SUNDAY, Dec. 20, 10:15 a.m.
AMC Americans loved child actress Shirley Temple (b. 1928) during the Depression. In this 1935 musical romance, she starred with John Boles, Rochelle Hudson and Arthur Treacher and sang “Animal Crackers in My Soup” and “When I Grow Up.”
MONDAY, Dec. 21, 8 p.m.
I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown!
ABC This 2003 “Peanuts” animated special focuses on little Rerun and what he learns about making Christmas wishes.
THURSDAY, Dec. 24, 8 p.m.
It’s a Wonderful Life
NBC “You’ve been given a great gift, George: A chance to see what the world would be like without you.” So angel Clarence (Henry Travers) tells George Bailey (James Stewart) in this 1946 classic from Catholic director Frank Capra. By showing a despairing, suicidal George all the evil that would befall his family and his whole town in his absence, Clarence gets him to call on God for help and value his life.
THURSDAY-FRIDAY, Dec. 24-25
EWTN At 6 p.m. Thursday live, Pope Benedict celebrates Christmas Mass in St. Peter’s (re-airs Thursday at 8 a.m., 4 p.m.). At 10 p.m. live in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, choral meditations precede Mass. At 6 a.m. live Friday, the Holy Father gives his message urbi et orbi (to the city of Rome and the world; re-airs 11 p.m. and Saturday at 6 p.m.).
THURSDAY-SATURDAY, Dec. 24-26
CATHOLICTV This 72-hour programming slate includes Christmas specials, Christmas editions of regular shows such as We’ve Got To Talk, Going My Way and This Is the Day, Pope Benedict’s 10 p.m. Mass at St. Peter’s and his message urbi et orbi, a Christmas Rosary and a Daughters of St. Paul Christmas concert.
SUNDAY, Dec. 27, 7 p.m.
The Sound of Music
ABC This beloved 1965 musical stars Julie Andrews as Maria von Trapp and is based on the real-life adventures of the Catholic Trapp family singers.
THURSDAY-FRIDAY, Dec. 31-Jan. 1
Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
EWTN On Thursday at noon live, Pope Benedict celebrates vespers in St. Peter’s (re-airs 5 p.m.). On Friday at 4 a.m. live, the Pope offers Mass (re-airs noon).
FRIDAY, Jan. 1, 2:30 p.m.
Great Performances: New Year’s Celebration 2010
PBS Julie Andrews hosts this Vienna Philharmonic concert in the Musikverein, as George Pretre conducts works from the Strauss family.
Engler writes from
Santa Barbara, California.