Why Die Hard, and a Few Others, are Christmas Movies

Christmas is almost here, and it has begun. I’m not talking about people getting into the Christmas spirit, or the deluge of advertisements to try to get us spending our money, I’m talking about the “fact” that Die Hard is not a Christmas movie.

Die Hard is a Christmas movie.

What people appear to forget when they make the statement that it isn’t a Christmas movie is the fact that good festive movies are about family. Die Hard features John McClane (Bruce Willis) travelling to New York on Christmas Eve to visit his family. On going to the office party that his wife is attending he finds it to be under siege by a terrorist group.

What does McClane do? What any self-respecting cop and father would do at Christmas (and any other time) he fights to save his wife. There are constant reminders that this is taking place on Christmas Eve and one of the famous scenes even features “ho-ho-ho” and a Santa hat. So why do people even claim it isn’t a Christmas movie? I’m sure somebody can comment on that.

Another movie I see as a Christmas movie that some would argue isn’t, is Home Alone. Again, though it is a movie that is about family. Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) is left behind when his family go on a Christmas vacation and he has to protect the family home against robbers who are looking to take advantage of the empty house. When he deals with them, the one wish he has is for his family to return for Christmas, and they do. Again, there are constant reminders that this is a Christmas movie, and the similar theme to Die Hard? The theme of family.

Gremlins may be a film about mischievous little creatures that create chaos around a small town, but it is also a Christmas movie. We have to remember that Billy (Zach Galligan) gets Gizmo as an early Christmas present, hell his friend Pete (Corey Feldman) spends his time with his father delivering Christmas trees. While Gremlins may have a darker tone to it, it is definitely a Christmas film because as we know, horror and Christmas tend to go well together.

Now for a more contentious one, The Nightmare Before Christmas. While it is a film best watched around Halloween, it is also one that holds a good Christmas message. Featuring Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king, it is about his character first taking over Christmas, but then realising the importance of what it stands for.

While The Nightmare Before Christmas is more about what makes the holidays important, it still holds that Christmas spirit, and works as a reminder that even the coldest of hearts can love what Christmas represents. It is about goodwill, and in the end, that is what The Nightmare Before Christmas is about.

In the end, Christmas is a time when we all have our traditions. There are many people who like to watch It’s a Wonderful Life, or the many versions of a Christmas Carol. There are those who enjoy what Die Hard represents. Whatever Christmas may or may not mean to you, films tend to have a special place a this time of year, and yes…that includes Die Hard, a damn good Christmas movie.

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