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How 'The Sound of Music' Became a Christmas Movie Alongside 'It's a Wonderful Life' and 'Home Alone'

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Watching holiday-themed movies with family is a tradition many people cherish this time of year, and it’s why you can pretty much always find A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, Home Alone, or Elf playing on rotation across a number of TV channels.

Those classic films are often curiously joined by The Sound of Music, a musical that unlike White Christmas has nothing to do with the holiday. After all, you won’t see a hint of snow until the Von Trapps hike across the Alps at the very end, and even then, they’re actually walking on green grass below snow-capped mountains.

So, what makes networks want to play the 1966 Best Picture winner in December? The answer is two-fold. 

Why is The Sound of Music considered a Christmas movie?

Before DVDs and streaming services became the norm, the general population had to gather around a TV set at a specific hour in order to watch their favorite movies. Because families traditionally spend more time together during the holidays, networks would air family-friendly films in the lead-up to Christmas.