The holiday season is upon us and everywhere we turn we are being bombarded with Christmas marketed in some way or another. Commercials on TV, displays in the stores which were there before the Halloween decorations came down and the local classic radio station playing Christmas music 24/7 through the holiday.
When it comes to Christmas-themed movies, I’m not a fan of the true classics like It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street. I’m more into the holiday movies you might not even think about as being true Christmas movies.
Here are my five favorite Christmas movies of all time:
5.) Lethal Weapon — This movie is a classic. It is about two cops fighting crime in L.A. around Christmas. It starts with a panoramic view across the city at night while Bobby Helms sings Jingle Bell Rock in the background. Detectives Riggs and Murtoch — played by Mel Gibson and Danny Glover are the heros and the movie has everything a good Christmas flick should have — gunfights, explosions and Gary Busey as the villain, who has a fight to the death with Riggs at the movie’s end.
4.) Home Alone — What can be better as a Christmas movie than child endangerment by neglectful parents who conveniently leave their 8-year-old son at home when the family departs for a holiday vacation in France. The young boy (Macaulay Culkin), however, proves to be more than capable of fending off two robbers (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) with a series of painful and humiliating home defense attacks, which include dropping paint cans on their heads, heating up door knobs until they are red hot and placing dozens of Hot Wheel cars on the floor to trip the unsuspecting bandits.
3.) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation — This is an awesome movie. Probably one of the last truly funny movies Chevy Chase has ever made. He once again plays Clark W. Griswald who loves Christmas and wants to have the best holiday possible with his family. But then his redneck cousin-in-law Eddie (Randy Quaid) and his brood show up unexpectedly in their RV and Clark’s Christmas bonus, which is needed for a swimming pool he plans to build, is canceled due to company budget cuts and Christmas takes a quick nosedive — rounded out by Eddie kidnapping his boss and a SWAT team crashing the family Christmas party.
2.) Die Hard — What could be merrier than Bruce Willis fighting terrorists in the Nakatomi Building during his wife’s office Christmas party. Lots of gunfights, explosions and a scene where Bruce sends the body of a dead terrorist back to his comrades in the elevator with a Santa Claus hat on his head and a sign saying: “Ho, ho, ho — now I have a machine gun.” Classic.
1.) A Christmas Story — My all time favorite Christmas movie. I will literally park myself in front of the TV on Christmas and watch this movie marathon on TBS all day if allowed. The story of Ralphie, a young boy who wants just one thing for Christmas — an official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two- Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle (aka a BB gun). Ralphie spends the movie trying to convince everyone from his teacher to a department store Santa that this should be his gift for Christmas — but every time he is met with the same response: “You’ll shoot your eye out.”
So, in a nutshell, those are the movies that round out my Christmas list.