The Ultimate Christmas-in-July Movie Lineup
Because believe it or not, celebrating half-holidays is an art.
By Michelle Criqui, James Madison University
A month for beach trips, barbecues and cheesy Christmas movies. Yep, you read that right.
For some, summertime is a secluded, sun-bathed island paradise, separated from the holly-jolly holiday cheer of the Christmas season by a half-year barrier. For others, like myself, who just cannot get enough of their annual dose of Christmas spirit, July becomes that one other time of year where breaking out the Santa hats and blasting holiday music at all hours of the night is somewhat acceptable.
Here are some tips on how to take advantage of this seasonal holiday loophole and celebrate your very own “Christmas in July” the right way.
Gather the Squad
Your first obstacle in putting together a poppin’ Christmas in July jubilee is to get the squad on board. This may prove to be a bit difficult, as most people (for whatever reason) are in full summer mode during the month of July and have completely switched off their internal “Christmas Spirit” meter. Some people haven’t even thought about Christmas in weeks, if you can believe it.
Anyway, this is your opportunity to take some sage advice from our friend Buddy the Elf, who said that: “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” It’s wise to start off discreetly, perhaps by playing holiday music in the car at a low volume so it seeps into your friends’ subconscious.
Next, you could try stepping it up a notch by humming it under your breath, or even singing a verse or two. Then, when they’re least expecting it, blast that shit as you’re cruising around town. Odds are, at this point, they’ll be singing along with you— and will be totally on board to have a swinging Christmas in July party during what should have been beach week.
Have a Merry Movie Marathon
Once you have your friends on board, it’s time to start planning your shindig. What better way to celebrate the season than to have a Christmas movie marathon? But before you break out the holiday favorites, remember that it is still July, and you don’t want to over-do it on the cherished classics to the point that you just aren’t in the mood to watch them again come Christmastime.
But one of the joys of Christmas in July is that you get a chance to check out all those extremely cheesy, yet unintentionally hilarious holiday movies on Netflix that you’ve always overlooked. Add some wine or spiked frozen hot chocolate, and everyone will be “ho-ho-ho”-ing in no time!
Here are some suggestions for your merry movie marathon:
All the Sequels!
Want to save the originals for Christmastime? No problem! Like with most movies these days, sequels abound. Many of your holiday favorites not only have sequels, but “three”-quels and even whole sagas following the original. While they’re definitely not always the best quality, some of these additions can actually be pretty entertaining—or at least give you a good laugh.
In case you never gave this one a shot, now’s your chance. Tim Allen reprises his role as Santa Claus, with an energetic and witty Martin Short as the conniving Jack Frost. The cheese is real with this one, but Allen and Short’s comedy chemistry is undeniable.
An ABC Family (*ahem* Freeform) original, this movie continues the story of Santa Claus’ daughter Mary (Tori Spelling) as she struggles to balance her life in NYC with her life at the North Pole. While Mary has the same love interest as in the original, they switched him out with a different actor. Maybe they thought we wouldn’t notice, but as my sister insists, he’s hotter. So there’s your incentive.
Yep, this exists. It was released in 2012 as a “What Happens Next?” kind of sequel, taking place when Ralphie is 16. While its cast doesn’t quite compare to the original actors, and it was eloquently described as a “bastardization of a classic” on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s actually a somewhat interesting take on what happens next to Ralphie and his family.
Christmas Movies You Skipped
It’s time to give these not-so-classics a chance to shine! Also, be sure to check out the Hallmark Channel for its round-the-clock Christmas in July TV-movie schedule.
This one has pretty weird plot, which features a couple deciding to boycott Christmas just to save some money. But Jamie Lee Curtis + Tim Allen = a movie marriage match made in heaven (holy alliteration, Batman!), with plenty of crazy antics and holiday hilarity.
This movie is a ABC Family (I mean, Freeform) staple, featuring the one-and-only Mario Lopez, who’s kidnapped by Melissa Joan Hart’s character so he can pose as her fake boyfriend and meet her parents. Hart’s character is pretty psychotic, which makes this movie all the more funny.
Haven’t heard of it? It’s a lesser-known Rankin/Bass special that’s perfect for celebrating in the summer. It has the same holiday feel as the Rankin/Bass classics, with original music and the beloved characters you know so well, but with a new story based around the month of July.
Movies from Your Childhood
These are the ones you probably have on VHS somewhere in your attic. They’re the ones you adored when you were younger, but have likely been replaced on Disney Channel and Nickelodeon by newer, more computer-animated specials. Well, now’s the time to dust off that old VHS player I know you still have somewhere and relive those memories.
This 1991 Christmas special follows Winnie and his friends as they attempt to get their letter to Santa Claus on time for Christmas Eve. It’s full of tender moments that are sure to melt your frozen, cynical heart and remind you of the simple joys of childhood.
Nope, I’m not talking about the 2012 special where Timmy Turner is once again played by Drake Bell. Seriously, how many “Fairly OddParents” movies did that guy do? This is a 2001 Nickelodeon classic, where our animated hero Timmy Turner wishes it could be Christmas everyday, and the usual magic-induced chaos ensues.
Once again, this one has been replaced by Nickelodeon with a 3-D animated special that pales in comparison to the original Spongebob Christmas special, which aired during the holiday season in 2000. Featuring such classic quotable lines as: “And everyone pretends to like the fruitcake!,” “Let’s go waste our time somewhere else” and “Never trust a genie,” along with an unforgettably hilarious and cheerful song, this holiday special is simply definitive of the millennial childhood.
So go ahead, break out those old movies, wear your Santa hat on the beach, have cookie decorating contests with your friends in the A/C and turn up that holiday Pandora station with pride.
For all of you Christmas lovers out there, the month of July provides an extra opportunity to go out and spread some warm-hearted holiday cheer –something that is much-needed in the world right now. After all, this is the season for goodwill toward man, which should be celebrated every single day of the year.