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11 Christmas Movies Besides ‘A Christmas Story’ To Make Yearly Traditions
Ryan Midnight   |  

11 Christmas Movies to make Yearly Traditions

In need of some Christmas-themed movie ideas to watch as the family gathers around the fire roasting chestnuts this year? Threatening to shoot your own eyes out if you have to sit through the 24-hour broadcast of A Christmas Story one more time? Well, here are some alternative movie options for you to consider which should go along with that mug of mulled wine and eggnog quite nicely. From action to comedy and horror to the cringeworthy, there is something here for everyone!

Continue below now to check out some of my top yearly holiday favorites!

Die Hard movie poster 1988

These classic action flicks are both centered around Christmas and feature the introduction and return of the career-making Bruce Willis role, John McClane as he tries to reconcile with his wife and finds himself at the center of terrorist attacks. The first Die Hard includes the yuletide greeting “Now I Have a Machine Gun. Ho-Ho-Ho” as brilliantly deadpan delivered by Alan Rickman. Rally the family and let the bullets fly!

Gremlins movie poster 1984


Sometimes finding that absolutely perfect, unique gift for the one you love brings more trouble than its worth, and usually doesn’t come with a return policy. In this Joe Dante directed, Steven Spielberg presented film, Hell comes to smalltown USA in the form of 3-foot monsters looking to cause havoc and chaos and only the cute and cuddly Gizmo can stop them. Next time, just get your kid something off his Amazon wishlist.

Scrooged movie poster 1988


Bill Murray brings the laughs in this updated interpretation of A Christmas Carol, as Murray portrays TV mogul Frank Cross who plans to broadcast a live version of Dicken’s Christmas Carol. Things don’t go well for Cross though as he himself is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. Featuring a cavalcade of ’80s stars including Karen Allan, Bobcat Goldthwait and Carol Kane, this one is sure to put you in the Christmas spirit.

Black Christmas movie poster 1974

Black Chistmas

Ten years before Bob Clark brought the world bb guns and leg lamps in A Christmas Story, he terrorized a sorority house full of women including Olivia Hussey and Margot Kidder with an unknown killer in this proto-slasher that helped originate some of the now well-worn horror and thriller clichés. This is one of the first holiday-themed horror movies!

Silent Night, Deadly Night movie poster 1984

Silent Night, Deadly Night

There are a number of low-budget horror flicks with a deranged killer dressed as Santa, though this one ranks up there as one of the best. The story revolves around a young boy who witnesses his family killed by a thief dressed as Santa Claus. As a young man, he begins working for a toy store and when he is forced to dress as Santa, his mind snaps and he begins his own killing spree. The film was greeted with massive protests during it original release in 1984.

The Nightmare Before Christmas movie poster 1993

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Is this a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie? Why not both! This cult favorite is sure to please year after year as Jack Skellington kidnaps Santa Claus from Christmastown and stashes him away in Halloweentown as he tries to understand the meaning of Christmas. Featuring a story by Tim Burton, some truly amazing stop motion animation and a nigh-perfect soundtrack by Danny Elfman this one peppermint flavored treat!

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents Santa Claus MST3K 1991

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians /
Santa Claus (via Mystery Science Theater 3000)

The crew of the Satellite of Love take on two unfathomably dreadful Christmas movies and riff their little hearts out. Joel and the bots take on Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, where Saint Nick is kidnapped and brought to Mars to give presents to Martian children while Mike and the bots visit Santa Claus where the jolly ol’ elf must contend with the Devil’s henchmen, Pitch who has been sent to ruin Christmas. There are laughs abound here that will make your belly shake like a bowl full of jelly!

Star Wars Holiday Special TV Guide Ad 1978

Star Wars Holiday Special

This now legendary feature-length, single-broadcast, never officially released and highly bootlegged television special is still a sight that must be witnessed to believe. The special revolves around Han and Chewie trying to get back to Chewie’s home on Kashyyyk for Lifeday. The special includes footage spliced in from Star Wars, most of the entire cast returning to portray their classic roles and is noteworthy for being the introduction to Boba Fett in the form of a short cartoon. You’re going to need some extra eggnog to get through this one!

Beavis and Butt-Head Do Christmas 1995

Beavis and Butt-Head Do Christmas

While not officially a movie, what Christmas would be complete without Beavis and Butt-Head? This double-length episode includes two stories: “Huh-Huh-Humbug” riffs on A Christmas Carol and features Beavis in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge while “It’s a Miserable Life” riffs on It’s a Wonderful Life with Butt-Head in the role of George Baily. Start a fire (Fffire! Fffire!) going in the fireplace and end your evening on a high note with this one.

What are your go-to Christmas and holiday movie favorites?


  1. Holy cripes! You forgot The Ref! A dark Christmas comedy starring Dennis Leary and Kevin Spacey. Dennis Leary is a burglar who takes a bickering couple hostage on Christmas Eve. Add in judgmental in-laws, a drunken lactose-intolerant Santa, and the line “Grandma’s chewing through her gag”, and you’ve got a holiday gem! Puts me in the Christmas spirit every year. And endlessly quotable.

    Comment by Katie Schumm — December 17, 2013 @ 1:13 pm

  2. The Ref is an absolute MUST watch. We don’t watch any horror films though during the holidays. January leading up to October 31 we get plenty of it preparing for Halloween – a couple month break ain’t too bad.

    Another must watch from our list is Home Alone 1 or 3 and Jingle All The Way.

    Comment by Terrormaster — December 17, 2013 @ 1:25 pm

  3. Great call on The Ref. I’m already working on an “11 More Christmas Movies…” list for next year and The Ref will most certainly make it.

    Comment by Ryan Miller — December 17, 2013 @ 1:35 pm

  4. GREAT FREAKIN LIST !!!!! All those movies are a must !!!

    Comment by AL — December 17, 2013 @ 3:39 pm

  5. Thanks, AL, glad you liked it.

    Comment by Ryan Miller — December 17, 2013 @ 4:42 pm

  6. If the Star Wars special is on the list, that means that TV specials are fair game. If that’s the case, then “Muppet Family Christmas” should be on the list as well.

    Comment by Kit Jackson 1967 — December 17, 2013 @ 9:42 pm

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