Dear ABC Family’s “25 Days of Christmas”

Kevin Niederman


Dear ABC Family’s “25 Days of Christmas,”

You’re aware that you have to actually show Christmas movies for your Christmas movie marathon to be true to its namesake, right?

I mean, yes, by and large, you show Christmas movies. You have everything ranging from “Holiday in Handcuffs” to “Snow 2: Brain Freeze,” from the “Polar Express” to “The Preacher’s Wife,” and from “Jack Frost” (live action) to “Jack Frost” (animated). The sheer volume of movies you put out per day during this time of year is staggering. It’s the full Christmas gamit.

But why then, pray tell, do you include non-Christmas films in your schedule?

It’s clearly not a lack of options. The density of your Christmas catalog practically has the gravitational pull to collapse a small sun, and yet you leave out classic Christmas movies such as “Scrooged” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Now, perhaps you can’t show those particular films. Maybe other channels hold the rights to broadcast those over the air. Regardless of reason, it still doesn’t explain why a fistful of movies you choose to show year after year are explicitly not Christmas movies.

You don’t seem to take issue replaying films over and over throughout the marathon. You’re showing “The Year Without a Santa Claus” twelve times over the month, often multiple times the same day. Why not just duplicate a couple other films to fill those non-holiday gaps in your billowing extravaganza?

Perhaps you aren’t aware that the following films are not, in fact, Christmas movies.

“Toy Story” is not a Christmas movie. Yes, I’m aware that Andy receives a puppy for Christmas at the very end of the film, but that’s exactly my point. It’s only Christmas for less than five minutes! The rest of the film has nothing to do with, nor does it take place during, Christmas—or even winter for that matter.

The two sequels, both of which you insist on showing again and again, year after year, have even less Christmas than that, which is to say, none. None at all.

The same is said for “Harry Potter” films. Each “Harry Potter” film takes place over an entire year. They are as much movies about Easter, New Year’s, and summer vacation as they are about Christmas.

You even decide to show both “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and the more recent “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” every year without fail. These movies aren’t linked to any holidays at all. In fact, the heavy-handed emphasis on candy in these films leads me to believe that, if they need to be assigned a holiday to represent, they fall more in line with Halloween than any Christmas tradition, other than consumerism and bratty ten-year-olds.

Christmas films have to do more than just occur on Christmas. They need to be inexorably linked to the holiday and dependent on its presence. Is “Die Hard” a Christmas movie because it occurs on Christmas? Is “Home Alone”? Remove the holiday from both of the movies and you’re left with a picture that is, more or less, the same. Now remove Christmas from “A Christmas Story” or “Miracle on 34th Street.” Do you have the same movies? Is it even possible to separate Christmas from them?

Get your facts straight, ABC Family’s “25 Days of Christmas.” I signed up for 25 full days of Christmas, and you're cutting me about a half of a day short. Not cool, ABC Family’s “25 Days of Christmas.” Not cool.

Kevin Niederman is a junior nursing major hailing from Santa Rosa CA, about an hour north of San Francisco. He enjoys cartoons, hats, and driving ridiculous distances for food that has the potential of being amazing.