The 25 Days of Christmas

Santa Claus sitting in rocking chair near Christmas Tree at home and watching tv or home theater wearing 3d glasses and holding remote control

While most people with little kids know what the 25 Days of Christmas is, not everyone may be in the know. For those who are unaware, the 25 Days of Christmas is a 25 day block of television programming dedicated to Christmas themed television shows and movies. The block runs from December 1 through December 25th, and began back in 1996. The block originally aired on Fox Family and then moved to ABC Family. However, ABC Family is now called Freeform so it is now known as Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas. For television and movie lovers, here is a deeper history about this holiday programming.

Christmas shows on TV

The Early Years

When the 25 Days of Christmas started back in 1996, it aired on the Family Channel. This network controlled the programming for two years. Almost every year, a new holiday made for TV movie has been created for the programming, and during the Family Channel timeframe the two movies were Christmas Every Day in 1996 and The Christmas List in 1997. The Family Channel also created an original special titled Home and Family Christmas Special.

In 1998, the 25 Days of Christmas fell under the control of Fox Family. It stayed here for five years. Some of the original movies made during this time period include Like Father, Like Santa and The Ghosts of Christmas Eve. Fox Family also oversaw the production of one original television special in 2001 by the name of Donner.

The Later Years

The 25 Days of Christmas spent the majority of its lifespan on ABC Family. It found its home here from 2003 through 2015. Some of the holiday movies produced during the time at ABC Family include The Dog Who Saved Christmas, 12 Dates of Christmas, and Toy Story That Time Forgot. In 2007, ABC Family even began a Countdown to the 25 Days of Christmas. This programming  began on November 21st  and included a mix of holiday and non-holiday programming. It did not run every single year, but it was brought back in mid to late November for various years. It was simply a way to have a stronger build up to the actual 25 Days of Christmas programming. ABC Family also began mixing in some non-holiday movies into its line-up. This drew in even more viewers and expanded the reach of this chain of programming.

What is Freeform?

As of 2016, Freeform is the new owner of the 25 Days of Christmas. Not to worry though. This change is merely the result of ABC Family changing its name. This special block of holiday programming is not going away any time soon. In the past so many holiday specials and movies have aired as a part of this programming. Here are just some of the specials and movies we can hope to see in the line-up in the coming years:

Santa Claus sitting in rocking chair near Christmas Tree at home and watching tv or home theater wearing 3d glasses and holding remote control

  • A Christmas Carol
  • Deck the Halls
  • Elf
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas
  • The Polar Express
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • Scrooged
  • The Santa Clause

In recent years, non-holiday movies have also been added to the line-up and have featured such classics as:

  • Frozen
  • Harry Potter
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

With options like these, viewers are guaranteed a full month of classic specials and movies to entertain the entire family and to get everyone in the holiday spirit. To stay on top of the line-up as it is released, check out Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas Facebook page. This way you can make sure no one in your home misses out on any of their favorite holidays shows and movies. So grab your favorite snack and a blanket and cuddle up on the couch for your holiday viewing pleasure!