To me, nothing says Christmas like watching Billy Peltzer's mom stuff a murderous little monster into a blender and push "Puree," which is why GREMLINS tops my list of favorite holiday movies. When you just can't bear to face another jolly mall Santa or hear another cloying chorus of "Frosty the Snowman," pop GREMLINS into your DVD player and enjoy a black chuckle or two. You can still get your dose of warm cuddlies because no elf or red-nosed reindeer could possibly be cuter than Gizmo! (Just don't feed him after midnight!)
If your idea of Christmas cheer is watching hot guys save the world from the criminal element (or Gary Busey), try plugging in the action-packed duet of DIE HARD and LETHAL WEAPON. Their Christmas settings only add to their delicious irony. LETHAL WEAPON sports a pre-ranting Mel Gibson at the height of his masculine beauty (And hey, Danny Glover is no slouch either!) while DIE HARD has Bruce Willis literally walking over broken glass to save his woman. (With the added bonus of Alan Rickman in full-on evil mode. Yummy!) Instead of crooning "White Christmas," you'll soon be shouting out "Yippee-ki-yay, mother--" Wait—you'd better make sure your mom is in the room first.
And lest you fear me completely devoid of Christmas sentimentality, I'm going to pick IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE next. Not only is it a magnificent movie, it also boasts one of the hottest love scenes in cinematic history. There are no rumpled bedsheets. There are no naked, straining bodies. There is simply George Bailey and Mary Hatch sharing a phone in her mother's living room. An overtly hostile George is torn between his dream of escaping his hometown while there's still time and his desperate desire for young Mary. I don't have to tell you which one wins and in that moment when he drops the phone and grabs Mary, the chemistry between them is so sizzling it may very well melt your heart and your DVD player.
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE also gave me and my husband one of our favorite catchphrases. When George is raging through the house after Uncle Billy has lost the bank's money, he shouts, "If we're such a happy family, why do we have all these kids?" which can be easily adapted to "If we're such a happy family, why do we have all these cats/recyclable plastics/Christmas decorations???"