The Qualifications Needed to be Considered a Christmas Movie by ABC Family

I love Christmas, and one of my favorite traditions is watching ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas each night. Yet every year I sit there on my couch, pulling out my hair because a good portion of these movies are not Christmas movies.

Here’s a link to the full lineup for this year’s Christmas countdown, and from this I have compiled a list of qualifications that a movie must meet to be included in the festivities—if you pay close attention, you will notice that the list is very short:

1.  Be A Disney and/or Pixar Movie:

This year, only the Toy Story saga is being shown, but other years have featured Finding Nemo, Cinderella, etc. I get it. These are great family movies that everyone from a baby that has absolutely no clue what is going on (except that there are colorful fishies on the magical box), to elderly people who want to reminisce about their favorite Disney/Pixar movie, experience. They're shows everyone can watch together and enjoy. Let me make this very clear: Toy Story is not a Christmas movie. Neither is Toy Story 2 or Toy Story 3 (the only exception is the 30-minute Christmas special: Toy Story That Time Forgot, which was only released last year). ABC Family—or Freeform or whatever you wish to be called now—you can play these movies any time during the year. Don’t play false advertisements during every commericial break and promise me Christmas movies and then giving me an animated film that HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CHRISTMAS (IT’S NOT EVEN SET DURING DECEMBER).

(Sort of acceptable because it was made to be a Chrismas Special.)

(Not acceptable because it was never even intended to be a Christmas movie.)

2.  Mention the word “Christmas” or have one scene where it is Christmastime and where Christmas is not the main storyline even during this scene:

My favorite example of this is actually my favorite film franchise of all time: Harry Potter. Now, this year, I am thoroughly disappointed with ABC Family, as they are only showing the first Potter movie, as compared to previous years where they have dedicated weekends during the countdown to the films (if you're going to play one, you might as well play them all).  However, they are playing Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on Christmas Day at 7:15 p.m. This movie features MAYBE fifteen minutes of Christmas time, where Harry and Ron exchange “Happy Christmas” greetings, open presents, and eat chocolate. Even with this brief mention of the holiday, the plot remains focused on the "Boy Who Lived" and his mission to stop Voldemort in the first movie. Christmas is merely a tool used to give Harry his father’s invisibility cloak—which, if you think about it, could have been given to him at any time since it was his father’s and his father left him everything. That’s it. No Santa. No candy canes. No lavish Christmas parties. No Christmas-themed plot. Not a Christmas movie.

(One of maybe 5 Christmas related lines in the movie.)

Now, ABC Family has stepped up its game this year by playing Elf every other night (though they are only playing The Santa Clause twice—an act of treason that I cannot simply forgive because they included Love, Actually) and not including non-Christmas movies as regularly. Yet these fantastic, but irrelevant-(in-terms-of-Christmas movies) are still included and are being played on important days in the Countdown, such as Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 

ABC Family: you own these movies and play them frequently throughout the rest of the year.  I understand you are trying to break boundaries with this whole 'changing your name' thing and introducing new programming, but this travesty has been going on too long. Stop promising me Christmas movies and not delivering. Trust me, no one will be mad at you for playing Elf one or two more times. Or even something like The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (I shudder at just the thought of this movie—it’s a disgrace to the franchise and Tim Allen’s illustrious career as Santa Clause). Even though it may be a terrible movie, especially when compared to Harry Potter or Toy Story, at least it is a Christmas movie which is what you promised me through your catchy jingles and friendly Santa advertisements.

Photo credit: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4.

ABC Family's 25 Day's of Christmas Line Up Credit: Link.