What to Watch: Christmastime

  • 2comments

Did you notice that it's Christmas? No? Well, this weekend's TV scheduling will certainly let you know. Here's the best of the Christmas-themed shows on Aussie free TV and pay TV this weekend!

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

Thursday, 22 December, 7pm - 9pm, Seven (G)

Jack Frost tries to take over the role of Santa.

FYI, the first Santa Clause movie is on FMC on Saturday, and Santa Clause 2 is on FMC on Sunday, so maybe you want to DVR this one...?

American Dad! The Best Christmas Story Never Told

Thursday, 22 December, 7.30pm - 8pm, The Comedy Channel (M)

The Ghost of Christmas Past tries to teach Stan the true meaning of Christmas (getting presents) in a parody of A Christmas Carol.

The Simpsons: 'Tis the Fifteenth Season/Simpson Christmas Stories

Thursday, 22 December, 7.30pm - 8.30pm, Eleven (PG)

Homer fights Flanders to get the best do-gooder reputation, and then retells several special Christmas tales in church. Bart stars as baby Jesus (because they share so many of the same qualities).

Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Christmas

Thursday, 22 December, 8.33pm - 9.25pm, ABC1 (G)

The cooking genius shows how to create some festive foods. He's not as good as Heston, though, who is on tomorrow night.

M*A*S*H: Death Takes a Holiday/Twas the Day After Xmas

Friday, 23 December, 7pm - 8pm, Fox Classics (PG)

The gang are determined not to let a fatally wounded soldier die on Christmas Eve (can't really make a joke about that, now, can we?); then the officers and men change places for the day on Boxing Day.

It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie

Friday 23 December, 7pm - 8.30pm, FMC (G)

The Muppets take on all the best Christmas stories, including "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and A Christmas Carol in order to save Muppet Theatre from being demolished on Christmas Eve. No one ever catches a break prior to Christmas Eve, do they?

Heston's Feasts: Heston's Christmas Feast

Friday, 23 December, 7.30pm - 8.30pm, LifeStyle Food Channel (M)

An M-rated cooking show? Starring the ingenious Heston Blumenthal? Yes please.

This time he cooks up a non-traditional Christmas feast worthy of the Kings and Queens of old, including ambergris (whale vomit), a dormouse lollypop, venison and snow for his celebrity guests.

Stitch! We Wishy You A Washy Christmas

Friday, 23 December, 7.50pm - 8.17pm, Disney Channel (G)

The old be-careful-what-you-wish-for tale is back, with Wishy-Washy granting Christmas wishes.

Midsomer Murders: Days of Misrule

Friday, 23 December, 8.33pm - 10.08pm, ABC1 (M)

Barnaby solves murders during the Christmas season. 'Tis the season to be murdered?

Fred Claus

Friday, 23 December, 8.30pm - 10.50pm, Nine (PG)

Santa's grouchy older brother Fred/Vince Vaughn comes to stay with him for the Christmas holidays. They mostly just hang out on the couch being funny, from what we can make out from the trailer below.

Phineas and Ferb: A Phineas and Ferb Family Christmas/S'winter

Friday, 23 December, 9.12pm - 9.38pm, Disney Channel (G)

Phineas and Ferb organise a traditional family Christmas with their friends, family and Kelly Clarkson. What, you didn't invite Kelly Clarkson to your family Christmas?

The Real Story of Christmas

Saturday, 24 December, 5.30pm - 6.30pm, The History Channel (G)

The History Channel looks at the real story behind Christmas, including the origins of carolling (it actually originated after inebriated, disorderly people in the streets went door knocking to find more alcohol and food) and Santa Claus (who was apparently originally a demon called Krampus who kidnapped kids who were on the naughty list). Lock your doors, windows and chimneys!

The Legends of Santa

Saturday, 24 December, 5.30pm - 6.30pm, SBS1/SBS HD (G)

SBS takes over the true story of Christmas, with this special look at the legend of Kris Kringle himself.

Sabrina, the Teenage Witch: Sabrina Claus

Saturday, 24 December, 6pm - 6.30pm, Eleven (PG)

Sabrina has to offset her selfish and demanding nature around Christmastime by filling in for Santa and giving out Christmas gifts. Also, Santa breaks his ankle. And Mrs Claus apparently works for UPS?

Home Improvement: Home for the Holidays

Saturday, 24 December, 6.30pm - 7pm, 111 Hits (PG)

Tim the Yule-Man Taylor has his son Randy home for Christmas, but Randy feels out of place since moving out, because his brothers are suddenly getting along with each other. Which is pretty frightening.

Top Gear: Middle East Special

Saturday, 24 December, 6.30pm - 7.30pm, Go (PG)

The boys make the traditional Christmas pilgrimage to Bethlehem ... in sports cars. That's how Mary and Joseph got there, right?

