Gearing up for Christmas

Looking for a movie to savor this weekend from the comfort of home?

Check out what’s playing on broadcast and standard cable stations.

Christmas in Connecticut (1945)

What could be a more ideal movie for all of us lucky enough to live in the Nutmeg state? While the Connecticut on film may look like a movie studio, there’s a lot to like in this classic comedy from director Peter Godfrey. Barbara Stanwyck delights as an ambitious food writer who stretches the truth about her homemaking skills. The film’s contagious warmth makes this a holiday favorite. Dennis Morgan and Sydney Greenstreet costar.

Friday, December 18, 9:30 p.m., Turner Classic Movies (TCM)

White Christmas (1954)

What do many consider the best loved musical of the season? While the plot of this classic may offer as many holes as a slice of Swiss cheese, the songs by Irving Berlin never fail to charm. Bing Crosby is at his low-key best as a show biz guy longing for an offstage life. When he and performing partner Danny Kaye find themselves at a struggling Vermont Inn over the holidays, we know the music will make everyone feel much better.

Saturday, December 19, 9 a.m., AMC

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

What better way to get ready for December 25th? This marvelous fantasy about a man who believes he is Santa Claus is sure to put anyone into the spirit of the season. With a young Natalie Wood as a young girl more mature than her years, and Maureen O’Hara as a woman less sympathetic than intelligent, the movie dares to ask us to question what we have heard and reconfirm what we would love to believe.

Saturday, December 19, 11:45 a.m., AMC

That’s Entertainment 3 (1993)

What could be an entertaining way to learn more about musical movies? This third collection of scenes from MGM musicals – following up the initial recaps from the 1970s – may lack the blockbuster sequences of the earlier editions but still offers a lot to savor in its tribute to song and dance on screen. Best of all the movie gives us the chance to take a last look at some great stars who deliver moving present-day tributes.

Saturday, December 19, 12 noon, Turner Classic Movies

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)

What sounds like more fun than a madcap comedy on a Saturday afternoon? This classic caper from director Stanley Kubrick employs just about every comedian from the early 1960s from Buddy Hackett to Sid Caesar to Milton Berle. Spencer Tracy is also on hand in a film that is as clever as it is outrageous, as witty as it is engaging. Watching it today makes us long for the days when a big comedy could actually make sense.

Saturday, December 19, 2:15 p.m., Turner Classic Movies

The Sound of Music Sing-A-Long (1965)

What would be more fun for a family evening than to savor everyone’s favorite musical and sing with Julie Andrews? This Oscar-winning sensation – the most popular musical movie ever made – reached a new generation of film fans some 15 years ago by introducing a sing-a-long version. How fun it can be to sing the songs that float through the air. Of course, any chance to watch Andrews on screen is a memorable time at the movies.

Sunday, December 20, 7 p.m., ABC

Sharing movies can be as easy as turning on the television or going online.

And, when you watch as a family, take the time to chat about what you’re seeing.

That makes it even more fun.