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The 25 Days of Christmas (fully known as The Family Channel's 25 Days of Christmas in 1996 and 1997, Fox Family's 25 Days of Christmas from 1998 to 2000, and ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas from 2001 to 2015) is an annual programming block that has been shown on the Freeform cable channel and its predecessors since 1996. As the title implies, it is shown every year from December 1st to December 25th, and features classic holiday programming (such as Rankin/Bass' TV specials), as well as new Christmas-themed television movies, and occasionally new Christmas-themed episodes of the network's original series. Since 2006, the block has also aired general-interest family movies such as the Harry Potter films, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and various Walt Disney Animation Studios films. Starting in 2007, ABC Family extended the "25" days into late November with a Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas block.
Almost every year since the block started in 1996, at least one new TV film is produced for the channel, with two movies being made every year since 2005. Three films were created for the channel in 2007, due to the popularity generated from the previous year. No new original Christmas movies were made for the block in 2002, 2014, or 2015.
|The Family Channel|
|Christmas Every Day||1996|
|The Christmas List||1997|
|Like Father, Like Santa||1998|
|The Ghosts of Christmas Eve||1999|
|Picking Up & Dropping Off||2003|
|Christmas in Boston||2005|
|Holiday in Handcuffs|
|Snow 2: Brain Freeze||2008|
|Christmas in Wonderland*|
|The Dog Who Saved Christmas||2009|
|Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe|
|The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation||2010|
|Desperately Seeking Santa||2011|
|12 Dates of Christmas|
|Home Alone: The Holiday Heist ||2012|
|The Mistle-tones |
* - This was released in Canada theatrically, but made its US debut on television.
|Home and Family Christmas Special||1996|
|A Miser Brothers' Christmas||2008|
|Gotta Catch Santa Claus ||2009|
|Holly and Hal Moose: Our Uplifting Christmas Adventure|
|A Very Pink Christmas||2011|
|Melissa & Joey: "A New Kind of Christmas"||2013|
|Baby Daddy: "Emma's First Christmas"|
|The Fosters: "Christmas Past"||2014|
|Switched at Birth: "Yuletide Fortune Tellers"|
|Pretty Little Liars: "How the 'A' Stole Christmas"|
|Baby Daddy: "It's a Wonderful Emma"|
|Melissa & Joey: "A Melanie & Josiah Christmas"|
Current acquired programming
The following non-original (meaning that they originally premiered theatrically, direct-to-video, or on another TV network or cable channel) Christmas movies are, as of 2016, presently featured during the 25 Days of Christmas (including the Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas).
Past acquired programming
The following non-original specials and movies listed below have aired as part of the 25 Days of Christmas in past years.
Countdown to The 25 Days of Christmas
In 2007, due to popular ratings from the previous year, ABC Family launched the first official countdown to the programming block, which began on November 23, the day after Thanksgiving. Although this was the first official early start , in recent years, holiday programming has begun during the last week of November, showing mostly older original films, some of which pertained to Christmas and some that did not.
The 2008 countdown included the basic cable debuts of Disney's Aladdin, the live-action Garfield movie, and the ABC Family debut of the Hallmark Channel's A Carol Christmas. The 2009 event saw the basic cable premieres of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Disney's animated films Lilo and Stitch and Hercules, and the ABC Family original film The Dog Who Saved Christmas. In 2010, the event, which began on November 21, included The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation.
- Main article: Songs to Celebrate 25 Days of Christmas
In 2009, Walt Disney Records, the record label owned by the Walt Disney Company (which is ABC Family's parent company), released a compilation album titled Songs to Celebrate 25 Days of Christmas. The album featured music from their 2009 special premieres as well as previously released songs that were featured in other programs broadcast on the block, with the inclusion of Jimmy Durante's version of Frosty the Snowman from the 1969 TV special, which itself is aired annually on CBS.
In recent years, many fans of the 25 Days of Christmas programming block have been upset with the inclusion of such movies as the Harry Potter films, various Disney and Pixar films, and other non-holiday films in the lineup. This has sparked many complaints to ABC Family, via email and their Facebook page.