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7 best Christmas TV Shows to watch over Christmas

We all know about Christmas specials and Christmas movies, which are both fairly common. What’s a little harder to find, though, are entire shows that are built around the holiday season.

While your options may be a little more limited, that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of great stuff on TV that is totally dedicated to the holiday. Here are some of the best options, which are a mix of reality competition shows and more scripted series, all set during Christmas.

Dash & Lily (2020)

DASH AND LILY Trailer (2020) Austin Abrams, Midori Francis, Romantic Series

A romance set during Christmas in New York City, Dash & Lily follows the lives of two teenagers who begin to communicate with one another through a journal they pass back and forth across the city.

Thanks to the fact that it was actually shot in New York, the show also happens to be one of the best looks at what that city is like around Christmas, which has a romance all its own. With its charming leads and some sharp writing, though, Dash & Lily is just the thing you’ll need to sweep you off your feet this holiday.

Hawkeye (2021)

HAWKEYE Trailer (2021) Jeremy Renner, Hailee Steinfeld, Marvel Series

The rare superhero story to be set during the holidays, Hawkeye follows the least powerful Avenger as he teams up with Kate Bishop to take on a gang in New York as Christmas approaches.

Hailee Steinfeld is pitch-perfect casting as Bishop, and Jeremy Renner reminds us that he can be a genuinely great actor when he’s given stuff to do. Hawkeye has been through a lot over his years as an Avenger, but what makes the show work is it balances all of that trauma with plenty of lighter, much more goofy material.

The Santa Clauses (2022-)

THE SANTA CLAUSES Trailer (2022)

If you grew up loving The Santa Clause and its sequels, then you may find yourself just as entranced by The Santa Clauses, a spin-off TV series that picks off a decade after the film series. Most of the central cast returns here to fill their roles, including Tim Allen as Santa himself, but the joy of this show is its unfettered enthusiasm for Christmas as a holiday.

If you’re the kind of person who finds Christmas sentimentality a little cringy, The Santa Clauses probably isn’t for you. For everyone else, though, it’s sweeter than Santa’s milk and cookies.

The Great British Baking Show: Holidays (2018-)

The Great British Baking Show: Holidays - Season 5 | Official Trailer | Netflix

For many, the holidays are about gift-giving and receiving, but baking can be almost as important to the traditions of the season. The Great British Baking Show is a wonderful guide to a wide array of holiday-themed treats packaged up in the same way as a regular season of the show.

If you’re looking for something incredibly chill, disarmingly kind, and filled with inspiration for your next holiday baking extravaganza, then you couldn’t do much better than these holiday specials.

The Great Christmas Light Fight (2011-)

The Great Christmas Light Fight - Super Tease

If you’re an HGTV lover with a penchant for seasonal decor, then The Great Christmas Light Fight is just the show for you. A classic reality competition series, the show involves judges traveling across the country to judge elaborate light displays that are set up every year for Christmas.

Every family has one neighbor who seems to spend 75% of their income on Christmas lights to adorn their home. Now, some of those particular spirited neighbors might find themselves on a national TV.

Holiday Baking Championship (2014-)

Holiday Baking Championship - New Season November 4 at 9ep

If you like Bake-Off but want things to feel a little more stressful, Holiday Baking Championship is for you. Although it offers a relatively small $25,000 prize, the show is nonetheless a hit every year, partly because you get to admire a wide array of elaborate confections from the show’s contestants.

While there are certainly plenty of disasters, Holiday Baking Championship is a show designed to celebrate the skills of its bakers, even as it also subjects them to sometimes grueling or impossible timelines in the kitchen.

Merry Happy Whatever (2019)

Merry Happy Whatever | Official Trailer | Netflix

A family-oriented sitcom set during the holidays, Merry Happy Whatever may be one of the best looks at what it’s like to be around your family during the holidays. Everyone might be grateful for the time off, but that doesn’t mean that being around family doesn’t come with its own kind of stress.

Still, Merry Happy Whatever is ultimately pretty affirming about the spirit of the season and about why we keep family around, even when they cause us enormous amounts of stress. In the end, all that stress is worth the reward.

Editors' Recommendations

Joe Allen
Joe Allen is a freelance writer based in upstate New York focused on movies and TV.
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