25 Days of Christmas (also known as ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas, previously known as Fox Family's 25 Days of Christmas) is an annual programming block that has been shown on ABC Family and its predecessors since 1996. As the title implies, the special programming is shown every year from December 1 to December 25, showing classic holiday programming (such as Rankin/Bass' classic TV specials), as well as new Christmas-themed television movies each year. In 2006, the channel aired fewer seasonal films and added general-interest family movies such as Harry Potter, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Beauty and the Beast. Unfortunately, this mix of mostly non-Christmas programming has become the norm for the block, as they rarely ever show Rankin/Bass specials anymore. Starting in 2007, ABC Family extended the "25" days into November with a Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas block.
List of original specials 
- 1996 – Home and Family Christmas Special
- 2001 – Donner
- 2008 – A Miser Brothers' Christmas
- 2009 – Gotta Catch Santa Claus, Holly and Hal Moose: Our Uplifting Christmas Adventure 
- 2010 – The Gruffalo [note 1]
- 2011 – A Very Pink Christmas 
List of original movies 
Every year since the block started in 1996, at least one new holiday-related TV film has been produced (except in 2002). Starting in 2005, two TV films have been produced. In 2007, three films were created for the block, due to the popularity of the previous year's films.
The Family Channel era 
The Family Channel's 25 Days of Christmas
Fox Family era 
Fox Family's 25 Days of Christmas
- 1998 – Like Father, Like Santa
- 1999 – The Ghosts of Christmas Eve
- 2000 – Special Delivery
- 2001 – Three Days
ABC Family era 
ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas
- 2003 – Picking Up & Dropping Off
- 2004 – Snow
- 2005 – Chasing Christmas; Christmas in Boston
- 2006 – Christmas Do-Over; Santa Baby
- 2007 – Christmas Caper; Holiday in Handcuffs; Snowglobe
- 2008 – Christmas in Wonderland; Snow 2: Brain Freeze
- 2009 – The Dog Who Saved Christmas; Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe
- 2010 – The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation; Christmas Cupid
- 2011 – Desperately Seeking Santa; 12 Dates of Christmas
- 2012 – The Mistle-Tones; Home Alone: The Holiday Heist
Christmas specials 
The following non-original (originally premiered direct to video, or on some other TV network or cable channel, or as a theatrical featurette) Christmas specials, or Christmas-themed episodes of television programs are presently being featured during 25 Days of Christmas (including Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas):
- The Cat in the Hat [note 1]
- A Chipmunk Christmas
- Cranberry Christmas
- Dr. Seuss on the Loose [note 1]
- A Flintstone Christmas
- Frosty's Winter Wonderland
- The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat [note 1]
- Jack Frost [note 2]
- Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special
- The Little Drummer Boy
- The Little Drummer Boy, Book II
- The Lorax [note 1]
- Merry Madagascar
- Mickey's Christmas Carol
- Mickey's Christmas Special
- Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey
- Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation
- Pinocchio's Christmas
- Prep & Landing
- Puff the Magic Dragon [note 1]
- Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July
- Rudolph's Shiny New Year [note 3]
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys
- Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
- Twas the Night Before Christmas
- Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too
- The Year Without a Santa Claus
Christmas movies 
The following non-original (originally premiered theatrically, or direct to video, or on some other TV network or cable channel) Christmas movies are presently being featured during 25 Days of Christmas (including Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas):
- A Christmas Carol 
- Ernest Saves Christmas
- Elf 
- The Family Man 
- Fred Claus 
- Home Alone 
- Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas
- I'll Be Home for Christmas 
- I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
- Jack Frost
- Meet the Santas
- Miracle on 34th Street 
- National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 
- Once Upon a Christmas
- The Polar Express
- Richie Rich's Christmas Wish
- Santa Buddies
- Santa Claus: The Movie
- The Santa Clause
- The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
- Santa Who?
- The Search for Santa Paws 
- Twice Upon a Christmas
- Unaccompanied Minors
Countdown to 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 21. Although this was the first official early start, in previous years holiday programming had unofficially begun during the last week of November, showing mostly older original films, some of which pertained to Christmas and some that did not. "Countdown to the '25 Days of Christmas'" returned in 2008 on November 16.
The Countdown to the 25 Days of Christmas returned again in 2009, with an even earlier start date than before: November 10. In 2010, it started later in the month, on November 20. November 20 was also the start date in 2011. In 2012 the countdown began at an earlier date of November 18th.
The network premiere of The Polar Express was watched by more than 4 million viewers. An encore airing on December 9th was watched by a record 5 million viewers. It became the most watched programming to ever air on ABC Family. The debut airing of the film, Santa Baby, was watched by 4.7 million viewers.
The first week of programming averaged 2.3 million viewers.
The third annual "Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas" was watched by 1.2 million viewers. The first week of viewers for "25 Days of Christmas" averaged 1.2 million viewers as well. The network premiere of The Santa Clause 3 was watched by 1.6 million viewers, while an airing of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was watched by 1.5 million viewers. The premiere of Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe was watched by 3.8 million total viewers.
The fourth annual "Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas" was watched by 2.1 million viewers. The lineup began its first week with record breaking 3 million average viewers. The December 12th premiere of Christmas Cupid was watched by a total of 3.4 million viewers. Total viewers for 2010 broke records, averaging 2.8 million viewers. An airing of How the Grinch Stole Christmas drew 1.3 million viewers.
The first week of the 25 Days of Christmas was watched by an average of 2.2 million viewers, down 27% from last year. During the second week, viewers increased to 2.4 million, thanks to the premiere of 12 Dates of Christmas. However, this was still down 30% from the previous year. Overall viewers for the 2011 lineup averaged 2.3 million viewers.
In 2012, the programming block had its most ever total viewers in its debut week, with 2.9 million. An airing of the film Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas on December 2nd became the lineup's most watched program ever, with 5.4 million viewers. Other notable airings included, the network premiere of Despicable Me, watched by over 4.3 million viewers, and a Christmas Eve airing of The Santa Clause 2, watched by 3.9 million viewers. The programming block averaged 2.8 million viewers for 2012, on pace with 2010.
See also 
- This is not a holiday special, but was shown during the block anyway
- This is a Groundhog Day special
- This is a New Year's Day special
- "ABC Family Steps Up to the Slate". TV Guide. Retrieved 2012-02-06.
- "ABC Family Presents 'Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas' Starting Sunday, November 18". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
- "ABC Family's '25 Days of Christmas' TV Schedule Includes Original Musical 'The Mistle-Tones' and Basic Cable Premieres of 'Despicable Me' and 'Disney's A Christmas Carol'". TV By the Numbers. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
- 25 Days of Christmas 2011 Programing Guide
- "ABC Family – 25 Days Of Christmas". http://abcfamily.go.com. Retrieved 2011-10-27.
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