Die Hard is not a Christmas movie
December 22, 2015 7:17 AM   Subscribe

46% say Rudolph is their favorite, and otherAmerican attitudes on the holiday season, via Public Policy Polling.
posted by roomthreeseventeen (134 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
62% of Americans are wrong about a thing, film at 11
posted by aydeejones at 7:22 AM on December 22, 2015 [21 favorites]


87% of all online statistics are made up.
posted by chavenet at 7:27 AM on December 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


the only thing that surprises me there is that democrats don't like fruit cake. what is wrong with you people?

i suspect it's a lack of cheese.
posted by andrewcooke at 7:32 AM on December 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Everybody says there's a War on Christmas, but nobody can point me to the nearest recruiting station.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:34 AM on December 22, 2015 [34 favorites]


Die Hard is not a Christmas movie

Says who? Does it take place at Christmas? Checkmate.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:34 AM on December 22, 2015 [18 favorites]


White American male uses lots of guns to kill foreigners in order to prevent them from taking money from a large multinational corporation. If this is not the American Christmas spirit, I don't know what is.
posted by Behemoth at 7:35 AM on December 22, 2015 [59 favorites]


The data for the reindeer popularity has to be skewed by a staggeringly low sample size of people who could possibly give a shit.
posted by cmoj at 7:35 AM on December 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


Die Hard is not a Christmas movie.
Yippee ki-yay, motherfucker.
posted by carmicha at 7:37 AM on December 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


I would like to know what percentage of people who do not like fruitcake have actually eaten fruitcake. I say this because back in the eighties when I was a little girl, my family was pretty much the only one in our social circle which had fruitcake at Christmas and I haven't had any since, nor do I know anywhere in town where one can buy it. (I'm sure there are places, but it's not as though fruitcake is a hot commodity.) I just can't believe that most Americans under the age of about 35 have even eaten fruitcake, ever, which means that whether they "like" it or not isn't really a reasonable question.

Rumcake, now, rumcake is what you want. Fruitcake is all right, but we used to get a fruitcake and a rumcake from the same place, and the rumcake was better.
posted by Frowner at 7:38 AM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Die Hard is not a Christmas movie

Lies!
posted by pan at 7:44 AM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


the only thing that surprises me there is that democrats don't like fruit cake.

What? Nobody likes fruit cake! I mean say what you will about, hell, about Donald Trump even. He's a megalomaniacal demagogue who's stirring up bigotry and hatreds that are going to damage America significantly for a generation to come just to stir up his own ego and prove he can get something he doesn't even want.

But it's not like the man likes fruit cake. I mean come on. Let's keep a little perspective at least.
posted by Naberius at 7:51 AM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yippie ki-yay mother fruitcake in the broadcast version.
posted by zippy at 7:52 AM on December 22, 2015 [15 favorites]


What? Nobody likes fruit cake!

My grandmother died in 2007, so it's entirely possible that you're right, now.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:52 AM on December 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


More like Public Policy Trolling, amirite?
posted by domo at 7:57 AM on December 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


-42% of Americans claim that they don't put anything in their Egg Nog but among those who do 22% prefer rum, 16% go for bourbon, and 7% pick brandy.

This is a question that really needs an "all of the above" option.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:57 AM on December 22, 2015 [19 favorites]


Die Hard is not a Christmas movie. Only 13% of voters think it is to 62% who say it is not.

OK, here's the skinny: We've got a hostage situation, and the terrorists are some bad ass perps and they are here to stay.

We all need to be flies in the ointment, monkeys on the wrench, pains in the ass...we can't let those hostages become orphans of a bankrupt culture that doesn't know a Christmas movie when it sees one!
posted by nubs at 8:00 AM on December 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Fruitcake's wonderful. I recommend Eudora Welty's fruitcake recipe. Do not skip the bourbon.
posted by asperity at 8:00 AM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Franz Gruber- wrote the music to "Silent Night."

Hans Gruber- the villain in Die Hard.



Checkmate, Atheists.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:07 AM on December 22, 2015 [24 favorites]


I have tried fruitcake. More than once because I'm unwilling to write off such a persistent seasonal item based on a single horrible bite. It was horrid each and every time.

The mind reels at the image of Santa as a Republican. "Ban all the Muslims! Poor people are lazy and deserve to be poor! More pork for big business! Abortion is murder! Lock up everybody! HO HO HO!!"

And hello, rum in the eggnog? Good gracious, where's the brandy love?
posted by bearwife at 8:07 AM on December 22, 2015


I think the fruitcake we used to get must have been very similar to that Eudora Welty recipe. I always thought it was pretty tasty, actually.

Here's what I predict: fruitcake is going to come back. Just like artisanal beards and pickling and bacon, fruitcake is going to be a thing. It's the despised product of a pre-1950s America, the squares all know that it's a punchline, it is subject to a lot of individual tweaking and fiddling (and bourbon) and it's very easy to say "well, if you've only had commercial fruitcake, well, of course you won't like it".

My credentials as a cool-hunter? I predicted Sebastian. In 2003, I had a conversation with an older dude - very attractive NYC accent, probably in his fifties - who revealed that to his shame his middle name was Sebastian. "That name is coming back, " I said. "Mark my words, it's on it's way to being popular again." He didn't believe me, but I was so right.