Glee: A Very Glee Christmas

Saturday, 24 December, 6.30pm - 7.30pm, Fox8 (PG)

Self-proclaimed (and everyone-else-proclaimed) idiot Brittany still believes in Santa Claus; and Sue Sylvester rigs the Secret Santa so that everyone gets her a gift. So they should! She's the only decent one in the show.

Everybody Loves Raymond: All I Want for Christmas

Saturday, 24 December, 7pm - 7.30pm, Eleven (PG)

All Ray wants for Christmas is a little "alone time" with Debra. You know, so they can hang out. In the bedroom. Oh, go ask your parents.

Tenuous TV link #1: the woman who plays Debra in Everybody Loves Raymond also plays the mum in The Middle.

The Santa Clause

Saturday, 24 December, 7pm - 8.40pm, FMC (G)

When Santa knocks himself out by falling off Scott's (Time Allen) roof on Christmas Eve, Scott puts on the Santa Claus suit to fill in for the night -- but filling in is tantamount to taking over according to a Santa Clause, and Scott thus becomes the new Santa Claus.

Catch the sequel to this movie on Sunday on FMC, and the threequel on Seven ... yesterday! Yep, good luck with that.

Fear Factor: Christmas Episode

Saturday, 24 December, 7.30pm - 8.30pm, One (PG)

The contestants do gross, weird, Christmas-related stuff, we suppose. Maybe they'll have to eat marzipan or your grandma's orange-peel candies? Great show for the little boys in the family who love gross things! Make sure they try everything at home.

Making Christmas

Saturday, 24 December, 7.30pm - 8.30pm, Nat Geo HD (G)

The behind-the-scenes preparations for Christmas go on worldwide, from the turkey farms in Malaysia to the toy factories in China. No one does behind the scenes better than Nat Geo!

Friends: The One with the Holiday Armadillo

Saturday, 24 December, 8pm - 8.30pm, 111 Hits (PG)

The stores run out of Santa costumes, so Ross dresses up as the Holiday Armadillo to teach Ben about Hanukkah.

Carols by Candlelight

Saturday, 24 December, 8pm - 11pm, Nine (G)

Karl Stefanovic and Lisa Wilkinson host Vision Australia's Carols by Candlelight. Will Dorothy the Dinosaur be there? Nope, but Hi-5 will be! They're still cool, right?

Mythbusters: Alcohol Myths

Saturday, 24 December, 8.30pm - 9.30pm, SBS1/SBS HD (PG)

What better time to watch the Mythbusters bust alcohol myths than during the biggest party season of the year? None, that's what.

Cops: Adults Only: Ho! Ho! Ho! #6 Special Edition

Saturday, 24 December, 9pm - 9.30pm, One (M)

Will Santa get arrested for breaking and entering houses? Get that reckless sleigh-driver off the roads!

Invasion of the Christmas Lights

Saturday, 24 December, 9.30pm - 10.30pm, Discovery Home & Health (PG)

This special follows the families who have nothing better to do than ensure that they have the best Christmas lights in the neighbourhood.

Ghost Whisperer: Holiday Spirit

Saturday, 24 December, 9.30pm - 10.30pm, 111 Hits (M)

Melinda is haunted by the ghost of a man who thinks he's Santa Claus, but does not, ironically, understand the real meaning of Christmas. She'll probably cry when she sends him back over the other side, too. Just for something different.

QI: Groovy (Christmas Special)

Saturday, 24 December, 10pm - 10.35pm, UKTV (M)

Host Stephen Fry, plus guests Bill Bailey, Lee Mack, David Tennant and Alan Davies star in this hilarious Christmas special of comedy-panel quiz show QI, in which contestants score points by giving creative and funny answers to the questions.

Bones: Goop on the Girl/The Santa in the Slush

Saturday, 24 December, 10.30pm - 11.30pm, Fox8 (MA)

Lots of murder and Santa Clauses and Kris Kringles.

Plus, Booth and Bones kiss under the mistletoe! Squeal.

21 Jump Street: Christmas in Saigon

Saturday, 24 December, 10.30pm - 11.30pm, 111 Hits (M)

This show has Johnny Depp in it. That is all.

The Star of Bethlehem

Saturday, 24 December, 10.30pm - 11.30pm, The History Channel (G)

The History Channel looks to biblical scholars, scientists, astrologists and astronomers to discover the origins of the Christmas star. We're pretty sure they come to the conclusion that it was a great king of the past, like Mufasa.

Little Britain: Christmas Special

Saturday, 24 December, 11pm - 11.40pm, Nine (M)

The village celebrates Christmas, and Dafydd considers going to London so he can celebrate with other gays. You should definitely take some Christmas-decorating tips from the video below!

The 12 Hits of Christmas

Sunday, 25 December, 12pm - 1pm, [V] Hits (M)

The Christmas top 12 songs ... Christmas-themed songs. Expect lots of Mariah. And Bieber. Don't say we didn't warn you!

