This winter break, you plan to fit in a lot of quality time with your favorite member of the family: the television. Yes, who doesn’t love a good holiday movie? But we’re not talking about the black-and-white ones with angels helping middle aged white men learn lessons about humanity. We mean the good ones full of bad words, worse behavior, and the occasional green little monsters going splat in the microwave.
In other words, the greatest un-holiday, holiday movies of all time, which we’ve ranked for you below. And, if some generous little elf in your life wants to make your experience even better, start dropping hints about the Backyard Movie Bundle so you can cozy up outside with a festive cocktail while you watch.
16) Office Christmas Party
Why We Like It: It’s a fun, dumb, okay, really dumb, movie with eggnog luges from Santa’s groin, Jennifer Aniston, pimps and a snow machine that blows cocaine.
How You’ll Watch It: Drunk.
15) Silent Night, Deadly Night
Why We Like It: It’s an 80’s horror film about a kid that goes nuts and chops people up while dressed as Santa. What’s not to love?
How You’ll Watch It: With one eye on the group text you’re having with your friends who went out that night.
14) 8 Crazy Nights
Why We Like It: It’s a full length cartoon by Adam Sandler about an alcoholic man-child seeking redemption during Hanukah. And basically, it’s the only funny Hanukah movie we know other than The Hebrew Hammer.
How You’ll Watch It: Eating leftover Hanukkah gelt you found behind the microwave.
13) Black Christmas
Why We Like It: It’s an early 70’s slasher pic set around Christmas time and based on a true story. And it came years before Halloween, launching the killer holiday genre that would ultimately ruin every Arbor Day.
How You’ll Watch It: With your Goth cousin, who refuses to go into the other room and watch Forest Gump with the rest of the family. (WHY ARE WE ALL STILL WATCHING THAT MOVIE??)
Why We Like It: It’s about a horned, demonic monster taking vengeance on the world for its lack of holiday spirit. All you had to do was sing along to “Jingle Bells.” Was that so tough?
How You’ll Watch It: With some comforting hot chocolate. And a nervous eye on the chimney.
11) The Ref
Why We Like It: Denis Leary’s foul mouth meets its match when he takes hostage a family that can’t stand each other on Christmas Eve.
How You’ll Watch It: With a better appreciation for your own family, who will instantly seem less dysfunctional by comparison. Kind of.
Why We Like It: A higher body count and gremlin-to-human ratio that your typical holiday movie. The Grinch has nothing on these green little punks.
How You’ll Watch It: After midnight, with a snack and a precariously overfilled glass of water.
Why We Like It: It’s Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Only with Bill Murray at his Bill Murray-est. And a lot of freaky ghosts.
How You’ll Watch It: With deep shame for how you treated poor Tiny Tim this morning. Though no one could really blame you in the moment.
8) Edward Scissorhands
Why We Like It: It’s a great non-holiday holiday movie set around Christmas time in the weird world of Tim Burton, with Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder both in their primes.
How You’ll Watch It: Projected onto a 120-inch outdoor movie screen, while self-consciously reassessing your hedges.
7) Trading Places
Why We Like It: Eddie Murphy is turned into a commodities broker while Dan Aykroyd becomes a raving, drunk Santa in one of the most outstanding comedies of the 80’s.
How You’ll Watch It: During a drinking game in which shots are downed for every onscreen joke you couldn’t get away with in 2018.
6) Die Hard
Why We Like It: It’s full of blood, explosions, shooting and comical tough guy lines. Everything you think of when the holidays come to mind.
How You’ll Watch It: With cookies, milk and a couple of hearty “yippie kai-yays... ”
5) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Why We Like It: Cousin Eddie, fried feline, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and an edifying reminder that Christmas is not always how we dream it will be.
How You’ll Watch It: Mouthing along.
4) The Nightmare Before Christmas
Why We Like It: It’s a spooky and sweet holiday movie for people who think the happiest time of the year is actually Halloween.
How You’ll Watch It: With a ceramic reindeer head full of mini-Snickers and peanut butter cups. Beats gingerbread and fruitcake.
3) Bad Santa
Why We Like It: Dirty dwarves, soused Santas, robbery, obscenity and just about everything else you’re not supposed to embrace this month.
How You’ll Watch It: With your dad.
Why We Like It: Okay, this is pretty much a straight-up holiday film. Still, Will Ferrell in tights.
How You’ll Watch It: While enjoying the four Elf food groups: Candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.
1) Christmas Story
Why We Like It: Even though it is now a staple of the season, this was the defining un-holiday holiday movie, with its famous scenes of grade school bullying, backfiring Christmas presents and malevolent mall Santa.
How You’ll Watch It: 12 times, in one continuous 24-hour marathon on Channel 7.