I have also successfully predicted a move toward rounder glasses frames and the return of longer hair on men. Now I am predicting fruitcake. I suggest that you listen, lest you be left behind the wave of trend, struggling sadly on the beach of the hopelessly passe.
posted by Frowner at 8:10 AM on December 22, 2015 [24 favorites]


Previously and Previouslyer
posted by HuronBob at 8:13 AM on December 22, 2015


I try to convince my wife every year that Die Hard is a Christmas movie, but she doesn't buy it. It is a little bit interesting that Republicans are somehow less likely to think of it as a Christmas movie. Maybe Traditional Christmas is one Jesus and one Santa. I don't know.

Also I fucking love fruitcake. I will eat all the fruitcake you people don't want.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:15 AM on December 22, 2015


Here's what I predict: fruitcake is going to come back. Just like artisanal beards and pickling and bacon, fruitcake is going to be a thing. It's the despised product of a pre-1950s America, the squares all know that it's a punchline, it is subject to a lot of individual tweaking and fiddling (and bourbon) and it's very easy to say "well, if you've only had commercial fruitcake, well, of course you won't like it".

Even the commercial producers are jumping in on the act.
posted by enjoymoreradio at 8:15 AM on December 22, 2015


Republicans are somehow less likely to think of it as a Christmas movie

Sorry, just to correct myself: not Republicans, but Romney voters.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:16 AM on December 22, 2015


THERE ARE ONLY EIGHT (TINY) REINDEER. RUDOLPH DOESN'T COUNT.
posted by yhbc at 8:16 AM on December 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Fruitcake is great.

Die Hard is a Christmas movie. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a Christmas movie. Lethal Weapon is a Christmas movie. Christmas movies do not need to have a holiday message.

There is no kind of liquor that doesn't work in eggnog. J├Ągernog? Ginnog? Tequilanog? All good.

Mefite is pronounced me-fight.

Happy Holidays is a superset of Merry Christmas.
posted by djeo at 8:17 AM on December 22, 2015 [12 favorites]


Maybe Traditional Christmas is one Jesus and one Santa. I don't know.

There's an Adam and Steve joke there....
posted by sciatrix at 8:19 AM on December 22, 2015


I am, however, more than willing to try brandy in eggnog, because I'm almost out of rum.
posted by yhbc at 8:19 AM on December 22, 2015


RUDOLPH DOESN'T COUNT.

But don't you recall? He is The Most Famous Reindeer of All™.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:19 AM on December 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'll say it again. Nobody likes fruitcake.

You people don't like fruitcake. You like bourbon.
posted by Naberius at 8:20 AM on December 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


Mefite is pronounced me-fight.

Wrong. Is Metafilter pronounced Meat-a-filter? No, it's not. It's pronounced Meh-ta-filter.
posted by Rob Rockets at 8:20 AM on December 22, 2015


I was shocked to learn that people put sugary rum into sugary egg nog. How do you keep your teeth from rotting? Wild Turkey for me. It's the only thing Wild Turkey should be used for, in fact.
posted by enjoymoreradio at 8:21 AM on December 22, 2015


No, it's not. It's pronounced Meh-ta-filter.

Meh. (=
posted by djeo at 8:23 AM on December 22, 2015


Also, I've never seen a live fruitcake in any permutation, but I'd be willing to try one even if I don't usually like fruit desserts.

I am not willing to watch Die Hard one more time. If ever there was a movie subject to hype backlash, it is that one. There is entirely such a thing as too much Die Hard, and it results in a violent intolerance that almost creates actual hives.

And now I'm off to get ice to package our aged eggnog for its thousand-mile drive to Georgia. It has rum, brandy, and two kinds of bourbon in it. My partner concocted it with the express desire of spending the next week thoroughly inebriated. I'm a little afraid, to be honest.
posted by sciatrix at 8:23 AM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I actually just watched Die Hard for the first time a few weeks ago. (I was eight when it came out and never got around to it until now.) Great, great movie. And marginally a Christmas movie.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:25 AM on December 22, 2015


Mefite is obviously pronounced "mee-fight".

The thing with fruitcake is that people forget that it's not supposed to be a cake like a chocolate cake. It's an older-style nut-and-fruit cake that is supposed to be rich, dense and eaten in thin slices. So people carve themselves this huge hunk and then they're like "it's so sweet and way too dense", and I'm all "oh, really, you astonish me; I bet you're also going to discover that parmesan isn't a good slicing cheese for sandwiches and get all sad about that too."
posted by Frowner at 8:26 AM on December 22, 2015 [13 favorites]


Here is the fruitcake you want.
posted by yhbc at 8:27 AM on December 22, 2015


I'd be willing to try one even if I don't usually like fruit desserts

I'm not sure fruitcake counts as a "fruit dessert" in the way that, say, strawberry shortcake or apple pie would. I guess it depends how you feel about candied fruit. Truthfully, I like every kind of fruitcake, and maybe especially the ones with the most awful, artificial "fruit."
posted by uncleozzy at 8:28 AM on December 22, 2015


I really didn't know until today that I felt so strongly about fruitcake. Years of therapy? Never even mentioned fruitcake.

Thanks, me-fi!
posted by Frowner at 8:30 AM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Panforte or gtfo.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 8:33 AM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's Meh-fee-tay, god dammit!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:35 AM on December 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


I am not willing to watch Die Hard one more time.

