Most of us have some holiday movies and shows we watch every year: Rudolph, Frosty, A Christmas Story, Love Actually, Christmas Vacation.
The staff here got to talking about it and it got… weird. I mentioned a Christmas horror movie I dig, someone else mentioned A Very Brady Christmas. It got funky, nostalgic, and super ’80s really quickly. I decided to round up some of the weirder ones (and some of the BEST overlooked ones) that we simply have to watch each year around the holidays.
Sure, we’re all watching Elf, but what are we watching secretly in our beds with the cats and the rest of the advent calendar?
Sales Manager Tiff
A Very Brady Christmas. A classic! I mean, if Carol Brady singing “O Come All Ye Faithful” doesn’t get you, perhaps you are dead inside. And this comes from a hardcore atheist.
Santa Claus: The Movie. Dark and awesome origin story of Santa. And John Lithgow as the evil toymaker? Come on.
One Magic Christmas. Sigh. So much to say. Peak ’80s dark factor. Fun fact: this is a Disney movie! What!
“So Called Angels” episode of My So-Called Life. Delicious ’90s goodness! Julianna Hatfield as an angel? Yes please. Shedding light on the plight of runaway teens? Thank you, television.
Former Editor Megan
The Muppet Christmas Carol is my favorite Christmas movie AND Muppet movie combined.
Oh and Die Hard!
Oh and Scrooged!
Former editor & copyeditor Caroline
I’m very passionate about this topic, thank you for asking. A Muppet Family Christmas is my all-time fave.
An ex used to watch A Junkie’s Christmas every year. That’s definitely weird!
Sr. Editor Catherine
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale — a surprisingly awesome and definitely unconventional horror-meet-Christmas tale from Finland.
Mickey’s Christmas Carol — because Scrooge McDuck needed to play Ebenezer Scrooge at some point.
The Simpsons: The Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire — The introduction to Santa’s Little Helper and a fun Christmassy tale from way back in season one.
Nomination for a new tradition: A Christmas Prince from Netflix. It’s DRIVEL. It’s every cliche in the holiday book. And I’ll definitely watch it again.
I am a basic bitch and will say that Tavi and I seem to watch Frozen every winter, but now he’s got his new lyrics (as seen on my Instagram stories). [Spoiler: the new lyrics are “Let it go, let it go, let the toilet overflow!”]
YOUR TURN! What weird, silly, lesser-known holiday films are you watching? Share in the comments so we can add ’em!
Comments on We admitted the weirdest (& best!) holiday movies, specials, and episodes we watch every year
My favorite is While You Were Sleeping. Sure, the premise is a little creepy, but Sandra Bullock’s character is so genuine and the family is the best family ever. Their conversations are amazing.
Agree with Die Hard, Rare Exports, and Muppet Christmas Carol. Also must watch:
Long Kiss Goodnight
My mom loves Switchmas
Nightmare Before Christmas
The X-Files Christmas episode where they investigate a haunted house.
Harry Potter movie marathon!
Asterix and Cleopatra, the 1968 animated version.
Good, wholesome cartoon from way before 3d and special effects, it has a lot of catchy songs. There is nothing christmassy at all about it, except for the fact that a local television station in my french speaking province has marathoned the Asterix films every year at Christmas time for, oh, about twenty years, and this is the best one. (I don’t even have cable tv anymore and actually rented it on apple tv for the past two years to keep up the tradition. Both kiddo and husband insisted.)
Totally! My husband asked for the boxed set of all Astérix movies a few years ago, so we’re set even though Ciné-cadeau doesn’t stream. I do miss some of the shorts though. If you ever feel nostalgic of other movies that are not showing anymore, here’s a great little blog that tracked some down : http://cinecadeau.blogspot.ca/
By the way, if you play Pokemon Go and your username is the same as the one on here, I think we might be working close to each other 😉 If that’s the case, thanks for the lures and merry Christmas!
Wow that’s an awesome find!
(And nope, I don’t play pokemon Go. Guess my name isn’t original. Lol)
Oh well! It did seem like an exceptional coincidence. I just had to check. 😉
OMG you made my Beauceron’s day with this blog!
Glad I could help! 🙂
A book was also released recently :
It is a collection of essays about that cultural phenomenon. Although, be warned, they are not all about fond childhood memories. Some are actually critical of some choices made through the years. I’ve yet to read it, but it’s on the list!
Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special. I’ve loved it my entire life. My parents had to limit it to only after Thanksgiving until Christmas, because otherwise my sister and I would watch it year round and they couldn’t take it. Now it’s tradition to watch it the day after Thanksgiving as a family.
Also, Christmas Eve on Sesame Street is a favorite. Love the story and all the music.
SouthPark’s Woodland Critter Christmas
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the older cartoon version. Never the Jim Carey one. Never.)
