Is “Die Hard” a Christmas movie?


Now is the time of the year when people are looking for Christmas spirit in everything they see and do. Of course, that includes watching Christmas movies. There are lots of opinions about Christmas movies: What is the best movie? Which is the worst? But for this article, I want to consider if a particular movie is even a Christmas movie in the first place.

Should “Die Hard” be put into the Christmas movie category? This is one of the most debated questions around Christmas time, one of the most critical questions of our time and the discussion will likely continue for centuries. 

In this movie, John McClane, a New York City police officer, visits his wife and daughters on Christmas Eve, thinking it will be a peaceful holiday. Instead, he ends up going to a party that takes a turn for the worse. McClane realizes that he’s the only one that can save the hostages and himself from the terrorists. When most people watch this movie, they instantly go into action movie mode and completely forget about the Christmas aspect.

But what actually makes a movie a Christmas movie? Well, it needs to take place around Christmas time and have Santa or a Christmas tree. It should have at least one Christmas song, a Christmas movie theme, like returning home for the holidays or a miracle and most importantly, a feel-good Christmas moment.

Now if we think about all the requirements, “Die Hard” successfully fills all of them. It has McClane, a dad of two kids trying to make it home for the holidays on Christmas Eve. It has a Christmas tree at a party. It has three Christmas songs (“Let it Snow,” “Winter Wonderland,” and “Christmas in Hollis”) and many iconic Christmas references. Lastly, it has McClane’s love for his family.

Steven E. De Souza, the screenwriter for “Die Hard” said it was a Christmas movie in an interview with the Washington Post. He even went as far as to make a “Christmas Movie or Not Checklist” comparing “Die Hard” and “White Christmas” which clearly shows how both of them should be in the Christmas movie category.  

So is “Die Hard” a Christmas movie? Yes, yes it is. It will be for centuries to come so if anyone ever says otherwise they probably haven’t seen it or doesn’t truly know what a Christmas movie is.