Classic Holiday Movies, Updated for 2020

Home Alone 
Kevin McCallister’s parents ignore CDC guidelines to fly to Paris, but their son heroically refuses to endanger the lives of others and instead stays home to self-isolate. Word gets out about his selfless actions, and Joe Pesci and that other guy show up at Kevin’s house for an armed protest, but Kevin puts them in their place with some epic Twitter takedowns. 

Jingle All the Way 
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad have a masked fight in the aisles of a local toy store over the last Turbo-Man action figure for their kid, but then someone sneezes two aisles down so Arnold Schwarzenegger sprints home and takes a bath in hand sanitizer. He then just orders the toy on Amazon instead, which works, but he feels kind of bad about using Amazon. Not bad enough not to use it, but, you know… pretty bad. 

How the Grinch Stole Christmas 
Coastal liberal elite The Grinch steals millions of ballots from hard-working Whoville residents. At least, that’s what Whoville Mayor Augustus Maywho keeps saying after decisively losing his re-election bid. There is zero evidence to support this theory, and the Supreme Court of Whoville describes the case as “a bad banana with a greasy black peel.” Even so, the town remains hopelessly divided, and Christmas is canceled.

A Christmas Carol 
Miserly tech entrepreneur Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by three ghosts, who show him the dire impact of his lobbying campaign to classify his employees as independent contractors. Scrooge is horrified to learn that Tiny Tim can’t afford health care because Scrooge has avoided providing his “independent contractors” with any benefits whatsoever despite grueling hours and a strict non-compete. Scrooge wakes up the next morning a new man: He immediately donates to Tiny Tim’s GoFundMe and becomes a vocal advocate for Medicare For All. 

Buddy the Elf travels from the North Pole to New York City to try to meet his real human father, Walter. However, because Buddy must quarantine for two weeks after each border crossing along the way (in the seven levels of the Candy Cane Forest, on the Sea of Swirly-Twirly Gum Drops, and at the NYPD checkpoint in the Lincoln Tunnel), he doesn’t arrive until mid-February, and by then the Christmas spirit is gone. Plus it turns out Walter has been spending the whole pandemic at his summer house in the Hamptons, so Buddy wouldn’t have found him anyway. Elf​ is a sad movie. 

The Polar Express 
A conductor invites a boy to board a mysterious train chock full of pajama-clad children bound for the North Pole, but the boy declines, because it’s a freaking pandemic. Also: Stranger danger much?! The boy goes back to sleep and enjoys a nice Christmas at home with his family. 

Die Hard 
Hans Gruber fails to hold anyone hostage at Nakatomi Plaza because everyone is working remotely. John McClane gets bored at his wife’s Zoom Christmas party and can’t remember anyone’s name even though it says their names right on the little Zoom icons. John McClane and his wife get divorced two days later. ❏

Keith Rubin is a writer and actor in NYC whose work you can read in McSweeney’s, Reductress, and Above Average. His work has also appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and At Home with Amy Sedaris.


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