Is Die Hard A Christmas Movie?

Every holiday season there is one debate that entrenches us all into categories that even politics, religion, and sports cannot touch: Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?
For people who like fun, the answer is a clear “yes.”

Die Hard stars Bruce Willis as New York cop John McClane, an irreverent badass who is invited to Los Angeles by his estranged wife to “come out to the coast. We’ll get together, have a few laughs.” East German terrorists led by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) raid his wife’s company Christmas party to steal $640 million in bearer bonds that are stored in the corporation’s building. McClane becomes the fly in the ointment to their plans and the rest is holiday movie history.There is Christmas music, people coming together, a holiday party, snow, and a Santa Claus reference. These are defining characteristics of any Christmas movie and clearly put the 1988 action flick into the holiday movie category.
Even though though the Christmas attributes of Die Hard are Run DMC’s “Christmas In Hollis”, East German terrorists, Japanese businessmen, cocaine, and “Now I Have A Machine Gun Ho-Ho-Ho” written on a dead man’s body, they all satisfy the usual holiday requirements.
Bruce Willis in Die Hard
Of course, the movie is not exactly White Christmas. Die Hard may be a bit of an outlier when weighed against films like It’s A Wonderful Life or A Christmas Story, but its Christmas setting and the loose inclusion of several holiday themes entrenches its placement in the genre. There are exceptions to many rules. The normal Hallmark holiday stereotypes should not define all Christmas movies. There are a variety of reasons for the season and to give in to the corporate designs of just one company would be un-American and not in the true spirit of the holiday.

Die Hard could have been a normal Christmas movie had terrorism not entered into the plot. A man facing adversity while traveling to reunite with his wife and children is a classic holiday movie plot. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Home Alone, Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, and The Santa Clause include similar stories and all are considered holiday films. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation also features a profane father, S.W.A.T. teams, and a hostage situation and few have ever mounted a serious campaign against that film being categorized as a Christmas movie. The premise of The Santa Clause is also a divorced father trying to spend time with his child. It would be hard to find a movement that does not believe that the comedy is not a Christmas film.

Heck, even the triple strength martinis consumed by Mrs. Shellhammer in Miracle On 34th Street are not a holiday cocktail and that is one of the great Christmas movies ever.

Do not let the terrorists and naysayers win. Enjoy fun. Die Hard is a Christmas movie.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: