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Christmas Movie Alternatives: What to Watch Instead of the Holiday Classics

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Dec 23, 2013 | 1:28pm EST

A Christmas StoryMGM via Everett Collection

Christmas movies aren't for everybody. Yes, they might offer the odd sparkle of good will or reminder to appreciate all that you have, but the onslaught of these films might start to feel like overkill. Still, you might find it difficult to find non-holiday-themed alternatives to the Christmas staples that your friends and family members will be enjoying this week. But we've got a few suggestions...

Your father is glued to his living room arm chair, drinking in the wholesome enchantments of Miracle on 34th Street. But you can watch...
For that spell-binding courtroom drama: 12 Angry Men.
For another movie that will teach you the value of blind faith: Soul Surfer.
For just something that sounds kinda similar: Miracle.

Your mother is enjoying network television's annual broadcast of the feel-good fantasy It's a Wonderful Life. But you can watch...
For that "angels sent from above for the good of one man" story: The Heavenly Kid.
For another movie that includes a scene about people freaking out in a bank: Dog Day Afternoon.
For just something that sounds kinda similar: Life Is Beautiful.

Your baby brother is beaming over the innocent glories of the Laurel and Hardy adventure Babes in Toyland. But you can watch...
For that fantastical journey through a realm of imagination: Any and all of the Lord of the Rings movies.
For another movie about two bumbling pals just trying to make it in this crazy world: Dumb and Dumber.
For just something that sounds kinda similar: Babe.

Your precocious little sister is smirking knowingly at the myriad jokes in A Christmas Story. But you can watch...
For that saccharine recollection of a simpler, sweeter time: GoodFellas.
For another movie that sends condemns the dangers of firearms: Pocahontas.
For just something that sounds kinda similar: The Philadelphia Story.

Your young cousin is reveling in the earnest ecstasies of Rankin Bass' Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. But you can watch...
For that charmingly shoddy animation: ParaNorman.
For another movie that showcases misfits learning to believe in themselves: Pitch Perfect.
For just something that sounds kinda similar: Reindeer Games... does that still count as a Christmas movie? Fine, Funny Games. Happy now?

Your aunt is reveling in childhood nostalgia with a viewing of Frosty the Snowman. But you can watch...
For that spirited fairy tale magic that brings inanimate creations to life: Short Circuit.
For another movie about a high-stakes countdown to early mortality: 25th Hour.
For just something that sounds kinda similar: Frost/Nixon.

Your uncle is getting a little too effusive about the family's well-worn VHS copy of A Christmas Carol. But you can watch...
For that rhythmic and rhyming rendezvous that only T. Geisel can offer to you: Horton Hears a Who.
For another movie that thaws the frozen heart of a baddie: Schindler's List (or Despicable Me, for lighter fare).
For just something that sounds kinda similar: The Carol Burnett Show.

Your grandpa is reliving his old World War II days with White Christmas. But you can watch...
For that rally-to-save-the-small-town-fixture tale: Be Kind Rewind.
For another movie about nebbishy entertainers on a rousing road trip adventure: Some Like It Hot.
For just something that sounds kinda similar: White Chicks.

Your spouse has had a little too much eggnog and is, for some ungodly reason, waching The Polar Express. But you can watch...
For that horrifying trip down the uncanny valley: The Adventures of Tintin.
For another movie that... you know what? I can't get past how freaky the people in this movie look: Mars Needs Moms.
For just something that sounds kinda similar: Pineapple Express.

And finally, your best friend has stopped by and commandeered the basement TV to enjoy Jingle All the Way. But you can watch...
For that testament to the evils of materialism: The Bling Ring.
For another movie that showcases the softer side of Arnold Schwarzenegger: The Kid & I.
For just something that sounds kinda similar: The Way We Were.

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