1) “Mariah Carey: Merry Christmas to All,” 8 p.m. Tuesday, CBS. Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas is You” seems eternal. It hit No. 1 on Billboard in 2019 – 25 years after its debut; by then, it had sold 14 million physical records and topped $60 million in royalties. But Carey (shown here) isn’t a one-song star; she’s shown power and passion on songs from “Silent Night” and “O Holy Night” to “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.” Here’s her Madison Square Garden concert.
2) “Homeward Bound: A Grammy Tribute to Paul Simon,” 9 p.m. Wednesday, CBS. For the second straight night, CBS has an icon. Simon, 81, has three times won the Grammy for Album of the Year. This concert includes stars of country (Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Brad Paisley, Eric Church, Little Big Town), jazz (Irma Thomas, Trombone Shorty), Americana (Rhiannon Giddens) and more (Stevie Wonder, Jonas Brothers, Billy Porter and Simon).
3) “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” anytime Friday, Netflix. On a week when new, scripted shows are rare, we try this streamer for a strong prospect. “Knives Out” (2019) was a gem; now writer-director Rian Johnson again has Daniel Craig as the crimesolver. In its one-week run in theaters, “Glass Onion” drew praise. The National Board of Review put it on its top-10 list; the Golden Globes nominated it for best comedy and Craig for best actor.
4) “Call the Midwife,” 9 p.m., Sunday, PBS, repeating at 10:30. The British have a splendid custom of having their best dramas air new Christmas Day episodes. PBS does the same with this “Midwife” mix of warmth and devastation. A pregnant ex-con is homeless; a dad reels from alcoholism, unable to cope with his daughter’s birth defects. These dark moments somehow mix with joy and kindness. There are even heroic moments for the starchy administrator.
5) “Lego Masters Celebrity Holiday Bricktacular,” 8 p.m. today through Wednesday, Fox. Four stars – Robin Thicke, Cheryl Hines, Finesse Mitchell and the late Leslie Jordan – link with past contestants who were popular, but didn’t win. The celebs mostly stick to artsy details, letting the experts plan sturdy creations. The result is silly fun; it leads into tense, 9 p.m. reruns of “9-1-1” (today) and “The Resident” (Tuesday), then has a two-hour finale.
6) “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Here are the half-hour gems. Each reflects a brilliant author (Charles Schulz, Dr. Seuss), clever animation and great use of music. “Charlie Brown” remains at Apple TV+, but it’s available to non-subscribers from Thursday through Sunday (Dec. 22-25). “Grinch” returns to NBC at 8 p.m. Friday; it’s followed at 8:30 by a rerun of Jimmy Fallon’s “5 More Sleeps ‘til Christmas.”
7) “Welcome to Flatch,” 9:02 p.m. Thursday, Fox, and more. Thursday is the designated laugh night, all via reruns. NBC has the “Saturday Night Live Christmas Special” from 8-10 p.m.; CBS has a good “Young Sheldon” at 8, followed by five “Ghosts” episodes. Fox has an OK “Call Me Kat” at 9:30, preceded by a dandy “Flatch”: A heat-wave blackout forces everyone to church; lives are changed by strong beer, a dead lizard and a melting gender-reveal cake.
8) “A Home For the Holidays,” 8-9 p.m. Friday, CBS. Each year, this has music and real-life stories about adoption,. This year’s music is from host Gloria Estefan, Andy Grammer, Mickey Guyton, Little Big Town and David Foster & Kat McPhee, We meet Kaz, adopted at 15 after a tough foster-care decade. And Tommy, helping his suddenly widowed adoptive mother. And two families that each began adopting after having two biological children,
9) “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946), 8-11 p.m. Saturday, NBC. Each year, NBC airs this classic– No. 20 on the American Film Institute’s best-movie list – on Christmas Eve. Then (after local news) it goes to the Vatican at 11:29 p.m. for Mass. Another custom has “A Christmas Story” (1983) every two hours, for 24 hours, starting at 8 p.m. on TBS and 9 on TNT. Also, Freeform has “Rudolph” at 5:45, “Frosty” at 6:50 and the “Santa Clause’ movies at 7:30.
10) Christmas Day. The Disney parade is at 10 a.m. ET (7 a.m. PT) on ABC, then noon on Freeform, ABC follows with a five-game pro-basketball marathon. That collides with pro-football – 1 p.m. ET. Fox; 4:30, CBS; 8:20, NBC; with other games on Christmas Eve. Prefer more Christmas? “It’s a Wonderful Life” is every three hours on E, starting at 3 a.m.; Freeform has “Frosty: at 10:30 a.m., “Rudolph” at 11, “Santa Clause” movies at 2, “Home Alone” ones at 8:30.