The Totally Non-Holiday Holiday Movie List

Somehow it became November, and the winter holiday season is creeping upon us. 

Which got me thinking about the rather strange array of movies I trot out during the next eight weeks in an attempt to be festive... while simultaneously not feeling the urge to drive an icepick through my ears because I'm hearing "White Christmas" for the 400th time in a day.

So for all of you folks who reach a point where if you hear about how "every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings" one more time, you're going to go on an eggnog-fueled rampage, this list just might be for you.


  • Addams Family Values. Ah, nothing like the combination of dry Gothic wit and blue blood summer camp, culminating in a completely off-season Thanksgiving holiday pageant to say, "Pass the turkey... But please use the medieval catapult."

  • Die Hard. Terrorists. Walking through glass in bare feet. Being held hostage. Lengthy delays in airports... Sounds like a family holiday to me! Plus, it's chock full of Christmas music, peace on Earth, and goodwill toward men. Okay, so that's near the closing credits. But, still.
  • The Ref. This is the Christmas movie you watch to feel really good about any of the petty conflicts, inconveniences and irritations you might encounter during your own holiday season. Or, perhaps, you'll be wishing Denis Leary will come and hold your own squabbling relatives hostage for holiday dinner-- y'know, just to liven things up a bit in a new, fresh and festive way.
  • Ghostbusters II. The ultimate in Christmas feel-goodness as found in mood slime and Jackie Wilson piping "Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher" through the movin' groovin' "Harbor Chick," Lady Liberty. If you can make New Yorkers happy during rush hour with monumental traffic jams (literally, in this case), you've truly channeled some holiday spirits. Believe me, I know. I'm originally from New Jersey. I've seen the malls.
  • Funny Farm. Watch Chevy Chase try to create the picture-perfect Norman Rockwell Christmas without Randy Quaid in a powder blue leisure suit and dickey. Challenge guests who've had an excess of mulled cider with rum to compete and see who can laugh most like the insane Redbud mailman.
  • The Hogfather. Okay, so this really is a Christmas movie... If, y'know, you lived in an alternate universe where Santa was actually an anthropomorphic pig deity. And a wild-boar entourage pulled his sleigh. And where Death was basically a good guy but a little bit misunderstood. And he had a granddaughter who was a part-time nanny, part-time witch. But otherwise, totally Christmassy.
  • Death Race. Jason Straitham demonstrates that Christmas is more than a season-- it's inexpensive background set decor while you eradicate the baddies. (Thanks to my friend Dave for this suggestion.)
So, folks-- any other films you'd like to add to this list? At Of Cabbages and Kings we always are glad for suggestions!


Junk Drawer Kathy said...

Oh, Jenn! You're the only other person I know who saw Funny Farm! That's a classic in our house.

Cue the deer.

Surfie said...

Sadly, I've only seen 3 of these movies. (Of course they are Die Hard, Addams Family Values, and Ghostbusters II.) So I guess it is now my mission to go out and find the others so my totally non-holiday holiday movie watching time can be complete. Hoo-Rah!

Jaffer said...

I've seen none of these movies

Chris@Knucklehead! said...

Well, Jenn and Kathy, add me to your "saw Funny Farm" list.

Unfortunately, though, I thought it sucked. But I'm not a big Chevy Chase fan.

Surfie said...

Oh, and a suggestion. Gremlins. :)

Jenn Thorson said...

Kathy- It's guaranteed to be run at my house once every holiday season, usually after Christmas Vacation.

Surfie- I think based on your sense of humor you will enjoy a few of them. And YES! Gremlins! Excellent addition to the list.

Jaffer- How have you ever managed it? :)

Chris- I'll forgive you for your loathing of Funny Farm because I otherwise usually agree with you on movies. :)

Anonymous said...

I must agree with Jaffer - have never seen any of these, actually haven't heard of most of them. Chevy Chase hasn't been funny since he left SNL and even then I mostly liked him as the Land Shark.

Deray said...

For some odd reason in Mexico they always play Titanic for Xmas, it might be that they just want to fill 3 hours of TV when no one is watching. I find it weird though.

I have a suggestion as well, "While you were sleeping". Classic romantic comedy and it is a holiday movie too ;)

Jenn Thorson said...

Grace- Heh, I had no idea when I came up with my list I was going too-obscure for readers. Ya never know! :)

Deray- There may be something subliminal going on there. :) "Holiday family fun-- of a ship going down and lots of people dying. Feliz Navidad!"

Unfinished Rambler said...

Do Grace and Jaffer live under the same rock? That's what I want to know. ;)

I have to agree with you with Die Hard and especially Addams Family Values, one of my all-time favorites. I also have to add Planes, Trains and Automobiles to Thanksgiving movies, although it really is a Thanksgiving movie. :)

Jaffer said...

Unfinished Rambler: Not unless she is the same Grace who is the superintendent of my rock.

Funny Jokes said...

Awesome post!
Thanks for sharing.

rubbish said...

Bad Santa.

Melanie said...

Love Funny Farm. It is a classic at our house too.

The Hogfather,I really liked the book better than the movie.

Melanie said...

Oh, and for the holidays, we always need a good western or two. Quigly Down Under and/or McClintock.