Why Lord of the Rings is actually the best Christmas movie

A small indie niche film debuted over 20 years ago. With no shortage of elves, banter, family and friendships, Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring premiered in December 2001. Since then I’ve seen him almost every Christmas.

It’s the ultimate, absolute best Christmas movie and I will continue that tradition until the day I die. And I’m here to explain that you should too.

To be clear, I’m not a Christmas movie newbie who would win LOTR by default. I’ve seen them all: Miracle on 34th Street, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, The Holiday (which is admittedly second best), Love Actually, It’s A Wonderful Life, Home Alone – and yes, even Die Hard. The list goes on and on… and on and on and on. There are actually a ridiculous amount of Christmas movies out there.

I’ve also waded through Hallmark’s catalog of assorted Christmas movies, in which the excited businesswoman falls in love with a hometown ragamuffin who bakes cookies in a barn and teaches her the true meaning of Christmas. Surprisingly, these don’t play much of a role in my reasoning, but I digress.

No matter how many times I see tinsel and hear sleigh bells in the opening credits of a Christmas movie, nothing compares to Lord of the Rings.

Well, I’ve given this take scrutiny in the past, specifically over whether or not Lord of the Rings even qualifies as a Christmas movie. Here are my top three reasons why this is absolutely the case.

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It marks Christmas Day

What, you thought, just because we’re in Middle-earth and our earthly equivalent of Santa Claus frolics around in gray robes, firing fireworks and encouraging bad hobbit behavior, technically Christmas Day wasn’t in Lord of the Rings? think again

Although not specifically mentioned in the films, the source material confirms that it was Christmas Day, December 25th, when the Companions first left Rivendell to destroy the ring. Let me say that again: the companions – including a gray firework Santa and eight dashing, prancing companions – left a city of elves (who were hard at work building a fancy new toy sword for Aragorn) to traverse their world and to bring peace to Middle-earth, ON CHRISTMAS DAY.

It’s also worth noting that JRR Tolkien was also a devout Christian, so the choice of that particular date would not have gone unnoticed by him. It was a CHOICE. A CHRISTMAS choice.

You can (almost) apply Christmas carols to big events in the film

If you want to sit there and tell me that Baby It’s Cold Outside isn’t working for the fellows leaving their souls trembling at Moria’s door, just try it. ONLY. TO ATTEMPT.

Silent Night? The moments before Pippin pushes a big honking skeleton down a hole. Carry on with the little drummer boy as the leprechaun who started the drums of war, and that’s practically an entire Christmas carol setlist.

All of a sudden we three kings could definitely wield the rings of power given to the elves and held by Elrond, Galadriel and Gandalf: “Three were given to the elves; immortal, wisest and fairest of all beings.”

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And look, I know that’s a giant leap, but Little Donkey could potentially be applied to Samwise’s trusty pony Bill, who trotted all the way up a snowy mountain before being forced to turn back at the mines. In this household we love and respect Bill.

Christmas is a time for family and community

Jokes aside, at its core, Christmas is literally a time of fellowship. It’s a time when we all come together regardless of what’s going on in our lives — even if that means engaging with extended family members you’d rather keep your distance, like the Sackville-Bagginses, too to whom you want to say “No thanks! We don’t want any more visitors, well-wishers or distant relatives!”.

As the nine members of the Fellowship come together to share adventures, have each other’s backs, and embrace the spirit of loyalty and friendship, so should you. And what better way to convince the louder family members to sit on the couch together than by making the Christmas movie something everyone enjoys.

As Gandalf says, “All you have to decide is what to do with the time you’re given.” My advice? Give Die Hard a break this year and spend that time watching the one and only Christmas movie: Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

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