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Every major holiday in America is reflected in its TV programming schedule. Each February, the tube churns out romance and love everlasting (for Valentine’s Day), and inevitably broadcasts guts, gore, and the otherworldly in October (for Halloween). Watching It’s a Wonderful Life, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is just as integral to many Americans’ Christmas traditions as going to church, caroling, or sipping eggnog in front of a fire.
For more than half a century, the TV Guide was the only way to really know what TV show, movie, or holiday special was going to be on — and when. Though TV Guide has lost relevance in light of online listings and streaming capabilities, it remains an iconic symbol in the hearts of those who could not simply set their TiVo to record their favorite shows.
A Christmas Carol starring Reginald Owen and Gene Lockart played Dec. 24 on Channel 11.
White Christmas starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye played Dec. 24 and 25 on Channel 7.
Pocketful Of Miracles starring Bette Davis, Glenn Ford, Peter Falk and Ann-Margret played Dec. 25 on Channel 7.
March of the Wooden Soldiers starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy played on Dec. 25 on Channel 5.
It Happened One Christmas starring Orson Welles, Marlo Thomas, Wayne Rogers and Cloris Leachman played Dec. 25 on Channel 7.
It’s a Wonderful Life starring James Stewart and Donna Reed played Dec. 25 on Channel 13.
Sunshine Christmas starring Barbara Hershey and Cliff DeYoung on Dec. 25 on Channel 13.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer narrated by Burl Ives played Dec. 5 on Channel 2.