I'm all for letting my children watch classic Christmas movies. Elf, A Christmas Story, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas? Absolutely. But there is one beloved but still horrifically scary movie that I have no shame in hiding from my kids at all costs: Gremlins.
As a 37-year-old mother of two, I'm still scarred from watching that movie as a child. My three older brothers sat me down before Christmas one year, and we all watched it together. They roared with laughter while the tiny (and possessed) Gremlins took over the entire city. Me? I sat petrified, hiding behind a blanket I desperately clutched to my chin.
And of course, my brothers thought that was even more hilarious — their cute little sister scared of a cuddly Gremlin.
That Christmas (after many evenings full of nightmares), I woke up excited to sneak downstairs to see what Santa had brought me.
And what did my mother place into my red stocking? A gremlin! Those beady little eyes were the first thing I noticed when I walked downstairs on Christmas morning. My brothers loved torturing me with that stuffed animal for months after that.
Because of all this, I will not expose my children to that movie. We all remember the plot, right? Billy receives Gizmo, a mogwai, for a Christmas present from his father. Only he allows his buddy to get Gizmo wet, which creates many evil spawns to take over the city. From there, havoc unleashes and kills the Christmas joy out of everyone.
You couldn't pay me to share that with my children. My kids are sensitive, and sometimes the most harmless of movies can give them nightmares. So if Gremlins horrified me — a pretty easygoing child — I know it will scare the hell out of them.
Some may argue that I'm depriving my kids of some innocent and nostalgic Christmas joy by not letting them watch this classic movie. "It's just a movie! And it's rated PG! They'll be fine," you might say. But I beg to differ.
If I can control one thing this Christmas, it will be that Gremlins do not show up in the dreams of my sleeping children. Because since they still pop up in mine sometimes, I know there is nothing more petrifying than that.