This time of year, everyone is starting to deck the halls and get into the holiday spirit. And one of the major ways people gear up for the season is by watching Christmas movies. However, if you are like me, you have seen “A Christmas Story” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” so many times to date that the next time you hear someone say “Clarence!” or mention a Red Ryder BB Gun, you’ll want to beat them with a Yule log. Not very Christmas-y.

However, all hope is not lost. While most Christmas movies tend to be sappier than the trunk of that Douglas Fir shedding needles all over your carpet, these five Christmas films are sure to put a little extra zip in your eggnog.


1. Die Hard

That’s right – John McClain is a holiday hero. People often forget that one of the highest grossing action movie franchises started out late one Christmas Eve. So while it may not carry across the same holiday message as the old stop motion standbys like “Rudolph,” there is no shortage of holiday ass-kickery. And that’s really what the season is all about, right?


2. Gremlins

For those of you who feel Christmas is not enough like Halloween, but don’t want to resort to watching Tim Burton’s cavalcade of creepy claymation characters prattle on about “What’s this? What’s that? What’re these and those and thoooose?” for an hour and a half, Gremlins is a solid choice. Campy, dark, and full of holiday cheer – a definite win for anyone looking for an outside-the-box holiday movie experience.


3. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

Got family that get under your skin? The Griswolds know your pain. Spend this Christmas with this hysterically dysfunctional family and take solace in the fact that nobody decided to use your front lawn as an RV park this Christmas.


4. Trading Places

Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, two cranky old billionaires – what more could you ask for? Year after year, this Christmas mix-up masterpiece finds a new way to bring some raunchy comedy to the holiday season.


5. Bad Santa

Ever see a mall Santa get laid in the back of a sedan? You have now. Best to wait for the kids to be dreaming of sugar plums before popping this rule-breaking Christmas miracle into the Blu-Ray.