Holiday Survival Guide


The holidays are a time for families, gift-giving, and general peace on Earth. Unfortunately, it’s also a time of high crime rates, robberies, and evil-doers who take advantage of the innocent. With all the money being spent at the malls, and how often people leave their own homes during the holidays, these safe havens are often a target for prowlers. Just ask the Wet Bandits, who ran a mostly-successful crime spree in Chicago in the early 1990s, before they were thwarted by eight-year-old Kevin McCallister. However, times are tough, and the economy still isn’t what it should be. Not everyone can afford a new-fangled security system…or even an old-fangled security system that the McCallisters should have had on their home in 1990. There are still plenty of ways to protect your home from prowlers this year, using found items, and a dose of cleverness.


Grandma Got Runover by a Reindeer

We’ve all been there. It’s holiday time, you’re stuck at home with extended family you see but once a year, conversation topics have run thin and you cannot stuff your face with anymore Christmas cookies to keep from having to fill the awkward lulls. Before you go into diabetic shock, why not let a movie do the talking (and entertaining) for you? The question then becomes – what is a good movie to sit down to watch with grandma that won’t have a sudden sex scene or slasher moment that will not only horrify an older movie watcher, but will probably also scar you for life? (As the commercial showing grandma getting a True Blood DVD set proves, amorous vampires and fairies may not be for all ages). Have no fear – I have compiled a list of family-friendly fare that will not only wile away a few hours, but will make you look like a caring and thoughtful grandkid, which in turn may pay off in more holiday loot. (I mean that’s the point of the season, right? One time of the year being good actually pays off?) Grab your favorite Snuggie and pop one of these in the ol’ entertainment center!


Die Hard Holiday Survival Guide

Note: Despite what the byline says, this article was written by the conglomeration of Luke and Brian; two guys who watch Die Hard and Die Hard 2 every Christmas…and then over and over with unsettling frequency throughout the rest of the year. The holidays can be a tough time for all of us. In-laws and extended family members coming into town, travel on snowy roads, and holiday weight gain are just a few of the landmines we have to navigate during December. While this iteration of FSR’s Cinematic Holiday Survival Guide won’t help you avoid your drunk Uncle Vernon or keep that turkey and mashed potatoes from expanding your waist line, hopefully it will come in handy should your holiday plans be thwarted by terrorists. Some guys just can’t seem to catch break, even during the holidays. John McClane is one of those poor, unfortunate souls. Time and time again, this oneupsman of terrible Christmases runs afoul of the worst sort of scum and villainy; even without vacationing at Mos Eisley. Should you ever find yourself in a similar situation, well, let’s face it you’ll probably kill yourself. But should you decide to be a McClanian style badass, just call to mind the following tips and tricks and you might just end up a hero…or dead…or, a HERO!



In schoolyards around the world, the debate continues to rage: Is Santa Claus real? Or is he just some concept concocted by parents to keep kids in line year-round? Even us adults can remember having knock-down, drag-out arguments over this. Our parents told us that if we waited up for Santa on Christmas Eve, we’d be quickly relegated to the dreaded “Naughty List,” and we’d get nothing but coal in our stockings. As a public service, this installment of the Holiday Survival Guide will help you win those arguments. Keeping up with the tradition of every child’s desire to capture jolly old St. Nicholas, here are some tricks we can dish out, courtesy of the big entertainment machine called Hollywood. Use them wisely, and be sure to only target the real Santa Claus. Failure to do so may result in injury or even death.



I know that the holidays are a time for cheer, goodwill towards others, and all that good stuff. But with all the stress, crowds, and busy schedules that also come with the season, it’s hard not to want to blow off a little steam. If you are willing to risk getting a last minute addition to the “naughty list,” here are some pranks inspired by holiday films that should keep you laughing (albeit usually at the expensive of someone else). I mean, who said April 1st is the only acceptable day out of the year to pull pranks?



Oh, the holidays. That time of year when everyone wants to stay indoors, cuddle up on the couch, and lose themselves in the arms of another person. Hot cocoa, pot roast, and an endless supply of movies, what else could a single person want or need? Oh, how about those arms I mentioned earlier? Well, if the movies of Christmas have taught me anything in my long-winded existence, it’s that once the snow starts to fall love could be just around the corner. And thank goodness for that, because spending uninterrupted time with one’s family is always made better when you have a cute guy or gal with you. You might be asking, “Gwen, how am I supposed to find love in just two weeks?” Well, unfortunately I can’t really help you with that specific deadline, however I do think the movies of the season can lend a bit of assistance in the right direction.



Welcome to the second entry in FSR’s Official Cinematic Holiday Survival Guide – the best series of nostalgic holiday articles on the Internet today that were conceived of by a film writer too sleep-deprived to properly articulate just why that squirrel jumping out of the tree in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is the finest moment in Christmas filmology. Which FSR writer? I’ll never tell. But it wasn’t me. That said, today I will reach back into the far, far annals of movie history to provide you dear readers with some of the finest holiday decorating tips you will ever see committed to celluloid (and, well, the Internet). I will not provide specific crafting tips (because, let’s be real here, I could really injure myself with a hot glue gun), but more general tips that will allow you to tap into your personal style to gussy up your home to truly epic proportions. Or, you could just slide down to your neighborhood tree lot and pick up a flocked tree and just be done with it. But, before you get your flock on, let’s take a peek at some cinematic dos and don’ts when it comes to decking your halls.


The Cinematic Holiday Survival Guide: Giving Gifts

It’s that time of year again when we all rush around, trying to find that perfect gift for all the special people in our lives. We at FSR know how stressful this time of year can be and thought what better source to look to when trying to figure out exactly how to find that perfect present than the movies? From tracking down the hottest toy of the season or finally getting the gift you always wanted, I rounded up a few seasonal favorites to create a handy list of tips that will hopefully help when it comes to finding a gift that makes the intended gift-ee smile, laugh and/or remember what it feels like to be a kid on Christmas morning.


Survival Guide: You Can Survive the Holidays!

In the coming weeks, Film School Rejects will, for the first year on record, perform a valuable public service. Instead of counting down our favorite Christmas movies in a 12 Days of Christmas style feature or being hip and only celebrating Hanukkah, we’re going to do something that will actually help you while entertaining you and somehow bringing it all back to movies. We’re pleased to present our 2011 Holiday Survival Guide. In this month-long feature that kicks off Friday (Dec. 2), we will address topics such as ‘How To Pick Out the Perfect Present’, ‘How to Find Holiday Love’, ‘How To Pick Holiday Movies to Watch with Grandma’, ‘How To Avoid Being Murdered During the Holidays’ and plenty more thanks to the incredible depth of knowledge of the FSR staff. In short, we watch a bunch of movies so that you can learn life lessons. We’re having a lot of fun writing it, so we hope you have similar fun reading it. Keep your browsers pointed to our 2011 Holiday Survival Guide homepage throughout December so that you don’t miss out on all the fun.

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published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015

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