The science is settled, the gavel has been dropped, and the debate is finally over and won.
Die Hard is, indeed, a Christmas movie.
I’ll grant you it certainly isn’t a family holiday film, but grown-ups love holiday films too, especially if they have explosions, quotable one-liners, and the unlikely co-stars of Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman.
One of the best ways to surprise your die-hard Die Hard fan this season with A Die Hard Christmas: The Illustrated Holiday Classic by Doogie Horner with illustrations by JJ Harrison.
This brightly illustrated picture book, released in October, tells the now famous tale of brave New York police officer John McClane’s visit to spend the holidays with family that results in his own run-in with unexpected visitors:
“When what to his wondering eyes should appear —
HOLY CRAP! THERE ARE TERRORISTS HERE?”
Yes, there is some strong language and violence, not suitable for reading around the fire to the kids, but still, a very amusing and nostalgic way to cement the fact that Die Hard and Christmas go together in a weirdly cheerful way.
Horner also released Die Hard: The Authorized Coloring and Activity Book, and it makes a nice gift companion for the illustrated storybook.
Want to go one step further and make a Die Hard gift basket? Here are some simple basics from which to choose:
- A copy of the movie, if they don’t have one, or get them the entire five-movie series with the 25th Anniversary Collection Blu-Ray from 2013. There’s also a special Nakatomi Plaza: Die Hard Collection for those wanting to get all five Die Hard movies in the series.
- A brown teddy bear with red ribbon. McClane shows his softie side with an over-sized stuffed bear for his family. This bear later enjoys some adventure time with limo driver Argyle. For practicality’s sake, use a regular size bear of similar colors, which are pretty easy to find. I like the Ty brand for bears, as they are pretty mushy and cuddly.
- A pack of Twinkies. LAPD’s Sgt. Ale Powell (Reginald VelJohnson), an invaluable aid to McClane later in the film, shows a penchant for these Hostess treats. Make sure to include a twin pack of these.
- CDs of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Vaughn Monroe’s “Let It Snow.” Beethoven’s Ninth is featured throughout the movie, and Monroe’s version of the winter classic plays as the holiday story comes to a close. Several symphonies have released their version of Beethoven’s masterpiece, and Monroe’s “Let It Snow” can be found on several Christmas compilations.
- Nakatomi Corporation Christmas Party Tee. Candy Wrap Designs, who specialize in movie-themed t-shirts, has a cute Chirstmas tee inviting guests to Nakatomi’s 1988 ill-fated party. Move over ugly Christmas sweaters. Two designs are available, but I like the one with the tower. The company is UK-based, but they also maintain an Etsy shop for easier purchases in the United States.
Adorn this basket with a simple DIY Die Hard tree ornament and bow. You can download a template for both crafts here.
For the bow: Fold the image of McClane jumping from Nakatomi Tower in half, so it is a little more sturdy. Gently tie a white piece of white Satin ribbon around his waist, and ad a simple silver bead to the ribbon’s end, so it resembles a fire hose. This also makes a fun book mark for later.
For the ornament, fold the simple box template (or use a small square box if you have one) with one end open. Line the inside walls with foil or silver or grey paper.
Cut out the image of McClane in the vent, and insert it into the box, ends first. You might need to cut the ends off so it doesn’t stick out of the box. Once finished, cover the sides of the box to resemble a present, wrap a chenille craft stem or ribbon around the box, and tie it off at the top.
Finally, make sure to add a spring of “Holly” to the basket. (That McClane’s wife’s Christmas-y name, after all.)
Now, if anyone tries to tell you Die Hard isn’t a holiday movie, give them this book or basket, and say:
“Yippee-ki-yay… Merry Christmas!”
Like the gift basket? Watch GeekMom December 12 for more unlikely holiday basket ideas.