The Gift of TV
Christmas around the dial
Face it: You’re probably not going to get what you want for Christmas this year. You’re just going to end up with a bunch more useless stuff that will be used to crowd your already overstuffed shelves until your next yard sale.
But not to worry. TV has got what you want this Christmas. Just take a spin around the dial this Dec. 25 and you’re sure to find something that fits you just right.
If, for example, you’re a morning person, you can start off the day with the “Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade” (KOAT-7 9 a.m.) live from Disney World. Regis Philbin, Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest will be hosting. What more could you ask for? How about performances by Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, Jessica Simpson, the newly reformed group Menudo and ... wait for it ... the cast of High School Musical! What’s that? You’re not 11 years old? Sorry. How about “Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir” (KNME-5 9 a.m.)? It may not have Ashley Tisdale and her new nose, but it does feature Norwegian singer Sissel and it is Mitt Romney approved.
Of course, one of the most cherished TV traditions is the all-day holiday marathon of reruns. No matter what you’re into, cable TV has got something just for you. Among the day-long marathons littering the idiot box on Christmas Day are “Project Runway” (Bravo), “Crossing Jordan” (A&E), “UFO Files” (History), “Ninja Warrior” (G4), “Stargate SG-1” (Sci-Fi), “Survivorman” (Discovery), “Miami Ink” (TLC), “Wild Kingdom” (Animal Planet), “Food Heavens” (Travel Channel), “The Hills” (MTV) and “Monster Jams” (Speed). A couple networks have opted to go with the “single movie” marathon. At the top of the list is TBS’ annual “24 Hours of A Christmas Story” which begins at 6 p.m. on Dec. 24 and runs continuously throughout Christmas Day. USA Network tries to jumpstart a tradition by airing Elf with Will Ferrell from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. And for inexplicable reasons, FX is airing Robots for 24 hours straight starting at 5 p.m. Christmas Eve. A holiday classic it ain’t.
If you really want to get traditional, you could do worse than “The Nutcracker with Mikhail Baryshnikov” (KNME-5 12 p.m.). If you wanna go regional, PBS can help out with a double feature of seasonal “Colores!” episodes including “Southwest Christmas” (KNME-5 7 p.m.) and “A Christmas Tour of New Mexico’s Ancient Churches” (KNME-5 8 p.m.). If you’re the religious type, there’s always 1961’s King of Kings (TCM 6 p.m.) and 1965’s The Greatest Story Ever Told (TCM 9 p.m.). If you really hate Christmas, you could tune in the cynical comedy Bad Santa (Comedy Central 8 p.m.). If you’d rather ignore the holiday altogether and watch sports, there’s an NBA doubleheader on ABC, starting with Miami Heat at Cleveland Cavaliers (KOAT-7 12:30 p.m.) and Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Lakers (KOAT-7 3 p.m.)
Me, I’ll be snuggled up on the couch watching a seven-hour marathon of “Astro Boy” episodes from the ’60s on Cartoon Network starting at midnight. It’s just what I wanted! How did TV know?