Christmas Films: The Dos & Don’ts of Practicing Good Hygiene (Or Not)

Kevin Mccallister from "Home Alone"

Christmas films bring a buzz around some may argue to be the ‘most wonderful time of the year’. They can be fun, inspiring, heart-warming, funny or breath-taking, and even action-packed (although there is some debate over whether Die Hard is a Christmas film or not). No matter what film you choose to watch, most importantly they bring families together around the festive season. However, being UK’s leading hygiene service company, it’s only right for Citron to highlight the Do’s and Don’ts of hygiene, in the theme of Christmas films. This is a fun read however it will make you more aware of what to do and what not to do at home and in the workplace as we head into the new year, so we can create a safe space for not only ourselves but also those around us. We’ve picked out the world’s most loved Christmas films, from the Home Alone series to The Grinch who Stole Christmas, here’s what we have to say about their hygiene standards.

Christmas Films with Good Hygiene

Let’s start with the Do’s of hygiene. Although, who would’ve thought how difficult it would be to find good hygiene demonstrated and practised correctly in Christmas films – Hollywood needs to put their priorities straight! Top stars and Santa’s best presents go to the following films who recognise good hygiene.

Elf – Hand Soap Dispensers in The Washroom

Kicking off with one of the most loved Christmas comedy films of them all, Elf, starring the hilarious Will Ferrell as Buddy. After being unknowingly picked on and rejected by the ones closest to him, Buddy, in a beautiful scene, discovers his store colleague and crush has an angel-like voice and starts singing along to the tune she sings, all of which takes place in the Christmas shop washroom facilities. This washroom is fully kitted with effective hand washing soap dispenser and drying facilities, one of the simplest, yet most important requirements for commercial washrooms. Good on you Elf!

Hand dispensers in a commercial washroom on the Christmas film 'Elf'


Home Alone – Kevin Practices Good Personal Hygiene

Home Alone was a massive hit during the 1990s holiday season and still is to this day. Everyone loves to watch the Home Alone films, again and again, enjoying it more each time. In the clip, Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) talks to himself in the mirror as he washes up and gets ready for his first day alone, after his family have left without him (accidentally) to a family holiday in France. Despite being a child, he sure knows what excellent hygiene is, as he says, ‘I took a shower washing every body part with actual soap’. If that’s not the perfect example of what good hygiene is then what is? However, it would benefit him to tidy up the washroom a little as it seems to be quite a mess.

Workplaces should take note as encouraging good personal hygiene practices at home can lead to lower levels of illness, outside the home.

Kevin McCallister from Home Alone practising good personal hygiene


Christmas Films with Bad Hygiene

Surprisingly, it was far too easy to find Christmas films demonstrating a lack of good hygiene practices. Take a look at the top Christmas hits that caught our attention and will be in Citron Hygiene’s naughty list and bad books this year.

Home Alone – No Hand Sanitisers Displayed in The Airport

Despite mentioning what Kevin did right, we must include what the airports in the Home Alone films did wrong! Anyone notice what we noticed? That’s right, there are no hand sanitiser dispensers dotted around the airport for passengers to practise good hand hygiene. A study showed the effects of improving hand cleanliness at just the 10 most pivotal airports alone would reduce the risk of disease and infection transmission, from 45% to 37% in airports. That’s significant!

Read more on the importance of hygiene in airports.

Home Alone Christmas film - scene in airport


I’ll Be Home for Christmas 1998 – No Handwashing

Did you know 38% of men and 60% of women don’t wash their hands after going to the toilet? And can you believe one of the culprits was caught red handed on the much loved Christmas film ‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas’. In the scene, the young boy uses the toilet facilities and, after gets distracted by talking to Santa. He then shoots off without washing his hands, in the opposite direction of the hand soap and drying facilities. Do not copy his actions – always wash your hands after using the bathroom. In the workplace, why not display helpful handwashing display posters to remind users’ of this all important habit?

On the topic of toilets and bathrooms, if you want a laugh, read our top toilet jokes in light of World Toilet Day.

Santa in 'I'll be home for Christmas' on the phone


How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Huge Burp in A Who’s Face

The Grinch! We love him more than he loves Christmas, that’s for sure. The popular film will always be a favourite of viewers young and old, with a core message sharing how, if you are hurt, it doesn’t mean you have the permission to hurt others. However, if you are hurt it also doesn’t mean you have permission to practice bad hygiene. In the film, the Grinch himself, played by Jim Carey, heads down to Whoville and projects a large burp in a Who’s face in one scene, while trying to steal Christmas.

Did you know you can spread germs from your breath, and burps; a study looking into how the coronavirus can spread reported that even breathing or talking could possibly release tiny virus particles (Bioaerosols) which spreads COVID-19. Burping is also extremely rude, especially in someone’s face, so we would recommend not burping in public at all!

The Grinch speaking to a Who in 'How The Grinch Stole Christmas' film


The Holiday – Bad Workplace Hygiene Cameron!

Cameron Diaz stars in the heart-warming movie ‘The Holiday’ half filmed in the UK and the US. The film is and will always be a huge hit, especially with the likes of Jude Law, Jack Black and other admired personalities starring as the main characters we all know and love. However, let’s bring it back to hygiene. We noticed Amanda Woods played by Cameron Diaz, the owner of a successful business that produces movie trailers, doesn’t seem to understand what a clean and tidy desk looks like, with papers, books, tapes and more scattered around. Not only can an untidy desk increase stress levels and impact overall work performance but it can also encourage the build-up of dust particles creating an unhygienic workspace.

Read more on the importance of good office hygiene, whether you’re working from home or in the office. Why not consider supplying desk and equipment wipes to your staff to encourage good practices too?

Cameron Diaz in Christmas film 'The Holiday'


Bad Santa – Sneezing in ‘Santa’s’ Face

Finally, bad hygiene in ‘Bad Santa’, a film where a miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. Directed by Terry Zwigoff, this film is a classic, full of comedy and giggles. However, we stopped laughing when the conman Willie’s child friend, Thurman Merman, sneezes all over him after having a mouth full of chocolate ice cream. Yes, it is good to sneeze, however not on other people as this can spread germs and illness. When sneezing, always cover your face with your hands and immediately use soap and water to thoroughly wash the germs off, the exact opposite of what Thurman did in the film. Alternatively, if soap and water isn’t available, you can combat the germs using hand sanitiser spray.

'Bad Santa' Christmas film - boy sneezing in Santa's face


Let’s Make 2022 The Year of Better Hygiene Than Ever

We hope you enjoyed reading about the different Christmas films that practice good and bad hygiene. If you’re looking to utilise better hygiene practices within your commercial facility, to combat the spread of germs, then get in touch. Citron Hygiene are experts in the field and will know exactly what hygiene solutions you need as your business heads into the New Year to create a better, safer space for all who come and go.

Find out how we can help elevate your washroom experience. Talk to us.

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