As a Doctor Who fan, my favorite part of Christmas Day is sitting down to watch the annual holiday special. Generally, the Christmas special is when all of Doctor Who's super-important bits take place. You know — the romantic breakthroughs, the armies of evil alien species swarming the earth, the old characters coming back for a reunion. The Christmas episode is also almost always more emotional than usual, because isn't everything during the holidays?
During the holiday season, we expect our TV shows to be whimsical, exciting, and somewhat special. And that's what specials are for. In addition to your usual Love Actually screening, these are the one-off holiday shows to put on your watching schedule.
Psych: The Movie: Psych fans, rejoice. Psych ended after eight seasons in 2014, but with this two-hour special, the famous fake psychic detective and his partner-in-crime are back. (Thursday, December 7 at 8 p.m. ET on USA)
Gwen Stefani’s You Make It Feel Like Christmas: Stefani will be performing songs off her new Christmas album. Who wants to bet Blake Shelton will turn up? (Tuesday, December 12 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC)
Golden Globes 75th Anniversary Special: Technically, this celebration of the Golden Globes isn't Christmas themed – but it certainly will be festive. All pop culture junkies should tune in to watch Will & Grace's Debra Messing and Eric McCormack relive the award show's most memorable moments, as well as conduct interviews with other celebrities. (Wednesday, December 13 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC).
Jingle Ball Tour: Taylor Swift. Demi Lovato. Liam Payne. Fifth Harmony. Kesha. Do you need any more convincing? Catch them all, and more, during this airing of the 2017 iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour in Los Angeles. (Thursday, December 14 at 8 p.m. ET on the CW).
Taraji’s White Hot Holidays: For the third year in a row, Taraji P. Henson will be hosting her Fox holiday special. This time around, expect appearances from Jussie Smollett, Fergie, Ciara, Chaka Khan, the Ying Yang Twins, Leslie Odom Jr., Salt-n-Pepa, Niecy Nash, Tituss Burgess, Taye Diggs, and Jay Pharoah. (Thursday, Dec. 14 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox)
Showtime at the Apollo: Christmas: Have you ever wanted to see Snoop Dogg perform his favorite Christmas songs? Now you get to! Snoop will be joined by Boyz II Men, DMX, and Fifth Harmony on the hallowed Apollo stage. Stick around after Taraji's White Hot Holidays. (Thursday, December 14 at 9 p.m. ET on Fox)
A Christmas Story Live! Once again, a network channel is attempting to bring the magic of live theater, right to your living room. This three-hour special sets the classic movie, A Christmas Story, to music – and stars Maya Rudolph. (Sunday, December 17 at 7 p.m. ET on Fox)
Remy & Papoose: A Merry Mackie Holiday: This hour-long special follows Remy Ma and Papoose's quest to throw a rager of a holiday party for their friends and family. (Monday, December 18 at 9 p.m. ET on VH1)
The Great British Baking Show: Christmas Masterclass: In which Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, judges of the Great British Baking Show, walk you through the steps of baking Christmas treats. Is there anything more you could want out of life? (Friday, December 22 at 8 p.m. ET on PBS)
I Love Lucy Christmas Special: Watch two colorized episodes of I Love Lucy. (Friday, December 22 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS)
Last Tango in Halifax Holiday Special: For the first time in two years, fans of this soapy, charming love story will get to catch up with the Buttershaw family again. In this two-part special, you'll see what happened to the Buttershaws after the finale. (Sunday, December 17 & Sunday, December 24 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS).
It's a Wonderful Life: If watching It's a Wonderful Life is part of your holiday tradition, then here's where to catch it. (Sunday, December 24 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC)
Disney Parks Magical Christmas Celebration: Visitors to Disney World on Christmas Day have to wade through wall-to-wall crowds. Thanks to this special, you can experience the parade, performances, and incredible décor all from your couch. (Christmas Day at 10 a.m. ET/ 9 a.m. PT on ABC).
Call the Midwife Holiday Special: This year's special takes place during the winter of 1963, which plunged the U.K. into the coldest temperatures it had seen for 300 years. The nuns must care for their patients in this dangerously inclement weather. (Christmas Day at 9 p.m. ET on PBS)
Doctor Who Christmas Special: It's officially the Twelfth Doctor's (Peter Capaldi) last adventure. By the end of "Twice Upon a Time," Jodie Whittaker will have taken the reigns as the Doctor's next incarnation. (Christmas Day at 9 p.m. ET on BBC America)
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