By Joseph Orovic
The holiday season can often be defined by movie
standards. Major networks will hit the loop of
“It’s A Wonderful Life,” Charlie
Brown, The Grinch and go to sleep. But there are
other holiday flicks outside the canon worth examining.
So if you want “Miracle on 34th Street”
just turn on the TV. You won’t find it here.
Here are other films you can queue up on NetFlix
to fill the time not spent shoving food down your
Elf (2003) – An orphan
escapes his crib into Santa’s sack of
toys and returns to the North Pole, where the
elves name him Buddy and decide to raise him
as their own. Raised by Papa Elf (played by
ever low-key Bob Newhart), Buddy continues life
thinking he’s just a really, really big
Finally, as a full grown adult (played by the
master of aloof, Will Farrell), Buddy heads
to New York City in search of his biological
Hilarity playing upon the strange-in-a-foreign-land
It’s A Very Muppet Christmas
Movie (2002) – Collide “It’s
A Wonderful Life” and the goofiness of
Kermit and Company and you’ve got a goofy
take on the standard. (That’s if you don’t
find Jimmy Stewart screaming, “Merry Christmas
Bedford Falls!” hilarious enough).
The pratfalls and slapstick humor are on par
with anything the Muppets have touched. While
it may be somewhat predictable, considering
it mirrors the holiday standard, knowing the
source material makes the departures funnier.
The Santa Clause (1994) –
Tim Allen (remember him?) plays Scott Calvin,
a big toy company executive trying to avoid
a lackluster relationship with his son and former
All changes when Santa sustains an injury on
his roof, and Calvin puts on his suit to cover
for him on Christmas Eve. The only trouble is,
a clause stipulates Calvin accept Santa duties
when donning the suit.
Now unwillingly saddled with being Kris Kringle,
Calvin has to quiet down his rambunctious son
and keep his ex-wife from thinking he has gone
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
– The residents of Halloweentown get a
jolt of Christmas spirit when its Pumpkin King
Jack Skellington brings the holiday home.
The rest of the movie finds Jack and his neighbors
in a struggle to find a balance between their
scary roots and the jolly day of giving.
It’s a Tim Burton movie, so it can be
dark at points, but the stop-motion clay animation
gives the story a cartoon feel that makes it
bright enough through the (naturally) happy
National Lampoon’s Christmas
Vacation (1989) – Easily the
funniest installation in the Vacation series,
this comedy classic aptly makes a big joke of
the entire holiday ritual.
From the overly-decorated home to picking of
the Christmas tree, no Christmas habit is too
sacred to make fun of. Starring Chevy Chase
in the prime of his career, no one has deadpanned
their way through hyperbole so effortlessly.
It’ll leave you feeling silly to even
celebrate the holiday and only appreciate it
Jingle All The Way (1996) –
The Terminator + Christmas = a camp comedic
classic, beloved because it’s just so
so so terrible.
The plot revolves around desperate father Howard
Langston (Arnold Schwarzenegger) doing anything
to please his disappointed son by trying to
buy the hottest toy of the year, Turbo Man.
Langston encounters a disgruntled mailman (Sinbad)
who is also searching a Turbo Man. The pair
creates a rivalry as they bound around trying
to grab the last action figure.
Every parent who has wrestled for a Cabbage
Patch Kid, gunned for the Tickle Me Elmo section
and hunted for Furbies, we present your tribute.
For those into the irony of cringe-inducing
bad movies, nothing on celluloid has come close
in destroying the holiday movie genre.