By Paula Hendrickson
Back when HGTV was first added to the local cable lineup, I spent much of November and December watching the channel to pick up holiday decorating tips. Since I love baking even more than cooking, when Food Network arrived I was so captivated I spent almost as much time printing out recipes from Food Network’s website than watching its shows.
HGTV has long been the flagship network of Scripps Networks, but the company has expanded its slate. It now encompasses Food Network, HGTV, Cooking Channel, DIY and Travel Channel. (Travel Channel might not have recipes or designs to share, but might get you thinking about a holiday getaway.)
Among a few classic repeats, HGTV has a new installment of Celebrity Holiday Homes airing Friday, Dec. 14, at 8 p.m. (Central), but you can catch four episodes in a row on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, beginning at 2 p.m. (Central). White House Christmas 2012 airs at 8 p.m. (Central), Saturday, Dec. 22, and repeats at 10 a.m. (Central) on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.
If you’re disappointed that HGTV seems to have scaled back on holiday fare this year, rest assured its sister networks have picked up the slack.
If you missed the holiday editions of House Crashers, Kitchen Crashers and Yard Crashers, you can catch multiple encore presentations between now and Christmas on DIY. You have to see the metal wreath — complete with copper “pine needles” — they made on that episode of House Crashers. It’s amazing.
The special Kitchen Crashers episode isn’t about holiday decorations, it’s about giving back. Chicago-based host Alison Victoria gives a holiday gift to Chicago firefighters (who saved her condo from destruction) by revamping their kitchen and honoring fallen firefighters with a special mural.
Holiday-themed episodes are also on tap at Food Network. For instance, this Saturday you can see Food Network Challenge: Christmas Classics; Restaurant: Impossible: Holiday: Impossible; and The Best Thing I Ever Ate: I Ever Made For the Holidays in the afternoon, and a block of Chopped episodes — Chopping in a Winter Wonderland; Yes, Virginia, There is a Chopping Block; and Can’t Catch Me, I’m The Gingerbread Lobster — in the evening.
Next Saturday, Dec. 22, Food Network has Diners, Drive-ins and Dives: A North Pole Christmas at noon, and Iron Chef America: Morimoto vs. Symon Holiday Battle at 4 p.m. (Central); plus back-to-back holiday episodes of Unwrapped starting at 8 p.m. (Central). Also be on the lookout for Christmas episodes from Food Network stars like Paula Deen and Giada De Laurentiis.
Cooking Channel also has plenty of holiday cheer this week during the 7 to 8 p.m. (Central) hour — Holiday On the Rocks (Thursday), ‘Twas the Night Before Good Eats (a Good Eats special, Friday), and Everyday Italian: Holiday Cookies, and Kelsey’s Essentials: Hooray for the Holidays.
Paula Hendrickson is a regular contributor to Emmy magazine and Variety, and has been published in numerous national publications, including American Bungalow, Television Week and TVGuide. Follow her on Twitter at P_Hendrickson and send your suggestions to email@example.com.
From the Dec. 12-18, 2012, issue