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A Home for the Holidays

A Home for the Holidays

Photo Credit:  CBS
  • Premiered: 
    December 23, 1999
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: CBS
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Special, Annual
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Holiday
  • Tags: music, adoption, Christmas, celebrity

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Plot Synopsis

This annual special tells touching stories about foster care adoption to raise awareness for this important social issue. Musical performances frame several pre-taped story segments, which are presented by celebrities who either have their own adoption experiences or are involved with children's issues. Each year, the special inspires families to consider adopting children in foster care, some of whom have been featured on the program.

The 15th annual special, hosted by Celine Dion, premiered on CBS on Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at 8pm ET/PT, with performances by Celine, Ne-Yo and Chris Young.

On Friday, December 19, 2014 from 9-10pm ET/PT, CBS premiered the 16th annual A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, featuring uplifting stories about families adopted from foster care with appearances by Katharine McPhee; Jennifer Hudson; Train; Earth, Wind & Fire; Rixton; Ashley Monroe; Dan & Shay; and Jillian Michaels. The show has no host this year.

CBS premiered the 17th annual A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, hosted by LL Cool J, on Friday, December 18, 2015 at 9pm ET/PT. For the first time, this annual entertainment special went behind-the-scenes at concert venues across the country to introduce children adopted from foster care to their music idols, each one inspiring the other.

The 18th annual A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS premiered on Friday, December 23, 2016 at 8pm ET/PT on CBS, with performances by Miranda Lambert, Alessia Cara, Rachel Platten and more. As the headliner, Lambert performs new songs from her recently released and critically acclaimed sixth studio album The Weight of These Wings.

On Friday, December 21, 2018 from 8-9pm ET/PT, CBS premiered the 20th annual A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, hosted by LL Cool J. Gwen Stefani, Train and Lukas Graham each perform.

The 21st annual A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS premiered on Sunday, December 22, 2019 from 8-9pm ET/PT, featuring performances by Idina Menzel, as well as Adam Lambert, NE-YO and Kelly Rowland. This year, the television audience witnesses the creation of a family through an adoption on-stage.

A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS returned for its 22nd annual program on Sunday, December 20, 2020 from 9:30-10:30pm ET/9-10pm PT. Hosted by Gayle King, the special features uplifting stories of adoption from foster care and raises awareness of this important social issue. The inspirational stories of these American families are enhanced with performances by extraordinary artists, including Josh Groban, Miranda Lambert, Meghan Trainor, Leslie Odom, Jr. and Andrea Bocelli.

A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS returned for its 23rd annual program on Sunday, December 5, 2021 from 9:30-10:30pm ET/9-10pm PT. Filmed at The Grove in Los Angeles, this one-hour special features performances by Justin Bieber, Kane Brown, Alessia Cara and Darren Criss. In addition, Kane Brown will introduce the Rodriguez family for a special live adoption. For the last two decades, the award-winning special has shined a light on the thousands of American children in foster care and has inspired tens of thousands of adoptions, moving these children into loving "forever families."
Hosted by Gloria Estefan, the 24th annual A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS premiered on Friday, December 23, 2022 from 8-9pm ET/PT on CBS, featuring performances by Estefan, Andy Grammer, Mickey Guyton, Little Big Town and David Foster & Kat McPhee. The special, which takes place at The Grove in Los Angeles, enhances the inspirational stories of several American families.

Currently, there are more than 400,000 children in foster care in the U.S., more than a quarter of whom are hoping for a forever home. Foster children often lead difficult lives -- only half graduate from high school, 5% graduate college and 20% become homeless soon after they age out of the system. The child welfare system is sometimes described as the "highway to homelessness," as nationwide 50% of the homeless population was once in foster care. Youth in foster care are resilient and have so much potential to beat these odds. Given a home and a chance, these children can lead fulfilling, extraordinary lives.

The stories featured in this year's special include:

The Phoenix Family: Kaz was placed in foster care when he was 5 years old due to abuse and neglect. For the next 10 years his life was chaos. Alone and scared, he was shuffled from home to home, moving nine times. Being non-binary and on the autism spectrum, Kaz had given up hope of ever finding a forever home, until Jess and Carlos Phoenix entered the picture. Jess and Carlos consider themselves unconventional and knew they wanted to adopt an older child. Upon meeting Kaz, they were inspired by his resilience and fell in love with his uniqueness. Now living in a house full of love and support, Kaz is thriving, embracing his musical abilities and touring colleges.

The Gilmore Family: For years, Marissa and Brad tried to have biological children. After many heartbreaks, the couple turned to adoption. They met 5-year-old Tommy, who had entered foster care after suffering abuse. Marissa and Brad fell in love with the sweet little boy and it wasn't long before Tommy felt right at home and they all bonded as a family. But then, two years after Tommy moved in, tragedy struck. Brad unexpectedly fell ill and, shockingly, he passed away days later. Marissa and Tommy's world shattered. Fortunately for Marissa, she had Tommy by her side to help her put one foot in front of the other, even when she didn't want to. Without hesitation, one year after Brad's death, Marissa finalized the adoption, and they both keep Brad's memory alive on a daily basis.

The Pitt Family: Cheryl and Joel always knew they wanted a big family, but after having two children, those dreams were dashed. Cheryl experienced heart failure after her second birth and was told she should not have more children. Years later, while at church, they learned about the need for foster care adoption and their dreams of a big family were revived. They adopted siblings Anna, 7, and Brian, 8. This big family of six was now complete and everyone happily settled into their new life. Two years later, Cheryl and Joel learned that Anna and Brian's older sibling, Noelle, also needed a home -- the family she thought was going to adopt her changed their mind. Noelle was devastated, heartbroken and alone. Although they had no plans to adopt more children, they knew they needed to reunite the children. Without hesitation they adopted Noelle, and now Cheryl and Joel have the large, loving family they always imagined.

The Henderson Family: After having two biological children, Dawn and Bryan decided they were done having kids. But watching their youngest, Ethan, grow up, they couldn't help but wish they could give him a brother. Then Dawn began a non-profit that threw birthday parties for foster youth, and they gained firsthand knowledge of the need that is out there for older children to be adopted. They decided to pursue adoption and, soon after, they got the call about Nico, an emergency placement. Four days later, Nico, who was 5 years old, the same age as Ethan, moved in. When he arrived at the Henderson household, he had been homeless, living in a car, isolated from other children and had learning, medical and social issues. Now, at 9, Nico is thriving in school, both academically and socially. He and his brother are the best of friends, and the Hendersons' wishes for a brother for Ethan came true.


Other Titles

  • Title since 2021: Home for the Holidays at the Grove

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Triage Entertainment (2008 - Present)
  • Produced by Goldsmith Entertainment (2008 - Present)
  • In association with Children's Action Network
  • In association with Dave Thomas Foundation


  • The Grove (2021 & 2022) - Los Angeles, California USA