To a majority of us (side-eying the Scrooges here), it’s the most wonderful time of the year! And to those who celebrate Christmas, I’m sure you, just like me, have that one favorite Christmas movie that you have to watch every year. Maybe you even have more than one or have a long list of movies that get you in the Christmas spirit (it’s not just me, right?). My all-time favorite Christmas movie has to be Fred Claus. Released in 2007, Fred Claus stars, to name a few, the always funny Vince Vaughn, Elizabeth Banks, Kathy Bates, and Rachel Weisz. No matter how many classic Christmas movies I see like Home Alone or The Grinch, Fred Claus always takes the cake because of the humor, how relatable Fred is as a character, and, of course, who can resist the beautiful setting of the North Pole?
Fred Claus centers around Fred, the older brother of Saint Nicholas Claus (who goes by Nick in the movie). In the beginning of the movie, we’re told that when Nick became a saint, his whole family was frozen in time, never to age. So we jump to the present day, in Chicago, where Nick is the Santa Claus we all know and love, and Fred…well, Fred is a very spiteful man who actually hates all things Christmas because of how he constantly gets overshadowed by his brother’s good deeds. And you can’t help but empathize with him and how differently he gets treated, even with his own parents, because his brother is the Santa Claus. After getting into a rut because of money issues, Nick convinces Fred to come visit him in the North Pole and help work in Santa’s workshop to pay off his debt. Fred works in the “naughty-nice department,” where he looks over each record of every kid in the world and decides if they’re naughty or nice. What Fred doesn’t know is that a man named Clyde Northcut is in the North Pole to evaluate Nick and his workshop and eventually decide if the whole operation has to shut down.
Things obviously go awry as the tension builds between Fred and Nick, including an actual snowball fight between the two, and Clyde happily shuts down Santa’s workshop. After going home and getting a pick-me-up during a Siblings Anonymous meeting, Fred decides to go back to the North Pole to save the day. Nick is in bed after getting injured during their snowball fight, and Fred takes up the challenge of delivering the presents. Next comes my favorite sequence of scenes in the movie, where we see Fred messily delivering presents to all the kids around the world. He eventually succeeds, and everyone gets to wake up to presents from “Santa” on Christmas! By the next Christmas, things are much, much better between the brothers, and the whole family celebrates the holiday together in Fred’s house. And the spirit of Santa Claus and Christmas gets to live on and on and on…
I can never get enough of this movie, and I love how Fred starts off as such a Christmas-hater to become the hero of Christmas. It’s such a feel-good story! Vince Vaughn’s characteristic quick wit and jokes also make the movie incredibly entertaining, and it’s just the most perfect Christmas movie for me. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend watching it this December and falling in love with it for yourself!
Merry Christmas and a very happy holidays to all!