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The 2011 TV schedule of favorite holiday specials and movies

We've picked our five favorites to highlight. But look below for plenty more stocking-stuffers. As always, check your local listings for channels and last-minute schedule changes.

A CHRISTMAS STORY: All together now. "You'll shoot your eye out! You'll shoot your eye out!" Is there a more quotable movie than this simple tale of a boy and his BB gun? TBS begins 24 straight hours of A Christmas Story at 8 p.m. Christmas Eve.

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: Remember a time when holiday movies weren't mean-spirited hum-bugs that demonized the commercialization of the season? Yep, it was 1946. "Merry Christmas, movie house! Merry Christmas, Emporium! Merry Christmas, you wonderful old Building and Loan!" Catch it twice, on Dec. 3 and Dec. 24, both days at 8 p.m., on NBC.

NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION: Finally, a movie that every dysfunctional family can relate to. Watch with shame and delight as Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) tries to create the perfect Christmas for his under-appreciative family. "Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?" ABC Family airs it Dec. 7, 10, 12, 22, 23 and 25.

MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET: No, not the soulless 1994 remake. We're talking 1947 and Natalie Wood as the skeptical little girl who really needs Kris Kringle. "If you're really Santa Claus, you can get it for me. And if you can't, you're only a nice man with a white beard like mother says." Pass the tissue box on Christmas Eve when Turner Classic Movies airs it at 8 p.m.

DR. SEUSS' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS: Once upon a time, this was one of the first Christmas specials to air each holiday season. We're happy to report that the Grinch, his dog Max and all the Whos in Whoville will appear Dec. 2, 13 and 23 on ABC Family. "How could it be so? It came without ribbons! … It came without tags! … It came without packages, boxes, or bags!"

Also coming up

A Dog Named Christmas, Hallmark, Dec. 4 (8 a.m., 3:30 p.m.), Dec. 17 (6 p.m.), Dec. 25 (6 p.m.)

The Bishop's Wife, TCM, Dec. 4 (10 a.m.), Dec. 16 (8 p.m.)

A Charlie Brown Christmas, ABC, Dec. 5 (8 p.m.)

Rudolph's Shiny New Year, ABC Family, Dec 5. (6 p.m.), Dec. 21 (noon), Dec. 24 (6 p.m.), Dec. 25 (10:30 a.m.)

The Polar Express, ABC Family, Dec. 5 (8:30 p.m.), Dec. 6 (6:30 p.m.), Dec. 18 (4 p.m.), Dec. 20 (9 p.m.), Dec. 21 (5 p.m.), Dec. 25 (8 p.m.)

A Michael Buble Christmas, NBC, Dec. 6, (8 p.m.)

A Christmas Carol (1938), TCM, Dec. 5 (9:45 p.m.), Dec. 23 (11 a.m.)

Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town, ABC Family, Dec. 8 (8 p.m.), Dec. 9 (7 p.m.), Dec. 17 (2 p.m.), Dec. 24 (7 p.m.), Dec. 25 (11:30 a.m.)

The Year Without a Santa Claus, ABC Family, Dec. 8 (9 p.m.), Dec. 9 (6 p.m.)

Frosty the Snowman, CBS, Dec. 9 (8 p.m.)

Christmas in Connecticut, TCM, Dec. 11 (10 a.m.)

The Little Drummer Boy, ABC Family, Dec. 17 (7:30 a.m.), Dec. 24 (7 a.m.)

The Santa Clause, ABC Family, Dec. 9 (8 p.m.), Dec. 10 (6 p.m.), Dec. 21 (8 p.m.), Dec. 22 (5 p.m.), Dec. 24 (11:30 p.m.), Dec. 25 (1:30 p.m.); this movie also runs on the Hallmark Channel on select dates.

Disney Christmas Parade, ABC, Dec. 25 (noon)

The 2011 TV schedule of favorite holiday specials and movies 12/02/11 [Last modified: Friday, December 2, 2011 3:43pm]
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