Offbeat Christmas movies not to miss

It can be hard to find anything new when it comes to Christmas movies. The tried and true films are still great flicks, but if you want to spice up your holiday viewing, here are some lesser-known movies to add into the mix.

The Year Without Santa Clause- You know Rudolph and The Little Drummer Boy and Santa Claus is coming to town, but do you recall the wackiest stop motion Christmas movie of all?

This delightful little trip takes us to the year Santa came down with a cold and decided to take the year off. Mrs. Claus and Santa’s elves try to work a Christmas miracle to convince Santa he needs to deliver toys on Christmas. The Heat Miser, the Snow Miser and their mom, Mother Nature, all make appearances in the film along with an array of characters from Southtown, a small Southern town with no exact location.

This clay-nation has by far the most interesting plot line and some of the best Christmas songs of all time, including Blue Christmas. If you can’t go out and find this gem, it will air on ABC Family at 9:00 p.m. Central Time on Dec. 10 as part of their “25 Days of Christmas” special.

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale- “This Christmas, everyone will believe in Santa Claus”-while the tag line may sound familiar, this is a very different take on Christmas.

This horror-fantasy, black comedy from Finland is still much more nuanced than other Christmas slashers like Silent Night, Deadly Night or Black Christmas, but it still pretty creepy. A group of greedy scientists come to a small town populated by reindeer herds in the mountains to dig up an ancient “sacred grave.” After all the reindeer are killed and children begin to disappear, it is discovered the grave belongs to the original Santa Claus. But he doesn’t reward good children; he only punishes the bad ones.
This 2010 film was largely a flop despite positive reviews by critics when it first came out, but maybe it will eventually become the creepy Christmas classic. You can watch the film on Netflix or find a copy for sale online.

Jingle All The Way- That time Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad made a Christmas movie. This delightfully cheesy movie doesn’t really take itself seriously, so sit back and enjoy it in all its ridiculousness.

The Governator stars as a desperate dad who struck out getting his son the must-have toy of the year and proves willing to do anything to get his kid that doll. Fights with a mailman, shoppers and reindeer ensue. It starts a little slow but don’t worry, it gets better. Or worse depending on your definition.

This piece of holiday magic won the director Brian Levant a Razzle for worst director in 1997, but has since then gained traction as the best of the worst holiday masterpieces. This is another flick you can watch on Netflix, preferably with a group of friends who want to share a good laugh.

Christmas in Connecticut- There are far too many good Christmas movies from the 40s no one watches anymore (Including the some-what scandalous Miracle of Morgan’s Creek) but this one of the easier titles to find online.

In this film, a housekeeping-expert for a magazine is forced by her greedy publisher to welcome a war hero into the lovely Connecticut home she writes about for a Christmas meal with her large family. Too bad she doesn’t have a house in Connecticut, a husband or any skill whatsoever in the kitchen. Hilarity ensues.

Rom-coms have gotten a often well-deserved bad rap in recent years, but this movie and other 40s flicks prove that the genre can not only be done well, but can be enjoyed by everyone. This movie can be seen online using Amazon Instant Player or you can buy and download it from iTunes.

A Midnight Clear- What says Christmas like World War II? If you need something a little bit deeper and more likely to bring you to tears, this is the flick for you.

In this 1992 film American and German soldiers come together in the snow-covered Adrienne’s Forest at the tale end of the war. The characters are much more poignant and developed than in most war films, played by some of Hollywood’s future favorites like Ethan Hawke and Kevin Dillon. Get ready for an emotional and sometimes perturbing tale of peace amid war.

Not everyone is up for a not-so jolly holiday film but if you want something different, this is for you. This film is not available online at this time, but you can buy the DVD online.