Christmas comes but once this week, and if you haven’t noticed, television will help you remember. Given that the holiday has been unwrapping itself since before Thanksgiving — which is not Christmas but kind of pretends it is — many seasonal favorites have already had their airing. But TV Yule is not done with us yet, with its mistletoe and holly, elves and reindeer, real or manufactured snow and Man in Red (not always old, not always fat, not always jolly — nor, for that matter, always a man). Yes, I’m talking about Santa.
Because Christmas is a time for tradition, NBC will repeat last year’s holiday lineup (as I am repeating last year’s descriptions of it) with Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Christmas Eve, 8 p.m. Tuesday; it’s a movie that lasts two hours and 10 minutes spread across three hours of prime time, so count the commercials and think of Mr. Potter.
Christmas night sees the Chuck Jones-directed, Boris Karloff-narrated “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” which is an animated classic (8 p.m. Wednesday), followed by the live-action “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” which is a Jim Carrey movie. ABC brings back its latest “CMA Country Christmas” for a Christmas Eve encore; CBS sends a workhorse game show into prime time for “The Price Is Right at Night: A Holiday Extravaganza With Seth Rogen.”
Christmas morning at 9 a.m., ABC has “Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade,” from Disneyland and Disney World