Question: What was the first Christmas movie?


Answer: Oh, how I love a "first" question! While I know better than to definitively declare any film the first of anything, there have been Christmas-themed movies for almost as long as there have been movies. Early films on a holiday theme include the shorts Christmas Eve, Christmas Morning and The Christmas Tree Party (all 1897). Jolly old St. Nick takes center stage in Santa Claus and Visit of St. Nicholas (both 1897); Santa Claus (1899); Georges Melies' Le Rêve de Noël (The Christmas Dream, 1900); Edwin S. Porter's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas (1905);  D.W. Griffith's A Trap for Santa (1909); the comic mystery The Adventures of the Wrong Santa Claus (1914); and the elaborate Santa Claus (1925), which alternates between documentary footage of Alaskan snowscapes subbing convincingly for the North Pole and the imaginary goings-on inside Santa's workshop. Charles Dickens' holiday perennial A Christmas Carol was adapted early and often, starting with films like Scrooge; or Marley's Ghost (1901) and the 10-minute A Christmas Carol (1910). Many of these titles are available on a compilation from Kino Video called Christmas Past: Vintage Holiday Films, and Turner Classic Movies often scatters Christmas-related silent shorts in with its December programming.