SINCE the middle of November Channel 5 has been playing Christmas movies almost on a loop.

Sky movies has a channel dedicated to them - they are almost inescapable.

Instead of trying to escape, this year I decided to embrace them in all their fromage-laden glory.

They all boil down to one central theme - it's the season of goodwill, lets all hug it out and live better lives.

And this is reached via just a few flimsy plot devices which the makers of the films, usually Hallmark, recycle with alarming regularity.

There is the famous person, sent to a small yuletide obsessed town, only to realise they are shallow and vacuous, fall in love with someone who is not shallow and vacuous and turn their back on their previous life in order to embrace the small town's way of doing things.

Then there is the hardened big wig, again sent to a small town, but this time in order to close a central business down in a cynical bid to make more money.

They too soon learn the error of their ways and end up working to save said industry and town.

They almost always fall in love while they are there too.

Along with this there are assorted types who have fallen out of love with the festive season because they have been wronged in some way (this is basically a Christmas carol told over and over again) but soon realise they have been missing out.

They also fall in love along the way and often turn their backs on a career which was unfulfilling and did not appreciate them in order to pursue the one thing that is.

So you get the general idea.

This year my husband and I marvelled at the sheer amount of films being produced in this vein - but it also made us realise how few of the classics we have actually watched from start to finish.

As a result we have now seen It's a Wonderful Life in all its heart-warming glory, from start to finish and introduced both kids to Kevin McAllister whose forgetful and quite frankly remiss family managed to leave him behind twice in a fairly short space of time.

We even realised, despite knowing most of the songs, we had never actually watched White Christmas.

What have we been doing with our festive viewing time ?

Clearly we have been spending too much time focusing on making sure we re-watch Elf and the Santa Clause without ensuring we have partaken of the classics.

And let's not even get started on the films which feature Christmas but might not actually be festive movies.

Die Hard launched this debate earlier this year - we very nearly fell out in our house over my refusal to believe it is a Christmas movie.

I still stand firm in the view it is a film set at Christmas - not a story about the festive season itself.

Even Meet me in St Louis, which features the seminal tune Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas, is not actually a festive film.

The Christmassy bit is only a small section - it is just the one that stands out the most.

But just like putting the tree up on December 1, having all this seasonal fare saturating the pre-christmas schedules means I am more than happy to say goodbye to it come January 1.