Saturday’s Six: The Six Types of Christmas Movies

Christmas has now been over for a good couple of weeks, but I refuse to let a little thing like bad timing stop me! Besides, many of us watch these movies all throughout the year, not just during the holiday season.

1.  Christmas Children’s Classics. Examples: Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and all the Rankin-Bass specials

When you’re a child, this is it. Christmas television IS those awesome animated features that only happen once a year. As a kid it just doesn’t get any better than being wrapped up in a fleecy blanket ,with a cup of hot chocolate in your hands while you watch Christmas cartoons, the smell of Mom’s Christmas baked goods in the air. Heck, that’s in my top 10 as an adult!

2.  Christmas Drama. Examples: Miracle on 34th Street. , It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol



Christmas dramas are those beloved classicas, usually black and white, that adults will usually insist the whole family sit through every Christmas. Sometimes that’s a good thing, sometimes not. Myself, I wasn’t into these movies until later in life. It all just seemed so slow and depressing for most of the movie. Where’s my stop motion Frosty getting ritually murdered by the evil day star, darnit?!

3. Christmas Debauchery. Examples: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Home Alone, A Christmas Story

If numbers one and two on this list showcase perfect ideals of family and Christmas love, well oh-hoho number three….number three does too, actually.  But it does so in a much more offbeat, imperfect way that every family can relate to in the midst of all that holiday craziness. Though…these movies generally leave out the inevitable psychological scarring of seeing Grandpa stumble to the bathroom with his Christmas flannels around his knees.

4. Christmas Brings Out the Best in (Most of) Us. Examples: The Santa Clause, Jingle All The Way, Christmas With The Kranks

This category is definitely my least favorite on the list. I’m all for poking fun at those terrifying human beings who take Christmas to an unhealthy level, turning into a near-homicidal maniac over a piece of fur and electronics that will be run over by the family Range Rover in a couple of months. What I’m not for is these terribly slap sticky, hours-long cringe-fests that I can’t enjoy for my intense feeling of pity for the once-A-list actors involved.

P.S. It was purely unintentional that Tim Allen appeared in two out of three of these examples but hey, I calls ’em where I sees ’em.

5.   Christmas by Association. Examples: Die Hard; Ghostbusters II, Gremlins

Just look at Bruce Willis in Die Hard up there. Doesn’t that just scream CHRISTMAS! to you? Well I know it’s screamin’ something at me but it sure ain’t Christmas….  These movies are that odd bunch of films that have nothing to do with Christmas other than being set during that time of the year. Nevertheless, things blow up and there’s monsters and guns ‘n stuff so it’s awesome and who cares?

6. Christmas Horror/Sci Fi. Examples: Santa Claus Conquers The Martians, Black Christmas, Santa’s Slay


Sometimes relevant to the holiday in question, mostly guilty of the same faults of Christmas By Association, this could almost be considered a sub-category if it weren’t for the staggering volume of these oddball movies. Also I couldn’t think of a 6th category, so if you’ve got a problem stuff it in your turkey. Among most crowds this is your crazy stepsister that you don’t let out until the party starts getting boring and someone needs to be dancing on a table wearing a lampshade!



  1. What about movies that are always broadcast during the holidays, have nothing to do with Christmas whatsoever, but are considered wholesome family viewing, like The Sound of Music, or The Neverending Story?
    Or maybe that’s just what Christmas is like in my little corner of the world (the Netherlands)?

    • I get what you’re saying, although it’s too vague to be put into this article, which is already swimming in “vague” as it is.

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