How do you like your canine friends — saving the holiday or named after it? If you prefer them animated, you'll have to wait (the Grinch's twig-clad dog-deer and Snoopy come later) but our list kicks off with a duo of Roveriffic new holiday movies premiering Nov. 29:
"The Dog Who Saved Christmas," 7 p.m., ABC Family: It's kind of like "Home Alone," except Mario Lopez is Kevin and Kevin is a Labrador named Zeus.
"A Dog Named Christmas," 8 p.m., CBS: Greg Kincaid's book comes to life when a developmentally challenged farm boy persuades his rural community to join a shelter's dog adoption program.
Christmas is for kids
"Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas," Nov. 30, 7 p.m., ABC: The original, Jim Carrey-free classic. (Also Dec. 23, 7 p.m., ABC)
"A Charlie Brown Christmas," Dec. 1, 7 p.m., ABC: Yes, Linus, they still make wooden Christmas trees. (Also Dec. 8, 7 p.m., ABC)
"The Year Without a Santa Claus," Dec. 1, 6 p.m., ABC Family: Are you team Heat Miser or team Snow Miser? (Also Dec. 8, 7 p.m., ABC Family)
"Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," Dec. 2, 7 p.m., CBS: Look, kids! It's those misfit toys from the Verizon commercials! (Also Dec. 12, 7 p.m., CBS)
"Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town," Dec. 7, 7 p.m., ABC: Burgermeister Meisterburger stars in Rankin/Bass' Santa Claus origin story.
"Frosty the Snowman," Dec. 18, 7 p.m., CBS: He always said he'd be back again someday.
"National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation," Nov. 30, 7 p.m., AMC: An incinerated Christmas tree, an exploding sewer and a modern-day holiday classic.
"A Christmas Carol," Dec. 3, 7 p.m., TCM: 1938's Jim Carrey-free classic.
"Home Alone," Dec. 4, 6 p.m., ABC Family: Celebrate the holidays with a white-hot doorknob and a paint can to the forehead.
"It's A Wonderful Life," Dec. 12, 7 p.m., NBC: Pottersville looks like a fun place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there. (Also Dec. 24, 7 p.m., NBC)
"Christmas in Connecticut," Dec. 17, 7 p.m., TCM: Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan and Sydney Greenstreet star in this screwball holiday comedy.
Shiny and new
"Prep and Landing," Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m., ABC: An elite elf force — think of them as "red and green ops" — readies houses for Santa's visit in this computer-animated Disney special.
"Debbie Macomber's Mrs. Miracle," Dec. 5, 8 p.m., Hallmark: Doris Roberts and a Christmas pageant help a widower find new love.
"Yes, Virginia," Dec. 11, 7 p.m. CBS: Neil Patrick Harris and Jennifer Love Hewitt star in this computer-animated retelling.
"Christmas in Canaan," Dec. 12, 7 p.m., Hallmark: Billy Ray Cyrus tries to raise three kids during the civil rights movement in this adaptation of a Kenny Rogers book.
"ATHF Xmas," Dec. 13, 10:45 p.m., Adult Swim: The Aqua Teen Hunger Force gang appear in a possible tie-in to their just-released Christmas CD.
"The Christmas Hope," Dec. 13, 7 p.m., Lifetime: A 9-year-old orphan draws a troubled couple closer together.
"Saturday Night Live Christmas 2009," Dec. 17, 7 p.m., NBC: 30 Rockin' around the Christmas tree.
"The Three Gifts," Dec. 19, 7 p.m., Hallmark: Dean Cain, Mimi Kennedy and more holiday orphans.
Marathons — the gifts that keep on giving
"A Christmas Story," 24 hours beginning Dec. 24 at 7 p.m, TBS: Admit it ... you want an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle, too.
"Dirty Dancing," 12 hours beginning Dec. 25 at 11 a.m., TV Guide Network: Huh?
"Holmes for the Holidays," six Sherlock Holmes classics beginning Dec. 25 at 7 p.m., TCM: Maybe the legendary detective will solve the mystery of what this could possibly have to do with Christmas.
"Christmas in Rockefeller Center," Dec. 2, 7 p.m., NBC: Jane Krakowski and Zachary Levi host this holiday celebration featuring musical numbers by Michael Buble, Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Barry Manilow, the Roots, Shakira and the Radio City Rockettes.
"Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday Special," Dec. 7, 7 p.m., Fox: Dolly Parton, Brad Paisley and David Cook join the country crooner in this musical comedy variety special.
"Holiday Celebration on Ice," Dec. 7, 7 p.m., Hallmark: What would Brian Boitano do? Star in this ice spectacular with REO Speedwagon and Rick Springfield.
"Michael McDonald: This Christmas; A Soundstage Special Event," Dec. 10, 8 p.m., PBS: Yuletide favorites and signature hits and a soulful, throaty baritone!
"Jennifer Hudson: I'll Be Home For Christmas," Dec. 14, 7 p.m., ABC: The "Dreamgirls" star heads back to her childhood Chicago home in her first Christmas special.
"Christmas in Washington," Dec. 20, 7 p.m., TNT: Mary J. Blige, Neil Diamond and Sugarland are among this program's holiday song stylists.
"A Home for the Holidays with Faith Hill," Dec. 23, 7 p.m., CBS: Jamie Foxx, Melissa Etheridge, Tim McGraw and other celebrities extol the joys of adoption in this 10th annual special.
"Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade," Dec. 25, 10 a.m., ABC: Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato (ask your kids) and other Disney stars perform holiday favorites from the Magic Kingdom.
Lumps of coal
"The Polar Express," Dec. 3, 5 p.m., ABC Family: Those cold expressionless faces; those glassy, soulless eyes. And that's just me after seeing this creepy film in Imax. (Repeats at 7:30 p.m.)
"12 Men of Christmas," Dec. 5, 8 p.m., Lifetime: Hey, Kristen Chenoweth ... Christmas is about advent calendars, not hunky, nudie calendars.
"Jack Frost," Dec. 7, 9 p.m., ABC Family: Michael Keaton dies in a car wreck and is resurrected as his son's snowman. There must have been some tragic in that old, silk hat they found.
"Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe," Dec. 13, 7 p.m., ABC Family: Jenny McCarthy must decide whether or not to take the sleigh reins of the family business from her daddy, Saint Nick. Usually when a movie with Paul Sorvino talks about the "family business," it isn't Santa Clausin'.
"Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live," Dec. 15, 8 p.m., Fox: The "Hell's Kitchen" chef will help you prepare a three-course holiday meal. He swears.
"Miracle on 34th Street," Dec. 23, 6:30 p.m., ABC Family: Forget about red and green; this dour 1994 remake will make you feel blue, blue, blue.