1) “A Christmas Story” (1983) marathon, 8 p,m. (TBS) and 9 p.m. (TNT). Each year, we get a 24-hour marathon of this odd gem, viewing a 1940s holiday through the eyes of Ralphie (shown here), who simply wants a BB gun. Cleverly written by Jean Shepherd and others, this somehow manages both warmth and dark humor. With two networks, you can start it at the top of any hour.
2) “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946), 8-11 p.m., NBC. Each year, NBC shows this warm Frank Capra classic, about a good man (James Stewart) who feels his life has been worthless.
3) Musicals. ABC hopes to start a new tradition with “The Greatest Showman,” from 8-10 p.m. The story stretches to make the scheming/scamming P.T. Barnum a hero; still, the songs are rousing, the spirit is strong and Hugh Jackman stars. More musicals? At 4 p.m. ET on TCM, Judy Garland stars in “Meet Me in St. Louis” (1944), gorgeously directed by Vincente Minnelli; also, Sundance has Bing Crosby’s “A White Christmas” (1954) at 2, 4:45, 7:30 and 10:15 p.m., continuing to noon on Friday.
4) “Frosty the Snowman,” 8:15 p.m., Freeform. With two days left in its “25 Days of Christmas,” Freeform has some animatd classics – “Frosty,” then “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” at 8:50 and “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” at 9:55. The morning also has animation from 6-9 a.m. on AMC and (with “The Simpsons” holiday episodes) from 7-9 a.m. on Freeform – which also has “Home Alone” films (1990 and 1992) at 12:30 and 3 p.m.
5) More Christmas. At 8 p.m., CW reruns its trimmed-down version of the “iHeartRadio Jingle Ball”; there’s at-home music from Bilie Eilish, Harry Styles, Dua Lipa, Sam Smith, Shawn Mendes, Doja Cat, Lewis Capaldi and The Weeknd. Earlier, AMC has family fun – “Polar Express” (2004) at 4 p.m. and “Elf” (2005) at 6. And at 11:30 p.m., NBC goes to the Vatican for Christmas Mass.