Stop Ruining Christmas

Matthew Stokes

Matthew Stokes

Matthew Stokes is a writer and college instructor from Birmingham, Alabama. He has been published in The Bulwark, Alabama Daily News, the University Bookman, and the Gospel Coalition. Follow him on Twitter: @yellingstopal.

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15 Responses

  1. Avatar Gabriel Conroy
    Ignored
    says:

    I probably have a brief against most of the movies and programs you cite. But with one exception,* most of my critiques fall under “they just don’t appeal to me.” I like enough other stuff that others don’t. Good post!

    *It concerns the way It’s a Wonderful Life contrasts George Bailey and Mr. Potter. I feel justified in saying my beef with it is a little more justified than mere “personal taste” would have it.Report

  2. Avatar Damon
    Ignored
    says:

    “But my new favorite tradition is the slew of annual hot takes explaining everything that is wrong with beloved Christmas movies, from Home Alone to It’s a Wonderful Life.”

    This is the problem. Paying attention to bitching on the internet. Just stop doing it. I’ll admit I think Home Alone is stupid…I don’t like McCulkin (sp) and I’m more of a Die Hard xmas type guy, but I’ll watch the Peanuts Xmas or similar If I run across it surfing the channels, but I will watch “The Snowman” when I remember to. Presented to you below. Never a more haunting set of music have I ever heard.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjMNtEKHURU&ab_channel=GranMaestroReport

  3. Avatar Marchmaine
    Ignored
    says:

    And are we supposed to be sympathetic to a 2k mile booty call at company Christmas Party in a high-rise that also contains a bank vault with hundreds of millions in bearer bonds? Sometime I feel like the Christmas spirit is dead.Report

  4. Avatar Kristin Devine
    Ignored
    says:

    Greatly enjoyed! Thanks!Report

  5. fillyjonk fillyjonk
    Ignored
    says:

    I wonder if there’s an element of “times changing” to it, too? I’ve found I can’t watch “Scrooged” any more, and I have to take the National Lampoon outing in small doses and in the right frame of mind. There’s too much, it’s too cynical, and yeah, these are people who have a lot to be grateful for.

    I also can’t watch a couple older movies I used to love – “The Man Who Came To Dinner” (again: too much meanness, and there’s just SO MUCH going on) and “Christmas in Connecticut” (I find the deceptions and near-miss being-found-out too uncomfortable any more). But I realize those objections are more a “me” thing than a “this movie is bad” thing.

    Or maybe times haven’t changed as much as I am: I am a lot more beaten-down by life than I was even five years ago.

    I don’t think I’ll ever stop loving “It’s a Wonderful Life,” though, even if it’s maybe not a great way to fun a lending institution? I think for me the whole movie is about a world that might be more forgiving and gracious than our own (note that Mr. Potter never pays for the “crime” of not returning the money stupid old Cousin Billy mistakenly handed him) and even though I recognize the world doesn’t work like the movie does (Oh to know that I actually had a positive impact on people’s lives! Then I think I could be happy), it’s still….a NICE world to contemplate.Report

  6. Avatar Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    “The other complaint towards Home Alone is similar to the one levied against Christmas Vacation – these people, the sprawling McAllister family, are too rich to be relatable to the film’s audience.”

    Here’s what I don’t get: If the characters or circumstances of a movie aren’t relatable to you, why are you watching it? There is this weird phenomenon I am increasingly seeing where it is not enough to simply not like something; if a thing does not work for you, then it must be actually broken.

    If you look at Clark Griswold and find him an unrelatable bozo who isn’t deserving of your sympathy, that’s okay! Don’t watch the movie. Or watch the movie and shake your fist at it. But why insist that the movie shouldn’t exist? Or that the movie and folks who like it are somehow wrong? Clark speaks to some and not others. That is a GOOD thing. Because elsewhere there are characters or works of art who speak to other people. This is what we should want.Report

  7. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    As a Jainist, I have a number of problems with A Charlie Brown Christmas.

    Why are they growing trees just to chop them down?

    And I’ve never seen the second half of How The Grinch Stole Christmas but I think it’s reprehensible that the Grinch engaged in burglary for the entire town. He also treats his dog horribly. People voluntarily watch this? Every year!

    Slap Shot is the Christmas Movie that makes the least sense to me. It’s nothing but violence but the violence is supposed to be funny? What’s funny about violence?Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      And Trading Places? The movie that ends with the protagonists fleeing the country ahead of a criminal SEC probe while a man is repeatedly raped by a gorilla?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck
        Ignored
        says:

        The Hateful 8 is the Christmas Movie that I always dread. Sure, the Silent Night scene was pretty. But the rest of the film is people killing each other. People make jokes about Die Hard being a Christmas movie and they think they’re funny, but the jokes that people make about the Hateful 8 being a Christmas movie aren’t funny to even the people making them.Report

  8. Avatar Oscar Gordon
    Ignored
    says:

    This Christmas, we are going to spend a few days with cousins in Olympia. Because of Covid, we are keeping interactions to outside, so my wife and I are renting an RV and driving that down to the cousins house.

    The Christmas Vacation jokes are flying fast and furious…Report

  9. Avatar Mike Schilling
    Ignored
    says:

    My favorite is the libertarian take that Scrooge did more good as a miser than a (ptui!) altruist.Report

  10. Avatar Laura
    Ignored
    says:

    I always dread it. Sure, the Silent Night scene was pretty. But the rest of the film is people killing each other. This Christmas, we are going to spend a few days with our cousins in Olympia. Because of Covid, we are keeping interactions to the outside. I’ve never seen the second half of How The Grinch Stole Christmas but I think it’s reprehensible that the Grinch engaged in burglary for the entire town.Report

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