"Chestnuts" showing on a big flat-screen
Santa everywhere you roam
Yule log flame being shown on a loop
And folks dressed up like elves and ogres
Everybody knows a reindeer and some shiny snow
Help to make the Nielsens bright.
TV chiefs with their eyes all aglow will try to make you watch tonight …
Yes, it's time for television's annual onslaught of holiday programming, a smorgasbord of animated and live-action specials and movies. This year's offerings range from brand-new to more than seven decades old and feature everyone from Fred Astaire and Jimmy Stewart to Mike Myers and Ray Romano.
Here's a sampling of this year's yuletide programming.
* "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas," 1966 (8 tonight, ABC): The Grinch (voiced by Boris Karloff), a hateful creature with a much-too-small heart, plots to steal Christmas from the holiday-loving Whos of Whoville.
* "Shrek the Halls," 2007 (8:30 tonight, ABC): Christmas Eve finds the cranky ogre (Mike Myers) short on holiday cheer, but, for the sake of Fiona and the kids, Shrek tries to get in the spirit of things.
* "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," 1964 (8 p.m. Tuesday, CBS): The shy reindeer, a laughingstock because of his shiny nose, helps Santa save the day.
* "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town," 1970 (8 p.m. Thursday, ABC): In this special, which Fred Astaire narrated, a young Kris Kringle (Mickey Rooney) becomes Santa Claus. And you thought St. Nicholas was the brains behind Christmas?
* "Jingle All the Way," 2011 (7:30 p.m. Friday, Hallmark Channel): A spirited Husky puppy bonds with a young boy who's visiting a Christmas tree farm. (Schwarzenegger's nowhere in sight.)
* "Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice," 2011 (8:30 p.m. Dec. 5 and 22, ABC): Christmas elves Lanny and Wayne race to recover North Pole technology that has fallen into the hands of a computer-hacking Naughty Kid.
* "The Year Without a Santa Claus," 1974 (9 p.m. Dec. 8, 8 p.m. Dec. 24, ABC Family): When Santa (Mickey Rooney) decides to take a break from delivering presents, Mrs. Claus and the elves have to change his mind.
* "Frosty the Snowman," 1969 (8 p.m. Dec. 9, CBS): In this animated musical special, Frosty is threatened by a villainous magician and rising temperatures. (Global warming back in '69?) He sets off for the North Pole to keep from melting.
* "Frosty Returns," 1992 (8:30 p.m. Dec. 9, CBS): Our hero's future is threatened by a new invention — a snow-removal spray called Summer Wheeze.
* "Yes, Virginia," 2009 (9 p.m. Dec. 9, CBS): In the late 1800s, 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon (Beatrice Miller) writes to ask the New York Sun if there really is a Santa Claus. (Based on the real Virginia's letter.)
* "The Flight Before Christmas," 2008 (9 p.m. Dec. 10, CBS): A young reindeer wants to become an expert flier like his dad.
* "A Charlie Brown Christmas," 1965 (8 p.m. Dec. 15, ABC): Linus teaches Charlie Brown the holiday's true meaning — and a pathetically spindly fir tree becomes a star.
* "Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas," 2011 (9 p.m. Dec. 16, Fox): Manny (Ray Romano) is beyond upset when Sid (John Leguizamo) accidentally destroys Manny's favorite holiday decorations — mayhem ensues.
* "The Story of Santa Claus," 1996 (9 p.m. Dec. 17, CBS): Another Santa bio. Here a gentle toymaker (Ed Asner) becomes you-know-who.
* "A Christmas Carol," 1938 (9:45 p.m. Dec. 5, TCM): Reginald Owen is Scrooge in this version.
* "Miracle on 34th Street," 1947 (midnight Dec. 6, TCM): A man calling himself Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) insists that he's the real Santa Claus. A 9-year-old (Natalie Wood) desperately wants to believe him.
* "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation," 1989 (9 p.m. Dec. 7, ABC Family): As everything goes awry, again, for Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase), Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) is on hand to make viewers feel better about their own relatives.
* "It's a Wonderful Life," 1946 (8 p.m. Dec. 13 and 24, NBC): George Bailey, Bedford Falls, Clarence the angel … unless you grew up on Pluto, you know the plot here. It never disappoints.
* "A Christmas Story," 1983 (annual marathon begins 8 p.m. Dec. 24, TBS): The leg lamp, Red Ryder BB gun and tongue stuck to pole are ever-entertaining.
* "A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa," 2008 (8 p.m. Wednesday, The CW): Gonzo accidentally diverts three letters to Santa, then enlists the help of Kermit and his friends.
* "The Santa Clause," 1994 (7 and 9 p.m. Thursday, ABC Family): Tim Allen plays Santa (after the real one has a Christmas Eve mishap).
* "Annie Claus Is Coming to Town" 2011 (8 p.m. Dec. 10, Hallmark Channel): Santa's daughter heads for Southern California in search of — no, not a movie role, but love.
* "Elf," 2003 (1 and 11 p.m. Dec. 10, USA): Will Ferrell plays an oversized elf.
* The Yule Log (9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 25, WPIX): This film loop of a burning log in a hearth debuted on WPIX in 1966. Nowadays, a "digitally remastered and fully restored" yule log is available in HD and can be followed on Twitter (@PIXYULELOG) and on Facebook (facebook.com/OfficialYuleLog).
* "Debbie Macomber's Trading Christmas," 2011 (8 p.m. Friday and Dec. 7, Hallmark Channel): A Washington State woman (Faith Ford) and a Boston man (Tom Cavanagh) swap houses for the holidays.
* "Good Luck, Charlie, It's Christmas" 2011 (8 p.m. Friday, Disney Channel): Chaos breaks out when the characters from "Good Luck, Charlie" get separated during a holiday road trip.
* "A Princess for Christmas," 2011 (8 p.m. Saturday, Hallmark Channel): A reclusive Duke (Roger Moore) invites his orphaned grandchildren and their guardian to England for a Christmas holiday. James Bond gets warm and fuzzy?
* "12 Dates of Christmas," 2011 (8 p.m. Dec. 11, ABC Family): A woman (Amy Smart) continually relives the same first date on Christmas Eve. "Groundhog Day" with mistletoe?
* "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" (8 p.m. Wednesday, NBC): The tree lighting, plus Tony Bennett, Justin Bieber, Cee Lo Green and Faith Hill.
* "CMA Country Christmas" (9 p.m. Thursday, ABC): Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts and others sing holiday tunes.
* "The Sing-Off Holiday Special" (8 p.m. Dec. 5, NBC): The reality series gets in on all of the yuletide fun.
* "A Michael Bublé Christmas" (8 p.m. Dec. 6, NBC): The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter headlines his first network-TV variety special.
* "A Home for the Holidays" (8 p.m. Dec. 21, CBS): Musical performances and story segments feature celebrities who extol the virtues of adoption in this 13th annual special.