Good news! Die Hard 2 is also set at Christmas.

(We are watching it tonight, after our mince pie and mulled wine /cider evening.)
posted by biffa at 8:35 AM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


More like Public Policy Trolling, amirite?
Recent headline about a Public Policy Polling study: 30% of GOP voters support bombing Agrabah, the city from "Aladdin". Which is amusing, but definitely trolling.
posted by Nerd of the North at 8:36 AM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


absolutely not
posted by sciatrix at 8:36 AM on December 22, 2015


> Americans are becoming less and less concerned about the 'War on Christmas.'

Excellent. The plan is working. Muhahahahaaaa!
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:37 AM on December 22, 2015


My mother makes a great fruitcake. It's called Dundee cake, it has no booze, and it's delicious.

You just haven't eaten the right fruitcake, that's all.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 8:38 AM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Fruit belongs in pie.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:39 AM on December 22, 2015


You people don't like fruitcake. You like bourbon.

I contain multitudes. I like both.
posted by asperity at 8:40 AM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I love fruitcake, if by fruitcake you mean Zelten. But I'm not American, really, so the statistics still stand.
posted by lydhre at 8:41 AM on December 22, 2015


I guess my family is an outlier then. The job of making fruitcakes for the entire family has fallen to me as my mom is no longer up to it. I have learned to be careful in the distribution of cakes. There have been outright fights because of unequal distribution of cakes.
posted by fimbulvetr at 8:41 AM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Tangentially related: The War on Jewish Christmas Must Be Stopped
posted by Mchelly at 8:41 AM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Aa a Jew, I am willing to forgive Christians for inflicting Andy Williams on me every year if we can all agree that watching Die Hard is the true way to celebrate Christmas.
posted by thetortoise at 8:42 AM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Vixen has succeeded in a male-dominated field. Who says the other reindeer even invited her in their reindeer games? But does she cry about it? No, she does her damn job. VIXEN 2016!
posted by bgal81 at 8:44 AM on December 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter: unequal distribution of cakes
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:44 AM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also, once my mother left one of her fruitcakes bourbon-free as proof of concept, and that was good, too. Not nearly as good as the ones that have been marinating for weeks, but still pretty good. I need to start making them myself.
posted by asperity at 8:45 AM on December 22, 2015


Tangentially related: The War on Jewish Christmas Must Be Stopped

It's not the Christians, it's those god-damned appropriative atheists. I had a nice quiet Jewish Christmas in Missouri every year; moved to Seattle and suddenly I can't get a reservation at any Chinese restaurant and tickets for Star Wars.
posted by thetortoise at 8:46 AM on December 22, 2015


Try being in a mixed marriage. First we go to her parents' house to open presents under the tree. Then we have to fight the crowds at Mister Chan's. By the time it's all over, I don't even feel like going to a movie.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:50 AM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


...it's those god-damned appropriative atheists...

Guilty!

(If I felt such a thing as guilt.)

NOM NOM PEKING DUCK FOR XMAS NOM NOM NOM
posted by Cookiebastard at 8:50 AM on December 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Die Hard isn't a Christmas movie, it's a movie that takes place during Christmas.

A Christmas movie has to be about Christmas, Christmas can't just be incidental. In the same way that a movie just featuring sports doesn't make it a sports movie, it has to be about sports. Silver Linings Playbook, for example, features a lot of talk about football, and a scene at a football stadium, but isn't a sports movie in the way Rudy is.
posted by Sangermaine at 8:50 AM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's true. I have appropriated Jewish Christmas, because there is no finer way to spend a day off from virtually all responsibilities than going out for dim sum. I blame actual Jews, though, because it was they who started taking me along on the annual dim sum run.

See, this is the thing I don't understand about holidays: if you enjoy all the work and seeing loads of people, that's fine, but so many people really hate it. This is one of the very few days that most people get off from work in the US, and we're supposed to spend it doing more work? Seeing people we don't want to see? Having fights with people whose beliefs we find morally repulsive? Going to religious services that we don't believe in? And then the cleaning up, cleaning up, cleaning up.

It seems much more like a holiday if you spend it doing something you actually like. Such as eating dim sum (followed by tipping lavishly, of course).
posted by Frowner at 8:55 AM on December 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


(To clarify - lots of people love the holidays, and I respect that! Many people have to spend the holidays in ways they don't enjoy because of family/social reasons, or because they value making people happy who do enjoy the holiday! I respect all these reasons!

It's just that I know a bunch of whole families where everyone hates and grumps about the entire thing, and that confuses me.)
posted by Frowner at 8:59 AM on December 22, 2015


Fundamental disagreement. A Christmas movie does not have to be about Christmas. It merely has to reference Christmas*.

*Preferably with guns and/or explosions, but that's just my taste.
posted by djeo at 9:00 AM on December 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Fruitcake and SleepyTime tea are pre-bed holiday snacks at my parents' house.

The fruitcake I've eaten is the same species of food as "loaded banana bread". Nuts, dried fruit, plain sweetish bread-part.

Fact check: is Koinonia Honey Nut Peach Cake a real fruitcake?

