Alternative Christmas Movies to Watch with…

Your In-Laws:

Home for the Holidays (1995) PG-13

It’s Thanksgiving, and for Claudia (Holly Hunter), that means spending the weekend with her nosy mom, erratic brother (a very pre-Iron Man Robert Downey Jr.), resentful sister, pompous aunt, and a couple of aloof in-laws all under one roof. Jodie Foster’s directorial debut is as touching as it is hilariously awkward and leads up to one of the most outrageous turkey dinner scenes since National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989).

Your Grandparents:

The Thin Man (1934) PG

Nick (William Powell) and Nora (Myrna Loy) investigate the disappearance of an inventor in this classic jumble of laughs and suspense that marked the first pairing of what was to become one of the movies’ great romantic comedy teams (five sequels followed). The plot thickens, the bullets fly, and the brandy is spilled by the time Christmas night comes around. A true gem, and the one-liners are timeless.

Your Daughter and/or Son:

Gremlins (1984) PG

Okay, I’ll admit this campy 80s, ooey gooey monster movie isn’t for everyone, but there are fun arguments for its Christmas movie label: 1. It takes place during Christmas, 2. It includes a villain that looks a lot like Scrooge (if Scrooge was a reptile), 3. It involves love and friendship with cast members like Corey Feldman, 4. It was written by Chris Columbus who would later direct Home Alone (1990), which reinvented the “Christmas movie,” and 5. After the movie’s release, gremlin toys were selling as fast as Yoda dolls for under-the-tree Christmas gifts!

Your Teenage Daughter and/or Son:

The Nightmare before Christmas (1993) PG

The imaginative precursor to Corpse Bride, Tim Burton’s stop-motion animated feature follows Pumpkin King Jack Skellington on a journey to Christmas Town, where he finds things are brighter and more promising without the ghouls of Halloween. A visual and musical feast, featuring the catchy and haunting songs of Danny Elfman, this movie works both on Halloween and Christmas day.

Your Girlfriends:

Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001) R

Bridget (Renee Zellweger) is a neurotic British singleton, who vows to be done with men, lose weight, and focus more on work until Colin Firth and Hugh Grant (and different forms of the Christmas “spirit”) make things even more confusing. Zellweger couldn’t be any more likable, and the script is full of witty wisecracks even Americans can swing.

Your Best Bud:

Die Hard (1988) R

This was, is, and always will be Bruce Willis’ best action film. Because the punches, gunshots, and lofty comebacks all occur on Christmas Eve day, moviegoers love to debate its “Christmas movie” significance. Willis plays John McClane who’s in the wrong place at the wrong time when Russian terrorists hijack an entire skyscraper during a corporate Christmas party. Filled with hard-hitting action and special effects, this is the most alternative, atypical but worthy “Christmas” flick yet.

11 thoughts on “Alternative Christmas Movies to Watch with…

Add yours

  1. Oh my goodness, Gremlins! That was a horror story for me when I was a child, and I don’t think I’d put it as a movie for kids 😉 Home Alone, though, is a Christmas tradition 😉 And Die Hard 😀 You could probably do well with Edward Scissorhands for emo teenagers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I had kind of a sick upbringing as a child. When mom was out of town, dad put horror movies in the VCR. I haven’t been the same since (and grateful for it at the same time). Home Alone is a must for me too. If you have 40 minutes to spare, the Netflix special on “movies that made us” has an incredible expose on the making of this unexpected blockbuster hit 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Catch Me if You Can is actually one of my favorite Christmas movies. I’m sure it was dramatic license but it always cracked me up how Tom Hanks is always either arresting or making a phone call threatening to arrest Leo DiCaprio right around Christmas. A seriously underrated Steven Spielberg movie, too

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The only one I’ve never seen is Bridget Jones’ Diary but I’ve wanted to…just never did. Love The Thin Man and I need to see Home for the Holidays again.
    Die Hard is good anytime. I can’t count the times I’ve started watching that movie halfway through on TBS or somewhere else…if ever there was a guy flick…this is it.

    Liked by 1 person

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