The Great Debate – Is The Nightmare Before Christmas a Halloween or Christmas Movie?

Happy Thursday Main Streeters! It seems we have skipped over Thanksgiving, and gone straight into Christmas mode. Personally, I’m not ready to let go of the Halloween season, who am I kidding, Halloween is every day for me. Like so many others who decorated for Halloween, much of my décor is Nightmare before Christmas themed, and a week into November, it’s still all up. After all, Jack Skellington is the Pumpkin King and Halloween is all about pumpkins, but on the flip side, the movie title includes the word Christmas; so can I parlay this beloved movie and the décor that I love so much into 3-months worth of decorations? With the start of the Christmas season, the great debate ensues – is the Nightmare Before Christmas a Halloween or Christmas movie? Let’s explore with a side by side analysis of the themes throughout the movie.


Pro Halloween: The movie is set in the fictional location of Halloween Town.

Pro Christmas: The protagonist Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, finds and subsequently stumbles through a portal to Christmas Town.


Pro Halloween: All the characters of the 1993 stop-motion animated musical are Halloween inspired; think mummies, skeletons, ghost dogs, mad scientists and love hungry rag doll.

Pro Christmas: Santa Claus, or Sandy Claws is kidnapped so that Jack can assume the role of Jolly old St. Nick.


Pro Halloween: The movie begins with a celebration, congratulating Jack Skellington on another successful Halloween.

Pro Christmas: Jack turns Halloween Town into a pseudo Christmas Town fueled by Nightmare toy workshops and skeletal reindeer.

Underlying Theme:

Pro Halloween: Jack embraces his identity as a leader in Halloween Town.

Pro Christmas: The movie takes you through all the classic Christmas movie feels; Sacrifice, togetherness, love? Check, check, check. Jack struggles with the sameness of his everyday life, until he discovers the magic of Christmas, and suddenly he finds there is a reason to be alive, even if he’s actually quite dead.


It’s both! You can certainly watch The Nightmare Before Christmas during the Halloween and Christmas Season, heck, you can watch it for 3 months straight and sing right along to the memorable score. As far as using Jack and Sally to decorate for Halloween and Christmas! Do it! Just slap a Santa Hat on Jack and you’ve got yourself a Christmas theme with a Tim Burton twist.

So Main Streeters, share with us, do you keep your Jack, Sally, and Oogie out for Halloween, or do you let them hang out until Christmas too?

Until next week!


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