Easing into the Christmas season with 'Die Hard'
There exists a great divide in thought among the American people. We are in the midst of a national crisis of ideals that is less debilitating than bipartisan politics or income inequality, but still kind of important. This divisive issue is none other than the acceptable starting date of the Christmas season.
Personally, I argue that it is justifiable to string up lights and place a star atop the tree at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 1, but I understand the desire to wait for Thanksgiving to run its course. You can hold off on the decorations, music and goodwill toward all if you must, but until Thanksgiving film options grow beyond "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving," I argue that it's officially time for Christmas movies and holiday specials.
There are so many options to choose from, including old school classics like "It's A Wonderful Life," TV specials such as "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer," and of course, modern favorites like "Elf" and "The Polar Express." There are so many heartwarming ways to celebrate the season, but my favorite Christmas movie will always and forever be "Die Hard."
Is it the best Christmas movie of all time? Heck no. Is this a unique opinion? Not really. However, it is a wildly entertaining movie that I can bond over with family and friends, while we celebrate the season. Many people argue that it doesn't qualify as a Christmas movie because the story focuses on action elements, but I disagree. Just a quick peek at the 1988 trailer reveals that the Christmas holiday is in fact integral to the film.
At its core, "Die Hard" actually has several classic holiday themes. The whole reason every man John McClane finds himself under siege at Nakatomi Plaza is to reconcile with his estranged wife at a Christmas party. You know what other classic Christmas movies feature reconciling lovers? Favorites like "Coming Home For Christmas," "Love Actually" and "The Holiday" all feature couples finding and renewing love during the holiday season. Throughout the trials of the film, John and his wife Holly realize just how much they love each other and work together to make it home alive in time for Christmas.
'But there's still too much action for it to be a Christmas movie,' you may cry. Well, you know what other films blend Christmas and action in a classic combo? "Home Alone" 1-3, "Lethal Weapon"and of course "Die Hard 2." Okay sure, these examples are more than a little tongue in cheek, but it's true movies with a non-traditional holiday premise can still represent the spirit of the season. Just look at one of the most iconic Christmas stories of all time, "A Christmas Carol." If we take a step back and view it outside the lens of the Christmas canon, it's really a story about time travel and the supernatural that just happens to be set during the Christmas season.
Loose as its grip may be, with overt holiday references and subtle themes of reconciliation and good cheer, it's hard to deny that "Die Hard" qualifies for a spot in the Christmas movie genre. As bizarre as it may be, watching "Die Hard" brings me a special sort of joy and puts me in a Christmas spirit, and that's what is important. If you're on the fence about starting to celebrate so early, "Die Hard" is the perfect way to ease into the holiday season, without getting bombarded by elves or hallmark love stories.