I love the holidays, but I’m not a huge fan of Christmas movies…
I once stanned for The Santa Clause but
ex-coke dealer actor Tim Allen’s willfully ignorant, conservative views has left a sour taste in my mouth in my old age. I’ve also never liked A Christmas Story and you can fight me right now if you feel it in your spirit.
These movies are not necessarily marketed as Christmas movies but give me the Holiday feels (mostly for no reason at all):
1. Moana (2016)
Three words: The F***in Music
Moana some of the best music that Disney has ever given us. Thank you, Lin-Manuel! I never saw Hamilton but I know it was a treat.
Although this is a new one on my roster, it’s one that gets me ready for the holiday season. The message, which deals with the struggle of staying loyal to your home life and being content with “Where You Are” in the present while also developing your dreams and going against everything you’ve ever known, speaks to me in a way a child’s movie has never done.
Moana’s self discovery throughout the film is so real, and it inspires me to steer off my linear path to dive into a career and a life that fulfills me. It’s a perfect feel-gooder for the holidays.
2. The Dark Knight (2008)
The Joker’s scarred smile reminds me of holiday cheer.
No, I seriously have no idea why I love watching this movie around the holidays. I love really big, over the top superhero movies (with the exception of the scalding hot garbage that was Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice), so when The Dark Knight came out, I was first in line. I mean, I was literally first in line; I worked at the movies.
The excitement I felt for the release of this movie recreates itself every time the Joker pops up on screen and I’m taken back to high school; a pimply face black girl in an AMC Theater polo surrounded by various white dudes covered in sweat and wearing Batman costumes.
… They wore costumes. That’s probably what gives me the Christmas jitters.
3. Mean Girls (2004)
If there was ever a movie that described my late middle school, early high school career, it was this one. This and Boyz N The Hood.
I remember the day my mom scored a free screening for this movie and I could not mask how unimpressed I was. The poster and commercials did not do this movie justice; I just knew it was a generic teen dream film. But we saw the film and even my mother laughed; that’s usually how I know something is funny.
I was a woman possessed. I spent about 80% of my time talking about Mean Girls, and the other 20% of the time, I was praying for someone else to bring it up so I could talk about it more. I LOVED it and, to this day, watching it warms my cold, chilled heart.
That memorable open legged knee slap that The Plastics do while performing “Jingle Bell Rock” is a reason to watch this movie during the holidays on it’s own.
4. Toy Story (1995)
Although Buzz Lightyear is voiced by an ex-con, Woody just happens to be voiced by Tom Hanks, number two on my list of Older White Dudes That I Enjoy (with John Goodman being number one). The movie begins and ends on Christmas and, while I wasn’t one of those sociopathic kids that thought my dolls were talking to me after seeing this movie, I’ve always appreciated the fantastical premise.
Watching it now brings me back to being a kid and being engrossed in the film that questions: “What adventures are your inanimate toys embarking on when you’re not looking?”
Buzz Lightyear sucks, btw.
5. Just Friends (2005)
This is a serious hot take. I can probably count on one hand how many people I know that have seen this movie and they’re probably all of the people I went to see it with in eighth grade.
It details the main character – who was a fatty in high school – inadvertently returning to his hometown years after moving away to the big city and leaving his fat baggage behind. It’s more of a silly movie than a knee slapper; with goofy elements such as Ryan Reynolds with six turkey necks and a mother with a weirdly high pitched voice. But I watch this every year; mostly for that sense of nostalgia. It also takes place during Christmas.
6. The Lion King (1994)
My all-time favorite movie of ALL TIME *Dave Chappelle voice*
We used to consider this a black movie – mostly because of James Earl Jones and the fact that it was set in Africa – so I’ve always identified with the film. Which is a damn shame because why in the world do we STILL not have a Disney movie that feature black and/or African culture that don’t have the main characters as animals? They made a movie where the black girl was a FROG for 80% of the damn movie!!!
Ok. Let me dial it back. We’re not talking about that movie.
However, I just love this movie. It’s not even about nostalgia, it’s just really well done and the music is perfect. R.I.P. Mufasa. They didn’t have to do you like that.
7. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Consider this one a bonus.
My affinity for the macabre is probably the only reason why I like this movie. Because it’s weird af. When I hear the first few chords of the opening song, I get so geeked. It also is literally about Christmas, but also about Halloween, so I watch it in between seasons to give each one a fair chance.
I’m sure I have more favorites but those were what I could think of.
What are your fave holiday films? Let me know in the comments.