Let me preface this by saying that Christmas is easily my favorite holiday. I’m the person on the street who strings up Christmas lights on Nov. 1 and has the Christmas tree in her front window on display well before Thanksgiving. I’m "that girl" and I have no shame about it. So before I get into the 7 classic holiday movies I can’t stand, know that there are far more I am totally obsessed with. You aren’t going to find Elf on this list since it’s one I can be heard quoting year-round. And Home Alone is in my top 10 or so favorites for the holiday season. There are just some holiday movies that I never really understood the hoopla around. Like A Charlie Brown Christmas or A Muppet Christmas Carol.
As a kid, I wasn’t wild about either of those movies, no matter how *timeless* they’re supposed to be. Maybe I’ve been conditioned to enjoy modern movies in high definition or the best animation available. I just can't get behind some of the classic holiday movies that some people go bananas for this time of the year. I realize that, ironically, I probably sound like a total Grinch. Trust me — I love Christmas and all the trimmings. There are just a select few movies I refuse to force myself to like just because they’re considered holiday staples.
A Christmas Story
As a native Clevelander, A Christmas Story has always been a big deal in my hometown. People visit the official Christmas Story house throughout the year and have their own replicas of that leg lamp on display in their front windows. As much as I’ve tried, I could never get behind that movie. The Santa is terrifying, which I suppose is the point. Ralphie’s little brother is supposed to be something like seven years old and that dinner scene with the pig noises is just too much. And a little part of me dies every time I see that pack of dogs break in to eat the family’s Christmas dinner. I just can’t with this movie.
Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer
I expect lots of holiday movie lovers to come for me for this, but Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer is another Christmas movie I am not a fan of. The stop motion is impressive, especially for the era when the movie was originally made, but these days, there’s so much impressive CGI and special effects that the effect here is almost off-putting. The story is adorable and the message for kids is clear, but I’m partial to any and all updated versions of the original Rudolph movie.
It’s A Wonderful Life
It's a Wonderful Life inspired tons of '90s TV shows to copy the trope of a main character seeing what life would have been like if they were never born. For that, the movie gets major props from me. Maybe it doesn't impress me otherwise because I’ve never been one for black and white movies. If nothing else, I can at least appreciate the message behind this one.
Miracle On 34th Street
To be clear, I’m referring to the original 1947 movie rather than the 1994 remake. It’s another "classic" holiday movie that so many people seem to love, but I just can't get into it. When you think about it, the story itself is probably better left in the time period of the original movie anyway. A strange man insists he’s the real Santa with no real proof and expects to be taken seriously? I don’t buy it.
A Christmas Carol
Ebenezer Scrooge changes his heartless ways when he’s visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future and the moral of the story is that your actions have real consequences on those around you. But as a parent it's definitely hard for me to see poor Tiny Tim in this 1951 version and it does not make me feel warm and fuzzy and happy. I’m much more into the Bill Murray adaptation, Scrooged.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
I’ve actually never been one for any of the Charlie Brown TV specials, to be honest. I get that people love them because of the nostalgia and the fact that they’ve been around for so long. It’s just that A Charlie Brown Christmas is a little more sad than happy and uplifting to me. From Charlie’s Christmas blues to the sad sounding "Christmas Time Is Here" song, it’s just not the upbeat and happy movie I expect from the holidays.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
I know I already balked on A Christmas Carol, but the Muppet version isn't any better in my opinion. It feels almost as dated and it could have probably been shorter than an hour and a half. I know some people swear by Muppet movies and I’m not knocking the entire franchise — just the unnecessary Muppet adaptation of A Christmas Carol.
By now, you might be ready to tell me a million reasons why A Christmas Carol is the greatest holiday movie of all time, or roll your eyes hard at my dislike of It’s a Wonderful Life and I understand that. They’re just two of a handful of classic holiday movies that have never been my cup of tea. The meaning behind some of them isn't lost on me — appreciate your loved ones, celebrate the holidays for the right reasons, and all of that. But if I’d rather watch Love Actually or National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, I think I’m entitled to.
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