The film is serviceable enough. It didn’t make me hate that I was born, like some movies have. But something about it left a different sense of unease altogether. They were trying to make a Christmas classic and they knew all the right ingredients — stop motion animation, magic, hijinks, original music — yet they weren’t cooking with heart. Which produced a strange effect: remembering precisely what made the Christmas classics of yore special without satisfying that nostalgia with a contemporary peer.
I was left contemplating the last two decades of holiday fare, frustrated that there hasn’t been a decent Christmas movie released during my adult life. I’m in my twenties and Love Actually, the last standout of the genre, was made so long ago that enough time has passed for it to go from the most celebrated modern tale to problematic.
How hard can it be to come up with and deliver on a great idea for an original Christmas movie? In an effort to answer that question I challenged myself to write my own premises. Twenty-five to be exact.
A precocious seventh grader is writing a piece for her school paper that proves Santa doesn’t exist. Unbeknownst to her, he does exist, in the form of a molecule that’s being studied by a top-secret organisation. Inadvertently on their tail, she’s swept into a world of secrecy and murder. And one of the organisation’s leaders looks a lot like her dead mother…
Welcome to North Pole Nation, population 8 million. Here, elves aspire to one thing only: getting a job at Santa’s workshop. But Clipper is different. He wants to play the blues. Is his harmonica moving enough to start a revolution, tipping the balance of North Pole Nation forever? Or will the U.S. military intervene to protect the status quo?
A group of hobbyist spelunkers discover an ice cave frozen over nine nine-foot nine-thousand ton Jurassic era reindeer. But the craziest thing of all? There are early hominid tools and crude sleighs attached to the giants. Thus begins the flashback to early man’s domestication of the flying megafauna reindeer.
A billionaire tech mogul takes on his most involved vanity project yet: becoming Santa Claus.
No Room for Seconds
A woman baker runs out of yeast on Christmas Eve. But when she comes across an unmarked vial that sparkles and glows she’ll soon find out its Santa’s beard yeast and the Christmas fruit cake she bakes with it won’t stop growing. The whole town will have to band together with knife and fork before the cake mushrooms out of control.
Three grandchildren give their grandma a puppy for Christmas and she gets so excited she dies. Her spirit leaves her body and enters the puppy. The family has to figure out what’s wrong with their new dog while getting to know grandma better than they ever did before.
The Holiday Man
A guy who never celebrates the holidays becomes the only man on Earth who remembers their existence after a mass amnesia event.
The Fireman’s Oath
Chris was always a Christmas guy until his dad died in the Christmas fire of 2008. But now he’s had it. He goes to burn down the north pole and make the Christmas world into the ash that it made his father. Directed by Lars Von Trier.
Pinecone Kids Mystery Adventure
A group of elementary school detectives have their hardest case yet, with the biggest reward: a kiss on the cheek from Mindy Mahoney.
Away in a Manger
A fertility doctor who hates Christmas has to grapple with the fact that this December all of her patients are giving birth to Santa.
Up on the Housetop
Rick Jenson, who never believed in Christmas, loses everything in the financial crisis of 2008. Ready to end it all, he heads to the roof of his office building, where he encounters a Christmas fairy who, in a single-take 90 minute thriller, talks him off the ledge.
Breaking the Christmas Snow Globe Ceiling
A lady is working in an office trying to get to the top when she discovers she’s trapped in a little boy’s snow globe. She must break out of his glass snow globe before she can become a real CEO.
There Goes the Neighbourhood
A high powered city lawyer who hates Christmas has to go to a small town to evict everyone who believes in Christmas. There, she meets a widower baker whose daughter takes a liking to the high powered city woman lawyer who also by the way doesn’t like kids.
A group of chess geeks venture to the inferno to play a game against the devil to win Christmas back for good.
Milk and Cookies
A group of insufferable sophisticates in their early thirties gather for dinner on Christmas Eve and have a conversation about art and politics and love and life and death and blah blah blah.
Little Drummer Boy
Stanley wants to be the head drummer at this year’s Christmas parade. But is he willing to kill for it?
Computer Christmas Miracle
An IT genius creates a Virtual Reality Christmas but when virtual Santa escapes into the real world (the Big Apple) and his boss falls in love with this new jolly man, he has to decide if he should call the military or let true love tango with the butterfly effect.
A Salvation Army caroller curses a man who doesn’t donate enough. Now, he’s no longer able to take, and can only give… even if it kills him. A woman falls in love with the man she thinks he is, but as his offerings become increasingly extreme, they’re going to have to end the curse before he cuts out his heart and gives it to her on Christmas morning.
A Horse’s Hope
This one’s animated.
The War on Christmas
Everything the right wing media told you about there being a war on Christmas was true. Now, the Angel League must assemble to protect humanity. Paid for by the United States government.
A Snowball’s Chance
A little girl freezes a snowball to have it forever but forgets about it. Now, an adult, she returns to clear out her childhood home after her parent’s passing and discovers the forgotten snowball. But it wants revenge.
A Snowball’s Chance: In Hell
A young family moves into their first home, empty except for a snowball tucked in the back corner of the freezer. Not thinking, they throw it out. And there will be hell to pay.
On a Christmas cruise to the Bermuda Triangle, a group of art history students befriend an elderly couple who may or may not be Mr and Mrs Claus.
A man brings a date to Christmas dinner with his family for the first time. There’s only one problem: his date is a yule log. What the family doesn’t know is that if they treat the yule log as if it was a real woman on a date with their son she’ll become human by midnight. “You’ll love her!”
There are two malls in Snowflake Grove. Each owned by competing families whose heirs are secretly in love. But when the annual toboggan race is slated to go down on christmas day, the star-crossed lovers promise to throw the race. Will they crumble under their families’ pressure to win or will the Toboggan Promise come true?
Well, this experience taught me that coming up with ideas is easy. It’s good ideas that are the hard part. And I can only imagine that turning a good idea into a great movie is even more challenging. So let’s just say, this holiday season, I learned a little appreciation.