(...huh...no idea that The Family Tradition Fruitcake came from an Intentional Christian Community. That...explains a lot, actually...)
posted by Guess What at 9:01 AM on December 22, 2015


And now I'm off to get ice to package our aged eggnog for its thousand-mile drive to Georgia. It has rum, brandy, and two kinds of bourbon in it.

Are going anywhere near Augusta? Did you make enough to share?
posted by TedW at 9:03 AM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I believe the "fruitcake will get hip again" idea. Just recently on Twitter I said "I don't like fudge, it tastes like chocolate that failed."

Dude came in to inform me that real fudge doesn't have chocolate, so I haven't actually had fudge. I just need to try good, true fudge. But I don't really care enough to seek out "real" artisanal fudge, and 100% of the type I'm ever offered is the American chocolate-flavored kind. I like chocolate better, ok? Leave me alone, dude.

I like fruitcake if you make it without the fruit or nuts. Just plain old booze-soaked spice cake? Yes please.
posted by emjaybee at 9:05 AM on December 22, 2015


Fruit belongs in pie.

The fruit in fruitcake is candied. Saturated in sugar syrup and dried.

Fruitcake is cake with candy in it. Candycake. If you don't like it, you are a robot.

Or possibly diabetic, I guess. But even then, I think you'd like it until your pancreas exploded.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:06 AM on December 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Many people have to spend the holidays in ways they don't enjoy because of family/social reasons, or because they value making people happy who do enjoy the holiday!

I made a slight miscalculation when I suggested to my wife that nobody would notice if we left babyozzy with the family and slipped out on Christmas to go to the movies. She said, "but I want to spend Christmas with my family!" Oops.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:06 AM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Fundamental disagreement. A Christmas movie does not have to be about Christmas. It merely has to reference Christmas*.

No, this is fundamentally wrong. That's the point of the sports movie analogy. Is any movie that merely references sports a sports movie? No, because that would render the concept of a "sports movie" meaningless.

A sports movie is about sports, a Christmas movie is about Christmas.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:07 AM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I thought sports movies were about the underdog persevering? Therefore, Die Hard is a sports movie.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:11 AM on December 22, 2015 [10 favorites]


Recent headline about a Public Policy Polling study: 30% of GOP voters support bombing Agrabah, the city from "Aladdin". Which is amusing, but definitely trolling.

The best Public Policy Trolling has to have been when they asked a bunch of "Which do you like better, X or Congress?" questions. Wherein we learned that the American people prefer

*Root canal
*Head lice
*NFL replacement refs
*Nickelback
*Colonoscopies
*Traffic jams
*Carnies

to Congress, but that we actually do think more highly of Congress than we do

*The Kardashians
*Lindsay Lohan
*Ebola
*Meth labs
*Gonorrhea
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:12 AM on December 22, 2015 [9 favorites]


My fruitcake is awesome, and is not made with candied fruit, but with organic dried fruits (cherries, blueberries, currants, apricots) and nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans). Chop up the dried fruits & macerate overnight (at least) in brandy and madeira. Make a simple white cake batter with butter, sugar, flour and eggs (you can skip the leaven, it will be too dense to rise much anyway), mix in the fruit & nuts, bake slowly for an hour. Douse with more brandy, wrap tightly and store for a couple of months. Comes out great.
posted by suelac at 9:13 AM on December 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


The fruit in fruitcake is candied. Saturated in sugar syrup and dried.

Fruitcake is cake with candy in it. Candycake. If you don't like it, you are a robot.

Or possibly diabetic, I guess. But even then, I think you'd like it until your pancreas exploded.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:06 AM on December 22 [+] [!]


Heathen. HEATHEN. HEATHEN!

Fruitcake is dried fruit macerated in booze (I use golden rum). Fruitcake is spicy and rich and dense and boozy and not tooth-achingly sweet and mine has been aging for two months. People FIGHT each other for my fruitcake, especially after they've tasted it before being told it's fruitcake because of the monstrosity that is candied-fruit-fruitcake!
posted by Concolora at 9:15 AM on December 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I made a slight miscalculation when I suggested to my wife that nobody would notice if we left babyozzy with the family and slipped out on Christmas to go to the movies. She said, "but I want to spend Christmas with my family!" Oops.

Actually, I do enjoy holidays with my family, and have a lot of good memories from when I was a kid. But I also remember dreading the pre-holiday run-up because it would involve fights and yelling and silent treatment and hiding and feeling really, really guilty for making my parents mad. Looking back, I can see that this was because my mother had responsibility for most of the holiday things and - most importantly - there were a lot of invisible expectations from her side of the family that our house would be not only clean but freshly cleaned right before the party and that the whole place would sparkle, and while my dad actually was always good about doing his share, there was a lot of "my side of the family expects that we will have dusted behind the records on the record shelf, I have to get to that, OMG, why does no one understand how this has to be done" stuff that was really crummy for all concerned.

In later years, my family de-escalated all this stuff. I don't get home for the holidays that often, but it's switched over to being "nice buffet of cold things, one nice main that is served cold and lots of sitting around and chatting" and everyone is much happier.
posted by Frowner at 9:16 AM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


A Christmas movie has to be about Christmas, Christmas can't just be incidental.

"About Christmas" where Christmas = The Birth Of The Christ Child? BORING.

"About Christmas" where Christmas = Secular Christmas Mythology such as Rudolph or the Grinch? Neither of these has anything to do with The Birth of the Christ Child but no one would deny them as Christmas Movies. (Or, you know, TV Specials.)

