What classifies a Christmas movie


Alicia Goff , Staff Writer

Since before anyone can remember, Christmas movies have been an essential part of the holiday season. From the sweet family friendly movies such as “Elf” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” to horror movies such as “Better Watch Out” and ‘Krampus,” families have gathered around their televisions to enjoy nights of Christmas films. Over the years, there has been a debate in the movie community. Movies such as “Die Hard,” “Frozen” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas” have been raising the question: What are the requirements for a movie to be considered a Christmas movie? 

For many when they think of a Christmas movie, the movie must either be entirely about Christmas or the holiday season in general; however, for others the line for what makes a film fit into the category is simply drawn at the appearance of snow or if it’s set in winter. 

“Snow does not equal Christmas,” senior Marcus Sandy said. “Christmas [should be] its own separate thing from winter itself. Winter has a lot to do with the beauty of calmness. There’s no stirring in nature, things become dormant and the world becomes still. Having it connected so closely to just one single holiday really misses so much more about just the general nature.” 

On the other side of this argument is sophomore Guy Varela, who believes that snow can determine whether or not a film is considered a Christmas movie. 

“Snow equals Christmas because snow is just another way to add to the setting of a Christmas movie,” Varela said. 
“Frozen” is a perfect example for those with the mindset that snow equals Christmas. The film was released in late Nov. 2013 on Thanksgiving Day. Even though the movie was released with the Christmas season right around the corner, Christmas wasn’t brought up at all throughout the entire movie and it even took place in the middle of summer. Despite this fact, families have still added this movie to their annual holiday movie list. 

“It could snow anytime,” freshman Cameron Switsky said. “It might snow on Christmas, but that doesn’t mean that every time it snows, it is related to Christmas.” 

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” is the main movie that comes to mind for those who are involved in this debate. Many question if this movie was made to be a Halloween movie due to it’s spooky ambience, various Halloween remarks and release date of Oct. 13, 2019. Those who lean more toward the Christmas aspect of the movie believe that its Christmas references, the title of the movie and the plot to take over Christmas, gives it its rights to be labeled under the Christmas category. 

“Die Hard,” like “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” is high on the debate list. Having been released in July 1988, “Die Hard” is about a man named John McClane who goes to Los Angeles to visit his family for Christmas. He goes to a holiday party with his wife, only for the party to be taken over by terrorists and for his wife along with other guests to be taken hostage. John must take matters into his own hands and save the hostages. Many argue that this isn’t a Christmas movie due to the lack of Christmas themes throughout, while others believe that it is a Christmas movie due to it’s Christmas Eve setting. 

“Even though it doesn’t directly talk about Christmas and its values, I feel like it has enough mention of Christmas in the plot to be a Christmas film,” Sandy said. 

There are countless movies all around the world in which people question its rightful place and despite what the directors say; none of these movies will officially receive a solid and permanent place in the movie world.