Christmas Movies(?)

I don’t remember very many movies that are set on Halloween yet have nothing to do with Halloween. Ditto Easter, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, Fourth of July, Arbor Day, etc. If movies are set on those holidays, they tend to be about those holidays.

Not so with Christmas. While there are plenty of CHRISTMAS MOVIES, movies about Christmas and revolving around the elements of Christmas, there are also several Christmas movies(?), movies that are set on Christmas but not about Christmas. And many of those are retro.

Probably the biggest Christmas movie(?) of all is It’s A Wonderful Life.

I didn’t see this movie until I was 14. But I had heard about it. I knew it was on TV every Christmas and for that reason I figured it was a CHRISTMAS MOVIE. When I finally saw it, though, I was surprised that it had little if anything to with Christmas. After watching the childhood of George Bailey play across the screen for about a half hour, I asked Mom, “Isn’t this supposed to be a CHRISTMAS MOVIE?” She said it was, but I didn’t think so then and still don’t think so now. I think it’s a Christmas movie(?).

Another Christmas movie (?) is Gremlins.

Gremlins is set at Christmas and uses Christmas in its plot (Billy gets Gizmo as a Christmas present). It even starts with the song “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”. But it isn’t really a CHRISTMAS MOVIE. You could take Christmas out and the movie would still be the same. So it’s actually a Christmas movie(?).

And then there is Die Hard.

Like Gremlins, Die Hard is set at Christmas but isn’t based on Christmas. It could be set at any time of the year and would still be Die Hard. It wasn’t even released during the Christmas season. Like many Christmas movies(?), it was released during the summer blockbuster season. Christmas movie(?) to be sure.

And there are dozens of others besides these. Batman Returns, Ghostbusters II, The Sure Thing, Edward Scissorhands, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Better Off Dead, and The War of the Roses are all Christmas movies(?) to some degree, and Wikipedia lists lots more. So if you’re feeling like Christmas movie over the next few days but don’t want a CHRISTMAS MOVIE with Santa, reindeers, and toys, try a Christmas movie(?) instead.


Doug is a child of the 80s who was raised in Ohio and is now living the life of oblivion in the bay area of California.

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