There has been much debate over what actually qualifies a movie as a true blue “Christmas Movie”. The more strict of Christmas nerds insist that a film that takes place during this beloved time of the year is not enough to classify it as such. That it needs to be “about” the holiday. But I think the idea of Christmas is just abstract enough to applied to any manner of story. DIE HARD is a famously ambiguous holiday pick. An office Christmas party is interrupted by terrorists trying to steal money, but it’s really about an estranged couple looking deep into how they really feel for each other, and reuniting because of Christmas. Christmas is a crucial part of the story. GREMLINS is another one. A kid gets a weird muppet as a Christmas gift and soon enough, he has to deal with a bunch of mischievous frogs who start wrecking the town. It all starts as a Christmas gift gone wrong. And his would be girlfriend has to deal with her dark Christmas past (which mirrors the tone of the film) in order to help him fight off these frogs who make pop culture references despite being only a few hours old. Even Christmas horror films count, because as some of us know, sometimes tragedy doesn’t wait until January to happen. I’m sure we’ve all had to deal with awful things on holidays. Maybe not as bad as an axe wielding maniac, sure. But recently. we watched A CHRISTMAS STORY in a theater, and after a few years of being cool little Fonzies about how loose we were about Christmas movie interpretation, it was an intense experience to get back to the core values of the Christmas season. Being a kid. Wanting that one dream present. Navigating the folly of youth. So we understand wanting to keep it pure as well. But we can literally have it all. That’s the point of Christmas. It doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t judge. And it’s just a little bit better than you’d expect.