9 Christmas movies where Santa Claus is notably absent

Santa Claus is a symbol of Christmas, representing joy and generosity in giving. Although the true spirit of Christmas is sometimes overshadowed by the material things Santa brings, he perpetuates the spirit of the holiday season.

Related: 10 Best Santa Clauses in Film and TV

Although many traditional holiday movies have Father Christmas as the protagonist, often saving Christmas, there are some movies where Santa Claus doesn’t just come to save the day – he’s not there at all!

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It’s a wonderful life

It's a Wonderful Life Film Crew
Image via RKO Radio Pictures

The iconic and beloved film follows George Bailey (James Stewart), an ordinary man who is frustrated after his life did not take the path he dreamed of. After repeatedly encountering problems, he considers ending his life.

Related: Top 10 Life Lessons From It’s A Wonderful Life

When his guardian angel Clarence (Henry Travers) shows him what things would have been like if he had never been born, and realizes how blessed he was and what a wonderful life he had after all. Although George’s self-crisis occurs on Christmas Eve, Santa Claus does not come to the rescue. Instead, he simply needed a new perspective to change his outlook.

‘Doctor. Seuss “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”


In this mega-hit movie based on the book, The Grinch (Jim Carrey) decides to ruin Christmas—a holiday he hates—for the citizens of Whoville, by dressing up like Santa, and stealing their gifts and decorations. As he witnesses their continued singing and celebration, he realizes the true spirit of the season.

The Grinch may have been dressed as Santa, but he didn’t run into Santa when he broke into everyone’s homes, and Santa didn’t save Christmas. Instead, the citizens of Whoville remember what the spirit of Christmas is all on their own.

‘Home Alone’

Home Alone

This beloved and hugely successful film follows Kevin (Macaulay Culkin), an 8-year-old boy who wishes his family would disappear. While they plan a vacation to Paris, he is accidentally left behind, leading him to believe his wish has come true. He rushes to defend his home from two determined burglars (Joe Pesci And the Daniel Stern), he realizes how much he misses his family.

While the film’s climax is on Christmas Eve, and although Kevin asks Santa “instead of presents, [he] He just wants his family back.” Santa is not part of the story. When Kevin is put in trouble, his neighbor comes to his aid.

Actually love

Really love

This beloved rom-com takes place at Christmas. Following individual story arcs, as the main characters navigate life, they find someone special, who reiterates the value of spending the holiday season with their loved ones.

Although it is a Christmas movie, Santa is not part of the story. Instead, the film focuses on the real-life ups and downs of romance, showing that different people experience love differently.

Christmas shoes

Christmas shoes 2x1 still

This made-for-TV movie follows a workaholic lawyer (Rob Lowe) struggling with a broken marriage, he wants a young boy to buy his dying mother a pair of red shoes. The movie leans towards the realistic side of vacations where things aren’t always perfect.

Instead of a perfect ending where Santa magically creates the perfect Christmas Eve, a young boy’s desire to give his mother a gift for a workaholic helped him rearrange his priorities and realize the true meaning of Christmas.

“Bad Moms Birthday”

Kathryn Hahn as Carla, Mila Kunis as Amy, Kristen Bell as Kiki at the ball in A Bad Moms Christmas
Image via STX Entertainment

when three mothers (Mila KunisAnd the Kristen Bell And the Kathryn HahnOverburdened, frustrated, and underestimated about how much work needs to be done this holiday season and how they have time to enjoy it, they tip over when their moms come to visit. They decide to challenge the expectations of creating a perfect Christmas for their family, by being free and celebrating in their own way.

Since the movie is by no means a conventional story, but rather a smutty comedy, it’s understandable not to see Santa try to fix it this Christmas.

“White Christmas”

Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, and Danny Kaye in White Christmas
Image via Paramount Pictures

When aspiring performers Bob (Bing Crosby) and elephant (Danny Kay(Joined by two sisters, Betty)Rosemary Clooney) existential (Vera EllenTo perform a Christmas show, they encounter a retired major general.Dean Jagger) who suffers financially due to the poor business of this country inn.

In this play, Santa is nowhere to be seen. Instead, the story conveys both eternal love and friendship. Although Santa Claus is a symbol of hope during the holiday season, this movie conveys hope that all will be well with your loved ones there for support.

“Jingle Jingle: A Christmas Journey”

Forest Whitaker in Jingle Jangle
Image via Netflix

Jeronicus Jangle (Forest Whitaker) is a playmaker who is betrayed by his apprentice, which leaves him in financial straits. After his wife’s death, he became desolate, isolating himself from his daughter, who moved away. When his granddaughter arrives, he finds new hope in re-establishing his company and reuniting with his family.

This movie is unique, as most classic traditional movies tend towards realism, while other fairy tales feature a wonderland where Santa is the protagonist. instead of, jingle jingle It features a fantasy world coming to life, without Santa Claus.

“Princess Switch”

Princess key 1 2x1

In this Christmas rom-com, two women are identical–a Duchess and a career woman (both played by Vanessa Hudgens), planning to switch places. When they fall in love with their other fiancé and boyfriend, respectively, they are forced to return to their real lives.

Despite taking place a week before Christmas, the movie does focus on many of the common aspects of holiday fare. The film reminds viewers that Christmas is a magical time of the year, and affirms that Christmas is all about love.

Next: The 10 Best Christmas Movie Quotes, Ranked in Merry to Merriest Ranking

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