Season's beatings


“Crazy Christmas Lights”
Friday 8am, TLC

One of my favorite holiday activities is driving around, looking for ostentatious light displays. I’ve never understood how vomiting candy-colored bulbs all over your lawn shows off your love of Santa or Baby Jesus, but the more your home looks like a cathouse, the happier I’ll be. Charlottesville is home to many notable displays (a friend of a friend used to do “ticky tacky light tours” out of a converted bible school bus, driving us around a three-county area), but if you’re looking for gonzo houses outside Central Virginia, this special will do the trick. Stay tuned for more Griswoldian achievements with “More Crazy Christmas Lights” (9am) and “Invasion of the Christmas Lights” (10am). And for a little Schadenfreude with your stocking, check TLC at 6am for “Holiday Blunders,” featuring roasted turkeys falling to the floor, trees crashing through living rooms and more.

“Holiday Hearth”
Friday 8am, CW

I do not believe—but am not certain—that this is the classic “Yule Log” that was originally broadcast in New York City back in 1966, featuring the same seven minutes of burning log footage looped ad nauseum accompanied by cheery holiday tunes. I believe that this is a modern version of that classic, featuring a different burning log with different seasonal music. Whatever the case, it still should offer the perfect background while you and yours open presents and trade thinly veiled insults about questionable sartorial tastes, relative cheapness of gifts, and closet alcoholism. Or is that just my family? For the record, superstation WGN is supposed to air the original “Yule Log” 8-11am. Christmas day, but I can’t for the life of me find that listed anywhere on the local TV listings.

“Boxing’s Best of 2009”
Saturday-Thursday 11pm, HBO

HBO goes from red and green to black and blue with this five-night retrospective of the year’s best boxing matches. Relieve some of those holiday frustrations (how could nobody get me the Madonna video collection on DVD?!) by watching grown men beat the shit out of each other. Saturday, catch Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Juan Manuel Marquez; Sunday features Antonio Margarito vs. Shane Mosley; Monday is Andrew Berto vs. Luis Colazo; Tuesday is Marquez again, this time against Juan Diaz; Wednesday is Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto; and Thursday will be Paul Williams vs. Sergio Martinez.