"Not a Bad Christmas," a short film available to stream on the Irish Film Institute's IFI Archive Player, isn't your traditional Christmas flick.

A young boy teeters on the brink of innocence as Santa chokes on a Christmas snack, expires, and is buried in the garden pond.

This deadpan Cork-set comedy, directed by renowned playwright and screenwriter Enda Walsh ("Disco Pigs," "Hunger"), sees an early exploration of the kind of domestic dysfunction that appears in his later works for stage and screen.

The cast includes Oscar Cotter (as Kevin) and Rose O’Neill and Jack Healy as his Mammy and Daddy.

"Not a Bad Christmas" is part of the IFI's Children on Film collection and is recommended for viewers aged 10 and up.

The Irish Film Institute’s Children on Film collection

This substantial new collection of films provides a vibrant overview of childhood in Ireland from the 1930s to more recent times. While some of the films have been made by children themselves, most are made about them by adults keen to capture their uncorrupted perspectives as they navigate the world around them. The collection rewards close study as it offers insights into changing expectations of children; their role in family life and their experiences in Irish society over 80 years.

Enjoy films made for educational purposes; animations designed to entertain; short dramas showing real and imagined crises in children’s lives; documentaries capturing the reality of young lives and advertisements selling fun stuff. 

“Not a Bad Christmasis published here thanks to the Irish Film Institute (IFI), who IrishCentral has partnered up with to bring you a taste of what their remarkable collection entails. You can find all IrishCentral articles and videos from the IFI here.

(For more Christmas content from the Irish Film Institute, check out their Christmas Crackers collection here!)

To watch more historic Irish footage, visit the IFI Archive Player, the Irish Film Institute’s virtual viewing room that provides audiences around the globe free, instant access to Irish heritage preserved in the IFI Irish Film Archive. Irish Culture from the last century is reflected through documentaries, animation, adverts, amateur footage, feature films, and much more. You can also download the IFI Archive Player App for free on iPhone, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku.

IrishCentral has partnered up with the IFI to bring you a taste of what their remarkable collections entail. You can find all IrishCentral articles and videos from the IFI here.

* Originally published in 2022, updated in Dec 2023.