When you think of Christmas movies, you probably think about how wonderful and magical they are and how they wrap you up in a blanket of good-feelings and warmth… That’s all bullshit. You’re not looking hard enough at the deep, underlying messages these movies have, most of which are quite horrifying.
5. Child Murder is Okay if a Toy is That Popular
The Movie: Jingle All the Way
The overall message of the shitty movie Jingle All the Way is muddled at best. Jake Lloyd is a crappy kid with an even crappier dad. Sinbad is some sort of villain that still harbors resentment towards his dad because he didn’t get some stupid gift when he was a kid. Is it satire? Is it being played straight? I don’t know. All I know is Schwarzenegger punches a reindeer in the face and Sinbad uses a mail bomb and tries to toss a kid off the roof. Merry Christmas, Rita Wilson, here’s a child-sized coffin because your asshole husband couldn’t get a gift in a timely manner.
4. Evil Bankers Will Never Get Their Comeuppance
The Movie: It’s a Wonderful Life
It’s a Wonderful Life is a beloved classic about exactly what a single life of good deeds can mean to the small world around it. Even if George Bailey never got to accomplish exactly what he wanted to, there’s nothing insignificant about his existence, as made evidence by the feel-good ending when the townspeople come and bail him out of an $8,000 jam. It’s a pretty nice ending, except for one major oversight.
The reason Bailey is in the predicament is because the evil banker Mr. Potter, whom “misplaces” the original $8,000 so he can foreclose on the Baileys. Rather than exposing Potter for the duplicitous, wheelchair-bound shitbag he is, the townspeople assumedly come up with an extra $8,000 to settle the debt. While Potter’s scheme of bankrupting the family doesn’t come to pass, he basically never has any ramifications for his misdeeds and gets off scot-free with an extra $8,000 to spend on polio leg blankets.
3. You Can Be a Village Full of Assholes, But As Long As You’re Not Green…
The Movie: Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas
This is in reference to the Jim Carrey live-action version, not the classic animated telling of this story.
In the original story and animated special, the Whos are pretty much the nicest bunch of assholes you ever want to meet. They sing all day long, smile ear-to-ear while they put up all the Christmas decorations, and more or less shove it in your face that you can never have that level of happiness no matter how hard you try. That’s the central conflict of the story and it’s that merriment that pisses the Grinch off so much.
In the Jim Carrey vehicle, the story is more about a how much the Whos love spending their money and how much they love to pick on the poor Grinch, who has some deep-seeded hatred for the Whos dating back to his childhood. The Grinch is literally the good guy in this version and it’s this shift that turns this movie into a warped version of the source material. Rather than the ending being about the enduring spirit of the holiday despite having nothing, it’s just a bunch of people being shitty to each other and then just getting their stuff back. The Grinch should’ve burned Whoville to the ground.
2. Meaningless Childhood Disappointment is a Good Reason to Be an Asshole
The Movie: The Santa Clause
Sure, maybe the ACTUAL message from this movie is that there’s no harm believing in magic, but there’s also a side revelation in this film and that’s the fact that the mom and stepdad Neil are pretty terrible people and the only reason they don’t want their son believing in Santa Claus (and why they file a motion to remove custody rights from his biological father) is that they didn’t get an insignificant gift nearly 30 years ago.
Most kids don’t get something they put on their Christmas lists; some don’t get jack shit. But that doesn’t stop Charlie’s mom and close-talking Neil from completely abandoning the whole notion of Santa Claus all because she didn’t get a Mystery Date board game and he didn’t get an Oscar Mayer whistle. In a movie in which one parent thinks he’s Santa Claus, these two scar their child’s mind with their own petty bullshit reasons. Charlie grows up to be a shitty kid with an enormous head, and I blame their crap attempts at parenting.
1. Your Uniqueness Makes You a Freak, Unless Someone Can Benefit From It
The Movie: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer is supposed to be a triumphant story about someone being accepted even though they’re different. The lesson is that our differences make us unique, and can even make us extraordinary. Look deeper into this beloved classic and it’s not exactly so hunky-dory.
There’s a bit of disconnect between Santa Claus in Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and the one in Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town. In the origin story, also known as Santa Claus: First Class, he’s a cheerful (some might say Jolly) ginger-headed toy maker that loves to see the smiles on children’s faces when they get a toy, even if they are monochromatic and dirty. By the time Rudy comes around, he is a totalitarian dictator that demands perfection from everyone in his employ. He has the elves cowering in fear and he even criticizes their song about how much they love working for him. He’s an enormous dick and baby Rudolph gets the brunt of his wrath, basically being told that he’s worthless with that goddamn nose of his.
That is, of course, until that fateful batch of fog that nearly cancels Christmas. First of all, you work one goddamn night a year. If there’s fog on December 25th, you can wait until the fog clears to deliver the toys. December 26th is just as good; you don’t have to be like “Fuck this! See you next year, kiddies! I’m off to Cancun so a team of eight flying underage prostitutes can work on my North Pole.” But more importantly, look who comes crawling back to Rudolph the second he realizes there’s some use for that red nose of his. Fuck this Santa Claus. He’s a fuck.
This is the lesson of the world, though, kids. The world only wants from you what it can get out of you, so learn this shit fast. You’re in for a miserable rest of your life, unless you have some sort of freakish talent, like say, a red nose or enormous cock.