Feminist Grinch Killjoy: Let Me Ruin Your Favorite Christmas Movie For You

When I was a wee tot, I loved watching Christmas movies this time of year. You know the ones. The classics they play on basic cable every year from the day after Thanksgiving until New Year’s. I’d don pajamas and curl up in front of my parents’ fireplace and watch Burl Ives’ stop-mation pictures, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Babes in Toyland and more recent films (well, recent when I was a kid) like Ernest Saves Christmas and The Santa Clause.

When I was a senior in college, I thought it’d be a good idea to watch the 1964 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for #nostalgia and… it was a bit different than I remembered. Here are your classic Christmas movie favorites, slightly tarnished like your childhood memories always will be. SORRY.

A Charlie Brown Christmas


Charlie Brown contemplates late-stage capitalism and clearly suffers from seasonal affective disorder but no one cares.

It’s a Wonderful Life


Literally 130 minutes of excruciating mediocre white man feelings.

Home Alone


Uh, this is child neglect.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer


Poor Rudolph is relentlessly bullied by peers, family, and Santa until he proves he’s good enough by saving their unworthy asses in an emergency.

A Christmas Story


If you think kids should play with guns, this movie is for you!



A white man-child destroys property, acts out violently, generally seems unstable and is rewarded for it over and over instead of facing any consequences or, like, you know, jail time.

The Santa Clause



National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation


A boring white misogynist is really worried about his year-end bonus, but somehow also unconcerned about the amount of energy consumed by the very unnecessary number of Christmas lights on his house.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas


That poor abused dog has permanent PTSD. SOMEONE RESCUE THIS UNFORTUNATE ANIMAL.

The Muppet Christmas Carol


Actually, this movie is perfect.

KaeLyn is a 37-year-old (femme)nist activist, word nerd, and queer mama. You can typically find her binge-watching TV, standing somewhere with a mic or a sign in her hand, over-caffeinating herself, or just generally doing too many things at once. She lives in Rochester, NY with her spouse, a baby T. rex, a xenophobic cat, and a rascally rabbit. You can buy her debut book, Girls Resist! A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution if you want to, if you feel like it, if that's a thing that interests you or whatever.

KaeLyn has written 219 articles for us.


    • True story: I originally included Miracle on 34th Street, the 1994 version with little-confirmed-not-straight-Mara. However, I had a hard time coming up with something brief and snarky to say about it. Also, I <3 little Mara in all her 90’s movies (MATILDA!). That, and the plot isn’t self-evident.

      Truthfully, though, I don’t hate it as much as others. I do wish the strong, smart, independent woman is a frigid bitch storyline wasn’t so prominent. I guess it’s the movie equivalent of telling women to smile and stop being so serious.

  1. I recently watched The Santa Clause and I was kind of shocked at how much really dark subject matter is present in what’s otherwise a straight up disney kids movie.

    I mean, for one they literally watch the old Santa FALL TO HIS DEATH at the beginning of the movie and they don’t seem that worried about it? And then he’s just like “let me put this dead man’s clothes on for my son!”

    Also, the child is AWFUL.

    Then there’s the incessant mocking of therapy/the therapist who is set up to seem weak, narrow-minded and condescending, even though there were major red flags re: his relationship with his dad.

    Ugh, god that annoying ass child.

    And then of course all the fatphobia and fat shaming from like, EVERY single person in his life as mentioned.

  2. I love A Christmas Story. I watch it usually two or three times through when they marathon it on TBS. Ralphie’s parents remind me of Grandma and Grandpa, and it’s sweet. But my favorite Christmas stuff is usually the various animated specials. I want to see if I can find the Garfield one, back from when Lorenzo Music was doing the voice (you know, the CBS cartoon that also had US Acres). The best one for me would probably be A Christmas Carol, not the Muppet version, but the Disney version. Scrooge McDuck is Scrooge, of course, and Mickey is Cratchit. Jiminy Cricket is the ghost of Xmas past, Goofy is Marley, man…I need to find that on TV or Netflix or whatever.

    Also, the other night, I watched Ernest Saves Christmas. It’s moronic, yes, but still hilarious, and what I love most about it is that it’s not cynical. In the end, everybody makes the right choices, and nobody made them. It’s just what was inside them. As former!Santa tells Ernest, “Trust people.”

  3. Love Actually should be on this list.

    AKA, Let’s edit out the lesbian storyline for more *COLIN* and general misogyny, fatshaming, and angsty man/boy feelings, while breaking the heart of the ONLY good thing about this movie, Emma Fucking Thompson who deserves better. Merry Christmas, Love IS all around us?


    Why can’t you tell the sheeple how dangerous snow is? Unless you have some secret pro-snow agenda, Kaelyn. Now we must question your feminist killjoy credentials. I bet your apologism for that horrid piece of snow propaganda stems from your love of musicals.

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