With Christmas less than a week away, most Americans have been inundated with an endless stream of holiday movies. Turn on the TV and you’re bound to find some channel playing one of the many classics that have kept us entertained for decades.
But while seemingly innocent at first glance, several of these pictures are extremely problematic. Buried within the films are insinuations, remarks, and circumstances that are extremely offensive to broad swaths of the public.
Not to fear, however; The Federalist is here to help. Just as it was necessary to cancel 10 Christmas songs with similar issues last year, I feel it’s only just to provide the top 10 holiday movies that are simply not acceptable in 2022.
On its surface, “Elf” may seem like your typical, happy-go-lucky Christmas tale. But what many people don’t understand is that the movie is unsavory to midgets — or little people.
Toward the end of the film, a moment arises when Buddy attacks children’s author and midget Miles Finch as an “angry elf,” asking him if Santa knows he’s “left the workshop.” I think I speak for little people everywhere when I say Buddy’s aggression is completely uncalled for.
In this case, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is to turn off the television anytime this cult classic comes on.
2. ‘A Christmas Story’
Of all the holiday-themed movies ever made, “A Christmas Story” is by far the most misogynistic. Throughout the story, Ralphie’s mother is portrayed as only that — a mother, who’s not allowed to have a career, ambitions, or even a first name.
Instead of giving her a good “yas kween” moment, the film’s director focuses the plot on glorifying dangerous weapons of war (a.k.a. BB guns) and setting unrealistic beauty standards for women’s legs. You’d be better off drinking your Ovaltine than wasting time watching this outdated relic.
3. ‘The Santa Clause’
While it may not be noticeable to ignorant MAGA Republicans, those of us trained as social justice warriors clearly see that “The Santa Clause” is nothing but a celebration of slavery. Run by a cis, white, male Santa — who happens to be played by a conservative (Tim Allen) — the sweatshop-like factory shown in the film operates on the backs of unpaid minors, who are classified as “elves” to undoubtedly avoid existing child labor laws.
Forced to work 364 days a year, the elves endure grueling working conditions, with no pay or benefits. And as the cherry on top, the movie shows the elves are happy doing it.
4. ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’
Much like its accompanying song of the same name, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is a movie not acceptable for kids. Rather than teach children the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion, the film eulogizes bullying of those who are different.
What’s worse, however, is that Rudolph is only accepted by the other reindeer after they use him (and his red nose) to accomplish a task they were incapable of completing on their own. If this is how they treated Rudolph over a red nose, I’d hate to imagine what would happen if he came out as non-binary.
5. National Lampoon’s ‘Christmas Vacation’
Aside from the glaring idolization of the patriarchy, the biggest problem with Chevy Chase’s “Christmas Vacation” is that it’s too white — and no, I don’t mean the amount of snow. Whether it’s the Griswold family, their snooty neighbors, or Clark’s boss, the lack of racial diversity makes it so obvious the film was made by cis, white men.
Why not have a black woman portray Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s character? Or make the Griswolds’ daughter an orphan adopted from China? The possibilities are endless.
Perhaps next time this movie’s creators want to make a yuletide classic, they should recognize their white privilege beforehand and put diversity front and center.
6. ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’
If you happen to be anything other than a Christian and come across “It’s a Wonderful Life” on TV, it’s best to keep scrolling. Among its many faults, the film acts as if there aren’t any other December holidays outside Christmas.
Seriously, hasn’t anyone heard of Hanukkah or Kwanzaa? And what about atheists? From the looks of it, the director didn’t ask any for their input.
Combined with its exaltation of the nuclear family and the importance of community, this cancellable film is pure conservative propaganda.
7. ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’
It’s films like “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” that demonstrate why teaching critical race theory and racial sensitivity to children is an absolute must. The Whos’ blatant racism toward the Grinch is beyond words.
The segregation in Whoville — which should be renamed “Whiteville” for its lack of racial diversity — is so horrific that the Grinch must don a mask when walking through town just to avoid the vitriol he’s forced to endure on a daily basis. In many ways, it reminds me of the racism directed toward real Native Americans such as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
8. ‘Miracle on 34th Street’
Given the white patriarchy that dominates “Miracle on 34th Street,” it’s not a “miracle” that Kris Kringle was cleared of any and all wrongdoing by the New York legal system. It’s pretty obvious that if Kris were a BIPOC, things would have turned out much differently.
The director doesn’t just subtly reference America’s two-tiered justice system throughout the film, he shoves it down viewers’ throats. The only reason people should watch this picture is if they’re looking for a clear-cut example of the racism present in every corner of American society.
9. ‘The Polar Express’
The problem with “The Polar Express” isn’t found in the story’s plot, but rather in the train itself. Despite having all the magic in the world, Santa somehow couldn’t create a train that doesn’t ruin the environment. Powered by coal, locomotives like “The Polar Express” cause manmade climate change, which, if left unaddressed, will leave places like the North Pole underwater.
If the filmmakers really care about the well-being of children, they should re-release the movie with an electric train instead of a fossil fuel-powered one to encourage kids to be more environmentally conscious. But as is the case with most greedy capitalists, I wouldn’t hold my breath.
10. ‘Home Alone’
You may be wondering how the story of a little boy left home alone on Christmas could make the list. But once you realize the film lacks LGBT representation, it starts to make sense.
While it’s certainly not the only holiday movie to reject rainbow pride, the writers of “Home Alone” were clearly too caught up in their heteronormative thinking to see the golden opportunity in front of them: making the film’s antagonists, Harry and Marv, a gay couple.
Sure, the movie is told from Kevin’s perspective, but that doesn’t mean inclusivity should be swept to the wayside. Until the film’s creators come out and apologize for their grave error, we should take a page from Kate McCallister’s playbook and learn to forget.