TV Picks Dec. 16-22, 2007

All Times Eastern

SUNDAY, 8:30 p.m.

White House Christmas 2007

HOME & GARDEN TV See this year’s decorations at the Executive Mansion.


Classroom: Christmas in Wartime

HISTORY CHANNEL On Monday, “Christmas at War” shows us how U.S. military forces since Valley Forge have observed the birth of Christ. On Tuesday, “The Christmas Truce” relates how, on Christmas Eve in 1914, German and Allied soldiers celebrated the occasion together. Advisory: TV-PG.

TUESDAY, 8 p.m.

Nova: Missing in MiG Alley

PBS Families are still trying to trace the fate of more than two dozen pilots of U.S. F-86 Sabrejets who are believed to have undergone Soviet interrogation and removal to the USSR after being downed by Russian-piloted MiG-15s in the Korean War (1950-1953). Along with archival footage, reconstructions of dogfights and interviews with U.S. and Soviet pilots, we meet three families as they search for clues.


Last Christians of Bethlehem

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL This hour-long documentary focuses on Christians in the town of Jesus’ birth, pressured as they are by Israeli forces and Islamic hardliners.

WEDNESDAY, 10:30 p.m.

Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey

FAMILYLAND TV In this stop-motion special from 1977, Nestor, a donkey shunned for his extra-long ears, finds God loves him and has a glorious purpose for him when cherub Tilly guides him to the Holy Land to bear Mary to Bethlehem. Advisory: Nestor’s mama gives her life to save him.

THURSDAY, 10 p.m.

Ancient Discoveries: Machines III

HISTORY CHANNEL A millennium ago, Chinese inventors were creating star-tracking devices, hydraulic hammers, water-run clocks and water-powered production plants. We visit an ancient iron furnace, and professor Ye Hongming speculates on how the Qin terra cotta soldiers and horses were made 2,200 years ago. Advisory: TV-PG.

THURSDAY, 5 a.m.

G.K. Chesterton’s The Surprise

EWTN In this full-length play by Catholic convert, apologist and literary giant G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936), a puppet master loves his creations so much that he prays they become human. They do that, but then they develop so many faults that their maker realizes he must come down among them in order to save them. Re-airs 10 p.m. Friday.

SATURDAY, 1 p.m.

Christmas With the Nuns of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery

EWTN From Mother Angelica’s Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Ala., the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration sing “O, Holy Night” and other carols.

Dan Engler writes from
Santa Barbara, California.

Keeper of the ‘Christmas Conversion’

The Church celebrates the feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux in October, but two months later many hold her memory close again because of a life-changing conversion experience she underwent interiorly on Christmas Day of 1886. An Advent visit to St. Teresa’s Church in Lincoln, Neb. By Kimberly Jansen.

Coming Home

GOD AND MAN AT GEORGETOWN PREPHow I Became a Catholic Despite 20 Years of Catholic Schooling by Mark Gauvreau Judge