A Guide to the Weirdest and Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Christmas movies can be magical. They can also be bizarre. For many, these movies represent some of their most memorable experiences and they bring a feeling of holiday cheer. Few things are more peaceful than kicking back on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve with some gingerbread cookies and snuggling up to a warm fire while your favorite Christmas movie plays. There’s also something to be said about having some guilty pleasures throughout the holidays. If you’re looking for the best Christmas movies of all time, look no further. We’ve also got you covered if you’re looking to shake things up a bit with a weird Christmas movie. Make your cinema experience extra magical with some Twinkly RGB Curtains or string lights. You can customize the colors to create the ambiance you want, whether you're taking in a classic flick from our Best lists or getting wild with a Weird list pick.
Four of the Best Christmas Movies Ever
A Christmas Story (1993)
A Christmas Story is a holiday classic. The story follows the main character’s (Ralphie) quest for Red Ryder B.B. gun. In the end, he gets it, but it’s not all he hoped and he finds the true meaning of Christmas. The plot in this unforgettable classic is strong enough. But some of the interspersed vignettes, such as Ralphie’s slippage of the word “fudge,” and the Bompass hounds, are just as integral to the movie as the repeat phrase, “you’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”
The Santa Claus (1994)
Santa Claus is a 1994 holiday film featuring Tim Allen as Scott Calvin (Kris Kringle). The movie’s plot revolves around TIm Allen’s son, Charlie, and the Calvins’ divorce. Scott Calvin stopped believing in Santa Claus at a young age. But when Santa falls off his roof and dies Scott becomes Santa by default. The movie plays on Scott’s reluctance to believe in the Christmas spirit. He’s a workaholic who doesn’t spend much time with his son. But by the end of the movie, he’s the most jolly of us all. Tim Allen delivers an excellent performance in this heartwarming classic.
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life is probably the best family Christmas movie of all time. It follows the life of George Bailey, a man who lives in Bedford Falls, NY, and dreams of a better life. When that better life doesn’t occur, he contemplates suicide and an angel from heaven is sent to show him what the world would be like without him. The scope of It’s a Wonderful Life is impressive as most movies flop that try to pack as much as this film does. It’s one of the more impressive feats in cinematic history. James Stewart’s portrayal of George Bailey is also one of the greatest performances of all time.
Die Hard (1990)
Die Hard could arguably be on the strangest Christmas movies of all time list, but the creators somehow pulled off one of the most unique challenges in film history. Seriously, how do you make an action-packed Christmas movie? Bruce Willis plays John McClain, a New York cop on a mission to repair his relationship with estranged wife, Holly McClain. Things go south when a group of German terrorists hijack the Nakatomi Plaza, Holly’s place of employment. Die Hard is an unlikely Christmas journey, but it’s a nice break from the seriousness of most Christmas movies and gives you time to enjoy some pulp with your family or friends during the holiday season. The Best Classic Christmas Movies Honorable Mentions: Miracle on 34th Street, Christmas in Connecticut
Strange Christmas Movies
Santa Claus (1959)
Jolly old St. Nick, Lucifer, and Merlin the wizard don’t cross paths often. But in one of the strangest Christmas movies of all time, Santa Claus, the three engage in a pivotal battle over the mortal souls of all the world’s children. The film opens on Santa’s spacefaring palace Christmas night, as he and his “elves” — which look more like overworked children than whimsical helpers — scramble to get ready for his annual voyage. But the devil has other plans and enlists his chief demon Pitch to wrest control of the Earth from “that bearded old goat Santa Claus” and “make all the children of the Earth do evil.” The demon manages to turn three naughty little boys to his evil bidding, while he and the big man struggle over the minds and hearts of Lupita, a poor girl who wants nothing more than a new doll. For some inexplicable reason, Merlin is Santa’s most trusted assistant and helps him in this cosmic duel. The movie is full of truly strange gems. One particularly memorable scene sees Pitch induce a nightmare into Lupita’s slumber, in which life-size dancing dolls try to convince her to turn to a life of petty theft. And who can forget the laughter of the unsettling, animatronic reindeer? Still, I don’t think there’s any better way, to sum up, this film’s stilted, surrealist logic than with this long-winded conversation between Santa and one of his helpers, Pedro.
