Christmas comes but once a year, and with it comes all manner of holiday movies. Even though they generally only get any considerable attention one month each year, Christmas movies still come in all shapes and sizes: comedy, drama, romance, fantasy – it’s all become just another part of the festive season. With so much variety on display even within the Christmas movie subgenre, it’s almost easy to forget that most holiday movies seem to fall into a handful of very well-established Christmas traps (not the fun Home Alone kind, either).
So many elements of Christmas movies have become as traditional as the season itself, with many of them then spilling over to color our collective ideas about the holiday. It’s a curious case of life imitating art, but sometimes it goes even further. In many ways, some Christmas movie tropes just don’t quite gel with reality.
Whether these issues stem from flawed logic in the fantastical nature of some Christmas stories or simple overused plot devices that have become normalized in everyday life, there are many Christmas movie tropes that just don’t make any sense. Some of them set up unrealistic expectations about what Christmas should involve, while others come closer to actually giving their respective Christmas movies harmful messages. However they came about and whichever side of Santa’s list they land on, here are the 7 dumbest Christmas movie tropes.
7. Shopping On Christmas Eve
Christmas shopping can be one of the most stressful parts of the holidays by far. Finding gifts that your friends and family members will enjoy isn’t always an easy task, particularly when they want something that you don’t understand in the slightest (just ask the old lady asking what a “Papa Roach” is and why her grandson wants one). As such, it’s not difficult to understand why this particular trope has popped up time and again in Christmas movies.
For some reason, the vast majority of Christmas movie characters seem to be leaving their Christmas shopping until the absolute last minute, often as late as Christmas Eve. Of course, this is almost always done to give the characters the most stressful time imaginable, and it’s a good way of amping up the drama a little. It’s even done casually in many movies, subtly normalizing the idea of throwing together your family’s Christmas gifts with whatever unwanted junk was left on the shelves on the final day before the holiday. Weird, right?
As real people tend to get their Christmas shopping done at least a few days before Christmas itself, it’s only really the most disorganized among us that would ever partake in this weird movie tradition in real life. In fact, Christmas movies normalizing the idea of doing one’s shopping on Christmas Eve isn’t just odd, it’s actually a little harmful, as it reinforces the idea that consideration isn’t an important part of the festive season. Though Christmas Eve shopping might seem like a festive way to pass the time, it’s a very bizarre idea that’s only really perpetuated by movies.