Yippee Ki Yay Merry Christmas

Bruce Willis in a scene from "Die Hard." (Courtesy of 20th Century Fox)

The holiday season prompts many age-old debates.

Should you buy a real tree or an artificial tree?

Should you open presents on Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day?

Is “Die Hard” actually a Christmas movie?

Since “Die Hard” was released in 1988, film buffs have long argued whether or not it can truly be considered a holiday classic.

A survey conducted by Morning Consult and The Hollywood Reporter in 2018 found that only 25 percent of U.S. adults believe “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie.

However, a study conducted by online media seller musicMagpie this year proves that, contrary to popular belief, “Die Hard” is, in fact, a Christmas movie.

musicMagpie decided to hone in on four key elements they felt were essential to any Christmas movie. musicMagpie determined all Christmas movies “must have Christmas references, perform well in the box office, be a hit with critics and audiences alike, and create a festive buzz year after year.”

According to musicMagpie, “Die Hard” checked each of these boxes.

It was also given a ranking of 11 out of 20 in “overall holiday feeling” and was named one of the 20 most popular holiday classics, based off of social media metrics.

While this study is intriguing, it most likely won’t end the debate that has been going on for decades. But I’m not sure why it is so hard for some film buffs to simply face the facts: “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie.

Although it’s packaged as an action flick, “Die Hard” has the spirit of the holidays.

After all, the story is centered around John McClane, a man who has been consumed by his work and is trying to become closer to his family. That’s a trope which can be found in many Christmas movies, including “Jingle All the Way” and “The Santa Clause.”

Throughout the course of the film, McClane must fight to save his estranged wife’s life and eventually comes to realize that family is what’s most important.

Isn’t that the lesson at the heart of almost every Christmas movie?

The film’s villain, Hans Gruber, can also be compared to Ebenezer Scrooge, the protagonist of “A Christmas Carol.” Like Scrooge, Gruber puts money and profit above all else. He has no remorse for others and doesn’t care who he hurts on his pursuit of riches.

“Die Hard” is certainly not a traditional Christmas movie, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t one. Bullets, bloodshed and swearing aside, “Die Hard” perfectly captures the essence of the holiday season.