Holiday Highway: Top 5 Films to Watch on Christmas Eve

Written by Spencer Sterritt December 19, 2012

Christmas Vacation, Christmas Eve, Top 5Christmas Eve is a special and exciting time. It’s a time for comfy flannel pajamas, glasses of egg nog with too much rum, and a stomach with too much food in it. It’s also the time to settle in and whittle away the hours before Christmas with movies. Here’s a list of the Top 5 films to watch on Christmas Eve, though this time they’re in the order that you need to watch them, not in order of greatness. Your movie watching list should be as carefully sequenced as an album or a dance routine!

5. Die Hard (John McTiernan, 1988)

What A Lovely Way To Spice Up The Holidays

What a lovely way to spice up the holidays

“Die Hard” is an interesting one, because it works as a way to start your viewing experience and as a way to end your viewing experience. It’s balls to the wall amazing on every viewing, and it has enough punch to really get your viewing underway, while it also has enough heft and climatic action to work as a strong closer, especially after such a long movie marathon. And it’s a cheerful reminder of how Christmas can bring even the most estranged of families back together. As a side note Christmas, and Christmas Eve, can be damn stressful. “Die Hard’s” one of the best ways I know to blow off some steam and have a laugh at the same time.

4. Home Alone (Chris Columbus, 1990)

Die Hard Home Alone

The threat of glass boobytraps or invading Germans is why I always wear my shoes on in the house.

It’s time to switch gears, but only slightly. “Die Hard” has loads of laughs, and “Home Alone” has loads of laughs. Both are excellent siege movies and have ridiculous violence. Sure going from the blood and cursing of “Die Hard” to the light slapstick of “Home Alone” can be jarring, but it’s an eclectic mix, so you might as well set the tone for strong shifts early. Also it’s fun to imagine Kevin McCallister setting traps for John McClane.

3. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Shane Black, 2005)

I'd say that's pretty Christmas-y.

I’d say that’s pretty Christmas-y.

“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” is my favorite movie of all time, and I’ll do my damnedest to make it fit into any movie marathon, but for Christmas Eve it really works. All of the shenanigans are set in and around Christmas, and it’s even funnier than “Home Alone” while being violent like “Die Hard,” so it works as a perfect middle of the marathon movie. Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer have never been better, and Shane Black throws enough random genre tropes and gags into the mix that it will appeal to damn near anyone involved in your marathon.

2. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Jeremiah S. Checkik, 1989)

Christmas Vacation

Nothing says Merry Christmas like emptying your RV’s shitter

There’s no way “Christmas Vacation” wouldn’t make this list. It’s a classic, everyone loves it, and there’s a reason you can turn on the TV at any point in the two weeks leading up to Christmas and find this gem playing somewhere. For the sake of marathon flow though I’m going to put it at number two instead of number one, because the good-natured zaniness of the Griswold clan compliments the satirical zaniness of “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.” And “Christmas Vacation” is by far the zaniest movie I’ve ever seen, so it works as a climax to all of the action and slapstick seen so far on this list, paving the way for the sweetness to follow.

1. Love Actually (Richard Curtis, 2003)

Much like “Die Hard,” “Love Actually” works well as a starter and a finisher for your Christmas Eve marathon, but I prefer it at as a finisher. It’s so committed to being a great Christmas movie that you can’t help but get wrapped up in it. It gets you into just the right mood to enjoy everyone around you and really celebrate the holidays, You may also want to have a mini-dance party inspired by Hugh Grant:

Whether going from 5 to 1, or 1 to 5, this is surely a list to get you in the mood for Christmas Day festivities.

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About Spencer Sterritt

Spencer Sterritt

Spencer Sterritt: former Editor-In-Chief for We Eat Films, future President of the Men With Beards Club, and hopefully candidate for ruler of the world.

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