- Christmas movies can unintentionally ruin the truth about Santa Claus for young children.
- Some movies subtly plant seeds of doubt about Santa’s existence, even when he is a main character.
- Details and inconsistencies in these movies may lead kids to question the reality of Santa Claus.
Parents had better watch out for the Christmas movies they show the young children as some of them spoil the truth about Santa Claus. Christmas is one of the best times of the year, partly because of all the great movies that people don’t watch outside of December. There are tons of amazing movies about the holiday season, and many of them are about Santa. While many of these movies deal with the magic of Saint Nick, some of them have subtle moments that might ruin the whole thing for young kids.
A surprising amount of Christmas movies pull down the Santa smokescreen, planting seeds of doubt in children’s heads. Any clued-up kid or a child on the cusp of starting to question things will immediately figure it out. Even movies in which Santa is a main character can make the younger viewers start to question things and wonder about some of the details the movie presents. These movies might go over young children’s heads, but the clues have been right in front of them the whole time.
Time to get into the Christmas spirit with a run down of the best Christmas movies of all time.
14 A Christmas Story (1983)
Ralphie’s Father Gets Him The Gift He Asked Santa For
- Release Date
- November 18, 1983
- Bob Clark
- Darren McGavin , Zack Ward , Peter Billingsley , Scott Schwartz , Melinda Dillon
- 94 minutes
The classic 80s movie A Christmas Story has a very relatable premise, as a young boy desperately wants one specific gift, and if he doesn’t get it, it’ll be an utter disappointment. It’s something that every child has lived through. The gift that Ralphie wants is a BB gun, and when he thinks he’s opened every present and hasn’t received it, he’s miserable. But his father directs him to one hidden gift behind the tree; the BB gun.
It’s absolute excitement for Ralphie, but for young viewers, it’s a wonder how the father knew the gift was behind there and that it was a BB gun. Parents will come under even more fire from their children when they see Ralphie thanking his father too. It brings up the question of why Ralphie would thank his father if it was Santa who brought him the gift.
13 Miracle On 34th Street (1947)
The Holiday Classic Is Filled With Santa Doubters
Both the 1947 movie and the just-as-good 1994 remake have become essential viewing over Christmas for families with youngsters. Miracle on 34th Street follows a department store Santa Claus who claims he is the real Saint Nick. There’s so much Christmas spirit in the movie, and it features one of the most compelling on-screen Santas, but it’ll get some children thinking about how realistic the existence of Santa really is.
In the movie, Susan doesn’t believe Santa is real, and she’s pretty stubborn and firm on her stance for the most part. As children easily relate to characters in movies, it might lead to some awkward questions when the movie’s over.
12 How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
Santa Isn’t Responsible For Most Of The Presents The Grinch Steals
How the Grinch Stole Christmas is all about the spirit of Christmas, and the Grinch is overwhelmed with holiday cheer by the time the credits roll, which is what makes it an annual watch in most households during the holiday season. However, before that, he has an ambitious mission to steal all the presents on Christmas Eve. The presents are already planted under the Whos’ trees, which would imply that Santa had ticked off all his deliveries fairly early in the evening of December 24. But gifts are being delivered throughout the whole film too, and as a lot of presents can be found under trees long before Christmas Eve, any smart kid would wonder how they got there.
11 A Christmas Story Christmas (2022)
Ralphie Distracts His Kids With Mall Santas To Buy Their Presents
Though a select few hate A Christmas Story Christmas, the sequel, which arrives almost 40 years after its predecessor, is surprisingly funny, heartfelt, emotional, and above all else, it doesn’t rely on callbacks and fan service. On that front, it’s a huge success. However, just like A Christmas Story, its newly released legacy sequel is yet another movie that ruins Santa.
The 2022 Christmas movie is family-friendly, just like the first film, but it makes no attempt at trying to hide the fact that Santa doesn’t exist. In fact, it’s as clear as day that Santa doesn’t exist in the movie, even more than in the original film, as Ralphie scrambles to buy his kids all their presents while they’re in line to see “Santa.”
10 The Christmas Chronicles (2018)
Santa Arrives To Prove His Naysayers Wrong
- Release Date
- November 22, 2018
- Clay Kaytis
- Lamorne Morris , Darby Camp , Judah Lewis , Kimberly Williams-Paisley , Kurt Russell , Oliver Hudson
- 104 minutes
There aren’t many Christmas movies released these days that have the makings of a classic, but 2018’s The Christmas Chronicles comes the closest. It’s a fun family movie full of Christmas spirit, as a sister and brother hatch a plan to capture Father Christmas on tape. However, before that happens, the brother starts talking to his sister about how Santa Claus doesn’t actually exist. The character does eventually turn up, with Kurt Russell’s Santa proving the brother wrong, but it’s still enough to plant the sees in any young viewer’s mind that Old Saint Nick isn’t actually real.
9 Scrooged (1988)
Parents Are Chastised For Their Holiday Gift-Buying
Scrooged is as crass as they come and rated PG-13, but the TV version of the movie is rated PG and on during the daytime, so it’s surely a favorite among parents because of its more grown-up comedy.
Of all the countless different takes on Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, the modern-day Scrooged is possibly the most entertaining and also plays fast and loose with the source material. The movie sees Frank insulting everyone, including parents purchasing gifts for their children. And after all the cynical humor, despite its redeeming ending, children watching it might come out of it not only not believing in Santa, but with a seething hatred of Christmas too.
