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Holiday TV shows, movies streaming now on Netflix, Amazon, more

Peter Billingsley plays Ralphie in the holiday classic

Peter Billingsley plays Ralphie in the holiday classic "A Christmas Story," available on TNT on-demand. Credit: TNT

Can’t wait to see “A Christmas Story” again? Then don’t. Watch it on TV right now.

Same with Christmas music specials across the years, from Mariah Carey, Pee-wee Herman, Andy Williams or Bing Crosby. Ditto holiday episodes of rarely aired shows like “Veronica Mars,” “Ally McBeal,” “Roswell,” “NewsRadio” or “Blackadder.” They’re available anytime you want to watch.

Streaming is the answer. Find ’em on popular services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime — and watch for free once you’ve paid your monthly/yearly subscription fees. Services like Amazon may also offer add-on subscriptions to serve special interests — Acorn for British TV, Seeso for comedy, Lifetime Movie Club, Urban Movie Channel, UP Faith and Family, and more.

These add-ons (and Hallmark’s Feeln service devoted to sentiment) can also be found as apps on many of the streaming devices through which you watch — Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Chromecast or your web-connected smart-TV set or Blu-ray player. Check for access, too, via computer, tablet and smartphones.

And let’s not forget your TV provider’s video-on-demand menu, chock-full of its own holiday choices. That’s where you’ll find the perennial “A Christmas Story,” available anytime (through Dec. 24) under the TNT channel’s cable-on-demand menu.

Here’s a peek at holiday viewing on your own schedule:


Choose the “Browse” menu to find Holiday Favorites. Then take your pick of movies, from comedies like “Scrooged” and “The Santa Clause” to musicals like “White Christmas.” Lots of TV specials, too: “Mariah Carey’s Merriest Christmas,” “Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special,” “Radio City Christmas Spectacular,” “Merry Madagascar.” And holiday episodes from “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” to “Trailer Park Boys.”

Originals now being big for Netflix, they’re represented in yule offerings with the laid-back tunes of “A Very Murray Christmas,” the comedy “Ricardo O’Farrill: Abrazo Navideño,” holiday episodes of “Orange Is the New Black,” “Black Mirror” and “Bojack Horseman,” even a new yule edition of the sci-fi series “Sense8” (premieres Dec. 23).


Scroll down for the Classic Holiday Episodes menu, a cornucopia of TV favorites new and old. Recent festivities include “Family Guy,” “The Simpsons,” “black-ish,” “The Mindy Project,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “South Park.” Flashbacks include “Happy Endings,” “Ally McBeal,” “The O.C.,” “My So-Called Life,” “The X-Files,” “Roswell,” “Wings” and “Seinfeld.” Older shows, too: “Saved by the Bell,” “Mork & Mindy,” “Alfred Hitchcock,” “Dragnet” and “The Addams Family.”

Yule TV ranges far and wide here, with the original comedy of “Deadbeat” giving way to the ’60s homey music highlights of “Andy Williams: Best of Christmas.” British shows include “Blackadder” and Ricky Gervais’ “The Office.” Adult Swim animation features “Robot Chicken” and “Rick and Morty.” There’s a kids section, too.


Click on the Happy Holidays section, or better yet, search the word “Christmas” for hundreds of hits. Vintage variety pops up here, with ’50s and ’60s TV specials featuring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Liberace, Lawrence Welk, even the Mantovani Orchestra. Animation perennials include “The Year Without a Santa,” while movies include “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.” Try the Kids section for more.

Christmas TV episodes come as modern as “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “The Sopranos” and “Glee,” and as period-set as early TV’s “Robin Hood” and “Yancy Derringer.” In between come hard-to-find shows “Veronica Mars,” “Hearts Afire,” “Highway to Heaven” and even Heather Locklear’s “Christmas Carol” night on “Melrose Place.”


(Some by paid subscription, some ad-supported)

Acorn (British favorites): “Upstairs Downstairs,” “Poirot,” “Midsomer Murders,” “Doc Martin.”

Crackle (Sony-owned): “Seinfeld,” “NewsRadio,” original special “SuperMansion: War on Christmas.”

Feeln (sentiment): 100 holiday TV movies, “Hallmark Hall of Fame.”

Seeso (comedy): “Saturday Night Live,” “Parks and Recreation.”

Shout Factory TV (vintage TV): “Car 54,” “Dennis the Menace.”


Optimum offers plenty of free (and paid) holiday video-on-demand options, as do providers like Verizon FiOS. Search with your remote for specific titles/networks, or check your on-screen menus for Movies and Events & Specials. You’ll even find an anytime yule log — and from Dec. 24 through Jan. 1, a flickering menorah.

Some on-demand options include:

ABC: “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (through Dec. 23).

TBS: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” cartoon (through Dec. 23).

TNT: “A Christmas Story” (through Dec. 24).

BET: Holiday episodes of “Family Matters,” “Fresh Prince,” “Martin.”

Disney: “Full Court Miracle” Hanukkah film.

Freeform: “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” 20 other holiday films.

FXX: Christmas with “The Simpsons.”

Nickelodeon: “Albert Christmas,” plus holidays with “iCarly,” “Victorious.”

HBO: “Miracle on 34th Street” (1947), “Home Alone,” “Muppet Christmas Carol.”

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