5 tips for planning a christmas movie marathon

Follow these 5 tips for planning a Christmas movie marathon. It is a great way to get into the holiday spirit and spend quality time with family, friends, and loved ones during a typically-frantic holiday.

Recently, I sat down and came up with a list of 33 fantastic Christmas movies to choose from:

– Home Alone
– Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
– The Santa Clause
– The Santa Clause 2
– Miracle on 34th Street (Original)
– Die Hard
– Gremlins
– Christmas Vacation
– A Christmas Story
– Elf
– Bad Santa
– Harold and Kumar 3
– All I Want for Christmas
– Dutch
– Christmas With The Kranks
– It’s a Wonderful Life
– White Christmas
– Scrooged
– A Muppet Christmas Carol
– Ernest Saves Christmas
– Jingle All the Way
– Frosty The Snowman
– Batman Returns
– Trading Places
– The Snowman
– Edward Scissorhands
– Jack Frost (Michael Keaton)
– Jack Frost (Horror Movie)
– Lethal Weapon
– A Christmas Carol
– The Nightmare Before Christmas
– Silent Night, Deadly Night
– Black Christmas

By no means is this the list of all the possible Christmas movies out there, but it’s 33 classics. Throughout the list, you’ll find traditionally heartwarming Christmas films, comedies, action movies, and even a few horror offerings.

The way in which you arrange these features into a back-to-back viewing experience is entirely up to you, but please consider these 5 tips to make sure your choices are a hit:

1. Variety Keeps Things Interesting

Much like horror movie marathons during Halloween, the key to a successful lineup is varying the types of films. You wouldn’t want to watch nothing but slashers, all sci-fi horror, or 5 ghost movies in a row. You want there to be an ebb and flow of genres and pacing to keep your audience interested.

I would suggest picking at least 1 from each of the aforementioned genres. The other films can be an elective and you can balance the list however you’d like. Take 1 horror movie, 1 action movie, 1 comedy, and balance it out with 3 family-friendly classics. The power is yours.

2. Make Sure the Progression of Films Makes Sense

Jump cuts are (in regards to film and television) abrupt transitions from one scene to another. They’re jarring, nonsensical, and tend to take the viewer out of the experience of watching. Your goal should be the opposite. You want your list of Christmas films to seamlessly flow from one to the other in a cohesive way.

Don’t start with a black and white classic from the 1940s and then jump straight to a modern horror film. Have some kind of a buffer movie in between that sets the scene for the upcoming title.

3. Provide Snacks

This goes without saying during the holiday season, but good eats are a big part of the experience. Make sure to have a mixture of different food offerings for the varied palates of your guests. A vegetarian offering, a meat and cheese plate, and something crunchy would be a good place to start.

If your marathon exceeds 2-3 films, you may even want to consider serving an entire meal.

4. Decide on an Appropriate Length

The amount of time you’ll spend sitting and watching is an important consideration during the planning phase of your masterfully crafted marathon.

If you’re just having a night together with friends and family, 2-3 films is an acceptable length of time. If it’s more of an all-day affair where people will be coming and going or spending an exorbitant amount of time at your residence, then consider up to 6 films. With an average run time of 1.5-2.5 hours, this will cover you handily for 8-10 hours. If anyone is planning on staying longer than that, kick those freeloaders out on their asses.

5. Enhance the Ambience

Christmas is all about mood and feeling, so don’t miss this opportunity to provide some theatrics in addition to your cinematic experience.

Dim the lights, light some candles, start a roaring fire in the fire place, and plug in your beautifully-lit Christmas tree. Provide blankets and pillows for people to use upon request and make sure there’s plenty of sitting room. Your guests are in for the long haul, so you want them to feel as comfortable and engaged as humanly possible.

If you follow the above tips, you’re well on your way to providing an enriching experience for your guests.

Feel free to DM me on Instagram or comment below about your own movie marathon choices and I’ll feature them on the site in a future article.

For now, I’ll leave you with my choices, in order of appearance:

1. Edward Scissorhands
2. Gremlins
3. Die Hard
4. Home Alone
5. The Santa Clause
6. Miracle on 34th Street (original)

Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals!

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