"About Christmas" where About = The Story happens during the time-period One of those Things? (A Christmas Story isn't really "about" the Birth of the Christ Child. Christmas is incidental to the plot, which is about giving guns to children. It could just as easily taken place around Ralphie's birthday. But is anyone arguing that it's not a Christmas Movie? No. )

Look, Die Hard has everything it needs to count as a Christmas movie. It takes place at Christmastime, references Santa, the message "Ho Ho Ho" prominently appears, etc.

Yippee-Ki-Yay Merry Christmas!
posted by Cookiebastard at 9:18 AM on December 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Heathen. HEATHEN. HEATHEN!

I may simply be misinformed. And very possibly unwittingly alcoholic.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:19 AM on December 22, 2015


VIXEN 2016!

Yeah, that story didn't end well: after that Running-over-Grandma business was covered up, Vixen took the hit and was replaced with Rudolph, the overbearing bro-dude who had been slandering V for years. He wasn't invited to the games because he was dick, not because of his ridiculous gin blossom, but history is written by PR depts. and winners. Eight tiny reindeer == more drama than House of Cards.

V is better off without them, if you ask me.
posted by eclectist at 9:21 AM on December 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


The sports analogy doesn't work because of arbitrary assertion.

White Christmas is not a Christmas movie because it's not about a manger, shepherds, and three wisemen. Only one true Scotsman in a Santa outfit will fill the bill.
posted by djeo at 9:21 AM on December 22, 2015


my friend makes me a fruit cake every year, and it is my favourite thing about xmas. this year, she and her sister made me each one, and i got two, and it is now doubly amazing.
posted by PinkMoose at 9:23 AM on December 22, 2015


lots of sitting around and chatting

DREAD
posted by uncleozzy at 9:27 AM on December 22, 2015


(A Christmas Story isn't really "about" the Birth of the Christ Child. Christmas is incidental to the plot, which is about giving guns to children. It could just as easily taken place around Ralphie's birthday. But is anyone arguing that it's not a Christmas Movie? No. )

Nah, here's the very opening lines:
Ah, there it is. My house. And good old Cleveland Street. How could I ever forget it? And there I am, with that dumb round face and...that stupid stocking cap. But no matter. Christmas was on its way. Lovely, glorious, beautiful Christmas... around which the entire kid year revolved.
Things like the expectation of Christmas morning, the store displays, and petitioning Santa to go over the head of his mother, are core elements of the movie.

White Christmas is not a Christmas movie because it's not about a manger, shepherds, and three wisemen.

Nothing arbitrary at all. "About Christmas" isn't limited to the Christian Christmas, but the secular elements as well. Elf doesn't have (any, I think?) elements of the Christian holiday but is a Christmas movie because it's about Christmas.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:28 AM on December 22, 2015


Die Hard is the tender story of a husband and wife rekindling their marriage at a Christmas party. How is that not a Christmas movie?

Back when I was a kid, fruitcake was like the go-to present you gave as a required gift, as in, I'm required to give my Aunt Trudy's new boyfriend something. Fruitcake.

When my daughter went vegan, I put a can of Spam in her stocking as a joke. That was like 10 years ago. We've been having Spam and eggs for breakfast on Christmas morning ever since. It's a tradition. Spam is christmas food.
posted by valkane at 9:31 AM on December 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


Also, a film that has the songs Winter Wonderland, Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! and Christmas in Hollis on the soundtrack is what kind of movie:

a. Summer Camp "Snobs vs. Slobs" Movie
b. Christmas Movie, obviously. Jeeeez.
posted by Cookiebastard at 9:32 AM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


My wife's family makes Korean fried mandu for Christmas dinner, which is great! They aren't Korean, they just started doing it one year and it became a tradition over time. My kids think of it as Christmas food.
posted by Area Man at 9:35 AM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


*Ahem*

I like fruitcake (if made by my mom).

* drops mic *
posted by blue_beetle at 9:40 AM on December 22, 2015


White Christmas is not a Christmas movie because it's not about a manger, shepherds, and three wisemen.

Well, actually... The shepherds and angels only appear in the gospel of Luke. The three wise men and the star and the whole Herod-kills-kids thing only appear in the gospel of Matthew, and occur after (perhaps years after) the nativity. Don't even get me started on the whole "virgin" thing.

War on Christmas, my foot. The church has been fudging it since the beginning. No reason you can't throw in some hostage-taking.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:46 AM on December 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


asperity: "Do not skip the bourbon."

Metafilter:
posted by chavenet at 9:48 AM on December 22, 2015


-42% of Americans claim that they don't put anything in their Egg Nog but among those who do 22% prefer rum, 16% go for bourbon, and 7% pick brandy.

You haven't lived until you've tried hazelnut liqueur in your eggnog.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:51 AM on December 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Fruitcake should be aged for months, moist and boozy---brandy, rum or whisk(e)y are all fine, heck even a vintage tequila would probably work. It should be served warm, steamed hot, in small slices. It should be accompanied by a hard sauce, preferably of brandy and butter.

Foil wrapped coins are optional, but strongly encouraged if children are present.
posted by bonehead at 9:51 AM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


it is subject to a lot of individual tweaking and fiddling (and bourbon) and it's very easy to say "well, if you've only had commercial fruitcake, well, of course you won't like it".

