So, you’ve got everything done, and you can spend the next two days just watching TV. Or you’ve given up on getting everything done, and have decided just to watch TV.
But now what? The cable grid can be exhausting, and holiday fare doesn’t always stand out. Oh, that episode of “Dr. Pimple Popper” might have a festive theme, but the description gives no clue. “Banish Dark Spots Now!” — could be about Christmas; that was more or less the message Scrooge got. But probably not.
Let us help. Here’s a list of surefire holiday hits. Check your provider guide for exact times, as they are subject to change. Or just pour a Tom & Jerry and relax because who cares, it’s Christmas.
DirecTV (video on demand) “A Curious George Christmas.” Summary: “The inquisitive monkey makes preparations for a perfect Christmas.” That is the entire description available, so whether George wrecks a manger scene, burns down a church or stands on the shoulder of the Man With the Yellow Hat flinging poo at arresting officers, we can’t say.
DirecTV (Ch. 124, pay per view), 11 a.m. Tue. “Female Wrestling’s Most Violent Brawls.” If you want to get in the mood for intrafamily arguments over dinner.
Discovery HD (DSCHD), noon Tue. to 3 a.m. Wed. A marathon of “Moonshiners: A Very Moonshine Christmas.” This docudrama recounts the exploits and adventures of people who make moonshine. It’s against the law, so they’re keen to keep clear of the Feds bent on shuttin’ ’em down. Perhaps the Feds should just watch TV; “Moonshiners” has been following the same people for nine seasons, and there might be a clue in there somewhere.
These episodes focus on Appalachian holiday traditions, like shooting turkeys and drinking ’shine, then talking about making ’shine and eating turkey.
Golf Channel (GOLFHD), 7 p.m. Tue. to 5 a.m. Wed. “A Very Feherty Christmas.” Most nongolfers don’t know what a Feherty Christmas would be like, let alone what it takes to make one very Feherty. Well, that’s David Feherty, Irish golfer-turned-TV-commentator. And, truth be told, the descriptions of the show do not sound particularly Christmassy. But that won’t matter to anyone who wishes to spend hours listening to someone talk about golf.
PBS (Ch. 2) 11 p.m. Tue. “The New Standards Holiday Show.” You may think “new standards” is contradictory because standards take time to take hold. It’s actually the name of the group, and this swank, upbeat show was recorded at the State Theatre in 2014. It’s also available online at tpt.org/the-new-standards-holiday-show.
FXM 5 p.m. Tue. “A Christmas Carol.” Ah, but which one? There are so many, each with its own passionate defenders. This one is the 1951 British version starring Alastair Sim, which many regard as the best.
NBC (Ch. 11), 7 p.m. Tue. “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Seems an obvious choice, a cliché. But it has achieved that status for a reason. Granted, this Frank Capra classic is a remarkably dark story that is not entirely suitable for little kids — unless you want to explain why the bitter, despairing man wants to jump off the bridge and why the nice peaceful town is full of whorehouses and honky-tonks.
ABC (Ch. 5) 9 a.m. Wed. “Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade.” People in trademarked character costumes waving from floats. Musical performances from all the various Disney properties. They’ve aired these annually since 1983, when kid-fave Mike Douglas was the host.
And, if all else fails, the choice for TV viewing that brings everyone together: The Yule Log. You can find many videos of festive fireplaces online. One search result from YouTube: “Fireplace — Full HD — 10 hours crackling logs for Christmas.” It’s not a true 10 hours of a burning fire; it’s actually a short segment looped over and over again. You can tell because at the end of the 10 hours, the logs show no effects from continual combustion.
They’re not kidding about the crackling. however. It sounds like Paul Bunyan is abusing his knuckles. Anyone who can sit through all that crackling and popping without it driving them nuts clearly has been enveloped by the holiday spirit (youtube.com/watch?v=ZY3J3Y_OU0w).
James Lileks • 612-673-7858