Posted on Nov 24, 2021
The holidays are here and merriment awaits on Austin PBS! Keep your toes warm and your spirits cheered as you settle in for some festive, family-friendly programming.
PBS KIDS specials are listed at the end.
Happy Holidays with Bing and Frank
Celebrate the holidays with a timeless special, featuring the magical combination of Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. In this early color broadcast from 1957, the two legends swap Christmas songs and stories and duet on some favorite holiday classics.
Saturday, December 4 at 6 p.m.
Christmas Carols with Lucy Worsley
Was the carol service really invented to lure locals out of the pub into church? Which carol began life as a secret rallying cry to oppressed Catholics? And why did "Silent Night" spread so rapidly round the world? Discover the fascinating and often-surprising history of our most beloved carols, as popular historian Lucy Worsley uncovers their hidden stories. Hear from a host of international experts and special guests, including the Hampton Court Choir and award-winning gospel group The Kingdom Choir.
Sunday, December 12 at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. & Saturday, December 18 at 11 p.m.
Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas
This irreverent documentary tells the story of the unlikely Jewish immigrants who, enamored with Broadway and Hollywood, wrote some of the most popular songs in America: Christmas music. Features rarely-seen archival footage, musical performances and interviews. Tuesday, December 14 at 8 p.m. & Thursday, December 16 at 10:30 p.m.
Fabulous History of Skiing
Trace the evolution of locomotion on two slats of wood. From cave art and a form of 19th century transportation to the leisure sport we know today, learn surprising insights and unexpected stories from archival material, historians and sports personalities.
Tuesday, December 14 at 8:55 p.m. & Saturday, December 18 at 11:55 p.m.
Nature: Santa's Wild Home
Animals such as reindeer, wolverines and brown bears survive in the tundra and forest of Lapland, the northernmost region of mainland Europe. Wednesday, December 15 at 7 p.m.
America's Forests with Chuck Leavell: U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree
In search of the perfect Christmas tree for the U.S. Capitol, Chuck Leavell travels to the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests to follow the journey — from selection and cutting to ornament making and community celebrations — of what will become the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree as it makes its way from Colorado to Washington, D.C.
Friday, December 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Winter Stories - Judy Collins (with Jonas Fjeld and Chatham County Line)
Recorded in Norway in February 2020, this musical special is a comfy collection of seasonal tales and emotionally evocative songs by an unlikely gathering of artists. The lineup boasts a triple threat of iconic folk singer-songwriter Judy Collins, critically acclaimed Norwegian folk artist Jonas Fjeld and masterful bluegrass band Chatham County Line. Songs performed include "Northwest Passage,” "Mountain Girl,” "Angels in the Snow” and "Frozen North," along with classics like "Both Sides Now" and other surprises.
Friday, December 17 at 9 p.m.
The Nutcracker and the Mouse King
Join Alan Cumming for the real story of the Nutcracker and the Mouse King with the beloved music of Tchaikovsky. Featuring the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under the direction of John Mauceri, this new version is a rare holiday treat.
Sunday, December 19 at 12:30 p.m.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
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?
Sunday, December 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Lucy Worsley’s 12 Days of Tudor Christmas
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.
Sunday, December 19 at 7 p.m. & Thursday, December 23 at 9 p.m.
Antiques Roadshow: Naughty Or Nice
This special edition AR makes a list and checks it twice. Enlivening the year-end holiday season, this lineup of favorite appraisals from past seasons will satisfy everyone's wish list. Highlights include: an 1863 Temperance lithograph illustrating the evils of imbibing spirits; a letter from Gerald Ford, written when he was House Minority Leade, to his kindergarten teacher in Michigan who called him "naughty little Gerry Ford"; and a dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in the film Some Like It Hot that was so tight she had to be sewn into it, valued at $150,000 to $250,000.
Monday, December 20 at 7 p.m.