I'm from the UK, where fruitcake is still A Thing, but on the whole I prefer Christmas pudding. Basically the same ingredients, though. But both of them are really fun to make! I lived in the US for a while, and right after Thanksgiving is a great time to do it. You get to marinade your brain in the smells of Christmas for six glorious hours while it steams, and for another hour on the day itself. Both the fruitcake and pudding are vastly improved by being home made.

Fruitcake is also delicious, especially if you have it thinly sliced with a slice of tart, crumbly Wensleydale cheese.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 9:54 AM on December 22, 2015


Bolo Rei probably doesn't meet the usual mental image of fruitcake, but it has candied fruit and nuts and the dough is usually less dense than say a Christmas pudding. And it's great. It's like a hard pie. Or should I say ... Pie Hard.

(Sunglasses, yeeeeeaaaaaaahhhhhhh!)
posted by chavenet at 9:56 AM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Easter is about a man who rose from the dead.

Which is why my wife and I have a zombie movie marathon every Easter.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:57 AM on December 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


I think that, in the interests of holiday civility, we should all retire to our respective areas with our booze of choice, and have a Die Hard marathon.

Ho Ho Ho, Now I Have A Machine Gun.


(also, Gremlins is the best Christmas movie.)
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 10:01 AM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's Meh-fee-tay, god dammit!

I don't think Buckaroo Banzai is considered a Christmas movie.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:02 AM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


(also, Gremlins is the best Christmas movie.)

Much could be said of Gremlins as an allegory of Christianity as a whole. Eastern mysteries, rules of conduct, it seems like a nice thing at first but then it becomes a monster, blah blah blah. There's probably a Ph.D. in it for whoever scribbles it all down first. Here's one little word to set your brain a-splodin': Baptism.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:24 AM on December 22, 2015 [9 favorites]


A Christmas movie has to be about Christmas, Christmas can't just be incidental

John McClane without a doubt saves Christmas in Die Hard which is what a Christmas movie is all about.
posted by deanc at 10:35 AM on December 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


Here's the thing about fruitcake.

When I was young and lived in Florida, some extended family members used to send us Claxton fruitcake in a box, and we would in turn send fruitcake to others. I believe it was made of actual sawdust and Duraflame bricks.

So I grew up thinking of fruitcake as a bizarre sadomasochistic holiday tradition that I vowed not to carry on in my adulthood regardless of any potential social ostracization this might cause.

And then a friend made proper fruitcake, and it was moist and cakey and rummy and warm and delicious and I wanted more, and I was enlightened.
posted by Foosnark at 10:38 AM on December 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


fruitcake is going to come back. Just like artisanal beards and pickling and bacon, fruitcake is going to be a thing

I'd love to get in on the ground floor of starting an artisanal fruitcake company (summertime we will sell Jello salad), but I live in Manhattan and can't grow a beard, so I have no hipster cred. Any hirsute residents of Bushwick or Bed-Stuy want to do this?
posted by deanc at 10:39 AM on December 22, 2015


There is a disappointing lack of Krampus in these findings.
posted by zakur at 10:44 AM on December 22, 2015


The artisanal fruitcake thing will happen. Because now it has to.

I am betting it will manifest in DC. Probably somewhere near the Navy Yard.
posted by Thistledown at 11:04 AM on December 22, 2015


I showed my 4-year-old Ruldolph this weekend. Man, that film is a total artifact of the 1950s. (Yes, it was made in 1964, but.) The animation is horrible, it's full of weird plot holes and mistakes, and everybody treats everybody else terribly. Don't watch it.
posted by waldo at 11:16 AM on December 22, 2015


everybody treats everybody else terribly

One of the rules of our Rudolph drinking game is that you drink whenever Santa is mean. You drink so much.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:26 AM on December 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


A fruit cake is not just for Christmas people. Maybe it's a UK thing, but as soon as it gets autumnal damp-and-cold, it's fruit cake time. Mary Berry of Great British Bake Off fame has what you need. Great with a cup of builders. Perfect with a cup of builders laced with whisky
posted by fatfrank at 11:47 AM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I love Rudolph for the not-at-all-subtle subtext about Hermey.

Also because it is just crazypants.
posted by emjaybee at 11:49 AM on December 22, 2015


I don't get it...what's so subtextual about dentistry?

/hamburger
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:13 PM on December 22, 2015


Try eggnog over crushed ice with coffee brandy (I'm from Maine; we loves us some coffee brandy) or Kahlua. Drink a coupla them, watch some Die Hard, eat some fruitcake, say Screw the eggnog and have a bourbon or 2 and enjoy a jeezly awesome Christmas.
posted by theora55 at 12:27 PM on December 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


theora55, I like the cut of your jib and would like to subscribe to your mixed metaphor.
posted by djeo at 12:37 PM on December 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


I think you all are spot on about the upcoming hipsterification of fruitcake. About a month or so ago, I got the hankering to start playing around with fruitcake recipes and so stocked up on pounds and pounds of dried fruits and nuts and other necessary ingredients and got to it.

I am not hipster myself but I opened my first bars way back in the LES when it was hipster central, and have another out in Bushwick for a few years now, so I do employ them and am frequently surrounded by them. It's very possible I contracted the fruitcake feels via osmosis.

