the movies of Christmas

Meant to post about this last week, when we had our annual Christmas movie-watching party, but the Death Bug got in the way.

This is a new tradition; this is something kniedzw and I have started, not inherited from either side of the family. Every year we spend an afternoon and evening watching Christmas movies, and we invite other people over to join us.

But this isn’t your normal Christmas movie marathon. I’ve got no particular patience for It’s a Wonderful Life and 99% of the other usual suspects. If you want to watch those, all you have to do is turn on the TV. We? Go for other Christmas movies.

Like Die Hard.

Oh, there’s one usual suspect in there: How the Grinch Stole Christmas. (The REAL one. The only one that exists. If you bring up Jim Carrey I will blink owlishly at you and ask what you’re talking about.) I suspect I watch that movie primarily for the song “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” the rest of it being icing on the cake, but it’s great throughout, really. I mean, how can you beat Dr. Seuss? You can’t.

You can, however, watch The Nightmare Before Christmas, which I’m never sure if I should count as a Halloween movie or a Christmas one. Either way, I love it. Also Blackadder’s Christmas Carol — much preferable to Dickens’ version — and The Lion in Winter, which is the only “dysfunctional family working out their issues when they get together for the holidays” film I can stomach, probably because their method of working out issues involves plotting palace coups. And finally, no, I wasn’t kidding about Die Hard. What? It takes place at a Christmas party. It features things like “NOW I HAVE A MACHINE GUN — HO HO HO” written on the sweatshirt of a dead German terrorist/thief. It’s totally in the Christmas spirit!

It’s in my Christmas spirit, anyway.

What films do you like watching at this time of year?

0 Responses to “the movies of Christmas”

  1. chrisondra

    ::laughs:: I watch the typical, though Nightmare Before Christmas is always on my list of Christmas and Halloween movies… and really whenever I feel like it movies.

    It’s a Wonderful Life is my favorite, though. I love it. I cry everytime. =P

    • Marie Brennan

      I’ve just never gotten that into it, for all that it’s a classic.

      • chrisondra

        I can’t even really explain it… I just love it. I love the set up, I love the theme, I love the story. And it’s my favorite. Though Miracle on 34th Street is up there too.

        I love Grinch too, though. And Jack Frost and The Santa Clause and I’m just a Christmas movie person! Polar Express is awesome. But It’s a Wonderful Life gets that special place in my heart. No man’s a failure who has friends and all that.

        Annnd I left the water boiling on the stove! ugh! ::runs::

  2. brigidsblest

    Watching Die Hard at Christmas has been a family tradition for us since I was 12 or 13, I think. My stepmother had a major crush on Bruce Willis.

    Fast forward to the present. Over the last few years, I have been introducing my husband to all my family Christmas traditions. Going out driving to look at all the holiday lights at night, complete with big travel mugs of hot cocoa? Easy one. Homemade pizza for dinner on Christmas Eve? Less so. (He still wants turkey.)

    So this year I figured we’d watch Die Hard. He’s not quite the stereotypical “guy”; he likes martial arts flicks, but most action movies leave him cold. Nonetheless, he likes Die Hard because of the snarky humor involved. (“Yippi yi ki yay, mother–“) So last night I went to pull the DVD down from the shelf, and…

    …realized I didn’t own a copy of it. Not on DVD, not on VHS. I’d been flashing back to the parentals, yea over 20 years ago.

    Woez. Must stop by Target and get a copy before December 25th.

  3. blackaire

    I too enjoy DIE HARD and the original LETHAL WEAPON (with the taunting note to Gary Busey on the Xmas tree!)

    • Marie Brennan

      Lethal Weapon isn’t on our usual list, because we only just rediscovered that it takes place at Christmas. But it may enter the roster for future years.

  4. c0untmystars

    My offbeat holiday traditions are the Sports Night episode “Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee”, which I must watch every Christmas Day, and, before I lost the videotape it was on, the Just Shoot Me episode “How the Finch Stole Christmas”, which includes a parody of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”. More traditionally, the Grinch, and A Charlie Brown Christmas, and The Shop Around the Corner.

