'Tis The Season

QVC Is Must-Watch Holiday TV, Even If You Don’t Buy A Thing

The shopping network delivers a never-ending stream of joy and warmth.

At this time of year, there’s no shortage of holiday programming. Who doesn’t want to make Christmas cookies with a hot Hallmark dad or trade homes with a British woman and fall in love with her charming brother?

But for all the tantalizing choices, there’s one merry snow globe I really dream of living in: a place where there’s always something delicious in the oven, the dress code is cozy PJs with matching slippers, and your list of people to shop for is long in a way that makes your life feel full, not stressed.

I’m talking about QVC — the hidden holiday gem that’s easy to miss while skimming your channel guide for the next showing of Elf.

If you don’t watch the shopping network, you might remember it as the place where Jennifer Lawrence sold mops in Joy. Or the butt of several Saturday Night Live sketches. Or the channel to which critics love to compare TikTok Shop.

QVC’s goal is to sell products: food, makeup, clothes, toys, kitchen appliances, skin care, jewelry, tech, and virtually anything else you want or never heard of. But in assembling a lineup of charismatic hosts to sell its wares, QVC made a never-ending show that is fun to watch during the holidays — even if you never buy a thing.

Heartwarming Holiday Vibes


Unlike an ad that tries to relay why you need a product in seconds, a QVC presentation occupies a solid chunk of time. Days are divided into segments, ranging from hourlong shows about a single brand to two-, three-, or four-hour blocks that cover a broader category of goodies, like food or fashion.

The long-form format means hosts have to find novel ways of describing whatever they’re selling without getting repetitive. And they’re good at it.

A presentation about cookie dough, for example, won’t just list out the flavors and selling points. David Venable (QVC’s Captain America, if you will) might share a childhood memory about cookies and why he prefers them on the softer side. You’ll also hear approximately 35 scenarios in which you can gift the confection (your yoga teacher! Your barista! Have you thought about your eye doctor?), and talk about all the cookie exchange parties you’ll inevitably be invited to.


I realize I’m describing some basic principles of advertising here. But it’s more than that. For one, it’s refreshing to watch a live broadcast that will probably never become a trending topic. (Unless something truly wild happens, what you’re watching is more or less ephemeral.)

But most importantly, the QVC hosts paint a picture of a holiday season that sounds aspirationally warm, inviting, and connected. Whether a host flubs their line or shares an emotional conversation with a call-in shopper, you feel like you’ve shared a special experience that won’t come around again.

Shopping Without Shopping


Paradoxically, QVC is the one place where I don’t feel the need to buy, buy, buy during the holiday season.

Seeing high-quality cookware on QVC? I could use it, but I could also use the luggage they’re selling in the next hour. And the makeup after that. Then, the cozy slippers, the portable charger, and the Philosophy shower gels. (The way those holiday scents are described is my personal ASMR.)

That something is constantly for sale makes me realize it’s futile trying to keep up — so I just enjoy the show.

My Body Doubling Heroes


I like having the TV on during work, and QVC always comes through, especially when I need to focus. It’s like body doubling, where working in someone else’s presence helps you get your stuff done without distraction. Unlike a movie or throwback Keeping Up With the Kardashians Christmas episode, QVC’s holiday programming features people who, like you, are working in real time.

Whether you’re watching Amy Stran sing the praises of a colorful sweater, or Rachel Boesing dance around in festive socks, you get to enjoy all the perks of casual conversation — without actually taking part in it yourself. That kind of environment makes it easy to recalibrate my brain on busy days.

If you’re wondering where to start, here’s a pro tip: In the Kitchen With David is always delicious and a guaranteed way to stave off the Sunday scaries. But soon, you may find that you’re turning to QVC for everything from background noise to feel-good lunchtime entertainment.