Each movie listed includes: 

(1) Title (2) Rating (3) Genres (4) Starring (5) Synopsis (6) My Personal Review (7) Scoring 1-5

 

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Caillou’s Holiday Movie (2003)

Rated: G

Genres: Animation, Family, Musical

Synopsis: A boy learns about winter activities and holiday traditions from around the world.

Review: I’ll admit up front that I’ve never seen any Caillou stories before.  However, I really enjoyed this even though it’s geared for younger viewers.  It teaches about other cultures, giving, sharing, community, and more.  Great lessons that can spark family conversations.  This is one for the whole family.

Scoring: 4

Call Me Claus (2001)
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Starring: Whoopi Goldberg, Nigel Hawthorne, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Victor Garber, Taylor Negron, and Ali Wentworth
Synopsis: Facing mandatory retirement after 200 years, Santa Claus asks a television producer to replace him
Review:  While the idea of getting a new Santa every 200 years is a little disconcerting, the idea of a woman replacing him is even more against what we’ve long been told. Watching Whoopi Goldberg as a woman who doesn’t like Christmas become Santa is interesting. A fun movie. 
Scoring: 3
Cancel Christmas (2010)
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Starring: Judd Nelson and Natalie Brown
Synopsis: Santa Claus discovers children have become too greedy and must prove otherwise before his favorite holiday is canceled. Santa's mission is to teach two incorrigible children the importance of charity.
Review:  While I didn’t care for Judd Nelson as Santa or the odd elf with him, I loved how the children came together to help the disabled child. The overall plot of canceling Christmas wasn’t done well for me but the children’s journeys were worth it. 
Scoring: 2
A Carol Christmas (2003)
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Starring: Tori Spelling, Dinah Manoff, William Shatner, and Gary Coleman
Synopsis: An ego-maniacal TV talk show host is determined to destroy the festive fun in the studio.
Review:  In this take on A Christmas Carol, we see Carol visited by three spirits who show her the error of her ways. This movie is light and humorous and has an original take on the characters. Of course you know how it goes, bad person turns good, but having William Shatner and Gary Coleman as ghosts adds humor. A fun watch. 
Scoring: 3

Carole’s Christmas (2019)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Family

Starring: Kimberly Elise and Jackée Harry

Synopsis: A busy, overworked businesswoman finds her life turned upside down after wishing she’d taken a different path in life. 

Review: The wishing for the road not taken is a familiar story in Christmas movies, this one is slightly different though. It’s usually someone without a family wanting a family over career or the other way around. Here she has the family both ways. Of course, she chooses her old life, as they always do.  The way the story unfolds is a little flat but Jackée brings energy to all her scenes. 

Scoring: 2

The Case For Christmas (2011)
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy
Starring: Dean Cain
Synopsis: A lawyer finds himself defending Santa Claus in the biggest trial in history.
Review:  Yet another watered-down version of Miracle on 34th Street. This time Santa is being sued for disappointing children and being represented by a widower with a young daughter. It’s not horrible but it’s far from a must see. You won't find any big surprises.
Scoring: 2

The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About Christmas (2012)

Rated: G

Genres: Animated, Fantasy, Musical

Starring: Martin Short

Synopsis: Twas the day before Christmas and all through the yard, the Cat in the Hat and his guests partied hard.

Review: It is exactly as advertised.  A Christmas movie with the magic of Seuss and the antics of the Cat In The Hat.  It also includes facts about animals including how important it is to stick together. I believe children will love this movie.  It isn’t one of those animated movies with little bits to amuse adults.  This is geared just for children.  Families may enjoy watching it together.

Scoring: 3

Catch A Christmas Star (2013)
Rated: G
Genres: Family, Romance
Starring: Shannon Elizabeth and Steve Byers
Synopsis: With the help of his two precocious kids, a widower reconnects with his high school sweetheart, who just happens to be one of the biggest pop stars on the planet.
Review:  I like the story but the casting wasn’t the best. Shannon Elizabeth in this role made me uncomfortable. She came off as disingenuous. The ending was very corny. Again, the children were the highlight. 
Scoring: 2
 

A Chance Of Snow (1998)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama

Starring: JoBeth Williams and Charles Durning

Synopsis: After signing her divorce papers, a woman heads out to the Minnesota airport with her sister and daughters for a flight to her mother's home. At the airport, her sportswriter husband shows up to catch a flight to Miami to visit his father. When a blizzard hits, the two suddenly find they have time to re-evaluate their relationship with assistance from an older couple.

Review:  I found this movie to be tedious. I got halfway through and still didn’t care about the characters. I found it to be extremely slow and it had typical expected situations. It takes place on Christmas Eve and they mention Christmas but that’s about it. 

Scoring: 1

 

Chandler Christmas Getaway (2018)

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family

Starring: Malinda Williams and Karon Riley

Synopsis: The Chandlers pack up and head to a cabin for maximum holiday fun. With old feuds, new feuds, and a heap of holiday stress, the Chandler family must pull together to make this the best Christmas ever.

Review:  This next episode in the Chandler family series delivers the same joy, family issues, and Christmas spirit as all the rest. I recommend watching the series in order to truly get the feelings and messages. 

Scoring: 3

 

Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol (1982)

Rated: G

Genres: Animation, Drama, Fantasy

Synopsis: The classic holiday tale tells of Scrooge, whose lust for money has destroyed his life, until ghosts of the season show him how to be a better man.

