Christmas comes but once a year, and when it does, it brings good cheer and television marathons. Even though everyone loves their families, no one really wants to sit around talking to them all day. They want to put on the TV and at least have some sort of distraction to help drown out granny's snores, or the puppy whining because he wants to go for yet another walk, or the baby crying because that's what babies do. So, if you're looking for Christmas 2017 TV marathons to help get through the holiday weekend, you've come to the right place.
While most of these marathons are Christmas-focused, with many of them featuring Christmas-themed films, it should be noted this is not an exhaustive list. This list sticks to channels that were either running the same thing over and over all day, or that clearly had a theme to their marathons. To qualify, channels also had to be running at least eight to 12 hours of programming in a row, if not more. (Sorry Comedy Central, four hours of Jeff Dunham just doesn't cut it.)
With that in mind, here are 12 of the best Christmas marathons happening around the dial this season, starting with the ones that begin ahead of the holiday.
1. Freeform: 25 Days of Christmas, Dec. 1–25
This has already been talked about in detail, but Freeform is doing a full 25 Days of Christmas movie marathon, culminating on Christmas Day. Check the link for the full schedule, but all the classics are included. (Also, its final Harry Potter weekend is New Year's Eve. Pass it on.)
2. Hallmark: Countdown To Christmas, Dec. 1–25
Like Freeform, Hallmark has also already been marathoning Christmas movies since the first of the month and will continue to do so all the way until Dec. 26. There's one small difference: Where Freeform is running classics like The Polar Express, Nightmare Before Christmas, and other well-known fare, Hallmark is running all of its own in-house films, all of which end as happily as a Christmas card. The rundown of the full schedule is here.
3. BBC America: Doctor Who Marathon, Dec. 19–25
The BBC's got a big one on Christmas Day when the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) will regenerate into the first woman to play the role (Jodie Whitaker). In preparation, there's a seven-day Doctor Who marathon leading up to the big event, with the yearly Christmas specials that have aired since 2008 re-running two at a time in prime time every night.
4. Lifetime: The Holiday Marathon, Dec. 23–25
Like Freeform (and Hallmark), Lifetime makes a business of the Christmas movie, and does it with its own romantic twist. Lifetime is doing a full three-day weekend of its films, including such fare as Love At the Christmas Table, A Gift Wrapped Christmas, A Nanny For Christmas... you get the picture. Check out the above trailer for one of its newest films.
5. VH1: Grease Marathon, Dec. 24
VH1 is running its regular Monday schedule on Christmas Day, but the night before, it's airing the John Travolta/Olivia Newton-John classic Grease all day long.
6. SyFy: Disaster Christmas Marathon, Dec. 24–25
SyFy's got a one-two punch. There's a Futurama marathon all day long the day before Christmas, so you can get the theme song stuck in your head good and solid for Christmas Day, when the channel will shake it out with a disaster Christmas marathon. Movies like Yeti, Snowmageddon, and Ice Road Terror should help bring the holiday cheesy scares.
7. TBS & TNT: A Christmas Story Marathon, Dec. 25
By this time, it's standard issue. If it's 12:01 a.m Christmas morning, the A Christmas Story marathon has begun on the two flagship Turner networks. It will not end until the holiday does. Blessedly, Boxing Day doesn't count.
8. Encore: Home Alone Marathon, Dec. 25
Turner may have started it, but now it's got competition. Encore, for instance, is doing a competing marathon of another Christmas tale starring a young blonde boy who wants something for Christmas. Instead of a BB gun though, it's his family. It's the Home Alone movies, which, as some may still remember, were all about the horrors of Christmas travel as much as they were about a kid beating up dumb burglars.
9. Sundance: Old-School Christmas Movie Marathon, Dec. 25
For those whose tastes run to the older, quieter, black-and-white films of yore, Sundance has you covered. Starting Christmas morning, it'll be running old-school Christmas films from the '40s and '50s, including White Christmas, A Christmas Carol, and Miracle on 34th Street before rounding out with the '80s classic, Scrooged.
10. Oxygen: Homicide for the Holidays Marathon, Dec. 24–25
For those who just want a background noise marathon that the entire family gets sucked into accidentally, Oxygen provides. From Christmas Eve through the entirety of Christmas Day, it's marathoning Homicide for the Holidays. A few real-life murder dramatizations will help warm the blood.
11. Food Network: Holiday Baking Championship, Dec. 25
For those who don't put on the TV until noon (or spend the morning watching the Disneyland Christmas special) Food Network is timed to be there for you, with its Holiday Baking Championship marathon to inspire some cookie and cake-baking while everyone is waiting for the big feast.
12. HGTV: Hawaii Life/Caribbean Life/Beach Hunters, Dec. 25
If you'd rather spend the day at the beach but couldn't afford it or needed to see family, HGTV is there with the escapism. Its marathoning three of its beachiest real estate shows, starting at noon and running until it's time to head to bed.