The holiday season is here again, and that means it’s time for Christmas movies! Hallmark has already been playing seasonal sweetness for weeks, and Netflix has launched their latest batch of Christmas-y films (including the third in the hugely popular A Christmas Prince series). However, for some people, Christmas movies don’t just include those with romance culminating on Christmas Eve, or with snowy scenes of Santa Claus and gift exchanges. Instead, some prefer to watch films that just…feel a little bit Christmas-y, even if it’s not immediately clear why: and these are some of the most popular non-holiday movies that everyone enjoys at the end of December.
Despite not being a Christmas movie, there is no doubt that Little Women gives everyone the warm fuzzies around this time of year—so much so that the latest big-screen adaptation of the beloved novel is set for release on Christmas Day. Set in the 1860s, this Civil War story about a family of daughters is a perfect period piece. Maybe it’s the ideal Christmas movie because it begins on Christmas (and at a time where presents were far fewer and more heartfelt), but it may also be because of the love and loss at the center of the family; guaranteed heart-string tugging awaits.
Harry Potter series
Another beloved book series that has nothing to do with Christmas is Harry Potter—and yet it’s a franchise that many turn to at the holiday season. The earlier films are definitely some of the best for that Christmas magic…not least because magic (real magic!) is the heart and soul of the series. Of course, it’s also for the Christmas scenes that we love to re-watch Harry and his friends at this time of year. That first Christmas at Hogwarts, with snowy scenes of the castle, snowballs and visits to Hogsmeade in the wintertime, and of course, the Yule Ball. It may not be about Christmas, but there’s more than enough magic and nostalgia in these films to make them a holiday must-watch.
Of course, many people would consider that Die Hard absolutely is a Christmas movie—after all, it takes place on Christmas Eve! However, Bruce Willis himself has said that it is not a Christmas movie, and other than the date, it’s not particularly Christmas-y. Gunfights and terrorists don’t really feel like holiday magic, but if we’re honest, sometimes that’s just what you need to balance out the saccharine sweetness of everything else during this time of year.
Another film that makes the list largely because of one Christmas scene, Mean Girls remains a favorite for this time of year, even though it takes place over the course of an entire year. Part of this, of course, is because of that hilarious Christmas talent show number, where Cady and the Plastics dress up as "sexy Santas’" and do a ridiculously sexy dance. But there’s more to it than that. Mean Girls is fun, sweet, nostalgic, and has suitably festive messages of true friendship and forgiveness. That’s the true meaning of Christmas, Charlie Brown! And if you love the movie, give William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Mean Girls a try!
The Lord Of The Rings
Finally, we have a film trilogy that definitely gets a place in the non-Christmas movie hall of fame: The Lord of the Rings. This is an interesting one, because it doesn’t include any Christmas scenes (in fact, Christmas doesn’t exist in Middle Earth, although there are some yule/winter festivities to enjoy). It barely even includes winter, even if there are a few snowy moments (although they are far from charming and cosy). There is magic, though, and that’s something we all crave at Christmas, and there are themes of friendship, sacrifice, and overcoming all odds—seeing these fantasy heroes is enough to warm the cockles of the most frozen heart. And, of course, Christmas might be the one time of year that anyone has enough free time to watch the entire trilogy!
What are your favorite non-Christmas movies to watch at Christmas? Tweet @quirkbooks and let us know!