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Celebrate the Holidays with WTTW

Daniel Hautzinger
Reggie in the season 11 'Call the Midwife' Christmas special. Photo: BBC/Nealstreet Productions/Sally Mais
The holidays are here! Photo: BBC/Nealstreet Productions/Sally Mais

Believe it or not, we're nearing the end of 2021 and the beginning of the holiday season. We've got plenty of programming to get you in the holiday spirit—find it all below.

The Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra Family Christmas Show

Sunday, November 21 at 5:00 pm on WTTW

Join Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and their families for this joyful holiday special filmed in 1967, with special guest Sammy Davis, Jr. Songs include 'I'll Be Home for Christmas,' 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,' 'Silent Night,' and many more. 

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 21 at 6:30 pm on WTTW

Peppermint Patty invites everyone to Charlie Brown's for Thanksgiving, even though he's going to see his grandmother. Snoopy decides to cook his own version of a Thanksgiving meal with help from his friends.

Hannukah: A Festival of Delights

Thursday, November 25 at 10:00 pm on WTTW and Sunday, November 28 at 4:00 pm on WTTW Prime

Explore the evolution of Hanukkah from a small holiday within Judaism to prominence in American culture. William Shatner, Lainie Kazan, authors, rabbis, and others share historical background and personal memories.

Rick Steves' European Christmas

Wednesday, December 1 at 10:30 pm, Sunday, December 5 at 11:00 pm, and Saturday, December 11 at 4:00 pm on WTTW

Rick visits friends and families in England, France, Norway, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy to reveal their customs and practices of the holiday season in this colorful, musical celebration of Christmas across Europe.

20 Years of Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir 

Monday, December 13 at 8:00 pm on WTTW

Tony Award-winner Brian Stokes Mitchell joins the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra for this two-hour 20th anniversary retrospective with performances from Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Gladys Knight, Angela Lansbury, Hugh Bonneville, Renée Fleming, and more.

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King

Tuesday, December 14 at 9:00 pm on WTTW

Based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s 1816 book, Alan Cumming recounts the origin story of how a prince got put into a nutcracker. Unlike in Tchaikovsky's ballet, we also learn what happens when the young girl grows up, having saved the prince, and what they are doing today. Featuring the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

You can follow the process behind creating another version of the classic ballet in WTTW's Making a New American Nutcracker, featuring the Joffrey Ballet. It's available to stream anytime.

All is Bright: A Concordia Christmas 

Tuesday, December 14 at 10:30 pm on WTTW

The vocal and instrumental musical ensembles of Concordia University Irvine and friends invite you to join them for a festive collection of music that brings light, hope, and joy to the season.

The Magic of Christmas at Alsace

Thursday, December 16 at 10:30 pm on WTTW

Enjoy a magical Christmas in the small towns and villages of the Alsace region of France.

Mary Berry's Country House at Christmas

Friday, December 17 at 8:00 pm and Sunday, December 19 at 5:30 pm on WTTW

Mary Berry visits Harewood House in Yorkshire as it prepares for Christmas on a grand scale, and demonstrates how to make delicious recipes inspired by festive dishes of the past.

Christmas at DePaul

Friday, December 17 at 9:00 pm and Friday, December 24 at 10:00 pm on WTTW

Join Chicago’s DePaul University for the wondrous retelling of the birth of Christ in word and song. This virtual performance features the talents of DePaul faculty, staff and students, and alumni.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Sunday, December 19 at 6:30 pm on WTTW

Feeling down about the commercialism of Christmas, Charlie Brown becomes the director of the gang's holiday play. Can he overcome his friends' preference for dancing over acting, find the "perfect" tree, and discover the true meaning of Christmas?

Lucy Worsley's 12 Days of Tudor Christmas

Sunday, December 19 at 7:00 pm on WTTW and available to stream at the same time

Join Lucy Worsley on a 12-day extravaganza as she discovers that much of what we enjoy in contemporary Christmas—from carols to turkey, gift-giving to mistletoe and mulled wine—has surprising Tudor origins, rooted in devotion and charity.

Christmas at Belmont

Monday, December 20 at 9:00 pm on WTTW

Christmas at Belmont is an annual Belmont University tradition celebrating the holiday season and the musical diversity and rich talent of the university's School of Music.

Wheaton College Christmas Festival: Through His Own Redeeming Love

Monday, December 20 at 10:00 pm and Friday, December 24 at 8:00 pm on WTTW and Friday, December 24 at 3:00 pm on WTTW Prime

Alternating between choral and instrumental pieces performed by 250+ talented musicians of the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music ensembles, this production presents a mixture of traditional and contemporary Christmas music.

In Performance at the White House: Spirit of the Season

Tuesday, December 21 at 8:00 pm on WTTW

Music performances throughout the White House showcase the holiday spirit and festive décor of the “People’s House.” President Biden and Dr. Biden welcome a diverse roster of artists including Yolanda Adams, Andrea Bocelli, Camila Cabello, Eric Church, Jonas Brothers, Norah Jones, Pentatonix, Billy Porter, Voices of Service, the Northwell Health Nurse Choir, and more.

A Day of Christmas Concerts

Friday, December 24 beginning at 6:00 am on WTTW Prime

Starting at 6:00 am, enjoy a variety of Christmas music and performances on Christmas Eve day on WTTW Prime as a joyful prelude to the holiday weekend.

St. Thomas Christmas: A Bloom Eternal

Friday, December 24 at 2:00 pm on WTTW Prime and at 9:00 pm on WTTW

A St. Thomas Christmas: A Bloom Eternal is an hour-long performance special that celebrates the Advent and Christmas season by drawing from both familiar traditional carols and innovative contemporary selections. This year offers a specifically commissioned piece for the concert, 'Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming' by Roger Cichy.

Call the Midwife Holiday Special

Saturday, December 25 at 8:07 pm on WTTW

The Nonnatus House team are faced with their busiest Christmas Day ever in 1966 as the Maternity Home is filled with expectant moms and challenging cases. Luckily, Mother Mildred is on hand to support the team.

River City Drumbeat

Sunday, December 26 at 7:30 pm on WTTW Prime and at 10:00 pm on WTTW and available to stream by WTTW Passport members

The critically acclaimed River City Drumbeat is a powerful, immersive story of music, love, and legacies, as told by the members of a Black youth drum corps in Louisville, Kentucky. When the founder steps down, a young alum whose life was saved by the drumline rises to mentor the next generation in the face of systemic injustices. In celebration of Kwanzaa.

PBS KIDS Specials

Throughout December

We've got a long list of specials for kids (and adults!) airing throughout the month during the day, including, in no particular order, Wild Kratts Creature Christmas, Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas, Nature Cat: A Nature Carol, Peg + Cat + Holidays, Let's Go Luna!: Luna's Christmas Around the World, The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About Christmas!, and Arthur's Perfect Christmas.

Great Performances at the Met: New Year's Eve Gala

Friday, December 31 at 9:30 pm on WTTW

Celebrate the new year with Met stars Angel Blue, Pretty Yende, Javier Camarena, and Matthew Polenzani performing arias, duets, ensembles, and more from the Parktheater in Augsburg, Germany.

Great Performances — From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2022

Saturday, January 1 at 7:00 pm on WTTW

Ring in the new year in Austria at the Musikverein with the Vienna Philharmonic and Hugh Bonneville.