Home Alone

It seems that the business of Christmas begins sooner every year. Family members leave Thanksgiving dinner early for Black Friday shopping while FM stations are dominated by “Jingle Bells” and Dean Martin’s renditions of holiday classics. Frequently from the list of complaints about holiday, though, are the Christmas movies that have become an integral annual part the season.

Holiday-themed shows and movies have taken up an increasing amount of the TV schedule as December has progressed. With Christmas just a few days away, cable customers can almost certainly find something entertaining depicting Santa Claus or Rudolph 24 hours a day.

One holiday classic is certainly “A Christmas Story.” The story of one boy’s quest to get a Red Rider BB Gun for Christmas is a popular favorite since its 1983 release, perhaps because it reminds viewers of their own families at Christmas. The accidental f-bomb, pink bunny suit and constant daydreaming about a present are all things many people can relate to.

“A Christmas Story” -- which will be broadcast by TBS for 24 consecutive hours starting at 8 pm on Christmas Eve -- has even inspired a Broadway musical, and the film's notorious leg lamp has become an iconic holiday decoration. The film also serves as the best public service announcement possible to not stick your tongue on a cold flagpole.

It’s not a coincidence that the most popular Christmas movies center on family life. “Elf” and “Home Alone” are on television seemingly constantly, perhaps because of their comforting storylines that are easy to digest after a Christmas meal. Like “A Christmas Story,” “Home Alone” has intergenerational appeal.

In "Home Alone," Kevin McAllister -- the role that would catapult Macaulay Culkin into superstardom -- is left to fend for himself against two idiotic burglars while he mimes lines from classic Christmas movies of yesteryear. “Home Alone” will be on ABC Family at 9:00 pm EST on Christmas Eve.

Similarly, Christmas audiences now know every line to “Elf,” the film starring comedy titan Will Ferrell as a native to the North Pole who travels to New York City to find his real family. “Buddy” quickly learns he’s not one of Santa’s helpers but the son of a Scrooge-like book publisher played by James Caan.

“Elf” audiences can watch Ferrell -- adorned in green stockings and a hat -- on ABC Family on both Dec. 26 and Dec. 27.