8 The Santa Clause (1994)
The Lore Behind Santa Raises Questions
- Release Date
- November 11, 1994
- John Pasquin
- Wendy Crewson , Judge Reinhold , David Krumholtz , Eric Lloyd , Tim Allen
- 97 minutes
The Santa Clause is a unique take on the character and the movie fascinatingly builds its own lore, such as how anybody who accidentally kills Santa has to become him. The rules of the world go that deep. The exploration of the character is why The Santa Clause is the perfect Santa movie. However, those rules don’t exactly align with what has been told to children about Santa. With The Santa Clause feeding kids so much contradictory information, that might lead to some pulling down the smokescreen.
7 Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1992)
Mr. Duncan, Not Santa, Supplies The Gifts
- Release Date
- November 20, 1992
- Chris Columbus
- Macaulay Culkin , Joe Pesci , Daniel Stern , John Heard , Tim Curry , Brenda Fricker , Catherine O’Hara , Eddie Bracken
- 120 Minutes
There are some who think Home Alone 2 is better than Home Alone, and part of the reason why is its New York setting, but that’s also part of what ruins the illusion of Santa. However, it may go unnoticed by many young viewers, as it’s right at the end of the movie after all the hijinks and slapstick comedy are over. Lost In New York is sure to give some kids doubts about Santa when Kevin and his family are in the hotel. As Kevin and the McCallisters wake up on Christmas Day, Mr. Duncan sends them a truckload of gifts. This might leave many to speculate why it wasn’t Santa who brought them the gifts the night before.
6 The Grinch (2018)
The Grinch Questions Santa’s Existence
- Release Date
- November 9, 2018
- Yarrow Cheney , Scott Mosier
- 90 Minutes
It doesn’t matter if viewers watch the Jim Carrey-starring live-action film or the original, either way, kids will be left wanting answers to some complicated questions. In the animated movie, not only does the titular furry green character carry out the same plan, but he literally implies that Santa doesn’t exist. The Grinch argues that Santa doesn’t exist because nobody has actually ever seen him, and that goes without a response. All the way up to the end of the film, that remark goes without any kind of rebuttal. This means that the movie is spoon-feeding the questions to kids, and they don’t have to do any work themselves.
5 Elf (2003)
The Movie Jokes About The Impossibility Of Santa
- Release Date
- November 7, 2003
- 97 minutes
There are some terribly mixed messages in Elf regarding the existence of Saint Nick, as there’s so much talk about people not believing in Santa, some of which even come from the man himself. When Buddy is gearing up to travel to New York, Santa tells him that a lot of non-believers live there. Children can be quite perceptive, and many can easily pick up on sarcasm, and when Buddy is told about the notion that Santa doesn’t exist, he responds in the most sarcastic manner possible. Not only that but there are kids in the movie who speculate that it’s parents who buy the presents, perhaps planting that idea in young viewers’ heads.
4 Home Sweet Home Alone (2021)
Less Fortunate Families Are In Need Of Presents
While A Christmas Story Christmas is the perfect example of how to make a Christmas legacy sequel, Home Sweet Home Alone is the complete opposite. The film was critically panned, and Disney+ subscribers didn’t enjoy it either. Max is unlikable, the plot doesn’t make any sense, and the connections to the original movie are weak.
If that wasn’t bad enough, it’ll leave young children with a lot of questions. Gifts are dotted around in every house that’s visited, but above all else, the family visits a Church at a time when gifts are being given to kids from less affluent families. It brings up the uncomfortable question of why Santa doesn’t visit those less fortunate families.
3 Gremlins (1984)
Kate Learned Santa Wasn’t Real In The Most Horrific Way
- Release Date
- June 8, 1984
- Joe Dante
- Phoebe Cates , Corey Feldman , Zach Galligan , Hoyt Axton , Polly Holliday , Howie Mandel
- 106 minutes
Gremlins might not be the most child-friendly movie in the world, and it’s the reason why the PG-13 rating exists. However, it was clearly made with children in mind, as it has the cute, merchandisable Mogwai, and quirkier parents would be quick to put on the ’80s classic without knowing the repercussions.
In the middle of the movie, Kate goes on somewhat of an over-the-top monologue about how she found out Santa wasn’t real. Parents don’t have to worry about their kids putting pets in blenders and microwaves, but they may have to deal with them crying and asking why they were lied to all these years.
2 The Polar Express (2004)
A Young Boy’s Loss Of Faith In Santa Is A Central Theme
The Polar Express is an animated holiday movie that features the theme of believing at its center. Ironically, that message also brings up some questions for younger audiences about why there is so much doubt around Santa. The movie follows the same problematic formula as Elf, where the children might believe in Santa Claus, but none of the adults do. Any kid paying attention might have doubts, right away. However, The Polar Express is a wonderful film, and it’s a celebration of Christmas and Santa too, so it’s easy to get swept up in the magic and Christmas cheer and forget about the plot hole.
1 Jingle All The Way (1996)
Schwarzenegger Doesn’t Rely On Santa For A Prized Toy
- Release Date
- November 22, 1996
- Brian Levant
- 89 Minutes
The whole premise behind Jingle All The Way is about a father who is on thin ice with his son for missing his karate lesson and he has to find him the only gift that he wants, a Turbo Man Doll. As Howard has waited too long to buy the doll, what follows is an action-packed Rat Race-like attempt to find the toy. Any child watching this would wonder to themselves why Howard is going to such great lengths to find the doll when it’s not his job, but Santa’s, and it’d surely raise suspicions.
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