Lifetime was initially not envisioned as a "women's channel" when it first launched in the mid-1980s, starting as the Lifetime Medical Network before merging with the soap-opera-driven Daytime. But the channel found great success by marketing itself as the only cable channel geared exclusively toward women. By the mid-1990s, it was one of the highest-rated cable channels and, as part of its success, it began releasing yearly original holiday films. Fast forward 25 years, and that decision now helps define the holiday season, with Lifetime's Christmas Day 2020 movie schedule being one of the most important for holiday movie buffs.
It helps that Lifetime had little in the way of competition for years. (Its main competitor in holiday films, the Hallmark Channel, didn't even launch until 2001.) For a good decade and a half, Lifetime built up its arsenal of holiday films, until it was putting out more than a dozen titles a year by the end of the aughts. For 2020, knowing many of its viewers were stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, Lifetime went all out. This year's "It's A Wonderful Lifetime" slate is the largest to date, with 30 all-new films for the season.
These new Lifetime films have been debuting steadily since mid-October. Since Thanksgiving, there have been new films premiering back to back four days a week, Friday through Monday, every weekend.
For Christmas Day itself, Lifetime rounds up the cream of the crop for an all-day marathon. The channel is airing three brand-new films, The Christmas High Note, Spotlight on Christmas, and My Sweet Holiday. Along with that, Lifetime will show four of its best holiday movies for fans to enjoy, plus the hit gospel-filled authorized biopic of The Clark Sisters.
Here's the full lineup for Lifetime's Christmas day marathon of movies.
- 8 a.m. ET: The Christmas High Note
- 10 a.m. ET: Spotlight on Christmas
- 12 noon ET: Christmas Hotel
- 2 p.m. ET: The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel
- 4 p.m. ET: Christmas on Wheels
- 6 p.m. ET: The Christmas Setup
- 8 p.m. ET: My Sweet Holiday
- 10 p.m. ET: Lonestar Christmas