Review: It’s a full and proper telling of the story that’s not too scary for young children.  The animation shows the age of the movie but it’s a good version to introduce your children to the story.

Scoring: 3

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

Rated: G

Genres: Animation, Drama, Family, Religion

Starring: Bill Melendez

Synopsis: Repelled by the commercialism he sees around him, Charlie Brown tries to find the true meaning of Christmas.

Review:  Technically this would count as a special instead of a movie but it’s on so many Christmas movie lists I’m including it. I should say that I’m a huge Peanuts fan so that may impact my review. I love it!  The gang is up to their usual antics and we have such classic moments as Linus giving his speech and the Charlie Brown tree. 

Scoring: 5

 

Charming Christmas (2015)
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Julie Benz, David Sutcliffe, 
Synopsis: Meredith Rossman is the heiress of Rossman's Department store. The business is her entire life.  But when she is roped into playing Mrs. Claus at Rossman's, her life takes some unexpected turns. Through the help of the suit and the charming store Santa, Nick, Meredith rekindles her love of Christmas, the store, their employees and possibly even begins a new love with Nick.  
Review:  I enjoyed watching Nick help Meredith change from a profit-focused business machine to a family-oriented person. Sweet movie. 
Scoring: 4
Chasing Christmas (2005)
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Family
Starring: Tom Arnold, Andrea Roth, and Leslie Jordan
Synopsis: In a world where the holidays are run by the efficient Bureau of Yuletide Affairs, a bitter and burned-out Ghost of Christmas Past decides to go AWOL while on a "mission" and leave his "target" stranded in 1965.
Review:  This is a very silly but extremely engaging movie. I loved it. Even though it’s a version of the Christmas Carol it’s quite original. Seeing Tom Arnold’s character learn about himself while stuck in the past is interesting.  The actors play their parts so well and the time travel aspect is like a personal flashback.
Scoring: 4

Chateau Christmas (2020)

Rated: G

Genres: Family, Romance

Starring: Merritt Patterson and Luke MacFarlane

Synopsis: A pianist rediscovers her passion for music after reuniting with her ex during the holidays.

Review: The movie is lacking something.  I love the actors and they were as charming as ever.  I just felt like we picked up in the middle of a story and the beginning was missing.  It’s still lovely and enjoyable to watch once.

Scoring: 2

Check Inn To Christmas (2019)

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Family, Romance

Starring: Rachel Boston, Wes Brown, and Richard Karn 

Synopsis: Julia Crowley and Ryan Mason must unite their families during Crestridge’s Centennial Christmas celebration to save their family inns from a chain resort. 

Review: Brown and Boston are amazing in this movie and make it really wonderful. They manage every emotion from seriousness to humor and make it entertaining. The families may feud but they do it with respect. The town’s Christmas traditions are fun. I especially liked the snowball toss. This is a lovely movie about coming home again. 

Scoring: 4

A Cheerful Christmas (2019)

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Romance

Starring: Erica Deutschman and Chad Connell

Synopsis: Lauren and her best friend Colleen think they have landed their dream job-giving people the best and most magical Christmas ever as their personal ‘Christmas Coaches’.  This holiday season promises to be their biggest ever when they land a royal client, the Anderson family, who has moved from England.

Review:  I never thought I’d dislike a Hallmark movie so much.  The character of Lauren was so overly perky and pushy it was grating.  Even her ‘holiday cheer’ was over the top and seemed forced.  The story wasn’t very original but better casting may have saved it.  I found this very difficult to sit through.

Scoring: 1

Cherished Memories: A Gift To Remember 2 (2019)

Rated: G

Genre: Romance

Starring: Ali Liebert and Peter Porte

Synopsis: As Darcy and Aiden prepare to celebrate their second Christmas together, an unexpected guest and a fight to save the beloved community center unites everyone for an unforgettable holiday.

Review: This sequel is a wonderful follow up. It keeps the best of the first movie; like the book store and characters, but created a new enough story to make it interesting. The addition of Marcus was a fun touch. It’s a sweet story that’s light and easy to watch. 

Scoring: 3

A Child’s Christmas in Wales (1987)

Rated: NR

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Ruth Jones

Synopsis: Based on the book by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas where he recollects his past Christmases.

Review: I found this movie reminiscent of A Christmas Story except unlike it, this one was hard to watch.  I don’t know what part was worse; the accents, the gentleness of the narrator’s voice which beckons sleep, or the Welsh expressions I didn’t understand. It has a sweet enough story that many may enjoy. You may want to give it a try.

Scoring: 2

Chilly Christmas (2012)

Rated: G

Genres: Adventure, Family

Starring: Tom Arnold and C. Thomas Howell

Synopsis: Bobby and his dog Chilly protect their home from a dog thief.

Review: This is a fun movie for children.  It has the same feel to it as Dennis the Menace.  The children trying to teach the dog to be an indoor dog, using the toilet and all, is entertaining.  The crime part is not scary for children.  Arnold plays a funny criminal.  I believe families will enjoy watching this together.

Scoring: 3

A Christian Carol (2016)

Rated: NR

Genres: Drama, Religion

Starring: Joe Herrera and Brenda Roesel

Synopsis: A modern "Christmas Carol" from a Christian perspective, with a Dickensian twist.

Review: As with many religious movies, this is low budget with amateur actors. However, the story is good. Rather than showing Carol how her actions simply affected others, she is shown how they affected others and her relationship with God. I especially liked the music.

Scoring: 2