I also enjoy watching Christmas movies, though they’re a little scarce this time of year. Not completely scarce, as I’m watching “Jingle All The Way” on one of the STARZ channels as I type this. Some would argue that that isn’t really a Christmas movie, but I think it is, since the whole movie revolves around the attempts by a father to get his son a Christmas present. Plus, it’s also filled with Christmas music.
There are lots of lists of top Christmas movies (though I doubt “Jingle All The Way” is at the top of too many of those). Some are arranged by box office grosses, while others are by popularity, either by the fans or by various critics.
Many of those movies really have little to do with Christmas.
“It’s A Wonderful Life” is frequently at the top of many of those lists. It originally flopped at the box office, but has become an annual favorite. And while it certainly gets across the theme of “Good Will Towards Men” and the belief that “It’s Better To Give Than Receive”, it actually has very little to do with the holiday.
George’s backstory has nothing to do with Christmas. And his present-day problems don’t, either. He leaves his home on Christmas Eve, has his none-Christmas experiences with Clarence, and returns home with his faith restored.
Nevertheless, “It’s A Wonderful Life” is almost always at the top, or near the top, of most Best Christmas Movie lists.
So is “Home Alone” (and “Home Alone 2”). They’re set at Christmas time, and there are decorations and presents. There are even Christmas songs, which “It’s A Wonderful Life” also lacks. But both of the “Home Alone” movies are really about young Kevin’s battles with the Wet Bandits. Christmas is just window dressing. His family could just have easily left him behind at Easter, or for a summer vacation.
Still, “Home Alone” is considered by many as one of their favorite Christmas movies.
Don’t get me wrong. I love “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “Home Alone” (even “Home Alone 2”). But I’m pretty sure almost everyone considers them Christmas movies.
There are many more, also set around the holidays, that don’t get that distinction. But if you love Christmas like I do, and you want that seasonal fix without getting ridicule from others about watching a Christmas movie in February, I’ve put together a list of my Top Ten favorite Christmas movies, that don’t aren’t really about Christmas.
Michael (1996) – Christmas has a very minor role in this one, but still, I think it’s my favorite Christmas movie that’s not really about Christmas. Three tabloid reporters are sent out to get the story about a woman who claims she is living with a real angel. Near the beginning of the film, there’s a large Christmas tree being set up (like the Rockefeller Christmas tree in New York). There are a couple of mentions of Christmas, though it isn’t connected to the plot at all (and seems to go away by the end of the movie, though their experiences with Michael take place over the course of just a few days). Plus, there’s Dion’s version of “Winter Wonderland”. Warning, there’s a good chance that at a certain point in this movie, you will want pie.
“Sleepless In Seattle” has a plot that begins on Christmas Eve, as Meg Ryan is driving to be with her fiancée and his family on Christmas morning and Tom Hanks’ son is setting things in motion by calling into radio talk show. And while there’s lots of great classic music, the song I most enjoyed hearing (of y Rogers and Dale Evans’ take on “Jingle Bells/Sleigh Ride” (on one of the many stations Meg Ryan is listening to in her car).
Got any suggestions for more Christmas movies that aren’t about Christmas? Feel free to add them in the comments! And for those who want to know where “Die Hard” (and “Die Hard 2”) are, all I can say is that I liked these movies better. Feel free to make your own list!