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5 Lackluster Sequels To Classic Christmas Movies

Max in Home Sweet Home Alone
(Image credit: Disney+)

The staying power of successful Christmas movies is truly astonishing. It seems so hard to make a Christmas movie a pop culture phenomenon, but once one is successful, it gets decades of staying power. Some even get 24-hour marathons dedicated to them. Capturing that lightning in a bottle twice is, quite frankly, nearly impossible to achieve, but that hasn’t stopped several prominent Christmas movies from trying to with very weird results. 

The following are sequels to some of the most beloved Christmas classics of all time. Some of them are well-known, others so obscure it’s not at all surprising even the biggest Christmas fan isn’t aware of their existence. These movies exist, and yes, you can watch them if you choose to do so, but be warned that nothing quite compares to the original.

Ralphie and friends in A Christmas Story 2

(Image credit: Warner Bros)

A Christmas Story 2

A Christmas Story 2 is, to put it simply, something that feels like a fever dream. Home Alone’s Daniel Stern plays The Old Man, characters frequently swear throughout the entire film, and all Ralphie wants is a car and the affection of a girl in town. The movie tries to recreate classic moments from the original film, but in the process, it makes things a lot weirder. A ten-year-old getting his tongue stuck on a freezing pole is hilarious, but a 15-year-old doing it in a department store? That’s weird. 

It’s an odd entry from director Brian Levant, who brought the world legitimately enjoyable movies like Beethoven, The Flintstones and another Christmas classic, Jingle All The Way. I’ll maintain it’s worth watching just for how bizarre it is. A Christmas Story 2 nowhere close to the quality of the original movie, though, and one gains nothing by watching it. 

Cousin Eddie in Christmas Vacation 2

(Image credit: Warner Bros. )

Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure

Christmas Vacation is a Christmas classic that only seems to be getting more popular as time goes on. Given that, I’m floored to learn that there was a sequel made in 2004 that happened right around the time I first saw the original, and no one talks about it. I say that mainly because it centers around many people's favorite character from the original, Cousin Eddie. Eddie (Randy Quaid) and his family go on an island adventure in a movie that features great actors like Ed Asner, Fred Willard, and Miriam Flynn. 

On paper, I can imagine why an entire movie with Cousin Eddie and his antics sounds hilarious. In execution, though, the fun of this movie wears off quickly and becomes a slapstick affair that lacks the pace or timing of the original. It may be worth a watch for some people, but for the majority, I’d say they can go the rest of their lives without seeing it and rest easy knowing they aren’t missing out.

Max Mercer in Home Sweet Home Alone

(Image credit: Disney+)

Every Home Alone After The Second One

Home Alone is one of the rare Christmas movies that was able to capitalize on a sequel that I’d argue is as popular as the original, if not as critically acclaimed. As I mentioned, few holiday movies are able to do a successful sequel, which might be why the franchise continues to throw sequels at the wall hoping to do the unthinkable and get another hit yet again. Since Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, there have been four sequel attempts. As we all know, none have managed to live up to the appeal and glamor of the original. 

Home Sweet Home Alone is the latest attempt to try and create another Home Alone classic, and unfortunately, it's another misstep. Perhaps enough time hasn’t passed that audiences are ready to give another Home Alone a chance, or maybe it’s because the original is considered one of the best Christmas movies of all time. Whatever the case, it seems like another Home Alone success just isn’t in the cards for this franchise, so maybe it’s time to stop.

Father Time with Rudolph and the gang in Rudolph's Shiny New Year

(Image credit: Rankin Bass)

Rudolph’s Shiny New Year

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer is a claymation classic, even if it has its issues in these modern times. For every Rankin Bass classic, though, there are a lot more forgettable projects the company did. Weirdly enough, we still see a bulk of them on television despite that, perhaps because a lot of Gen X’ers grew up watching them. Rudolph’s Shiny New Year is one example of those sequels, as it's a bizarre tale that doesn’t even do justice to the original, let alone follow its plot. 

The only thing I can say to the credit of Rankin Bass when it comes to Rudolph’s Shiny New Year is the excessive amount of restraint it showed in taking twelve years to make a sequel. As for the plot, why is Rudolph teaming up with a guy that looks like Benjamin Franklin? Why is Rudolph responsible for saving Baby New Year? He saved Christmas exactly once, and suddenly he’s some gumshoe able to track down a supernatural child? Rudolph deserved a better sequel than this.

Larry the Cable Guy in Jingle All The Way 2

(Image credit: WWE Studios)

Jingle All The Way 2

Jingle All The Way is, in my opinion, on the fringe of Christmas classics as it is. If the movie starred anyone other than Arnold Schwarzenegger, I’d genuinely wonder if the movie would be as celebrated as other classics like Elf and How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Regardless of my or anyone’s thoughts on the legacy of Jingle All The Way, I think everyone can agree that the last thing this movie needed was a sequel that starred Larry the Cable Guy.

Jingle All The Way 2 is essentially Jingle All The Way in the general sense. A child wants an in-demand toy, and her father, Larry Phillips, but really Larry the Cable Guy, has to get it. I guess what weirds me out about this one is that Larry the Cable Guy is a character, so there’s some character-ception happening in this Christmas movie in where a character is playing another character. Plus, the movie is just not very memorable at all, nor something anyone wants to actively seek out if they haven’t seen it. 

I can’t say I recommend anyone watch any of these movies, but for those worn down by watching the classics day in and out, there are options here. If nothing else, they’re good for a laugh and a reminder why the usual Christmas classics are so revered.

Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.