What to Watch in December

Lisa Tipton
Lucy Worsley in Henry VIII costume with boar's head for Lucy Worsley's 12 Days of Tudor Christmas. Photo: Burning Bright Productions
Lucy Worsley's '12 Days of Tudor Christmas.' Photo: Burning Bright Productions

There’s a huge amount of worthwhile TV out there nowadays, so it can be hard to choose what to watch. But who better to recommend shows than the person who programs them? Lisa Tipton, WTTW’s Head of Programming and Pledge, constructs the WTTW schedule by searching through offerings from many different sources which include the national PBS network, the BBC, and independent filmmakers to put together a varied and engaging broadcast schedule. Each month, she’ll recommend a few shows that she thinks you should watch.

Hanukkah: A Festival of Delights

Sunday, December 22 at 9:00 pm


With the help of William Shatner, Lainie Kazan, authors, rabbis, and more, follow the evolution of Hanukkah from a less important holiday within Judaism to larger cultural prominence and significance in America. Don’t worry, the history is leavened with personal memories both touching and amusing.

Lucy Worsley’s 12 Days of Tudor Christmas

Wednesday, December 25 at 7:00 pm

Lucy Worsley (center) with musicians at Ingatestone Hall in 12 Days of Tudor Christmas. Photo: Burning Bright ProductionsLucy Worsley (center) with musicians at Ingatestone Hall in 12 Days of Tudor Christmas. Photo: Burning Bright Productions

Back in the time of King Henry VIII, Christmas was an extravagant, 12-day festival of feasting, dancing, and joviality. Join the popular historian Lucy Worsley in full-on period costume as she explores some of the foods and traditions of the era, and how many of them linger on in our own holiday rituals.

Call the Midwife Holiday Special

Wednesday, December 25 at 8:00 pm

The season 9 holiday special of Call the Midwife. Photo: Neal Street ProductionsThe season 9 holiday special of Call the Midwife. Photo: Neal Street Productions

Airing the Call the Midwife holiday special on Christmas has become a beloved holiday tradition. There’s so much humanity, humor, and compassion in this warm-hearted series, so it’s perfect for the holidays. Plus, it will sate your craving for more of the series for a while longer, before the rest of the new season appears in the spring!

Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas

Wednesday, December 25 at 9:30 pm

Dreaming of a Jewish ChristmasDreaming of a Jewish Christmas

This is a fun, irreverent look at some of the most iconic popular Christmas songs and their unexpected origins from the pens of Jewish songwriters: Irving Berlin, Mel Tormé, Jule Styne. It’s not only a funny and engrossing documentary revealing some hidden history, it’s also a satisfying dose of nostalgia for the holidays, as it brings you back to the times in which many of these classic songs were written.

Nature Cat: A Nature Carol

See schedule for airtimes

Nature Cat: A Nature CarolNature Cat: A Nature Carol

Just like in the classic Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, the Nature Cat holiday special A Nature Carol features spirits of the past, present, and future on Christmas Eve – only this time they’re focused on nature, and they’re embodied by Nature Cat’s friends Daisy, Squeeks, and Hal. It’s a joyous riot, as Nature Cat always is.

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