'Idols' Mark Christmas on Gospel Music Channel

Former American Idol finalists Mandisa and George Huff launched the Gospel Music Channel Christmas season over the weekend, marking the first of several Christmas specials to premiere on the entertainment network.

On Saturday, Huff and Mandisa performed songs from their own Christmas albums as part of Christmas at Union Station: George Huff & Mandisa.

The Gospel Music Channel special, which will be aired throughout the holiday season, kicked off more than a month of world premiere specials, series, music videos and holiday programming to celebrate Christmas 2007.

Huff, who placed fifth on the third seasons of the popular television series American Idol, included in his set Saturday a medley of "Angels We Have Heard on High/Hark the Herald Angels Sing," "Silent Night," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," a soulful rendition of "Silent Night" and a rousing finish with "Go Tell It On The Mountain."

Meanwhile, Mandisa, a ninth-place finalist in American Idol's fifth season, took the stage to perform the Stevie Wonder classic "What Christmas Means to Me," "God Speaking" and a moving new duet with artist, songwriter, and show host Matthew West.

Huff and Mandisa also sang a duet of "The Christmas Song" to close the show.

Other Christmas at Union Station specials will feature Jars of Clay, Trin-i-Tee 5:7, Natalie Grant and Daniel Kirkley – with each show premiering on consecutive Saturdays until Dec. 15. The last premiere, on Monday, Dec. 17, will be the "All Star Show" special.

Gospel Music Channel's primetime line-up, meanwhile, will switch to all Christmas programming starting Monday, Dec. 10, including Christmas music videos on a nightly basis.

Three days before Christmas, starting Dec. 22, the network will feature Christmas programming 24 hours a day, leading up to a commercial-free Christmas day.