1) “Downton Abbey” (2019) and “Call the Midwife Holiday Special,” 7 and 9:07 p.m., PBS. The “Downton” movie has the elegance of the series (shown here), plus bigger stakes. The king is coming, amid schemes large (an assassination attempt) and small (the royal staff trying to seize control of household duties). That’s followed by a warm “Midwife,” set in Christmas of 1966. Medical crises complicate the wedding of Lucille, a Jamaican nurse, and Cyril, a Guyanese mechanic, student and church leader.
2) “Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade,” 10 a.m. to noon, ABC. The holiday gets a youthful start, with the parade and music. Derek and Julianne Hough will host and also do a song; other performers include Gwen Stefani, Norah Jones, Pentatonix, Megan Donnelly, Darren Criss, Kristen Chenoweth and country’s Brett Eldredge and Jimmie Allen.
3) Animation. Once the kids have tired of their toys, they can turn back to the TV. Freeform has “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” at 4 p.m., “Frosty the Snowman” at 5:05 and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” at 5:40. And at 8 p.m., NBC gives us one more chance to see the great, cartoon version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
4) Sports pile-up. The NBA savors its Christmas Day marathons, now with five games on two networks. ESPN has Hawks-Knicks at noon ET and Mavs-Jazz at 10:30 p.m.; ABC has Celtics-Bucks at 2:30 p.m. ET and Warriors-Sun at 5; both have Nets-Lakers at 8. But there’s also football – one bowl game (Georgia State and Ball State at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN) and two pro games – Browns-Packers at 4:30 p.m. ET on Fox and the NFL Network; and Colts-Cardinals at 8:15 on just the NFL Network.
5) And more. Two classics movies have marathons: “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946) is every three hours, from 6 a.m. to midnight, on E; “A Christmas Story” (1983) starts on odd-numbered hours on TNT, until 9 p.m. … and on even-numbered hours on TBS until 8 p.m., when it’s followed by the classic “The Wizard of Oz” (1939). Also, at 8 p.m., CW repeats the “iHeartRadio Jingle Ball.” And at 8 p.m. ET, Fox has boxing. Yes, Christmastime boxing.