It does seem like the ideal target for a strong comeback: lots of booze and oldey timey-ness and enough unique ingredients for loads and loads of artisinal specificity with locally sourced organic whatnots. Heck, it can even be soaked in one of the many liquors being distilled in Brooklyn these days.

I betcha someone out there's already done it, actually.
posted by newpotato at 12:50 PM on December 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


See... here's the thing. In Die Hard the fact that it was Christmas was pivotal to the plot. He was at a Christmas party in a corporate building when the terrorists arrived. The building was mostly empty because it was Christmas.

Granted, it could have taken place during any other bank-holiday. But it didn't. It took place during Christmas. Therefore it is a Christmas party.
posted by Blue_Villain at 12:55 PM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have tried fruitcake. More than once because I'm unwilling to write off such a persistent seasonal item based on a single horrible bite. It was horrid each and every time.

This is the thinking that made me re-read The Da Vinci Code because I thought it couldn't possibly be as bad as I'd remembered.
posted by shiny blue object at 1:07 PM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


(summertime we will sell Jello salad)

Jello salad is not a summertime food. Thanksgiving, Christmas, maybe Easter.

One makes potato salad in summer.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:31 PM on December 22, 2015


The artisanal fruitcake thing will happen. Because now it has to.

And some dumb shit will fuck it up by coating it in royal icing, fondant or, worse, the feculent horror that is marzipan.

Hard sauce isn't hard, people!
posted by bonehead at 1:36 PM on December 22, 2015


This is the thinking that made me re-read The Da Vinci Code because I thought it couldn't possibly be as bad as I'd remembered.

Yes! We are soul mates! I stupidly read Angels and Demons because I told myself surely Da Vinci Code wasn't as dreadful as I thought it was. For the same idiot reason, I read two of Andrew Greeley's books, not just one, and two of Anne Rice's books, not just one. I'll never get that time back. (Or the time I spent brushing my teeth after fruitcake . . .)
posted by bearwife at 1:40 PM on December 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


John McClane arrives to visit his estranged wife because Christmas. The bad guys target the building at the exact same time because after-hours Christmas party means mostly empty building, but there will be plenty of hostages to ensure that Takagi will play ball and they can disguise their heist as a terrorist attack. Christmas music is featured throughout, and Christmas is referenced in multiple scenes by multiple characters for multiple reasons.

Die Hard is a Christmas movie in exactly the same way that Home Alone is a Christmas movie and Trains, Plains, and Automobiles is a Thanksgiving movie. It is not about Christmas, but Christmas is absolutely a character in the film. It is a Christmas movie.

Also, the scene where John McClane crushes a bad guy's throat with a fruitcake then drowns another in a punchbowl of eggnog is John McTiernan's masterful critique of the American fetishization of Christmas and consumerism.*
posted by This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things at 2:30 PM on December 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Ahem... I volunteer to help taste-test any attempts at artisanal hipster fruitcake that result from this thread.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:24 PM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Dried fruit, not candied. We have a friend who makes English fruitcakes with lots of currants and rum. He calls them "British wedding cakes", though, because the word "fruitcake" is anathema in the US
posted by acrasis at 3:37 PM on December 22, 2015


Says who? Does it take place at Christmas? Checkmate

Other Christmas movies:

Batman Returns
Brazil
Crash
Enemy of the State
Eyes Wide Shut
In Bruges
Rocky
Lethal Weapon
posted by FJT at 4:14 PM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


In the mid-70's I was living in a second floor flat in downtown Detroit. My landlords were a wonderful couple in their 80's who lived directly below me: Major Alan J. Gray, Army, Retired, and his lovely wife Alma. I was there for two Christmases and have fabulous memories of a Trappist Abbey Fruitcake that they would leave for me. The first cake they gave me sat untouched for several months. All I could think of were those candied fruit monstrosities they sold at Kresge's and Cunningham's. Oh, no, these were drenched in booze and obviously made with great care and attention to the ingredients. I've seen similar cakes advertised but none quite measured up to those.
posted by TDavis at 4:30 PM on December 22, 2015


Certainly Brazil counts.
posted by Cookiebastard at 4:36 PM on December 22, 2015


when you are done enjoying the best xmas movie ever: DIE HARD, with your nog and your fruitycakes, I recommend having a holiday marathon and delving right in to The Long Kiss Goodnight also. my 2nd fav xmas movie and very fun!!
posted by supermedusa at 4:38 PM on December 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


119 comments, and not one mention of Bad Santa? I...I just don't know you guys anymore...
*runs away sobbing
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:56 PM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here's what I predict: fruitcake is going to come back

It's already been coming back for several years now, your prediction is too late to be a revelation. All the hip food places around here have fruitcake for sale.

Exhibit A, B, C (which is kind of cheating because it's the same store as A), D. And that's just in a few minutes of checking places I remember.
posted by aspo at 5:15 PM on December 22, 2015


God, I loved Jewish Christmas. I wish I could talk my mom into doing it every year. The year we had dim sum with my Jewish friend, her brother, and her other friends was marvelous. (Then she moved, wah.)

