Non-negotiable: Die Hard is a Christmas movie

Lance Griffin

I remember being introduced to a man when I was in high school who worked with a touring theatre company.

The company had come to our little town to present “Evita”. A bunch of us juniors were chosen to be gofers during the production. I remember this vividly because I was 17 years old and the actresses who had to make quick costume changes did not appear to care there were high school boys backstage.

Viva Evita!

Anyway, the man in charge of the now-giddy gofers was a no-nonsense guy. He told us “Do what I say to do when I say to do it and act professional. If you can do those two things, we’re going to get along just fine.”

It’s good to know where you stand with someone. I believe everyone adheres to a set of non-negotiables. Step outside those boundaries and, well, things get awkward fast.

That is why you need to know one of my non-negotiables.

“Die Hard” is a Christmas movie.

There. I said it.

Watching “Die Hard” at Christmas time has been a tradition for me since 1989, the year after Bruce Willis first got caught in that Los Angeles high-rise and terrorized a bunch of European criminals.

There are two groups of people in the world. There are people who consider “Die Hard” to be a Christmas movie and there are those who are wrong.

The evidence is overwhelming. First, the movie takes place at Christmas. Willis has flown across the country to attend a Christmas party at the business where his wife works.

Second, the movie opens with a classic Christmas song, Run DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis.” It ends with “Let it Snow.”

Third, nothing elicits pleasing thoughts of sleigh bells and chestnuts like the scene in which Willis kills one of the terrorists and shoves him onto an elevator to present him to his terrorist friends. He puts a Santa hat on his lifeless body and writes a cheery message: “Now I have a machine gun. Ho. Ho. Ho.”

I may have been more interested if Perry Como had a moment like that in his Christmas specials.

Fourth, the movie is peppered with Christmas references throughout. How much more tied to Christmas can a movie be than just before the dramatic final moment when Willis needs to hide his gun before confronting the villain, Hans Gruber. What does he find to adhere the gun to his back? Christmas tape, of course.