I hope you won't have any shopping left to do on Dec. 24, because the 2016 Christmas Eve TV schedule is a treasure trove of movies and specials. I've compiled a list of the most notable things on TV this Saturday, and just thinking about it is making me want to start a fire and curl up on the couch with a hot toddy. It seems like every network is getting into the spirit this year, with some channels running the classics, others showing holiday-themed TV episodes, and of course, a few airing their own original movies (looking at you , Hallmark). So, whether you need to know what channel It’s a Wonderful Life is on this year or when exactly A Christmas Story airs, you’ve come to the right list.
There are only a few days left to cram in those holiday favorites before you have to get back into the work groove. So, before you start stressing about what New Year’s resolutions to make, do yourself a favor and have a nice, long TV marathon. Trust me, you’ll thank me when you’re cozying up by the fire with loved ones and holiday cheer.
Note: All listings are in Eastern Standard time.
‘It’s a Wonderful Life’
NBC, 7 p.m.
Tune in to possibly the best tradition on Christmas Eve. NBC has been playing the 1946 film every Christmas Eve since 1994. George Bailey is in a rough spot in his life and considers jumping off a bridge, but an angel named Clarence stops him and shows him what the world would look like if he’d never been born. If you’ve never seen it, gather your family and watch it on Christmas Eve. It’s considered one of the best movies of all time, and for good reason.
CMA Country Christmas
ABC, 8 p.m.
If you’re a country music fan and you missed out on the CMA Country Christmas this year, you can rewatch it on Christmas Eve. The ABC special plays at 8 p.m. and is hosted by Jennifer Nettles.
‘A Christmas Story’
TBS, 8 p.m.
TBs' annual 24 hours of A Christmas Story begins on Christmas Eve. If your family isn’t into watching Ralphie on Christmas morning, watch the magic of the Leg Lamp the night before instead. You can never get enough Christmas Story in the holiday season. It’s also good to note that earlier in the day, starting at 4 p.m., TBS is marathoning some Christmas episodes of Friends.
TNT, 4:30 p.m.
Not into the traditional Christmas flicks? Tune into TNT on Christmas Eve to see Vince Vaughn as Fred Claus, Santa’s troublemaking sibling. Later in the night TNT will also be airing A Christmas Story.
Hallmark’s Holiday Marathon
Hallmark Channel, 2 p.m.
Don’t expect your classic Christmas movies here. Hallmark is known for its sweet and super cheesy holiday original films and though it's pretty much running Christmas movies around the clock right now, on Christmas Eve you can watch some especially notable ones including 12 Gifts of Christmas, Sleigh Bells Ring, My Christmas Love, and Every Christmas Has a Story. The marathon goes well into the night, so get some snacks and settle in.
Freeform’s Holiday Marathon
Freeform, 4:30 p.m.
Freeform has been on holiday overload this season, but Christmas Eve is filled with some solid choices. The Polar Express leads the line-up for the evening beginning at 4:30. That classic animated film is followed by The Santa Clause, Elf, Christmas Vacation and of course, to finish off the night, Scrooged.
‘Terry Crews Saves Christmas’
The CW, 8:00 p.m.
The CW’s holiday special actually airs Tuesday - Friday, but if you miss it this week, you can sit down for a re-run on Saturday night. Who doesn’t want to watch Terry Crews pop by random homes and bring back the Christmas spirit? Following two episodes, CW will be counting down the best holiday commercials.
AMC’s Holiday Marathon
AMC, 11 a.m.
Get ready for a whole lot of Christmas. AMC is running a Christmas Eve marathon that starts early and ends earlier than the rest. A Christmas Carol kicks things off at 11:00 a.m., followed by Four Christmases and Deck the Halls, before finishing up with Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. All pretty solid choices and other channels aren't playing these that day.
‘The Santa Clause 2’
FX, 5 p.m.
Maybe you tuned into The Santa Clause on Freeform earlier in the day. Now you can change the channel to FX pretty much at any time in the night because it's playing The Santa Clause 2 four times in a row. Yep, it’s all the Tim Allen you can handle in one night.
‘A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas’
FXX, 9 p.m.
If you need a dose of holiday comedy, check out A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas. The White Castle fanatics accidentally burn down Harold’s father-in-law’s Christmas tree — and yes, Neil Patrick Harris is back.
E!, 7 p.m.
Arguably the most romantic Christmas movie of all time, E! is airing Love Actually twice on Christmas Eve. If young Sam running after his love at the airport doesn't inspire you on Christmas, I don't know what will.
IFC, 9:30 p.m.
Yes, I’ve included Die Hard on the list because it’s awesome and takes place at a Christmas party on Christmas Eve. Plus, everyone wants to watch Bruce Willis kick some ass. If you feel so inclined, you can keep watching IFC for a full John McClane marathon. Die Hard 2 and Die Hard with a Vengeance air one right after the other.
BBC, 8:20 p.m.
For fans of the Doctor, BBC is airing a few of the past Christmas specials before the newest one premieres on Sunday. The network is showing “Last Christmas” and “The Husbands of River Song,” so you can get into the holiday spirit with Peter Capaldi and David Tennant's Doctors.
Disney Channel, 5:15 p.m.
Even though it’s not technically a Christmas story, there’s a lot of snow, ice and family love. Not to mention, some awesome tunes.
Lifetime’s Holiday Marathon
Lifetime, 4 p.m.
As expected, Lifetime is airing an entire day of Christmas movies. Starting at 4 p.m. you can tune into movies including Christmas on the Bayou, Home by Christmas, Dear Secret Santa, and so many more into the wee hours of the night. It might be the only time you can count on Lifetime movies being lighthearted, instead of mixing in one of the network's signature thrillers.
‘A Christmas Story 2’
CMT, 3 p.m.
Tired of the original Christmas Story? There’s a second one and CMT is marathoning it starting at 3 p.m. The movie is still about Ralphie and meant to take place five years after the original.
With this lineup, you might want to warn your family that you'll be spending most of Christmas Eve glued to the TV.