When I lost my youngest daughter, my love for the holidays fled. Every day for officially celebrating something was a reminder that there was one chair empty. Every photograph I took had one person missing. Every time I bought a Christmas present for Miss L, I couldn’t but think I should be buying one more. And then every holiday, too, I look at Miss L – think about her illness – and wonder if she’ll still be here for the next one.
So, in a lot of ways, all holidays – including Christmas – suck for me now. How can you be happy when half your heart is gone and the other half could leave at any time?
I wrote the above passage when Melanie asked me to submit something for my favorite part of Christmas. Then I realized how ridiculously depressing it was. So I thought, and I thought some more. What, I wondered, really is my silver lining? What do I look forward to at Christmas that has no bad memories, worries, or fears associated with it? And finally, I came up with an answer. I know what my favorite part of Christmas is now. Well, of any holiday, really.
Bad holiday-themed horror movies.
Apparently, the answer to “How can you be happy when half your heart is gone?” is “by watching bad holiday-themed horror movies.” Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the complete happiness you get by having your loved ones surrounding you. But it is a certain, special kind of happy.
What’s the appeal to holiday-themed horror movies?
The mockery they make of the holidays, probably. Instead of stressing out over preparing oodles of food, worrying about if such and such is going to like the presents I got them, or thinking of depressing things, I can sit back and relax as I watch Santa get into a brawl with Krampus, or a wrestler, dressed up as Santa, go crazy. I’m not thinking about anything at that moment other than how completely stupid what I’m looking at is.
Is this a tradition?
Well, it is for me, and as soon as Miss L gets just a wee bit older, I’m going to start introducing her to them. They’re like wine – you definitely have to develop a taste for them! She’s already got her mommy’s sense of humor, so I figure it won’t be too hard to bring her over to the dark side.
Tips for Watching
See, to properly enjoy a so-bad-it’s-good horror movie, there are certain things you need to do.
Step 1: Abandon dignity, all ye who enter here.
If you can’t get the stick out of your behind, you’re never going to be able to properly appreciate a truly bad movie.
Step 2: Turn off your brain.
These special horror movies fail horribly if you think about any of the logistics for any length of time. So to be able to truly enjoy one, you have to learn to shut your brain off.
Step 3: Have copious amounts of popcorn and fizzy and/or adult beverages on hand.
You’re already melting your braincells, so you might as well pig out while you’re at it.
My Christmas Horror Movie Recommendations
So, because this is a post about Christmas, here are my favorite groan-worthy, eye-rollingly-bad, gotta-laugh Christmas Horror movies.
- Santa’s Slay (2005) – https://youtu.be/W0nDG91hVu0
- A Christmas Horror Story (2015) – https://youtu.be/XSSSUbB-mYk
- Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale – https://youtu.be/2pH9IyqTk1E
There’s other good ones out there, of course, but these three are truly special.
One of those seemingly rare females who genuinely enjoy reading horror and science fiction. Allergic to bushes, so she refuses to beat around them. Reads too bloody much. Ask anyone who knows her. Proudly supports self-pub and small-press authors.