A Winter Straw Ride (1906)

I'm not entirely certain this was originally intended as a Christmas film, but apparently it's included in at least one modern holiday compilation, so I'll count it. This film is a 7-minute-long short about a group of women riding in a couple horse-drawn sleighs who are attacked by a group of men armed with snowballs. The women then chase down the fleeing men, push them into the snow, and pelt them with snowballs. It's not entirely clear whether the women are motivated by good-natured play or rage-fueled vengeance, so I guess that's up to the viewer.

If that sounds fun... it kind of is. The scope of this is impressive: I didn't get a precise count, but it feels like it involves a substantial number of participants. Likewise, this involves some fairly large stunts. At one point, one of the sleighs tips over, throwing the riders into a snowbank, and they all rally to get it upright again. There's also a sequence where the women - now on foot - slide down a steep hill, taking a huge amount of snow with them.

Some of the fighting is relatively realistic (though there are a few moments when characters seem to be faking falls). The violence - while ultimately good-natured - is still visceral, and it does manage to capture both humor and danger in a mob charging across the snow.

To me, this feels more like it's trying to capture the experience of an exciting winter day than tie in to Christmas, but at this point anything old and wintery tends to be viewed through a yuletide lens. My guess is that's why this is now viewed as a Christmas film, but I can't find anything to confirm or contradict that theory. Either way, it's a neat little short.