HOW did you get on, Christmas telly-wise? Television has been a saving grace these past nine months, but come the end of the year, with many productions cancelled due to “It”, the cupboard was bare.

Bare is understating it. The cupboard was so empty it was pulled it off the wall, chopped up and used for firewood. (There’s a six part series in this “kitchen cupboard recycling” idea if any commissioners out there are interested. Shot on Zoom, natch.)

A Baby Reindeer’s First Christmas (Channel 4, Christmas Eve) was about as ridiculously cute as the title suggested. The Cairngorm Reindeer Herd are the UK’s only free ranging pack, but every Christmas they kindly come down the mountain to help Santa (showing just before bedtime, this was very much aimed at the rug rat Father Christmas crowd).

The film focused on a young ‘un by the name of Holy Moly. Not only had Holy Moly come down the mountain without her mother, she had a broken antler and was being bullied. The good people who look after the herd sorted out the antler and she was able to start “reindeer school” with the rest of the youngsters.

If you could bear the cheesy attempts to inject drama (“Will Lupin be able to hold it together and work with the other reindeer to help Santa?”), this was a delightful way to while away an hour.

Blankety Blank (BBC1, Christmas Day) had a prime time revival with Bradley Walsh unwisely trying to fill the shoes of Terry Wogan and Les Dawson. Among the celebs on the word matching panel were Jimmy Carr (called “JC” by “Brad”), Sue Perkins (“Perky”) and McFly’s Danny Jones (“Jonesy”).

It was half an hour of low level smut and luvvieness with everyone trying to be knowingly ironic about the Blankety Blank cheque book and pen, and prizes that included an inflatable hot tub. There would have been more laughs had they simply rerun an old Tel or Les show rather than reheat this mince.

It is a measure of how annoying the rest of the panel was that Jimmy Carr came across as a likeable sort. In fact, he would make a better host should there be anyone deluded enough to bring the quiz back.

Motherland (BBC2, Wednesday) returned, with the slummy mummy set cursing the festive season, what with relatives visiting, so much to do, etc. With the same half hour at their disposal, it was all the writers and cast could do to check in, throw out a funny line or two, and skedaddle. Maybe that was why the episode seemed tired and thin. How thin you ask? Well, a white carpet – that old comedy chestnut – was called into service. Come the end, even Motherland, one of the most caustic looks at modern parenting on television, gave into the demands of the season and melted into sentimental mush.

If only the Motherland set had the half the gumption of the nuns and nurses of Call the Midwife (BBC1, Christmas Day). It had been a trying time of late at Nonnatus House, what with Valerie going to South Africa and the place almost closing, and now the crowd who usually came for Christmas dinner were cancelling in droves. “I’m opening the petticoat tails,” declared Sister Hilda. “I suspect we may need two each.” I hear you, Sister.

Just when you thought things could not get any worse, the circus came to town. Except (almost) everyone loved the circus, especially Phyllis, who had always dreamed of becoming a trapeze artist, as you do when you are a middle aged lady with a bubble perm. This led to an unfortunate incident of Call the Midwife “jumping the shark” with a very silly scene. Otherwise, it was bang on the money with the story of Gloria, a young wife hoping for a Christmas miracle after experiencing so much loss. We cheered her home like the champion she was.

This year the new kid on the block was a reboot of a classic. All Creatures Great and Small (Channel 5, Tuesday) has been a deserved hit with new audiences and those familiar with the original. The festive episode ticked all the boxes: lad with a tea towel on his head playing Joseph; Siegfried playing Santa; Tristan being charming; James being noble; and Mrs Hall fretting while keeping the whole show on the road.

James contributed to proceedings by taking the soon-to-be wed Helen with him on a job delivering puppies. Suzy was the collie’s name and she did very well, particularly when it came time for ye olde tradition of the “veterinary” putting his arm where the sun don’t shine. If there was a doggie equivalent of the Bafta, Suzy would be a shoo-in.

The first pup out, a boy, looked half dead.

James breathed into his tiny mouth and nose as Helen looked on, adoringly. As Bacall said of meeting Bogart and his making her laugh, “Well, you know how that goes.” Wonderful. I’d say All Creatures was a rival to Call the Midwife for the festive top spot,

but they are both so lovely they won’t mind sharing.