Here’s the game plan, people: Wake up early on Thanksgiving Day. That way, you can catch all of the “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” (KOB-4 9 a.m.). Something about seeing Al Roker in a parka really fires up one’s appetite. Follow that with a little football. The first game is “Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions” (KASA-2 10:30 p.m.) Given that Green Bay is undefeated, the game will probably suck, so head on over to “The National Dog Show” (KOB-4 12 p.m.) around halftime and start rooting for your favorite Pomeranian instead. After the announcement of Best in Show, you can catch more football with “Miami Dolphins at Dallas Cowboys” (KRQE-13 2 p.m.).
That gives you a big chunk of afternoon time in which to eat your turkey/ham/goose/whatever and engage in a little chitchat with long-unseen family members. Don’t get too logey, though, because you’ve got some major decisions to make once prime time hits at 7 p.m. For the kids, there’s “Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas” (KASA-2 7 p.m.), in which the Paleolithic pals head to the North Pole to visit Santa. (Seriously? Was Santa delivering Cabbage Patch dolls to the cavemen at that point in history?) Personally, I’d direct the young’uns to the evergreen “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” (KOAT-7 7 p.m.). Design-minded adults might appreciate “Radio City Holiday” (HGTV 7 p.m.), in which Thom Filicia (“Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”) transforms the Grand Foyer of Radio City Music Hall into a holiday wonderland. (Although I should probably point out that Radio City Music Hall is neither home nor garden.) If you’re just plain sick of food by this point and want to see some destruction reigned upon the fruits of the fall harvest straining at your waistband, check out “Punkin Chunkin 2011” (Discovery 7 p.m.).
Once all the hard decisions of 7 p.m. have been made, head back to FOX for “Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown” (KASA-2 7:30 p.m.). This is the first new Peanuts special made since the deaths of creator Charles Schulz and animator Bill Melendez. “Holiday Inc.” (HGTV 8 p.m.) gets us back into the decorating, taking us to New York City landmarks, including the Time Warner Center, Lord & Taylor and Macy's on 34th Street, to show how they’re transformed for the holidays. Hopefully, your stomach is well settled by 8:30, because that’ll be time for “A Very Gaga Thanksgiving” (KOAT-7 8:30 p.m.) Although this sounds like a “Saturday Night Live” sketch, it’s apparently an actual thing. Gaga talks with Katie Couric about her life, she sings a duet with Tony Bennett, she makes deep-fried turkey and waffles with chef Art Smith. ... Again, this is an actual thing, and not just something I made up.
And what better way to close out Turkey Day than the exact same way you started it out? “The 85th Anniversary of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” (KOB-4 9 p.m.) has NBC (and Al Roker, no doubt) look back on 85 years’ worth of giant balloons and marching bands. Happy Holidays!