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus (1985)
It might be a stretch to call this 1985 stop-motion film from Rankin/Bass Productions (of Rudolph and Frosty fame) a failure exactly, but where it lacks in horrible filmmaking it makes up for it in sheer bizarre Christmas worldbuilding. All you need to know is that it was based on a 1902 children’s book written by L. Frank Baum, the writer of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” to know how closely the movie toes the lines between bonkers and refreshingly imaginative. The plot stars *deep breath* an immortal known as The Great Ak who discovers an infant Claus on the border of the enchanted forest who he gives to the lioness Shiegra to raise as her own, until the wood nymph Necile steals the human to raise him herself, making him the only mortal in the realm of Immortals and thus sympathetic to the plight of human children. He decides to make toys and bring happiness to them, which the evil King Awgwa (who is dedicated to steering kids toward ill deeds) really doesn’t like, resulting in a war between the monstrous Awgwas and the Immortals and eventually ending up with The Great Ak successfully persuading the council to grant the now “Santa” Claus eternal life. Phew! As far as Santa origin stories go, this one’s an admirably convoluted take. Still, it manages to top the holiday lists of many nostalgic moviegoers.
The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)
You know Star Wars, right? The ones with the “I am your father” and the lady with the cinnamon-bun hair and everyone’s favorite character, Jar Jar Binks? Well, this ain’t it. Well, it is … and it absolutely, utterly isn’t. You see, after “A New Hope” came out in 1977 and grossed more than $450 million to pretty much everyone’s surprise, no one really knew what exactly the Star Wars “universe” might become. So, hoping to keep the franchise on the public’s mind while production charged ahead for the second film, George Lucas approved a CBS production for a Star Wars holiday special. The production was helmed by what Vox calls “a dream team of variety show producers” and included all the original stars and a ragtag group of contemporary celebrities. But without George Lucas’s tight hold on the reins of the Star Wars franchise, the thing spun out of control in the most fascinating way possible. Behold the results, a sure-fire candidate in the Odd Christmas Movies hall of fame, which Disney would surely rather have buried by now. The variety show stars Chewbacca as he heads home to visit his family for a holiday called “Life Day.” The scenes of his family, grotesque wookies which for some reason wear normal clothes, are told pretty much solely in the signature grunts of his species, making for a grueling viewing experience. But that’s far from the weirdest thing about the special. One of the most loathed/beloved scenes is Chewbacca’s father Itchy in a sexually-charged virtual reality encounter with singer Diahann Carroll. Another turns the Mos Eisley cantina into an episode of Cheers, with Golden Girls’ Bea Arthur as the bartender. The band Jefferson Starship even makes an appearance for a full song, awash in late-70s neon light. It’s a catastrophic, clunky mess, so much so that it’s been disowned by every member of the Star Wars cast — and I can’t recommend it enough. If for no other reason than to see Chewie’s son Lumpy. Look at this guy!
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)
If there’s anything I’ve learned from this, it’s that Santa has more enemies than I thought. In this failed mashup of yuletide cheer and sci-fi space opera, a gang of Martians set out to kidnap St. Nick and bring him to their home planet. The goal is to ostensibly instill the spirit of fun into the children of Mars, where playtime is apparently banned. Of course, to separate the real Santy Claus from his imposters, they need to kidnap two Earth children first. The plan goes off without a hitch, and a hostage Santa begins pumping out toys for Martian kiddos from a new factory on the red planet. But the warmongering Martian, Voldar, and his cronies believe that Martian leadership has gone soft and hatch a plan to kill Santa and the two children. In the end, Santa doesn’t so much “conquer” the Martians as he does convince them to elect their own present-giving figure and let him and the kids go home. The set-up is odd enough, but what really makes this movie unique are the horrible acting and some of the most hilarious low-budget set and costume designs ever put to film. For instance, this polar bear, or, well, almost any other harebrained moment in the entire production. The film is widely considered to be among the worst ever made, and for good reason. But, like each of these incredible Christmas movies, it’s the kind of trainwreck that you just can’t tear your eyes away from, a cult favorite among lovers of insane cinematic decisions. Enjoy with a cup of hot cocoa, but keep the Irish cream handy in case you need an extra kick to make it through!
Conclusion- A Guide to the Weirdest and Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Choosing which movies to watch during the holidays can be a struggle. You also don’t want to watch the same movies over and over again. It’s nice to have a balance of classic Christmas films with some weird Christmas movies. Whether you’re looking for a family Christmas or a romantic comedy, there’s something for everyone on this list of the weirdest and best Christmas movies. Christmas Designers is here for all of your Christmas lights and decoration needs. If you’re looking to add some ambiance to your cinematic viewing this holiday season, come check our extensive selection of Christmas lights. We carry state-of-the-art brands such as Twinkly and RGB Christmas lights to ensure your Christmas is special. Browse our selection of holiday lights and find out which ones pique your interest the most!