Where and when to watch classic holiday TV specials for free

FILE - "A Charlie Brown Christmas." (Apple TV+)

Most of you know them and love them: "A Charlie Brown Christmas," "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," "Miracle on 34th Street," and many more.  

But for those who don’t have a VHS or DVD of these holiday classics to enjoy this time of year, streaming or waiting for them to air on broadcast TV are probably your best bets.  

For those of you who aren’t trying to spend loads on multiple streaming platforms this year, here is your guide to enjoying your favorite holiday specials for free. 

Almost all of these services are available on smart TVs and mobile devices. All you have to do is download the provider’s app. 

"A Charlie Brown Christmas"

Unfortunately, this "Peanuts" classic will not air on broadcast TV this year as Apple TV+ has exclusive rights to all of the "Peanuts" holiday specials, but don’t fret Charlie Brown fans, there’s another way. 

For those who do not have a subscription to Apple TV+, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" will be free to stream for a limited time beginning Dec. 22-25.  

Viewers can watch by downloading the Apple TV app and searching for "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and clicking "play" to stream for free during the designated dates. 

"How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (1966)

Yes, there have been multiple renditions of this Dr. Seuss classic but sometimes the original just hits different.  

Apart from paying for NBC’s Peacock streaming service, you can watch "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (1966) for free and on your local NBC channel’s broadcast Dec. 23. at 8:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. CT.  

RELATED: Happy birthday, Mr. Grinch: Dr. Seuss's book about the 'mean one' turns 65

"Miracle on 34th Street"

This holiday movie classic will be available to watch for free on the following platforms and days: 

Freeform (ABC) (1994 version) 

  • Dec. 2 - 11:35 a.m. ET/10:35 a.m. CT
  • Dec. 10 - 11:30 p.m. ET/10:30 p.m. CT
  • Dec. 14 - 6:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. CT
  • Dec. 17 - 7:30 a.m. ET/6:30 a.m. CT
  • Dec. 23 - 12:40 p.m. ET/11:40 p.m. CT
  • Dec. 24 - 9:30 a.m. ET/8:30 a.m. CT

If you’re really looking for a throwback, enjoy the 1955 version of this film available for free on Tubi.  

Freeform can be viewed for free by going to ABC.com or on ABC's app. 

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"

Catch Rudolph, Hermey, Yukon Cornelius, Clarice, and the rest of the misfits on TV on your local CBS station and Freeform. 

Freeform (ABC) 

  • Dec. 3 - 9:15 p.m. ET/8:15 p.m. CT
  • Dec. 4 - 5:35 p.m. ET/4:35 p.m. CT
  • Dec. 21 - 9:00 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. CT
  • Dec. 22 - 8:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. CT
  • Dec. 24 - 5:45 p.m. ET/4:45 p.m. CT
  • Dec. 25 - 11:00 a.m.ET/10:00 a.m. CT


  • Dec. 10 - 8 p.m. ET

"Frosty the Snowman"

Be sure to make time to watch your favorite snowman before he melts away on the following days.  

Freeform (ABC) 

  • Dec. 3 - 10:20 p.m. ET/9:20 p.m. CT
  • Dec. 4 - 5:05 p.m. ET/4:05 p.m. CT
  • Dec. 21 - 8:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. CT
  • Dec. 22 - 7:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. CT
  • Dec. 24 - 6:50 p.m. ET/5:50 p.m. CT
  • Dec. 25 - 10:30 a.m. ET/9:30 a.m. CT


  • Dec. 10 - 9:00 p.m. ET

"Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town"

The big guy with a bushy white beard and red hat will come to a television near you at least six times. 

Freeform (ABC)

  • Dec. 3 - 10:50 p.m. ET/9:50 p.m. CT
  • Dec. 4 - 4:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. CT
  • Dec. 21 - 10:00 p.m. ET/9:00 p.m. CT
  • Dec. 22 - 6:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. CT
  • Dec. 24 - 4:40 p.m. ET/3:40 p.m. CT
  • Dec. 25 - 9:30 a.m. ET/8:30 a.m. CT

"It’s a Wonderful Life"

NBC will air "It’s a Wonderful Life" on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) at 8:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. CT. 

Be sure to double-check your local TV schedule so you don’t miss your favorite holiday movie.  

This story was reported from Los Angeles.