Each year, around the beginning of November, (or even earlier in really professional media organisations), staff begin to suffer from the Christmas planning dilemma. It's the same thing every year. Do we ignore the holiday season, underplay it, or try desperately to come up with something incredibly original this year? The latter is completely out of the question, since, as every editor knows, there is no such thing as a new idea, just a million different ways of spinning an old one. Quite clearly, Hong Kong's television stations face the same problem with their schedules. Since it is the same thing every year, there are only so many approaches to take. Back-to-back Christmas specials? A smattering of seasonal movies? Or as-per-usual Friday night viewing? At ATV, the poor things are so busy daring to be different for the big relaunch next week, that there has not been much creative energy left to plan anything for Christmas. It almost looks as if someone just went to C in the ATV movie library, and grabbed the Christmas specials file. The programming by numbers began on Tuesday with TV Looks At Christmas and continues this evening with Jane Seymour gushing her way through a selection of tinselly movie clips in A Hollywood Christmas (World, 9.45pm). Someone has been so distracted they forgot to cancel tomorrow's Scrooge-like Financial Information Service (World, 8.30am). The rest of the day is scattered with Christmas episodes of Mr Men And Little Miss (3.50pm), and Hey Arnold (World, 4pm), plus Rowan Atkinson pulling faces in Merry Christmas, Mr Bean (World, 8.30pm). Then we get the European Film Awards (World, 9.30pm) which are pretty meaningless even in Europe, but hardly worth staying awake for in Hong Kong. TVB have done rather better, but then TVB has a rather better library. Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas (Pearl, 9.30pm) is just what one would expect from that extraordinary director when given something like Christmas to fool around with. It is a non-stop action movie done so well the characters seem quite real and is about what happens when a load of creepy spooks, who usually only come out for Halloween, decide to take over the holiday season from the good guys. St Nick gets kidnapped and looks like ending up in Santa Stew, and the hero Jack Skellington is making sure everyone on earth has a terrifying Christmas. Tomorrow, we even get the life of Christ, not the cute manger and angels bit, but the Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice 1970s version, Jesus Christ Superstar (Pearl, 2pm). The idea is to tell the story as a story within a story, a musical version performed by young actors in the desert, who find the whole thing getting uncomfortably real by the end. Maya Angelou joins the Sesame Street crowd, as she often does, to read the story of Elmo Saves Christmas (Pearl, 4pm), in which the little red monster nearly ruins the day when Santa Claus gives him a special wish and he wishes for Christmas every day. And what a nightmare that would be, hey kids, especially for mums and dads. The big movie in the evening is just right. Christmas Day movies need to be films we have seen before, that have won enough awards and broken enough box-office records to be classics. Ben-hur (Pearl, 8.30pm) succeeds on all these levels, and even has a Christian message to remind us of what today is all about. On Cable, TNT and Cartoon Network has come up with a interactive element to the day's cartoon package. Give A Toon For Christmas starts today at 6pm, and begins again tomorrow morning at 5am. The idea has been to get kids to write in and pick the cartoons, with a cute message from the kids, as a Christmas gift for their parents. Nice idea, even if it inevitably has ended up being a bit like asking kids to pick their favourite sweets as presents for their parents: everyone involved knows who the gift is really for but at least there is some sense of giving. All good children will be in bed when the most Christmassy film of the day comes on. The Wizard Of Oz (TNT, 11pm) celebrates its 60th birthday and TNT plan to milk the anniversary throughout the year. For the moment, Dorothy's adventures are only available to cable viewers who are still awake that late. HBO have some sweet cartoons, including Mole's Christmas (HBO, 5.30pm, tomorrow), the episode from the animated series of The Wind In The Willows where Moley goes back home after staying at Ratty's place for months. It takes carol singers and Ratty's reappearance to make Christmas feel really festive. Hong Kong Cable seemed to have missed the boat tomorrow with Detached Mission (Movie 2, 8.30pm) and the surreal but grisly Heavenly Creatures (Movie 2, 10.30pm), neither of which encourage warm family feelings. Star World has done what the terrestrials seem to find impossible: screen Christmas Day episodes of grown-up sitcoms at Christmas. We get The Simpsons (Star World, 10am) episode where Bart gets caught nicking a video game he knows he has no chance of getting as a Christmas present. In 3rd Rock From The Sun (Star World, 10.30am), the aliens seem to be under the impression that Christmas is only about badly-decorated trees and spending money on unwanted gifts (what a ridiculous idea!). Grace nearly ruins the holiday in Grace Under Fire (Star World, 11am) by turning her nose up at Jean's punch loaf. In It's A Man World (Star World, 11.30am), Jamie charms Sarah's family and Kevin disgusts them when they join up for Christmas.