LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's that most wonderful time of the TV year when we are visited again by the welcome ghosts of classic holiday programs past — hello again, Frosty the Snowman and even mean old Grinch!
But there are newcomers as well, with Mariah Carey, Bill Murray and an "Empire" variety special among them. Isn't it greedy to ask Santa for anything more?
Among the program highlights (check local listings for encore airings):
"Frosty the Snowman," 7 p.m. Saturday, CBS. The adventures of the snowman (voiced by Jackie Vernon) with the magical top hat and jolly soul, as narrated by Jimmy Durante.
"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," 7 p.m. Tuesday, CBS. The 1964 special in which Rudolph and buddies rescue Christmas, with narrator Burl Ives' dulcet tones an added bonus.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas," 8 p.m. Wednesday, NBC. The Dr. Seuss tale of a hostile hermit who threatens Who ville's joy is narrated by Boris Karloff, who also voices the dastardly Grinch.
"The Little Drummer Boy," 11 a.m. Dec. 6, ABC Family. Young Aaron, who can't afford to buy a present for baby Jesus, discovers that nothing is better than the gift of music.
"A Christmas Detour," 7 p.m. Saturday, Hallmark Channel. Candace Cameron Bure and Paul Greene star as two New York City-bound travelers rerouted to a Buffalo airport hotel and into unexpected territory.
"It's a Wonderful Life," 7 p.m. Dec. 5, NBC. Filmmaker Frank Capra's holiday fable starring James Stewart and Donna Reed.
"Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors," 8 p.m. Dec. 10, NBC. Alyvia Alyn Lind plays the country music legend as a child.
"A Christmas Story," 7 p.m. Dec. 24, TBS. A boy and a longedfor BB gun make for holiday cheer.
"Miracle on 34th Street," 6 p.m. Dec. 10, AMC. Santa Claus goes to court and a little girl stands by his story.
"White Christmas," 10:30 p.m. Dec. 10, AMC. Bing Crosby croons the title song and Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and VeraEllen add to the festivities at a struggling Vermont inn.
"A Christmas Melody," 7 p.m. Dec. 19, Hallmark Channel. Mariah Carey stars in and directed this story with music about a single mom (Lacey Chabert) forced to close her New York boutique, return to her Ohio hometown and face a former rival (Carey).
"It's Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown," 7 p.m. Monday, ABC. A celebration of the 50th anniversary of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" with performances by Kristen Chenoweth, Sarah McLachlan and Boyz II Men, followed at 8 p.m. by the digitally remastered 1965 animated special.
"CMA Country Christmas," 8 p.m. Thursday, ABC. Kelsea Ballerini, Jewel, Charles Kelley, Martina McBride, David Nail, Pentatonix, LeAnn Rimes and Darius Rucker join the musical celebration, with Jennifer Nettles as the host and the Grand Ole Opry House as the setting.
"A Very Murray Christmas," Dec. 4, Netflix. Bill Murray tips his hat to the holiday and classic variety shows with help from buddies including Michael Cera, George Clooney, Miley Cyrus, Amy Poehler, Chris Rock and, as director, Sofia Coppola.
"Taraji and Terrence's White Hot Holidays," 8 p.m. Dec. 9, Fox. "Empire" stars Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard host a music and variety special including performances of holiday songs by Mary J. Blige, John Legend, Jamie Foxx and others.