Reviewing the best gifts in Christmas movies

Gizmo the Mogwai in 'Gremlins'
Gizmo the Mogwai in 'Gremlins' (Image credit: Warner Bros.)

One of the best parts of the holiday season is not just the friends and family we get to spend time with, it’s also the heartfelt gifts that we are given. Sometimes the gifts presented in Christmas movies are just as iconic, if not more so, than the actual movie. Let’s lean into the commercialization — that’s become oh-so synonymous with the most wonderful time of the year — and forget about the films, in favor of the gifts that made them famous. With that in mind, here are (fictional) product reviews of ten of the most memorable holiday gifts from some of our favorite movies.

Turboman, 'Jingle All The Way'

"Let me tell you, getting my hands on a Turbo Man doll was next to impossible. I traveled to malls all across Minnesota, and all anyone had was Booster! I put my life, my mail truck, and my family at risk just to give my son the joy of a figure made of cheap plastic and a voice box that will turn horrifying in a year when it starts to die. In fact, I never did find one! The son of my arch-rival was kind enough to give me his so my son could be happy this Christmas. Not worth almost dying in a parade and getting an entire police force’s guns drawn at me in front of an audience."
Verdict: 3/10

Red Ryder BB Gun, 'A Christmas Story'

"Did you ever want something for Christmas so badly that you dreamt about it? How about writing an essay about it in school? Well, that’s exactly how I feel about this product. The official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot, range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time is the perfect Christmas gift. It’s better than a football. It’s better than handmade pajamas. It’s better than Ovaltine. If you get one, my only suggestion is to make sure that whatever you are shooting is not a metal sign, or else you’ll break your glasses. Otherwise, I wouldn’t change a thing. "
Verdict: If I had to give it a grade, it would be A+++++++++

Mogwai, 'Gremlins'

(Certified Purchase)
"A word of advice, when the seller gives you instructions on how to take care of a new pet — listen."
Verdict: a cautionary tale

The Bullet, 'Lethal Weapon'

"It’s not about the gift, it’s about what the gift symbolizes. I invited my old partner over for a Christmas dinner after his wife passed and we took down a drug ring. He’s a little reckless, but we shared some great moments. Wouldn’t you believe it, this man gifted me a single hollow point bullet. I’m not the kind to get sentimental, but when my daughter came up to me to deliver me the gift from him? Man..."
Verdict: Absolutely priceless

Jelly of the month club, 'Christmas Vacation'

"I was given this gift by my boss — a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit. My cousin thinks this is the gift that keeps on giving, but I think this gift is the threshold of Hell."
Verdict: 0/10 stars. Should have been a swimming pool

Ceramic Turtledove, 'Home Alone 2: Lost in New York'

"I’m not the type of person who trusts people, and I’m used to not being shown kindness considering I’m covered in bird poop and flocks of pigeons most of the time. Birds are the only friends I know. My husband left me and now, well, I don’t have many friends. A small child gifted me this ceramic turtledove as a symbol of friendship and, while he’s a bit precocious, the gesture is one I will treasure forever. If you are looking for a gift to tell someone you value their friendship, this turtledove from Duncan’s Toy Chest is a perfect one."
Verdict: A+

Joni Mitchell CD, 'Love, Actually'

"I’ve always loved the music of Joni Mitchell and under different circumstances, this box set would have been a delightful gift. I’ve been a fan of Joni for over 20 years, and this particular release features orchestral versions of her greatest hits. It was a thoughtful gift, just...not what I was anticipating this Christmas. Here's hoping I can listen to her next year without crying."
Verdict: D- (could do much better)

TV dinners, 'Better Off Dead'

"My son really likes the chocolate nut brownie in this one, and it is just incredible how they managed to preserve corn and seasoned salt! He likes corn! These TV dinners make a lovely Christmas gift because not only are they affordable and delicious, but they’re perfectly shaped for wrapping! It sure does beat a framed picture of Dan Schneider."
Verdict: I’d say I’d buy them again, but we’ve got enough to last us all year!

Lingerie, 'Elf'

"Make sure to teach your weird, long-lost, large adult son that 'someone special' doesn’t necessarily mean their dad, or else you might end up with this gift delivered to your office."
Verdict: 1/10

BJ Colangelo

BJ Colangelo is an award winning filmmaker and film analyst specializing in dismissed cinema and television. She writes about horror, wrestling, musicals, adult animation, sex and gender, kicking pancreatic cancer’s ass, and being a fat queer in places like Fangoria, Vulture, The Daily Dot, Autostraddle,, and a handful of books college students get assigned to read. She’s also the co-host of the teen girl movie podcast, This Ends at Prom, with her wife, Harmony.