Entertainment

Every Christmas TV Special Airing in 2020

From tree lightings to musical events, here's all of the holiday specials coming to network and streaming this year.

Mariah Carey's Magical Christmas Special!
'Mariah Carey's Magical Christmas Special!' | Apple TV+
'Mariah Carey's Magical Christmas Special!' | Apple TV+

In between rewatching classic Christmas movies and bingeing whatever holiday movies Netflix drops for the season, it's never really Christmastime without catching at least one TV special. With a cup of hot cocoa in hand, it's the perfect balance of nostalgia and good ole holiday spirt, singing along with your favorite celebs' takes on classic holiday hits or seeing the live events on screen once again, purely out of tradition. No matter how cheesy, you've been watching holiday specials since you were a kid, and you're bound to tune into something again. Here's all of the specials coming to network TV or streaming this season.

Find Netflix's full holiday calendar here.

miley cyrus amazon music holiday plays
Miley Cyrus in 'Amazon Music Holiday Plays' | Amazon Studios

Amazon Music Holiday Plays

Date: Now; December 8; December 15
Where: Amazon Prime
Join Miley Cyrus, Kiana LedĂ©, and Foo Fighters for their take on musical holiday specials over on Amazon, where they'll be performing both Christmas tunes and their own recent releases. 

CMA Country Christmas

Date: Now
Where: ABC, Hulu
What's the holiday season without a little Christmas music? Singalong with all your favorite country stars like Kelsea Ballerini, Tim McGraw, Thomas Rhett, and others as they take on classic songs (and give 'em a twangy twist). Yeehaw! 

The Disney Holiday Singalong

Date: Now
Where: ABC, Hulu
Earlier this year, Disney organized a virtual singalong featuring major stars covering classic House of Mouse tunes. Since it was a big success, they're doing the same in the form of a holiday special with musical acts like BTS, Chloe x Halle, P!nk, and others singing beloved Christmas songs and wintery numbers from Disney musicals. 

frosty the snoman
'Frosty the Snowman' | NBCUniversal Television Distribution

Freeform's 25 Days of Christmas

Date: Month-long
Where: Freeform
If you have cable, you know Freeform is where it's at all December. At any point in time, head there to view everything from Frosty the Snowman to Home Alone. See the full schedule here.

The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration

Date: Now
Where: ABC, Hulu
Maybe you're bummed you can't take that trip to Disney World or Disney Land that you were so looking forward to this year. Well, you can watch this special shot at the two theme parks that includes performances from stars like Gwen Stefani, Meghan Trainor, and others. 

Christmas in Rockefeller Center

Date: December 2
When: 8pm ET
Where: NBC
Get major FOMO if you're not in NYC this holiday season by watching the lighting ceremony of one of the most famous Christmas trees in the world on TV: the Rockefeller Center tree. 

Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes

Date: December 2
When: 10pm ET
Where: NBC
The Radio City Rockettes aren't entirely forgoing their beloved Christmas Spectacular show. With large gatherings canceled in NYC due to the pandemic, the dancers are instead bringing their iconic kick lines into homes everywhere with a TV broadcast. 

My Gift: A Christmas Special From Carrie Underwood
'My Gift: A Christmas Special From Carrie Underwood' | Anne Marie Fox/HBO Max

My Gift: A Christmas Special From Carrie Underwood

Date: December 3
Where: HBO Max
Country star Carrie Underwood released the Christmas album My Gift earlier this year, and this special sees it brought to life with performances of the tracks from Underwood backed by an orchestra and choir.

Mariah Carey's Magical Christmas Special!

Date: December 4
Where: Apple TV+
Chances are you've already streamed "All I Want for Christmas is You" more than a few times this season already—but the queen of Christmas is officially returning to her throne with this musical special.

A Holly Dolly Christmas

Date: December 5
When: 8:30pm ET
Where: CBS
One Netflix original Christmas movie isn't enough holiday spirit for Dolly Parton; the country icon gifted us with a musical special on network TV, too.

The Great Christmas Light Fight

Date: December 9
When: 8pm ET
Where: ABC
See how your light display compares to the families who go all-in on their decorations and compete in this annual reality show. Episodes air on Wednesdays in December.

matthew morrison the grinch
'Dr. Seuss' 'The Grinch Musical!'' | NBC

Dr. Seuss' 'The Grinch Musical!'

Date: December 9; December 21
When: 8pm ET
Where: NBC, and available on Hulu on December 10
Matthew Morrison is a mean one, as cuddly as a cactus some might say. (The Broadway/Glee star is playing the Grinch in this special performance of the stage show.)

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Date: December 11-13
When: 7:30pm ET on December 13 on PBS
Where: Apple TV+; PBS
For families who cherish the tradition of watching the yearly airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas (and don't have an Apple TV+ subscription), it was devastating news to hear Apple recently bought the rights to classic Peanuts movies and was canceling its traditional network broadcast. Apple worked out a little compromise, though—and the movie will remain free on the platform from December 11-13, with an airing on PBS on the 13th. If you have an Apple TV+ account, though, you can watch Snoopy and friends celebrate as soon as December 4.

schweddy balls snl
'Saturday Night Live' | NBC

A 'Saturday Night Live' Christmas Special

Date: December 16; December 22
When: 9pm ET
Where: NBC
From "Schweddy Balls" to "Dick in a Box," it's all of your favorite SNL skits from Christmases past in one place.

Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Celebration

Date: December 25
When: 10am ET
Where: ABC
Make your Christmas morning extra magical by celebrating with Mickey Mouse and co., and their crew of celebrity performers, at the Disney Parks. 

NBC's New Year Eve Special

Date: December 31
When: 10pm ET
Where: NBC
You may not be able to watch thousands gathering in Time Square to watch the ball drop as usual, but you can still say good riddance to 2020 with this virtual special.

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Sadie Bell is the entertainment editorial assistant at Thrillist. She's on Twitter at @mssadiebell.
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