Lots of Christmas songs appear in lots of movies, and we all know how bad and how monotonous they can get. The following is a list of seven Christmas songs in seven Christmas movies that stand out. They're used for some particular purpose, rather than just dressing. Hopefully these songs lend new meaning to their movies, and vice versa. And in the end, everything becomes just a little more tolerable.
1. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," from Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
This song has become a standard, of course. But looking at its very first performance by Judy Garland shows that it was actually meant ironically. Esther Smith (Garland) sings it while looking out the window at a forlorn winter's night, her sister Tootie (Margaret O'Brien) at her side. (The family may have to move away from their beloved St. Louis home.) Tears flow, and the scene is accompanied by Tootie's wanton destruction of a carefully-crafted family of snow people on the lawn.
2. "Christmas in Hollis," from Die Hard (1988)
While waiting in a limo, just downstairs from the chaos in his wife's building, John McClane (Bruce Willis) listens to the radio. The limo driver Argyle (De'voreaux White) plays the just-released hip-hop Christmas song by Run-DMC. "Don't you have any Christmas music?" McClane asks. "This is Christmas music!" Argyle replies excitedly, moving to the beat. I'm not sure how many other hip-hop Christmas songs have been recorded since then, but they have some big shoes to fill. (Runner-up: "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" played during the closing credits.)