Eloise at Christmastime

Sunday, 25 December, 4.45pm - 6.30pm, 7Two (G)

A live-action version of the beloved Eloise at the Plaza, in which six-year-old Eloise spends most of the movie breaking up an engagement and hunting for her Christmas presents.

A Dennis the Menace Christmas

Sunday, 25 December, 4.50pm - 6.30pm, Go (PG)

Dennis wreaks havoc and irritates his neighbour, Mr Wilson, just for a change.

Blackadder's Christmas Carol

Sunday, 25 December, 6.30pm - 7.30pm, Gem (PG)

A Christmas Carol: Blackadder style! In case you hadn't seen enough iterations of this Dickens story this weekend. But this one does have Hagrid as one of the spirits of Christmas.

The Vicar of Dibley: Christmas Special

Sunday, 25 December, 6.30pm - 7.40pm, Seven (PG)

Geraldine celebrates 10 years as the vicar, and is presented on Christmas Eve with a chocolate fountain. There's also a foul plot afoot to have a stripper at the party -- which the Archbishop of Canterbury will also be attending ... awkward!

Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation: Christmas Episode

Sunday, 25 December, 6.30pm - 7.50pm, Ten (PG)

Don't get too excited; it's a repeat. But you still get to see Shaun Micallef's hilarious quips and facial expressions!

Deck the Halls

Sunday, 25 December, 6.30pm - 8.30pm, Nine (PG)

Two suburban dads compete for the best Christmas lights.

Tenuous celebrity link number two: the mum in this movie is played by Kristin Davis, who also plays Charlotte York Goldenblatt in Sex and the City; her husband in this movie is played by Matthew Broderick who is, in real life, married to Sarah Jessica Parker, who plays Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. There you go! Fascinating!

The Santa Clause 2

Sunday, 25 December, 7pm - 8.45pm, FMC (G)

Tim Allen's Santa Claus finds out that there is another clause that he has to fulfil: he must have a wife by next Christmas, or Christmas will cease to exist.

OK, now you can watch that DVRed episode of Santa Clause 3 from Thursday night!

The Queen's Christmas Message 2011

Sunday, 25 December, 7.20pm - 7.31pm, ABC1 (G)

HRH Queen Lizzie says Merry Christmas to the Commonwealth. Riveting stuff!

Mr Bean: Merry Christmas Mr Bean

Sunday, 25 December, 7.30pm - 8pm, The Comedy Channel (PG)

Mr Bean spends the festive season ruining a department store's Christmas lights, conducting a Salvation Army band and cooking for his girlfriend (and Teddy, of course). This is the first original TV appearance of the old putting-a-turkey-on-one's-head gag (don't be fooled into thinking that Friends is original).

Futurama: Xmas Story

Sunday, 25 December, 8pm - 8.30pm, Eleven (PG)

Christmas (or Xmas as it's now known) is a little different in the year 3000; for one thing, Santa is a murderous robot who tries to kill everyone on the naughty list. Hint: there is no nice list.

Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol

Sunday, 25 December, 8pm - 9.10pm, UKTV (PG)

On Christmas Eve, Rory and Amy are trapped in a spaceliner crash. The Doctor can only save them by rescuing a rich old miser's soul; cue A Christmas Carol references. Are there no original ideas left for Christmas episodes?

Gilmore Girls: Santa's Secret Stuff

Sunday, 25 December, 8.30pm - 9.30pm, Arena (PG)

Since Rory was away for the Christmas holidays, Lorelai and Christopher celebrate Chistmas with her after the fact. Well, the Christmas trees and decorations would certainly be cheaper then!

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Sunday, 25 December, 8.30pm - 10.30pm, Nine (PG)

The Griswold family's big Christmas plans go smoothly and without a single hitch. Right?? Right?!?

Family Guy: A Very Special Family Guy Freakin' Christmas

Sunday, 25 December, 9pm - 9.30pm, Fox8 (M)

Stewie plays Baby Jesus so he can get access to Santa's plutonium; Peter accidentally donates all of their family gifts to charity; and KISS saves Santa in their own TV special.

My Big Fat Gypsy Christmas

Sunday, 25 December, 9.30pm - 10.30pm, LifeStyle You (M)

A spin-off from the show My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, this special looks at the celebration of Christmas within the gypsy community in Ireland, including the weddings and communions that take place during December. So ... many ... sparkly ... dresses ...

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Sunday, 25 December, 10.05pm - 12.45am, FMC (PG)

Harry, Ron and Hermione spend Christmas Day of their second year turning into Goyle, Crabbe and Millicent Bullstrode's cat, respectively.

...What? It's an important part of the movie!

Joyeux Noel

Sunday, 25 December, 10.07pm - 11.58pm, ABC1 (M)

A movie looking at the WWI Christmas truce of 1914.

Bad Santa

Sunday, 25 December, 10.30pm - 12.20am, Nine (MA)

Billy Bob Thornton takes a job as a department store Santa Claus so that he can rob said department store. Merry Christmas!