As far as I can tell, it seems to be universally accepted that “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie. Since that debate has been put to rest, I recently realized one of my favorite films falls into that same category, though I’ve never heard anyone acknowledge it.


I mean, what’s more Christmas-themed than a film about a bearded man, completely surrounded by snow and with some loyal helpers, working hard to prepare for a big event on Dec. 25? The main character helps teach some misguided people a lesson that they can change for the better and ends the film by sending out wishes for a merry Christmas. It even has a large man who wears red throughout.


I know that sounds like the plot of one of Tim Allen’s “Santa Clause” movies, but I’m actually talking about “Rocky IV” — the one where he goes to Russia to grow a beard and train for his big fight against Ivan Drago, who wears red trunks, on Christmas Day. Rocky wins over the Russians in attendance and has them cheering for him by the time he knocks out Drago and gives a victory speech that ends with him sending a seasonal salutation to his son back in America.


I’ve heard it said “Rocky IV” helped end the Cold War between America and the soon-to-be-dissolved U.S.S.R. following its release in 1985, but I’ll acknowledge it’s been a long time since I studied history. A quick search of the internet reveals the Soviet Union existed until 1991, but I can’t find any information on when “Rocky IV” premiered in Russia, so I’m going to assume this movie was the catalyst for the repair of our nations’ relationship.


I understood why “Die Hard” was debated for so long, but the explanation that “Rocky IV” is a Christmas movie is really cut-and-dried, so I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before ESPN starts playing it for 24 hours straight on Christmas Day.



Happy birthday to Natasha DeHorney, Avaden Hunt and Patsy Smith, all of Denison; Josie Softly, Misty LaBoon, Craig Mullins, Barbara Franks, Sharon Worthington, Megah Jackson and Donoryn Freeman, all of Sherman; Wendy Johnson of Ft. Washington; Bruce Davison of Fairview; and Naomi Walters of Frisco.