20 Years of Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir
Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell joins the Choir and Orchestra for this two-hour 20th anniversary retrospective with performances from Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Gladys Knight, Angela Lansbury, Hugh Bonneville, Renee Fleming and more.
Tuesday, December 21 at 10 p.m. & Friday, December 24 at 9 p.m.
All Is Bright! A Concordia Christmas
The vocal and instrumental musical ensembles of Concordia University Irvine and friends invite you to join us for a festive collection of music that brings light, hope and joy to the season.
Friday, December 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Mary Berry Country House at Christmas
When it comes to Christmas food and entertaining, Britain’s country houses have always put on a show. Mary Berry Country House at Christmas is a sumptuous and heart-warming program starring Mary Berry as she visits Harewood House in Yorkshire. With its Robert Adam’s interiors, Chippendale furniture and Capability Brown gardens, Harewood is one of the nation’s most beautiful stately homes. Mary discovers how houses like Harewood celebrate Christmas on a grand scale and shows us how to make delicious modern recipes inspired by forgotten festive dishes of the past. Harewood’s volunteers are the life and soul of the house. Mary hears their stories as she pitches in to bake gingerbread and decorate the tree. Delving into the archives, Mary also finds out about the inspiring story of Princess Mary, 6th Countess of Harewood and the current Queen’s aunt, who helped provide Christmas gifts for serving soldiers during the First World War. Then she heads out into Harewood’s spectacular grounds, picking up winter gardening tips, and gathering winter foliage for her own seasonal decorations. Mary’s visit culminates in a glittering party for staff and volunteers who gather together to preview the house’s spectacular Christmas decorations and celebrate another magical Christmas at Harewood.
Friday, December 24 at 8 p.m.
*** PBS KIDS on Austin PBS ***
These holiday themed episodes air throughout December so kiddos can celebrate all month long! Check the individual listings for air times.
Arthur’s Perfect Christmas
Plans are underway in Elwood City for the best holidays ever as Arthur, D.W., their family and friends make preparations for perfect gifts, perfect parties and perfect family traditions for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and even “Baxter Day” (Buster and his mom’s special celebration). The only problem is, perfection is hard to attain, and things start to fall apart.
Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas
Curious George and The Man with the Yellow Hat are having a wonderful time getting ready for Christmas. There’s only one dilemma: neither of them can figure out what to give the other for a present! In the end, both gift-giving predicaments are simply and beautifully resolved, revealing the true spirit of the holiday season.
Let's Go Luna! Luna's Christmas Around The World
When the Circo gets stuck at the South Pole on Christmas Eve, Leo, Andy and Carmen are convinced that Santa will never find them. With the help of their friend Luna, the kids endeavor to save Christmas, learning about holiday traditions from around the world along the way.
Nature Cat: A Nature Carol
In the tradition of the Dickens holiday classic, Nature Cat is visited by the spirits of Nature Past (Daisy), Present (Squeeks) and Future (Hal) on Christmas Eve.
Peg + Cat + Holidays
This special holiday episode features “The Christmas Problem,” “The Hanukkah Problem,” and “The Penguin Problem.”
The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas!
This adventure finds the Cat in the Hat, Nick and Sally on a journey around the world to help a lost reindeer find his way home to Freezeyourknees Snowland in time for Christmas. On the way, the Thingamajigger breaks down and they depend on a variety of animals — from African bush elephants to bottlenose dolphins to red crabs — and their remarkable abilities to help them make an amazing journey home.
Wild Kratts: A Creature Christmas
In this one-hour special, it’s Christmas time and the Wild Kratts are taking a break from creature adventuring to celebrate. But when the Wild Kratts receive an alert that their favorite creatures are suddenly disappearing around the globe, their holiday party quickly turns into a rescue mission. Our heroes must race against time to thwart their greedy archrivals’ most miserly scheme yet! Will they be able to travel to the ends of the earth and return their baby animal friends to their homes in time for the holidays?