Never mind all that food malarkey, pulling crackers, wandering around throwing fabled snowballs at each other... we all know what the season of generosity and goodwill to all men is really about? Arguing over the remote control!

In our (small) contribution to the keeping of harmony in the household over the festive season, here's a quick glance at the best on the box, so you can start planning your Tivo/Sky/Virgin/iPlayer* recording now (*other digital box sets are available). Don't say we don't observe all the best traditions...

Kicking off with the weekend before Christmas up to Boxing Day, and trying to find something for everyone!

Saturday 22 December

Pointless Celebrities 5.40pm, BBC1 (A celebrity version of the popular quiz show, but worth circling in the TV guides for the title alone)
Strictly Come Dancing Grand Final 6.30pm, 8.50pm, BBC1 (Denise is the favourite, but Darni and Kimberley have got glitter in their eyes)
The Nation's Favourite Song 6.30pm, ITV1 (Come on, it's Christmas, help Simon Cowell out with his yacht money)
Eric and Ernie 8pm, Gold (Repeat drama)
Arena: Screen Goddesses 9pm, BBC4 (From the day when these lovely ladies used to enjoy their food)
Hemingway and Gelhorn 9pm, Sky Atlantic (Biopic starring Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman)

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Sunday 23 December

Loving Miss Hatto 8.30pm, BBC1 (Victoria Wood-penned drama about Joyce Hatto and the classical CD scandal)
Mr Stink 6.30pm, BBC1 (You won't believe it, but David Walliams has an inner child - here it is on show)
Homeland series finale 9pm, C4 (Who needs Christmas?)
James May's Toy Stories: Fight Club 9.30pm, BBC2 (Possibly for those NOT watching a Victoria Wood-penned drama)

Christmas Eve

The Snowman and the Snowdog 8pm, C4 (Who needs CGI when ye olde crafted animation like this still works its magic?)
World's Biggest Pets 7pm, Channel5 (Another mince pie, anyone?)
Carols from King's 6.15pm, BBC2 (Christmas wouldn't be... etc)
Outnumbered 9.35pm, BBC1 (There's got to be one sitcom that coughs up for a tree)
Trollied 9pm, Sky1 (Make that two!)

Christmas Day

Doctor Who 5.15pm, BBC1 (Rumours of a festive kiss between the Timelord and his new comely sidekick)
Call the Midwife 7.30pm, BBC1 (Expect tears with this ghost of Christmas 1950s East London)
Downton Abbey 8.45pm, ITV1 (And then dry them up with a tot of sherry and a shooting stick, as Downton heads to the bonny Isles)

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Coronation Street 7.30pm, ITV1 (We do like a Christmas marriage, especially when there's three in it) - Who will win the battle of the soaps this Christmas? Read more here...
EastEnders 8.45pm, BBC1 (Derek's dilemma comes to a crashing conclusion)
The Royle Family 9.45pm, BBC1 (And then swiftly back to earth, with, arguably, the pick of the crop)

Boxing Day

Miranda 9pm, BBC1 (Will Miranda and Gary cross the line in this festive Series Three opener?)
That Dog Can Dance! 8pm, ITV1 (A canine special by Simon Cowell's company, and perhaps the nearest we'll ever get to working him out)
The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures 8pm, BBC4 (Enough of all that joviality, here's some alchemy)
Doors Open 9pm, ITV1 (Superbrained Stephen Fry plays bumbling again, this time in a sweet heist drama)
The Girl 9pm, BBC2 (Well-deserved Golden Globe nominations for both Toby Jones and Sienna Miller in this biopic of Hitchcock and his obsession with Tippi Hedren during the making of 'The Birds')

And here's Downton Abbey Christmas in 50 pictures...

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