New TV specials and old favorites kick off the holiday season

Celtic Woman: Home for Christmas

This week’s Christmas programs feature Celtic Woman, Celtic Thunder and a new Lawrence Welk memories show.

Download a printable file of the full month’s schedule of programs.

Wednesday, Dec. 4 on WV PBS

9:30 p.m. — Celtic Woman: Home for Christmas — Internationally renowned for alluring stage productions and songs of heartwarming inspiration, Celtic Woman present their new chapter of musical enchantment in Home For Christmas. Vocalists Lisa Lambe, Susan McFadden, Méav Ni Mhaolchatha and Celtic violinist Máiréad Nesbitt perform timeless holiday favorites (“Silent Night,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” “Joy to the World”) with their signature Celtic twist, under the distinctive musical direction of Emmy®-nominated music producer David Downes. This program also airs on Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 1:30 p.m. on WV PBS.

Tuesday, Dec. 5 on WV PBS.2 (where available)

Darla Z's Christmas 'round the world

Celebrate Christmas wHear the different sounds of Christmas by the captivating songstress Darla Z.

7:00 p.m. —  Darla Z’s Christmas ‘round the World — Hear all your favorite Christmas melodies in a new and exciting way, arranged in flavor of a particular country or locale. See and hear Darla Z sing a soulful version of “Silent Night” and hear about the beloved Christmas carol’s impact on the soldiers in WWI. Some other holiday favorites include: “O Holy Night,” “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer” (Country style), “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting),” “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Up On The Housetop (21st Century)” and “Jingle Bells.”

Saturday, Dec. 7 on WV PBS

7:00 p.m. —  Lawrence Welk Holiday Special: Great Moments and Memories — Nine stars of the Lawrence Welk Musical Family are reunited to host great moments and memories spanning 30 years of Christmas holiday shows. The cast includes the Lawrence Welk Champaign lady, Norma Zimmer, Myron Floren, Jo Ann Castle, Mary Lou Metzger, Bobby Burgess, Ron Anderson, Sandi Griffiths, Ken Delo, and Gail Farrell. All the traditional and favorite Christmas songs, plus performances by the children of the Welk Musical Family.

Celtic Thunder Christmas

Credit Celtic Thunder
Promotional photo of Celtic Thunder on stage for “Celtic Thunder Christmas,” filmed in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. in front of a live audience in 2010.

9:30 p.m. — Celtic Thunder Christmas — This heart-warming Celtic Thunder show features holiday standards such as “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas,” “Let It Snow,” “Winter Wonderland” and “Silent Night” as well as a few specially-written originals, “Going Home For Christmas,” “Christmas Morning Donegal” and “Our First Christmas Together.” Filmed in 2010 in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., in front of a live audience, Irishmen Damian McGinty, Keith Harkin, Paul Byrom, Ryan Kelly and Scotsman George Donaldson of Celtic Thunder bring together their affinity for a great popular song with outstanding live performances, pay homage to cherished holiday favorites. The show is a holiday celebration for all the family performed as ever with Celtic Thunder magic. This program also airs Sunday, Dec. 8 at 1 a.m.


Rick Steves' European Christmas

Each December, at the Vatican in Rome, Europe’s biggest manger scene stands in front of its biggest church.

7:00 p.m. — Rick Steves’ European Christmas — After producing a hundred of his travel shows, Rick Steves and his public television crew finally celebrated Christmas in Europe. Rick and his gang brought home a vivid and intimate look at how seven diverse cultures celebrate Christmas. From England to Norway, Burgundy to Bavaria, and Rome to the top of the Swiss Alps, this special gets you down on the carpet with wide-eyed children, up in the loft with the finest choirs, and into the kitchen with grandma and all her secrets. You’ll experience traditional European Christmas like never before: from flaming puddings and minced pies in jolly old England to angelic girls’ choirs sporting flickering crowns of candles in Olso: from grandpa reading the Bible high in Switzerland to the pope in a jam-packed St. Peter’s Basilica for midnight Mass. Above all, you’ll be treated to traditional European holiday music –unfamiliar to most American ears — performed by families and choirs in their homes, chapels and cathedrals.