What to Watch This Christmas Eve: A Christmas Story, Shrek the Halls, and a Firefly Marathon

What to watch on Monday, December 24...

8pm, Fox
Raising Hope
A four-episode mini-marathon of the sneakily sweet sitcom kicks off with “It’s A Hopeful Life” (with a title like that, you probably don’t need me to sum up the premise). That’s followed at 8:30pm by Virginia’s Mayan-apocalypse preparations in “The Last Christmas,” and then at 9pm by the two-part Cloris-Leachman-be-crazy-y’all showcase “Throw Maw Maw from the House.”

8pm, The CW
Christmas Is Here Again
This is an animated tale of an orphan girl who must retrieve Santa’s missing toy sack, which was stitched together from the clothes that swaddled the baby Jesus, which is a pretty darn Indiana Jones-y take on the whole Santa mythology, I must say. Andy Griffith and Shirley Jones star as Santa and Mrs. Claus, so it's worth recommending solely for the cognitive dissonance of Andy Griffith and Shirley Jones on The CW.

8pm and 10pm, TBS
A Christmas Story
Get your yearly dose of the 1983 holiday favorite about a young boy’s dream of receiving a BB gun for Christmas, and the assorted nostalgic hijinks that occur along the way.

8pm, BBC America
Top Gear
In this special installment from last year, the team travels to the Middle East and attempts to retrace the route the Three Wise Men traveled to Bethlehem. Did whoever happened to be hanging out in Bethlehem when they arrived receive gifts of gold, frankincense, and a high-performance 351 Ford engine with manual transmission? Tune in to find out.

8:30pm, ABC
Shrek the Halls
Everyone’s favorite DreamWorks-produced, Scottish-accented, heavily-product-licensed animated ogre has plans for a tranquil and spiritually enriching Christmas. Then his goofy friends show up and ruin everything, as goofy friends are wont to do.

10pm, Science
Firefly 10th Anniversary: Browncoats Unite
An all-day Firefly marathon culminates in a replay of this special roundtable discussion featuring cast members and writers from the one-season cult favorite. Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion, Summer Glau, and others weigh in, and why am I even bothering to explain all this because this is the internet and you’ve already watched this thing like 400 times, haven’t you?

10pm, Lifetime
Finding Mrs. Claus
Feeling like her husband isn’t throwing enough of that famous jolliness her way, Mrs. Claus (Oscar-winner Mira Sorvino) skips off to Vegas in order to do some Christmas miracle-ing of her own. Santa follows her to put things right, but when his plans go awry it could endanger Christmas for everyone. The synopsis doesn’t explain how, so let’s assume he loses Donner, Blitzen, and Cupid to the Russian mob in a particularly high-stakes game of Texas Hold ‘em.

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