  5. maribou

    Sitting on my landing is a stack consisting of:
    How the Grinch Stole Christmas (yes, the real one)
    the Charlie Brown Christmas special
    Christmas in Connecticut (a black-and-white banter movie)
    White Christmas (for my Danny Kaye fix)
    and Bad Santa, for when the other ones have overloaded my sweetness-capacity.

    Also a documentary about abstinence education in Texas public schools, but that’s not, you know, a *Christmas* movie – it just happens to be in the stack.

  6. mrissa

    If you haven’t seen Desk Set or Long Kiss Goodnight, I think you’d like both of them, albeit in rather different ways. And they’re definitely Christmas-set movies.

    We also like Trading Places for Christmas movies around here, but I have already confessed my weakness for Dan Aykroyd on lj today.

  7. celestineangel

    Don’t have any Christmas movies I like to watch or must watch. I do have the one I hate to see commercials for, though. A Christmas Story. Seriously, I was sick of that movie after the first time, people.

  8. xmurphyjacobsx

    YES, DIEHARD! I also watch it each Christmas. In fact, I’ve got a little collection of not-quite-Christmas Christmas movies I love to watch — The Apartment, An Affair to Remember, Meet Me in St. Louis (I have a thing for old, old movies). Also, the 1951 version of Scrooge; A Christmas Carol ( is THE best version and I watch it every Christmas Eve.

    I just got the Peanuts Christmas Special “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown”. Haven’t managed to get ‘The Grinch Who Stole Christmas’ (the REAL one) yes, but soooooon….

  9. faerie_writer

    That’s so funny. I tried to get my husband to watch A Lion in Winter with me last night, but he’s in the It’s a Wonderful Life camp. 😉

  10. gatezilla

    My brother and I have made it a point to watch Scrooged every year since we were teenagers. I also have to watch White Christmas about a dozen times while I’m wrapping presents and waiting for the big day.

  11. drydem

    I myself am a love actually fan. and to respond to a question

    how can you beat Dr. Seuss?
    Dr. Seuss animated by Chuck Jones. To me, it’s like Neil Gaiman brought to life by Jim Henson, only it happened.

  12. diatryma

    I think it’s AMC that runs Miracle on 34th Street, the good one, for twenty-four hours straight, alternating colorized and black-and-white. Dad and I annoy everyone in the house by flicking over every couple hours– we don’t need to see the entire movie (I’ve only seen the entire movie once) but if we can catch the little girl from Rotterdam and maybe the end, we’re usually good.
    My brother loves that damned Ralphie movie. I do not. It was funny once, when I was in fifth grade, and then not.

  13. d_c_m

    Die Hard is a excellent choice! We often watch the Star Wars saga as we got that for Xmas a few years ago. 🙂

    The original Grinch is the BEST!

  14. m_stiefvater

    jinx! and I were just saying this very same thing and the first movie she was was “Die Hard!”

  15. danielmc

    Die Hard is my Xmas Movie of Choice.

    in fact, i believe it needs a viewing this evening…

  16. mmegaera

    A Charlie Brown Christmas. Watched it last night. I’m set now [g].

  17. lowellboyslash

    Seconded to the brilliant moviegoer who suggested The Long Kiss Goodnight. Killer stuff. I love me some Samuel L. Jackson.

    My dad and I watch Die Hard (though this year we watched Live Free or Die Hard instead); my mom likes Charlie Brown and the Grinch; and usually we all sit down to watch It’s a Wonderful Life. Pretty good mix.

    Our family xmas movie tradition is that we go out to see a movie on Christmas Day.

    My own yearly tradition, which this year I may reserve for New Year’s Day, is watching the three LotR extended editions back to back. It takes about 12.5 hours. Wheeeeeee.

  18. cjfringe

    I’ve said for years that Die Hard is the best Christmas movie evar. It’s got action, romance, and millions of dollars. What more could you want on Christmas? Oh, and a machine gun. Ho ho ho.

  19. carbonel

    Am I the only person who thinks The Lion in Winter is one of the most depressing movies ever? Brilliant, but depressing. They all work so hard to hurt each other. And succeed.

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