The 16 Christmas Specials You’ll Want To Watch This Holiday Season

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon.
The holiday TV season is starting very, very early in 2019. As in Freeform is premiering Wrap Battle, a series about competitive gift wrapping, days before Thanksgiving early. From there, viewers will be bombarded with dozens of yuletide movies, specials, and shows all the way up until Christmas Day on Wednesday, December 25
There is some marquee programming everyone knows to look out for, like NBC’s annual Christmas in Rockefeller Center tree-lighting special or the CW’s yearly broadcast of the iHeartRadio Jingle Bell concert (this year with Taylor Swift!). But, as Peak TV continues to explode, there is also a lot of streaming content, from Netflix’s third installment of the Christmas Prince saga to Amazon Prime’s Kacey Musgraves holiday spectacular
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Even Taylor Swift’s boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, is getting into the booming Christmas television business with an FX miniseries. 
To help you stay organized this season, we made a full schedule of every holiday special, show, and movie you’ll actually want to watch. Keep reading for your complete guide, including premiere dates and plot summaries. 

Wrap Battle (Freeform) 

Season: 1
Premiere date: Monday, November 25 at 9 p.m. ET 
Every day, we get a new lifestyle competition series. Wrap Battle is now our most distinctly holiday-themed entry. The Freeform series follows nine contestants as they fight to prove they are the supreme holiday gift wrapper around. 
Vanderpump Rules’ Lala Kent, Grown-ish star//celebrity son Diggy Simmons, and Good Trouble’s Sherry Cola will all appear as guest judges. 

The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration (ABC) 

Premiere date: Thursday, November 28 at 8 p.m. ET 
Disney World is always festive, but the amusement park kicks things up a notch for the holiday season. Magical Holiday Celebration gives you a glimpse inside that ultra merry-making.

The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show (Amazon Prime) 

Premiere date: Friday, November 29 at 12 a.m. ET 
If you need some Christmas magic, you’ll find it in Kacey Musgraves’ Amazon Prime special. The 44-minute holiday extravaganza melds all your favorite classic Christmas songs with some Musgrave originals, tons of celebrity guests, and a mind blowing number of fantastic outfit changes. 
Oh yeah, Schitt’s Creek fave Dan Levy smirks the whole way through Christmas as a shady narrator. Moira Rose (Catherine O'Hara) would be so proud.
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Sugar Rush Christmas (Netflix) 

Season: 1
Premiere date: Friday, November 29 at 3 a.m. ET 
Nailed It! isn’t the only Netflix competition series allowed to get in the holiday spirit. Sugar Rush is basically Nailed It with competent bakers. So if you actually wanted to be dazzled by Christmas confections — rather than horrified — this is your show. 

The Great Christmas Light Fight (ABC) 

Season: 7
Premiere date: Monday, December 2 at 8 p.m. ET 
Cul de sacs across American have made holiday decorating a cold war competition for decades. Great Christmas Light Fight blows that attitude up to its natural, over-the-top conclusion, pitting heavyweight decorator against heavyweight decorator for a gigantic cash prize. 

87th Annual Christmas in Rockefeller Center (NBC)

Premiere date: Wednesday, December 4 at 8 p.m. ET 
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas — particularly when New York’s favorite tree goes up in Rockefeller Center. Prepare for all the pomp and circumstance that comes with it.

Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas (Freeform) 

Premiere date: Wednesday, December 4 at 9 p.m. ET 
You’re going to watch Ghosting because it features one of the most gorgeous romantic duos of the 2019 holiday TV season: The Bold Type’s Aisha Dee and Insecure bae Kendrick Sampson. The plot is secondary. But if you really want to understand what the Freeform holiday movie is about, know it follows one woman (Dee) who suddenly dies after the perfect date. Now, she’s trapped on Earth as a ghost. 
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What bit of Christmas magic will set her free? 

The Moodys (FOX) 

Season: 1
Premiere date: Wednesday, December 4 at 9 p.m. ET 
If you want to feel much better about your own dysfunctional family for the holidays, here comes The Moodys. The adaptation of an Aussie comedy of the same name will run for three nights on FOX. 

A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby (Netflix) 

Premiere date: Thursday, December 5 at 3 a.m. ET 
It’s not the holidays on Netflix until Rose McIver has to solve a mystery as Amber, queen of Aldovia. This time around, a pregnant Amber must track down a stolen international treaty before a curse ruins her unborn child’s life forever. You know, normal Christmas stuff. 

Same Time, Next Christmas (ABC) 

Premiere date: Thursday, December 5 at 9 p.m. ET 
Did you know that Lea Michele has an ABC holiday movie? Well, now you do. Same Time, Next Christmas follows Michele’s Olivia Anderson as she reconnects with her childhood crush (Younger’s Charles Michael Davis) during a family Christmas vacation to Hawaii. 
The only thing standing in this would-be couple’s way? Olivia’s cutie boyfriend (Bryan Greenberg).  

Jack Whitehall: Christmas With My Father (Netflix) 

Premiere date: Thursday, December 12 at 3 a.m. ET 
British comedian Jack Whitehall loves making his posh dad Michael Whitehall part of the joke. That habit continues in Christmas With My Father, when Jack bring his old man on-stage for a comedy special filled with celebrity guests. 

Good Trouble: Holiday Special (Freeform) 

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Premiere date: Monday, December 16 at 9 p.m. ET 
Welcome back to The Coterie, just in time for the holiday season. The two-hour special checks in with Mariana (Cierra Ramierez) and Callie Adams-Foster (Maia Mitchell), along with their entire extended Fosters family. 
Yes, that does mean Noah Centineo is on his way back into the Good Trouble fold as Mariana’s twin brother Jesus. Merry Christmas to all. 

Holidays With the Houghs (NBC) 

Premiere date: Monday, December 16 at 10 p.m. ET 
There are few things broadcast TV loves more this time of year than a celebrity-hosted holiday special. NBC gets just that with Holiday With the Houghs, led by dance-happy sibling duo Julianne and Derek Hough. 

Dogs of the Year (The CW) 

Premiere date: Tuesday, December 17 at 8 p.m. ET 
Who doesn’t need an hour to think about Very Good Boys? Dogs of the Year offers viewers just that kind of mental escape. The special will count down the 10 most heartwarming real-life tales of heroic dogs this year. 

A Christmas Carol (FX) 

Premiere date: Thursday, December 19 at 7:30 p.m. ET 
We found Taylor Swift’s favorite scripted holiday special of the year. FX’s version of A Christmas Carol stars Swift's boyfriend Joe Alwyn as Bob Cratchit. Guy Pearce and Andy Serkis also lead the gritty three-hour miniseries from Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight. 

iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2019 (The CW) 

Premiere date: Thursday, December 19 at 8 p.m. ET 
You can watch this year’s annual Jingle Ball on December 13 via livestream on the CW app and CWTV.com. But, if you miss the musical spectacular, the CW will broadcast the entire end-of-year concert a few days later on December 19. This year's performers include Taylor Swift (who will be ringing in her 30th birthday during the show), Lizzo, the Jonas Brothers, Niall Horan, and Monsta X
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