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Holiday TV classics are beginning this week

Hope you're in the holiday spirit because several of your favorite classic TV specials are on this week, starting tonight. Yeah, we know you could see most of these "children's" shows on DVD, but somehow it's just not the same as catching them on TV. Here's a list to help you keep track. So don't come boo-hooing to us if you miss Cindy Lou Who.

Tonight

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas | 8:30 p.m., ABC

From Little Cindy Lou Who to Max the dog, we all know why the Grinch's heart grew in this 1966 cartoon, but we still love to see it again and again. Narrated by horror movie king Boris Karloff, who Dr. Seuss worried would be too scary for children. (Repeats Dec. 23.)

Memorable line: "Little Cindy Lou Who, who was no more than 2. And she stared at the Grinch and said: 'Santy Claus, why? Why are you taking our Christmas tree, why?' "

•Right before the Grinch is Shrek the Halls at 8 p.m. It's hardly a classic but it's entertaining. The lovable ogre wants to give his family the best Christmas but since he is new at this, he doesn't really know how. Enter Donkey and the gang to lend a hoof.

Tuesday

Santa Claus is Comin' to Town 8 p.m., ABC

Mickey Rooney and dance king Fred Astaire do the honors here, explaining how Santa got his whiskers, why he lives at the North Pole and how he gets those toys to kids once every year. Have you ever noticed that the Burgermeister Meisterburger's bandage on his foot disappears and reappears throughout this 1970 classic?

Memorable line and teaching moment: Narrator: "Maybe we could all learn Santa's beautiful lesson and maybe there would finally be peace on Earth and good will toward men."

Wednesday

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 8 p.m., CBS

Rudolph is ashamed of his schnoz until Santa needs him to light the way on Christmas Eve in this 1964 oldie. And everybody can sing along to not only the title song, but to Burl Ives doing A Holly Jolly Christmas.

Memorable line: Yukon Cornelius: "Didn't I ever tell you about Bumbles? Bumbles bounce."

Dec. 8

A Charlie Brown Christmas 8 p.m., ABC

How do I love thee, let me count the ways — at the rehearsal where no one listens to the round-headed kid; with Snoopy as he tracks the Red Baron; Linus and CB picking out "the tree"; Linus giving his speech about the true meaning of Christmas; the whole gang singing Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. Sigh. We just love this 1965 show. (Repeats Dec. 16.)

Memorable line: Charlie Brown as puts an ornament on the sad tree: "I've killed it. Oh! Everything I touch gets ruined."

Dec. 12

Frosty the Snowman | 8 p.m., CBS

The plot is kinda sketchy in this 1969 cartoon. Basically everybody is trying to get their hands on Frosty's magic hat. But of course it's really about the magic of Christmas — and narrator Jimmy Durante's fabulous voice.

Memorable line: Frosty: "Whew! Stay in here much longer and I'll really make a splash in the world."

These sound special

Here are a few other holiday shows coming up this week:

Wednesday

Christmas in Rockefeller Center (8 p.m., NBC)

For years this has been a good showcase for singers with new releases out. So of course Beyonce — or is it Sasha Fierce — is in the house, along with Tony Bennett, the Jonas Brothers, David Cook, Faith Hill and many others. Al Roker and Jane Krakowski (30 Rock) host.

Friday

Greatest Holiday Moments: TV & Film Countdown (8 p.m., NBC)

This 60-minute show takes a look at highlights from some of the best-known holiday specials including It's A Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story.

Saturday

Shopping List: Holiday Gifts (8 p.m., Fine Living Network)

Searching for the perfect gift? This show takes you inside the best retail stores and behind the scenes at the trade shows. (Find other showings at fineliving.com)

All-Star Holiday Cookies (8 p.m., Food Network)

Celebrity chefs share their favorite holiday cookie recipes. It's like the best cookie exchange ever — without the calories. (Find other showings at foodnetwork.com.)

Sunday

Top 10 Christmas Towns (8 p.m., HGTV)

This is always my favorite time of year to check out HGTV. This special looks at how people across America celebrate in their own unique ways.

Times staff writer Kelly Smith contributed.

Holiday TV classics are beginning this week 11/30/08 [Last modified: Sunday, November 30, 2008 10:10pm]

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