Seven special shows on seven days
•1RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER & THE ISLAND OF MISFIT TOYS (Today, 7 p.m., ABC Family): The nasally challenged reindeer is a blast, but I have a special place in my heart for the Island of Misfit Toys, which must later have been the inspiration behind CBS's Survivor, especially this season's edition in Nicaragua.
•2A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS (Tuesday, 8 p.m., ABC): In the very first Peanuts animated holiday special, Charlie Brown is depressed by the holidays. Nobody sends him a card. He buys the most pathetic Christmas tree on the lot. His friends abandon him. Wait a minute. I am Charlie Brown! Supposedly it still has a happy ending. (Does Charlie go on Zoloft too?)
•3MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (Wednesday, 8:30 p.m., ABC Family): This is the 1994 "classic" version of the movie with Elizabeth Perkins and Mara Wilson. Oh sure, some say there's no topping the 1947 version, but I say humbug! If Hollywood can remake The Karate Kid, they can remake this holiday classic — in color — as well.
•4SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN' TO TOWN (Thursday, 8 p.m. ABC Family): Can you say the title of this TV special without singing it? Scientists say no. It's hard to pick just one Rankin-Bass stop-motion special to honor, but with a villain deliciously named "Burgermeister Meisterburger" — and Fred Astaire as a narrator — this one is hard to top.
•5SCROOGE (Friday, 9:30 p.m., TCM): Not to be confused with the Bill Murray movie Scrooged, this 1970 musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol stars Albert Finney as grumpy Ebenezer and Alec Guinness (Obi-Wan!) as Marley. If you fancy the 1938 version of Dickens' immortal tale, that film plays at 8 p.m. this same night.
•6FROSTY THE SNOWMAN (Saturday, 8 p.m., CBS): There's a lot of "flower power" in this 1969 animation classic. Frosty's entourage of kiddies have haircuts straight off the Abbey Road album cover, for starters. And the always-grinning snowman's overuse of his pipe can be the only reason he comes to life saying "Happy Birthday" every snowfall.
•7WHITE CHRISTMAS (Sunday, 8 p.m., 10:45 p.m., AMC): Okay, I've had a little irreverent fun with a lot of the shows on today's list. But I refuse to make fun of Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen and the epic title tune of this 1954 classic. Just in case there really is a Santa Claus …
... AND THE BIG THREE MOVIES: We haven't forgotten to honor the movies you really can't miss each December.
Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas: Jim Carrey invades Whoville on Dec. 14 at 8 and 10:30 p.m. on ABC Family.
A Christmas Story marathon: Begins Dec. 24 at 8 p.m. on TBS.
It's a Wonderful Life: Return to Bedford Falls on Dec. 24 at 8 p.m. on NBC.
It's 2010, people. Almost 2011! And like it or not, it's a world consumed with iPads/iPods/iPhones and tweets/texts/TiVo, so the idea of celebrating an entire "12 Days of Christmas" isn't really going to fly anymore. So in the spirit of Ho! Ho! Hurry-up!, I have managed to find a way to shorten at least the holiday TV season to just seven days — this very week, to be precise. (FYI: Many of these shows will repeat later in the month. Check the TV listings at tampabay.com for more holiday fun.)
Weekend movies Dollar amounts in millions
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, $16.7
Love & Other Drugs, $5.7
Top 5 prime-time TV shows
Dancing With the Stars Results (ABC)
Dancing With the Stars (ABC)
Fox NFL Post-Game Show (Fox)
NFL Football: San Diego at Indianapolis (NBC)
Source: Nielsen Co., for week ending Nov. 28
Top 5 singles on iTunes
Firework, Katy Perry
Raise Your Glass, P!nk
We R Who We R, Ke$ha
The Time (Dirty Bit), Black Eyed Peas
What's My Name? Rihanna, Drake
Source: iTunes, for week ending Nov. 29
Top 5 Yahoo search terms in Tampa Bay