There are a lot of Christmas movies and TV episodes. Each year, people watch stuff like It’s a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 32nd Street or The Santa Clause. I also enjoy Christmas themed, or at least Christmas adjacent entertainment. Here are my somewhat alternative choices for essential Christmas movies and TV episodes.
Seinfeld – “The Strike”
This is one of the best Seinfeld episodes and the one that gave us Festivus. A great holiday episode that you need to watch every year. How can you go wrong when the holiday includes feats of strength and an airing of grievances? Classic.
King of the Hill
“‘Twas the Nut Before Christmas,” “Pretty, Pretty Dresses,” “Livin’ on Reds, Vitamin C and Propane”
This show is easily one of the greatest animated sitcoms of all time and these are three of my favorite episodes. The first two focus on Bill, the not so lovable loser, and his pathetic Christmases. The last is about a Christmas road trip in an 18 wheeler that goes horribly wrong.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 – “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians”
I actually like the movie in this episode on its own. But this is one of my holiday traditions. Santa Claus is kidnapped by Martians. There’s a cardboard robot, green Martian children and some of the best MST skits in between. It’s time for a Patrick Swayze Christmas.
More Traditional Xmas Films
A Christmas Story
When it comes to traditional Xmas stories on film, this is my number one. You all know it’s the best Christmas movie ever. That’s why the movie gets endless holiday airings. The movie wasn’t a big deal when it was released in 1983, but it’s become a big deal since. It’s such a holiday tradition now that the merchandise is a big deal. Let me go plug in my own “major award” lamp and watch this on an endless loop. (Seriously, I have two Xmas Story lamps.)
Runners Up: Elf & Jingle All the Way
One is a delightful story of an elf. The other is why extreme consumerism is wrong. One is a genuinely good movie. The other is a pretty crappy film, but a guilty pleasure.
One of the best action movies and it’s set at the worst office Xmas party ever. This is the holiday movie for people who are tired of the holiday’s trappings and just want to enjoy something that’s not about getting gifts or learning holiday lessons.
A weird Batman movie, but it totally makes use of the holiday in its story. Wonderful alternative holiday fun.
Any Shane Black Xmas Action Film – Iron Man 3, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Long Kiss Goodnight, Lethal Weapon
Shane Black likes to set his action during the holidays and I love it. Any of these films is great fun. Long Kiss uses the setting well as it tells the story of a suburban mom who remembers she used to be an assassin. It’s like Jason Bourne but with Christmas trees, bake sales and holiday pageants. And Sam Jackson.
Have any favorites? Obscure choices? Leave your ideas in the comments. And Happy Festivus!