The Santa Clause movies (1994-2006): Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) unintentionally becomes Santa Claus and needs to prepare for Christmas—a job he did not sign up for. His adventure lasts for three movies, the first of which released in 1994 and the last in 2006; each movie introduces a new struggle for Santa. Calvin’s journey leads him in search of a wife and brings him to face his enemy, Jack Frost. Watch all three, or just one, and it will surely introduce you to a special realm of Christmas movies.
White Christmas (1954): Taking place during and after World War II, White Christmas brings you a romantic comedy about the lives of two song-and-dance men who meet the women they will later fall in love with in a sister act. Together, they attempt to save an inn in Vermont owned by their former commanding general in the war but face many difficulties in the process. Not just a Christmas movie, White Christmas portrays the hardships confronted in real life.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989): The Griswolds, an average family, encounter an unbelievable number of mishaps throughout their Christmas. The father of the family, Clark Griswold, tries to create the perfect Christmas experience with the best intentions, which results in a city-wide power outage, methane explosions, and the SWAT team. The movie has entertaining twists and turns not generally associated with Christmas cheer, but results in the final acceptance and appreciation of family—a classic holiday theme.
Gremlins (1984): Producer Chris Columbus uses the happiness and joy associated with Christmas time to contrast with the events of this horror comedy. One young man, Billy, defies the rules against keeping a gremlin, resulting in chaos. Billy changes Christmas for the rest of the town by accidentally creating hundreds of gremlins that go on a rampage and cause massive destruction. Gremlins might not meet the expectations of a traditional Christmas movie, but it is definitely a refreshing change during the holiday season. – Cheyenne Setneska
Christmas with the Kranks (2006): With a stunning five percent on Rotten Tomatoes, Christmas with the Kranks was declared unoriginal and almost painfully unfunny by critics as it shows the horrors of annoying neighbors and the discovery of the Christmas spirit. When the Kranks decide to use the holiday season as an opportunity to go off a Caribbean cruise, their Christmas obsessed neighbors, Vic Frohmeyer and Walt Scheel, quickly become upset. Soon, the Kranks find themselves shunned by the rest of their street for their lack of Christmas spirit.
Fred Claus (2007): Nothing says ‘Christmas’ more than a criminal brother being bailed out by his saintly brother. According to director, David Dobkin, at least. Fred, the criminal brother, is brought to the North Pole to work off his debt by making toys. Being the troublemaker he is, however, he begins to cause havoc in Santa’s workshop, creating all sorts of problems for his brother, St. Nick. Though it featured a promising cast, featuring both Kevin Spacey and Elizabeth Banks, Fred Claus ultimately failed with its dull and predictable plotline.
Surviving Christmas (2004): Watch Ben Affleck pay a couple to be his parents—no, really. When wealthy executive Drew Latham (Affleck) becomes nostalgic for his childhood home, he returns, only to find the Valcos living there. He offers a large sum for them to pretend to be his parents, and starts to live with the family and their daughter, Alicia, whom he later falls in love with. Neither funny nor particularly merry, Surviving Christmas has since been considered one of Affleck’s worst works.
Santa Claus (1959): Guess what? Santa Claus doesn’t actually work in the North Pole. He actually works in a castle orbiting the earth on a small satellite, on which he is able to watch the activities of every child and decide whether or not they are good or bad. When the Devil sends a demon down on earth, a battle between good and evil ensues. Strange and very unusual in terms of Christmas movies, it’s not surprising that Santa Claus hasn’t become very well known since its original release. – Amy Guan