Lion in Winter (Everyone’s favorite home-for-the-holidays family drama – intrigue! affairs! estrangement! nobody approves of anyone’s significant others! stabbings! covert homosexuality! Katherine Hepburn & Peter O’Toole being the awesome parents no one wants!) I’m also hoping to finally show my wife Hogfather (she loves Pratchett but hasn’t seen the movie) and we’ll definitely watch Carol sometime in the Christmas-to-New Years stretch.
Garfield’s 9 lives is a must for me. I’m from the same French-speaking province as SonyaG, and that was also a classic movie on the Christmas schedule for that public TV station.
Muppet’s Christmas Carol is the best Christmas movie ever, and Micheal Caine is the best Scrooge! I also have two other Muppets Christmas specials on DVD. A Very Merry Muppets Christmas is also very good.
I also watch the The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis episode from the Big Bang Theory about every year now 🙂
Oh man I freaking LOVE Garfield’s 9 Lives! I have been trying to find a copy forever. We used to rent that one at least monthly at the video store!
My partner and i watch all of the Christmas episodes of The Office every Christmas Eve. It’s a nice way to pass the time waiting for the kids to fall asleep so we can fill stockings and put out their Santa gift.
This year for the first night of Hanukkah I all the sudden had a fierce need to watch An American Tail. While not a Hanukkah story per se it does begin with the Mouskewitzs celebrating Hanukkah. It was a staple movie during my childhood and since it is currently available on Netflix I texted my sister and she watched it too.
Santa Claus Versus the Devil, anyone? Fine, fine, Santa Claus Conquers The Martians.
I put on the Hallmark Channel and take a sip of something alcoholic every time something cliche happens. They’re pretty much all the exact same movie, so it doesn’t matter if you come in halfway through or not.
HA! great idea. Bring on the tequila.
Candles, Snow, and Mistletoe! It’s a CBC classic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aO0hTVTi11U
I’m also a fan of The Snowman and Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs. The Snowman is beautiful, and Father Christmas is the perfect companion.
Okay not a Christmas movie, but a NYE movie I love: The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath!
Ernest Saves Christmas
Muppet Christmas Carol
Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas!
Emmet Otter is my very favorite Christmas movie! I so wish more people knew about it.
Best ever! My son who will be 2 soon is still requesting this daily, and we have been watching it since mid Nov. All of us grab an instrument and rock out. Also our local movie theater shows it during its Christmas in Our Hometown for free. That had to be one of the best times I have ever had at a movie.
Home Alone (honourable mention to Home Alone 2, but only if you can handle *that* cameo without being sick)
The Strike (Seinfeld season 9)
The Christmas episode of Miranda
And, yes, Love Actually.
We watched Home Alone 2 for the first time in years last night. I’d completely forgotten about that cameo and it was unpleasantly jarring.
Babes in Toyland,
The Nutcracker Prince,
Jack Frost [Rankin/Bass],
…the rest of the Rankin/Bass Christmas films,
A Charlie Brown Christmas,
and an assortment of those old cartoons from the ’30s & ’40s.
OMG i loved the christmas toy – i never heard of anyone else that watched it
The Doctor Who Christmas episodes (specifically from season 1 with Rose, and then the season 3 one with Donna), as well as the episode with Charles Dickens. Perfectly Christmas-y and Doctor Who magic!
The Futurama Christmas episodes (brought to you by Gunderson’s Nuts!) They’re short and sweet.
I always watch the standard Christmas Vacation and also Mickey’s Christmas Carol. Last year for Friendmas we were Netflix surfing and tumbled upon our new tradition, watching the Power Rangers Christmas special, the Roboknight before Christmas. It’s as bad as it sounds, do yourself a favour lol
Our Christmas Eve movie is Rise of the Guardians (the one with Santa and Jack Frost not to be confused with Guardians of the Galaxy).
There is a very terribly campy awesome to make fun of video called Wee Sing Best Christmas Ever. Find it on YouTube, watch (and gleefully yell at the screen) with friends.
HOLY CRAP THE CHRISTMAS TOY
I don’t know when I watched it, but it probably hasn’t been since the literal 80s. I forgot it even existed until just now, and seeing that picture totally gave me deja vu and holy shit I remember having watched this as a kid. Now I must seek it out again!
My favorite is A Christmas Story, which someone told me wasn’t popular until recently? It’s been a family must my entire life, we’ve probably all got it memorized. I also love the Home Alones, although yeah, #2 is kind of tough to watch now :/ (Only 1 and 2 exist in my book. The non-Macaulay Culkin sequels do not count.)
Dishonorable mention goes to the Star Wars Holiday Special, which I have only attempted once, and got through it solely because I was with my husband and best friends and we were drinking fairly heavily and live-facebooking the experience.
Some favorites we enjoy are Planes, Trains and Automobiles with Steve Martin and John Candy; a story of true friendship amidst holiday travel travails. Assault on Precinct 13 with Laurence Fishbine and Ethan Hawke (who is excellent, by the way) is a police drama about trust and finding inner strength. Bad language is rife in the hilarious family relationships Christmas comic drama The Ref, with Denis Leary and Judy Davis, but if you can overlook the swearing it contains an underlying message about true happiness.
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