"See, this is the thing I don't understand about holidays: if you enjoy all the work and seeing loads of people, that's fine, but so many people really hate it. This is one of the very few days that most people get off from work in the US, and we're supposed to spend it doing more work? Seeing people we don't want to see? Having fights with people whose beliefs we find morally repulsive? Going to religious services that we don't believe in? And then the cleaning up, cleaning up, cleaning up. "

Because it's more drama to not go along with the family expectations than it is to argue with people about not doing it.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:49 PM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Because it's more drama to not go along with the family expectations than it is to argue with people about not doing it.

Guilt and passive-aggressive manipulation are like the red and white stripes on the Christmas candy canes! It's the tinsel and ornaments on the familial Tree of Suffering! It's the McClane-Gruber feud! It's the depression of Charlie Brown vs. the indomitable pluckiness of Hermey! It's the hell of holiday travel vs. the reveal that Grampa isn't dead after all! It wouldn't be Christmas otherwise!
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:14 PM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


*Ahem*
Meee-fight (accent on the fight)
Panatone (a lovely Italian holiday pastry with fruit)
A Charlie Brown Christmas (because Christmas should come with existential angst & good jazz)

we are done here.
posted by evilDoug at 10:58 PM on December 22, 2015


My credentials as a cool-hunter? I predicted Sebastian. In 2003, I had a conversation with an older dude - very attractive NYC accent, probably in his fifties - who revealed that to his shame his middle name was Sebastian. "That name is coming back, " I said. "Mark my words, it's on it's way to being popular again." He didn't believe me, but I was so right.

Being the one cool Sebastien is an awesome responsibility but it's exactly like being a Highlander. Please stop making my job harder.

White American male uses lots of guns to kill foreigners in order to prevent them from taking money from a large multinational corporation. If this is not the American Christmas spirit, I don't know what is.


The one true version of Die Hard will be the Muppets remake. Kermit and Miss Piggy act out their dysfunctional love as McClane and Gruber respectively. No one will forget the iconic scene when Gonzo cuts the phone lines with a chainsaw.
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:47 PM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


The stack of DVDs next to the turntable that are ready for the long weekend:

The Ref
Bad Santa
The Family Stone
The Homecoming
Mad Max: Fury Road

(sitting on the bench but definitely coming out sooner or later: LOTR and all the Harry Potter movies)

We've got Die Hard but it won't get played. It it, however, a Christmas movie. We also streamed White Christmas a week ago so that's out of the way.
posted by Ber at 3:38 AM on December 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Panatone or whatever you call that italian bread thing, i really don't like.
posted by PinkMoose at 8:41 AM on December 23, 2015


Oh man, eating panettone for breakfast every day for a week is one of the pleasures of Christmastime.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:15 AM on December 23, 2015


Best Christmas movie ever is "Jingle All the Way," an excoriating take on rampant consumerism infecting the holiday season.

This is followed by "Die Hard," an incisive look at the hero's journey from being a barefoot, barely-clothed schmuck to a hero who saves literally tens of people just to be with his family.

I mean, both are more Christmasy than shitty dreck like "Miracle on 31st Street," which is a disgusting, manipulative take on the prosperity gospel--if you wish hard enough, some magic sky man will shower your residence full of material possessions.

Actually, on second glance, that last one is the perfect encapsulation of American Christmas. Still a shitty movie, though, almost as bad as Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas.
posted by qcubed at 9:32 AM on December 23, 2015


Only one mention of The Ref? It's one of my favorite dysfunctional-family-catharsis movies over, largely for this line:

"You know what I'm going to get you for Christmas next year, Mom? A big wooden cross, so that every time you feel unappreciated for your sacrifices, you can climb on up and nail yourself to it."
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:13 PM on December 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


When I think of Christmas movies, I think Die Hard should be on a double-bill with The Ref every year. It's the only movie worth watching, of so very goddamn many, about bickering families trapped together for the holidays.

Speaking of excoriating takes on rampant consumerism infecting the holiday season, Mr. Bad Example, the late-night Christmas feature at my place is, of course, Gremlins 2: The New Batch. Now that's what I call a Christmas movie.
posted by Sunburnt at 3:16 PM on December 23, 2015


shitty dreck like "Miracle on 31st Street," which is a disgusting, manipulative take on the prosperity gospel--if you wish hard enough, some magic sky man will shower your residence full of material possessions.

You mean Miracle on 34th Street? (There ain't shit three blocks down, is all.) It's also an unbelievably blatant ad for Macy's department store, so it's got that going for it too. Except for the 1994 version, weirdly, where the store is called "Cole's." Macy's could have used the publicity at the time, since they were clawing their way out of bankruptcy just then, but nonetheless refused the rights to the name. John Hughes got an adapted screenplay credit for, as far as I can tell, just changing the names.

Fun fact: Miracle on 34th Street premiered in the spring of 1947. What the hell kind of Christmas movie opens in spring?
posted by Sys Rq at 6:05 PM on December 23, 2015


I think Die Hard should be on a double-bill with The Ref every year.

We double feature The Ref with The Fitzgerald Family Christmas. The Fitzgerald Family Christmas is a movie that approximately 11 people saw, but if you're a fan of Ed Burns it's worth a watch.
posted by 26.2 at 2:02 AM on December 24, 2015


I had never heard of The Ref but I want to watch it so badly now, just based on the strength of Mr. Bad Example's quote. I should probably wait until I drive home, though.
posted by sciatrix at 6:04 AM on December 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


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