Your Guide to WTTW's Holiday Specials

Daniel Hautzinger
Kristin Chenoweth with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Kristin Chenoweth with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

As the end of the year and the holidays approach, here’s a run-down of most (but not quite all—there are a lot) of holiday specials WTTW is airing, most in the evenings of the next couple weeks.

Nature Cat: A Nature Carol

See schedule for airtimes

Nature Cat: A Nature CarolNature Cat: A Nature Carol

This new special was one of WTTW’s Head of Programming and Pledge’s highlights for this month, but there are plenty of other holiday specials from your other favorite PBS KIDS shows. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day both have a full line-up of specials through the whole daytime.

Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Monday, December 16 at 9:00 pm and Tuesday, December 24 at 7:00 pm

Kristin Chenoweth with the Mormon Tabernacle ChoirKristin Chenoweth with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s Christmas concert and performance is a holiday tradition, and this year the featured guest is the winning Kristin Chenoweth.

Great British Baking Show Christmas Masterclasses

Sunday, December 22 beginning at 1:00 pm

The Great British Baking Show Christmas MasterclassThe Great British Baking Show Christmas Masterclass

Need some last-minute baking help, or simply want to watch some masters create delectable treats while engaging in some delightful banter? We’ve got four hours in a row of Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood demonstrating some holiday classics, followed by a holiday special from America’s Test Kitchen.

Making a New American Nutcracker

Sunday, December 22 at 6:00 pm

The Joffrey Ballet's new Nutcracker. Photo: Cheryl MannThe Joffrey Ballet's new Nutcracker. Photo: Cheryl Mann

A few years, The Joffrey Ballet reimagined that old chestnut The Nutcracker with a stellar team that included choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and children’s book author Brian Selznick. Go behind the scenes as they reconceive the ballet to take place during Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair and see the incredible amount of work and creativity that goes into a new ballet—and don’t miss extra features (or stream the documentary if you miss it) on the accompanying website!

Hanukkah: A Festival of Delights

Sunday, December 22 at 9:00 pm


This is another December highlight, featuring the likes of William Shatner, authors, rabbis, and others as they reminisce about their own Hanukkah traditions and explores its evolution into the holiday it is today.

Wheaton College Christmas: Blessed Son of God

Monday, December 23 at 9:00 pm

Wheaton College ChristmasWheaton College Christmas

It’s another holiday tradition, but from closer to home: the Wheaton College Christmas concert, filmed at the school just west of Chicago.

Christmas at Belmont

Monday, December 23 at 10:00 pm and Tuesday, December 24 at 8:00 pm

Christmas at BelmontChristmas at Belmont

Another school’s holiday concert follows immediately on Wheaton’s, with Belmont University’s School of Music joining forces with the Nashville Children’s Choir under the hosting of CeCe Winans and Michael W. Smith.

St. Thomas Christmas: Comfort and Joy

Tuesday, December 24 at 9:00 pm

St. Thomas Christmas: Comfort and JoySt. Thomas Christmas: Comfort and Joy

There are some outstanding school Christmas concerts out there, including this one from the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota, which takes place at Minneapolis’s Orchestra Hall.

Lucy Worsley’s 12 Days of Tudor Christmas

Wednesday, December 25 at 7:00 pm

Lucy Worsley's '12 Days of Tudor Christmas.' Photo: Burning Bright ProductionsLucy Worsley's '12 Days of Tudor Christmas.' Photo: Burning Bright Productions

In this December highlight, the historian Lucy Worsley dons period costume to explore the foods and traditions of the Tudor period, and how they have influenced our own holiday rituals.

Call the Midwife Holiday Special

Wednesday, December 25 at 8:00 pm and Tuesday, December 31 at 8:30 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

Another December highlight is another great tradition: the return of the midwives and nuns of Nonnatus House with a new Christmas special (and eventually a new season, later in the year!).

Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas

Wednesday, December 25 at 9:30 pm

Dreaming of a Jewish ChristmasDreaming of a Jewish Christmas

Our last December highlight takes an irreverent look at the Jewish songwriters behind some of the most popular Christmas songs.

Live from Lincoln Center: New York Philharmonic New Year’s Eve 2019 Sondheim Celebration

Tuesday, December 31 at 7:00 pm

The New York Philharmonic's New Year's Eve Sondheim Celebration. Photo: Chris LeeThe New York Philharmonic's New Year's Eve Sondheim Celebration. Photo: Chris Lee

It might be a bit unorthodox, but the well-crafted music of Stephen Sondheim certainly makes for an enjoyable New Year’s Eve, especially when played by the New York Philharmonic in Lincoln Center.

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