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 and Pixar films. Starting in 2007, ABC Family extended the "25" days into late November with a companion block called the Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas, which will be renamed Kick-Off to Christmas in 2018.
On October 30, 2017, it was announced that, for the holiday season of 2017, the 25 Days of Christmas would be expanding to also air on the other networks owned by The Walt Disney Company, including ABC, the Disney Channel, Disney XD, and Disney Junior.
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.
- Family Channel / Fox Family / ABC Family / Freeform
- 1996: Home and Family Christmas Special
- 2001: Donner
- 2008: A Miser Brothers' Christmas
- 2011: A Very Pink Christmas
- Disney Channel
- Bizarrdvark: "A Killer Robot Christmas"
- Disney Parks Presents a Disney Channel Holiday Celebration
- Hotel Transylvania: The Series: "The Fright Before Creepmas"
- The Lion Guard: "Timon and Pumbaa's Christmas"
- Mickey and the Roadster Racers: "Happy Hot Diggity Dog Holiday!" / "Happy Holiday Helpers!"
- Puppy Dog Pals: "A Very Pug Christmas"
- Sofia the First: "The Mystic Isles: A Very Mystic Wassailia"
- Stuck in the Middle: "Stuck at Christmas"
- Disney XD
- Disney Junior
- Goldie & Bear: "Winterchime Day"
Current non-original programming (2017)
The following is a list of Christmas movies and specials presently featured during the 25 Days of Christmas and the Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas (as of 2017) that originally either premiered theatrically, direct-to-video, or on another TV network or cable channel. This also includes specials that premiered on ABC, the Disney Channel, Disney XD, and Disney Junior before the brand came into use on those channels.
The following non-original specials and movies listed below have aired as part of the 25 Days of Christmas on Freeform and its predecessors in past years.
- TV specials and episodes
Countdown to The 25 Days of Christmas
In 2007, due to popular ratings from the previous year, ABC Family launched a companion block titled the Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas, 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.
The 2012 event began on November 17th, marking the earliest start yet.
The 2017 event began on November 18th and included the television premiere of Pixar's Inside Out, and the Freeform premiere of Four Christmases. The countdown event also notably included many holiday specials previously only shown as part of the main block.
For 2018, the countdown block will be renamed Kick-Off to Christmas.
- 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 notable 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. Fans have also taken issue with the abundance of certain specials and movies being repeated numerous times throughout the block. This has sparked many complaints to the network, via email and their Facebook page.