5The Spirit of Giving Giving and charity are the central points of the holiday, and many Christmas movies reflect that: In A Christmas Story, all Ralphie wants is a Red Ryder BB Gun. He is consumed by this desire, despite the inherent dangers of the gift, because he is only thinking of himself. Eventually his wish is granted, but it quickly turns on him, thus illustrating that selfishness is not the true meaning of the holiday.
Behold, the rotten face of avarice!Similarly, in Die Hard, all that our protagonist, John McClane, wants is a peaceful holiday with his estranged wife; he too is only thinking of himself. But, unlike the selfish Hans Gruber who only wants to take, McClane eventually learns that giving is its own reward... in that he bakes a lovely bullet casserole for every god damn foreigner he sees. He becomes so charitable that, by the end of the film, he even presumably gives it hard and fast to his ex-wife in the back of the limo, despite her most closely resembling an orangutan with a jerry curl.
Now, I'm not saying that if you toss it and leave it, I wouldn't pull up quick to retrieve it...
4Thankfulness In It's a Wonderful Life, Jimmy Stewart learns that, despite all of his economic woes, he is both loved and needed in his community. By the end of the film, Stewart finds that his life really does have meaning and importance by virtue of his worth to the community around him. Though he faces some personal trials, Stewart realizes that it's the intangible things - love, friendship, and faith - which are truly important.
Pictured: The heart-warming aftermath of attempted suicideIn Die Hard, John McClane faces his own trials by virtue of his fear of flying. A nearby passenger with a dim grasp on foot anatomy advises McClane to toss away his shoes in favor of 'making fists with his toes' as an antidote to the fear, and he reluctantly takes the man's advice. After callously abandoning all footwear, McClane suddenly learns that what he's taken for granted all his life is what he needs most...when he has to run barefoot across fucking glass!
Does your Christmas miracle leave a trail of footblood? No? Your miracle sounds gay...Both It's A Wonderful Life and Die Hard espouse the same philosophy, that you shouldn't take things - yourself, your value to the community, shoes - for granted, it's just that Die Hard does it in a much more effective way: With extravagant torture! A Charlie Brown Christmas doesn't teach Charlie Brown the meaning of the holiday by putting lit cigarettes out on his face until he learns to appreciate warmth, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer doesn't learn that everybody is special in their own right by being thrown into Auschwitz, and The Santa Clause doesn't teach Tim Allen that he should've loved his son more by skinning him alive and covering him in ants.
"Some people don't even have a warm home at night, Charlie Brown! I'LL CUT YOUR FUCKING FACE UNTIL YOU UNDERSTAND!"Die Hard is simply willing to go much further - willing to violently ream its characters in every orifice of their soul, if necessary - just to impart the true meaning of Christmas.