Is nothing sacred?

It is with great sadness that we at The TV Column report that CBS has put the torch to one of its most eagerly anticipated traditions of the holiday season, the Kathie Lee Gifford Christmas special.

For the past five years, Kathie Lee has brightened our humdrum little lives with her treacly confections. "Kathie Lee . . . Looking for Christmas," "Kathie Lee: Home for Christmas," "Kathie Lee: Just in Time for Christmas," "Kathie Lee: We Need a Little Christmas" and--who can forget?--"Kathie Lee: Christmas Every Day."

They made us laugh, they made us cry, they made us think our own singing voices weren't so bad after all. They made us truly thankful for the other 364 days of the year when there were no Kathie Lee Gifford Christmas specials on television.

And now, it's over.

CBS was trying its best yesterday not to look like the Grinch.

"We have the highest possible regard for Kathie Lee. It just didn't work out because of schedules this year--there's always the possibility we will do it again," said a CBS rep.

Oh sure--give us false hope, you cruel, cruel network. We know you've replaced Kathie Lee with Amy Grant. Her first CBS Christmas special is airing tonight. It's called "A Christmas to Remember." Is that a total Kathie Lee rip-off or what?!

Grant has got that Christian music thing going, too, but unlike Kathie Lee, Grant actually dumped her husband, which is more today, more happening, more now, more wow--all the things CBS would like to be--than that stand-by-your-man- even-if-he-is-a-lump thing that Kathie Lee had going.

You think I'm making this up? CBS so liked the fact that Grant dumped her hubby that they dumped him, too. Grant's ex, musician Gary Chapman, had his show, "Prime Time Country," canceled this year by the CBS-owned Nashville Network.

Yup, we should have seen this coming. We should have picked up on the telltale signs. Last year, for instance, CBS moved Kathie Lee's special to Friday at 10 p.m., which is that network's version of time-slot Siberia and certainly no place for a warm and fuzzy family hour like Kathie Lee's. And, not surprisingly, into this time-slot hell many of Kathie Lee's followers feared to tread, and the special rendered its smallest audience in five years.

But it's too late now.

There'll be no glimpses of Kathie Lee's fabulous home in Vail, Colo., this Christmas.

No home movies of Kathie Lee as a toddler.

No more heavily coiffed Kathie Lee in an off-the-shoulder lame{prime} number quizzing her children on lessons from the Bible.

That's right, no more Cassidy.

No more Cody.

No more philandering husband Frank.

No more blistering review the next day by Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales.

"I do feel sorry for all the little children who look forward each year to having their parents read my review to them as they snuggle in their beds on Christmas Eve," said a devastated Shales, who has gone into seclusion.

And Kathie Lee? She's moving on. She'll be hitting the Great White Way starting Tuesday, subbing for Carol Burnett one night a week in the Stephen Sondheim revue "Putting It Together" at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.

Atta way, Kathie Lee! Whatta trouper!