertainment for the whole family. This year’s festivities are set to take place Thursday, November 22, beginning at 9am/8c on NBC, featuring performances by John Legend, Diana Ross, and more.

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For those of us who cannot get enough of our favorite movies, Freeform is adding another month of holiday fun!

Christmas in Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting

CHRISTMAS IN ROCKEFELLER CENTER -- Pictured: Environmental during the 2017 Christmas In Rockefeller Center -- (Photo by: Eric Liebowitz/NBC)

Broadcast live from Rockefeller Center, the tree lighting ceremony always includes some spectacular performances ahead of the big moment. It usually follows the big Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade by a few days, and this year’s live ceremony will take place Wednesday, November 28, on NBC. A specific time has not been revealed, but will be available soon.

Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas

This annual event features a month full of true holiday movies, including such favorites as Will Ferrell’s Elf. Between original films like the upcoming Life Size sequel on Sunday, December 2, and classics like Home Alone and The Santa Clause, this should keep you busy for the full 25 days.

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Stars from 'Fuller House,' 'The Flash,' 'One Tree Hill' and more are set to appear.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Typically airing in December on ABC, the classic film about Charlie Brown and friends is one of those staples that really makes it feel like the holidays. After all, as Charlie Brown searches for the true meaning of Christmas, it’s not hard to find it yourself.

It’s A Wonderful Life

This one is usually played a few times around the holidays, including Christmas Eve on NBC. The 1946 Frank Capra film has stood the test of time, sharing the story of George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) and reminding us to cherish the moments we have with the people we love. Isn’t that the true meaning of the holidays?

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Plus, casts members from 'Sister, Sister,' '7th Heaven,' 'The Cosby Show,' and more appear in some these special TV movies.

A Christmas Story Marathon

This cult classic usually runs from Christmas Eve through Christmas Day on either TBS, TNT, or both networks in one of the longest running holiday marathons. Over and over, you can experience one child’s wish to receive a BB gun for Christmas — and all of the shenanigans that occur along his quest.