It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. And with the holiday season rapidly approaching, so too is a slate of television holiday specials. There are the classic favorites, like Rudolph and Charlie Brown, but there’s also plenty of new offerings for 2018. Here’s our guide to some of the original holiday specials coming to your TV this season. Ho, ho, ho!
The Great Christmas Light Fight (Nov. 26, 8 p.m. on ABC)
This contest of the wildest and most spectacular light displays in America returns for a sixth season on ABC. Each one-hour episode follows four families around the country as they compete to decorate their homes to the nines for a shot at winning $50,000 and the Light Fight trophy. Judges Carter Oosterhouse and Taniya Nayak return to help keep making spirits bright. And boy, do we mean bright.
A Legendary Christmas with John and Chrissy (Nov. 28, 10 p.m. on NBC)
John Legend and Chrissy Teigen are joined by friends, family, and other well-known faces in this NBC special. Legend will perform songs off his new album, A Legendary Christmas, and we can only assume Teigen will cook up some holiday-themed tweets. Er, treats.
Christmas in Rockefeller Center (Nov. 28, 8 p.m. on NBC)
Performers including Tony Bennett & Diana Krall, Pentatonix, John Legend, Diana Ross, and more will gather in New York City’s Rockefeller Center for one of the most magical annual traditions — the annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, one of the most beloved New York City holiday traditions. Hosted by the TODAY anchors, the tradition dates back to 1931. The 86th annual holiday special will celebrate the lighting of a 72-foot tall, 45-foot wide Norway Spruce from Wallkill, NY — now that’s a big tree.
The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration (Nov. 29, 9 p.m. on ABC)
Jordan Fisher and Sarah Hyland host this event, featuring lighting spectaculars from Disney Parks around the world, and musical guests Gwen Stefani, Meghan Trainor, Brett Eldredge, and more.
National Christmas Tree Lighting (Dec. 2, 10 p.m. on Ovation and REELZ)
Co-presented by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, this broadcast centered on the official lighting of the National Christmas Tree at the White House will also include live musical performances. “It’s an honor to share one of the nation’s oldest and most revered traditions with our viewers and we look forward to watching this cherished American pastime,” said Stan E. Hubbard, CEO of REELZ.
Impractical Jokers: Staten Island Holiday Spectacular (Dec. 6, 9:30 p.m. on TruTV)
The Impractical Jokers wrap up their seventh season with their first-ever holiday special in their hometown of Staten Island. The practical jokes take the form of holiday-themed games, as well as more light-hearted fare like a competition to determine which Joker makes the best Santa and a visit to kids from the charitable organization Toys for Tots. The Christmas spirit is far from a joke for these guys.
The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition (Dec. 6 at 9 p.m. on ABC)
Inspired by The Great British Bake Off, this series where American bakers compete in holiday-themed challenges is bake in business for a fourth season. Pastry chef Sherry Yard joins Paul Hollywood on the judges’ panel with Spice Girl Emma Button signing on as a new host to spice up our lives, alongside returning host Anthony “Spice” Adams.
Nailed It! Holiday (Dec. 7, streaming on Netflix)
Nicole Byer and Jacques Torres host this yuletide-themed competition where all hell could bake loose as terrible home cooks attempt to re-create edible holiday treats for a shot at $10,000. Stream to see if the gingerbread housing market crashes.
RuPaul's Drag Race Holi-slay Spectacular (Dec. 7, 8 p.m. on VH1)
With cheeks nice and rosy (and contoured for the gods), fan-favorite alums Trixie Mattel, Shangela, Kim Chi, Eureka O’Hara, Jasmine Masters, Latrice Royale, Mayhem Miller, and Sonique will sashay their way back into the Werk Room in a one-off competition for the title of Drag Race Xmas Queen. “The fashion is jolly AF,” Eureka O’Hara says of the special’s runway lewks, which serve a wintry mix of styles from festive fare to dark interpretations of holiday classics. Todrick Hall also choreographs seasonal cheer into several musical productions. “Honey, we’re delivering some ’80s extravaganza,” O’Hara continues. “And, you know, Kim Chi almost fell.” Some dance moves might score a lump of coal, but each queen wants the same thing stuffed into her stocking: a crown. “Everyone wants to win,” O’Hara says. “And you can feel it.” —Joey Nolfi
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter's Tale (Dec. 14, streaming on Netflix)
The witches are getting in the winter solstice spirit. Less than two months after launching its first season on Netflix, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is back with a holiday episode. In the upcoming one-off, the Church of Night, like all covens, celebrates the Winter Solstice — the longest night of the year — when families gather around the Yule Fire to sing pagan carols and tell ghost stories. As holiday visitors, some unwelcome, descend upon the coven, Sabrina tries to have a happy witchmas…
I Love Lucy Christmas special (Dec. 14, 8 p.m. on CBS)
Lucy, you’ve got some celebrating to do…
For those craving a classic Christmas, I Love Lucy is returning to CBS with the colorized “The Christmas Episode” (1956) and a newly-colorized episode, “Pioneer Women” (1952). The Dick Van Dyke Show also joins the party with two newly colorized episodes handpicked by creator Carl Reiner.
Schitt's Creek Christmas special (Dec. 19, 10p.m. on Pop TV)
And you thought your Christmas was Schitty. In the Pop series’ first holiday offering, Johnny Rose (Eugene Levy) wants to have an old-fashioned Christmas, but his family has as much spirit as Ebenezer Scrooge. Wife Moira (Catherine O’Hara, camping it up) is anti-Christmas-tree shopping, while daughter Alexis (Annie Murphy) is double-booked and son David (Levy’s real-life son, Dan Levy) shirks his decorating duties. Of course, the Roses eventually rally around Johnny and learn the true meaning of Christmas.