I’m a child of the 80’s. And as such, I’m used to the feeling of realizing that the things I loved as a kid are actually really weird. I mean, I thought overalls were the most awesome thing ever. But I have to admit that my disappointment over some of my favorite Christmas movies feels especially painful. Smoky Mountain Christmas, anyone? The Night They Saved Christmas? These were the December movies of my childhood and they are downright agonizing to watch as an adult.
In my family, the holiday season isn’t complete without a nice, long Christmas movie marathon. We pull out the old standbys like How The Grinch Stole Christmas and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. These movies have so much nostalgia, they’ll always be wonderful.
However, once we move past the biggies, the movies that every family snuggles in for every year, we get into some pretty terrible movie territory. Terrible is the only way to describe a movie where Dolly Parton rescues orphans after getting drugged by a witch who gives her poisonous pie. How about Jaclyn Smith saving the North Pole from greedy businessmen drilling for oil?
It’s not just the live-action movies either. Sure, Rudolph is an amazing piece of claymation. But have you gone back to check out Nestor, The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey? What about Pinocchio’s Christmas? Or The Stingiest Man In Town?
Seeing these Christmas movies makes me seriously question my parents’ taste level. After all, I was just a kid. I would’ve watched anything you sat me down in front of. My parents made the conscious choice to turn these things on as we curled up in front of the fireplace, impatiently waiting for bedtime.
Then again, my daughter might be just as judgey when she gets older. After all, I do nothing to stop her from watching The Search for Santa Paws. And we buy into all of the Kung Fu Panda Christmas Specials. Those cartoons are probably just as bad as A Year Without A Santa Claus. (Yes, that movie is bad. The Heat Miser and Freeze Miser are awesome, but the movie as a whole is just as bad as all of the others.)
The funniest part about all of these truly horrible Christmas movies is that my holiday still doesn’t seem complete without them. Even though I realize how horrible they are, I still have to watch them at least once every December. Right now, Smoky Mountain Christmas is still sitting in my DVR, just waiting for me. It’s my holiday guilty pleasure.
Maybe Christmas movies are meant to be terrible. There’s so much magic surrounding the holiday, it might just be too much for the entertainment industry. In that case, it would make sense that only Dr. Seuss could do the holiday justice.
Yes, my old Christmas movie standbys are truly horrible. They’re corny and forced and never take good advantage of the awesome music they have to work with. But they’re still a part of my holiday tradition. So if you’ll excuse me, I have some Dolly Parton to watch.