Where Is Christmas in ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas?

Ah, December.

According to Andy Williams, it’s the most wonderful time of the year and I agree. There’s so much stuff that happens this month: holiday preparations, decorations, foods, gifts, overly zealous Christians claiming there is a war on Christmas and getting themselves hilariously worked up over nothing.

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That Starbucks controversy truly was Christmas coming early for me.

And now, it’s my turn to get worked up over nothing!

My favorite Christmas tradition (in addition to spending time with family and other blah blah blah boring stuff like that) is the 25 Days of Christmas movie marathon that ABC Family hosts every year. December 1st is when the 600 hours of nonstop holiday programming will begin, but before the marathoning starts, I have to say there are some issues with the movie list.

Why Are Non-Holiday Movies Being Aired?

The Nightmare Before Christmas obviously gets a pass because even though it’s a Halloween movie, it is technically appropriate for December since most of the plot is centered around Jack Skellington trying to be in charge Christmas. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone are kinda pushing it since they either have only a couple of Christmas-related scenes or just happen to be set in the winter time.

But the Toy Story trilogy and mini specials? They have barely have anything to do with winter, let alone Christmas.

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Unless you count the merchandising options.

When I complained about the Toy Story lineup to my roommate, she pointed out that Toy Story is the sort of heartwarming tale that we need around the holidays. This is true–I start crying just when that Pixar logo comes onscreen. But still, it’s not a real Christmas movie. Get it together, ABC Family!

Why Are Good Movies Being Relegated to the Worst Slots?

I like to imagine that the programming schedule for 25 Days of Christmas is built on a complex algorithm that is based on popularity of the movie, when viewers are most likely to tune in, competition from other networks, and level of holiday cheer. Looking at this year’s lineup, I have concluded that the execs at ABC Family wrote the schedule in the same order they remembered they had the rights to these movies. How else do you explain why Love Actually is relegated to inconvenient Monday and Thursday mornings, when hardly anyone would be home. I was really looking forward to watching an edited-for-TV version of Love Actually to see how the censors were going edit Martin Freeman’s subplot, which, if you don’t remember, involves him falling in love with a fellow nude stand-in for a hardcore sex scene.

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Let’s see how family-friendly ABC Family could make this.

Fun holiday classics like A Miser Brothers’ Christmas get one showing during a mid-afternoon slot while a steady rotation of Elf, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas get the best prime time slots. It’s not that I don’t love those movies, but it’d be nice if the underappreciated holiday underdogs got a chance to shine too.

What Exactly Are Some of These Movies?

I know it’s pretty hypocritical for me to ask this considering my whole spiel above on how lesser known holiday movies deserve some love, but I want to know how ABC Family picked some of these movies. I mean, you got the big name Christmas movies like Elf and three different versions of A Christmas Carol, ABC Family originals, some general family-friendly movies, and then some, uh, wildcards. Maybe I’m just too young to know these movies, but what exactly are The Bells of Fraggle Rock, Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas, Nestor the Long Eared Donkey… and Home Alone Five?

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I thought we were done with this franchise too, Kevin.

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Well, it doesn’t really matter since these movies also got shuffled to the early morning or mid-afternoon slots when the only people around to watch them will be stay-at-home parents with kids or college kids who have given up on studying for their final exams.

So obviously, I will be tuning in.

I’ll let you know how magical these 25 days of Christmas will be!

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Susan Velazquez

Susan is a recent college grad and writer who enjoys all things from the 1980s, snarking on dumb television, and reveling in celebrity gossip. Oh, and she has serious interests like reading historical fiction, getting involved in social issues, and consuming French fries.

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