A Christmas Detour (2015)
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Candace Cameron Bure, Paul Greene, Sarah Strange, Barbara Niven, and Marcus Rosner
Synopsis: Two travelers become linked when a snowstorm grounds their flight in Buffalo. Paige desperately needs to find a way to New York City to meet her fiancé’s parents. It’s up to Dylan, a fellow passenger and a guy she can’t stand, to get her there.
Review: Not only do we get to see Paige evolve as a person as she falls for Dylan, we get to see the couple they are traveling with rekindle their relationship. Wonderful characters that are fun to watch. Their interactions and adventures kept me thoroughly entertained.
Scoring: 5

Christmas Dilemma (2020)

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Family

Starring: B.J. Britt, Brittany S. Hall, and Charmin Lee

Synopsis: A newlywed couple struggles to figure out with whom to spend their first Christmas, but the decision is made for them when both their families unexpectedly show up at their home.

Review: While the movie is, at times, more risqué than a PG rating, in my opinion, it’s really funny.  Grammy is the best.  She reminds me of my great grandmother who always said to kiss her goodbye because she’d be dead before we’d see her again.  (I was 18 when she passed).  My grandma, however, never suggested wearing socks during sex or using handcuffs.  The unexpected moments and family drama is entertaining.

Scoring: 3

The Christmas Doctor (2020)

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Family, Romance

Starring: Holly Robinson Peete and Adrian Holmes

Synopsis: A doctor encounters a man from her past who brings with him a revelation that could change her life.

Review: This is a wonderful story. I love the addition of little touches like Luke hitting his head or Zoey counting the days. It’s not a movie full of surprises but it’s lovely. The only thing that I would have preferred was different casting. I just didn’t feel Peete in that part. It may be because I’ve seen her reality show.  Other than that it was enjoyable. 

Scoring: 3

Christmas Do-Over (2006)
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Starring: Jay Mohr, Daphne Zuniga, David Millbern, and Adrienne Barbeau
Synopsis: Kevin tries to be involved with his son and ex-wife's family for Christmas. During dinner, he thought his Christmas *day* couldn't have gone worse; his son suddenly wishes it was Christmas every day. After that, it was a regular Groundhog's Day. Kevin learns new dance moves and can actually sing. Don't let the caroling fool you.
Review: Yes, this is another take on Groundhog Day but with a Christmas twist. All of Kevin's antics, and there are many, kept me laughing. Jay Mohr is genuinely funny and keeps the movie interesting. It’s fun watching his character go through all the stages of accepting his fate.
Scoring: 3

The Christmas Dragon (2014)

Rated: NR

Genres: Adventure, Fantasy

Starring: Bailee Michelle Johnson, Paris Warner, and David DeVilliers 

Synopsis: A group of orphans goes on a journey to restore the lost magic and save Christmas.

Review: I found this to be mind numbingly dull.  Of course, I felt the same way about Lord of the Rings, so this is just my impression.  I found it to be working way to hard to be fanciful.  It was so hard to sit through.

Scoring: 1

Christmas Dreams (2015)

Rated: TV-Y7

Genres: Family, Fantasy, Musical

Starring: Kevin Sorbo

Synopsis: The Little Drummer Boy and The Nutcracker come together in one heartwarming tale. 

Review: I enjoyed the music and the dancing but I think the movie was trying to tell to many stories at once.  It included the religious aspect of Christmas, love, poverty versus wealth, family, and even more.  I think children will enjoy it and adults won’t mind watching with them.  The aspects like dancing gingerbread men will bring enough magic for young ones.  I just wish the story wasn’t all over the place.

Scoring: 2

A Christmas Duet (2019)

Rated: G

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Starring: Terry’s Rothery, Chaley Rose, and Rome Flynn

Synopsis: During the chaos of planning a Christmas festival and vying for the Top Winter Lodge Award, an innkeeper rekindles her love of music as well as her love for her former music partner.

Review: While there was lots of Christmas activities and Terry’s Rothery was at her best, the movie just seemed to drag on forever. I can pinpoint exactly why because it was cute enough. I liked the town pitching in for the festival and the characters are likable and relatable. 

Scoring: 3

The Christmas Edition (2020)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama Romance

Starring: Carly Hughes, Rob Mayes, and Marie Osmond

Synopsis: Finding herself at a crossroads, up-and-coming journalist Jackie seizes the opportunity to run a small-town newspaper in Alaska and runs a series of Christmas articles to help the struggling business.

Review: Other than knowing how the movie would go pretty much from the beginning, it was enjoyable.  The best part was the townspeople.  Their Christmas traditions and spirit are contagious.  The casting was the worst part.  While everyone is a good actor, together they weaken rather than strengthen the movie.  Osmond, I do love her and had her doll as a girl, appears almost plastic with no facial expressions.  Hughes and Mayes are both great but they don’t have chemistry.  It’s still worth watching.

Scoring: 3

The Christmas Elves (1995)

Rated: NR

Genres: Animation, Fantasy

Starring: Susan Blu

Synopsis: Based on the classic tale of the Shoemaker and the Elves, Hans the shoemaker is helped by a group of mismatched elves who want to work for Santa Claus.

Review: It’s a very entertaining story.  The king is so absurd you love to root against him.  Even though it’s geared towards younger children, this is one adults can watch and enjoy, or at least tolerate.

Scoring: 3

Christmas Encore (2017)
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Maggie Lawson and Brennan Elliott
Synopsis: A struggling actress earns the lead part in the production of 'A Christmas Carol', and falls in love with the director. But the cast and crew need a Christmas miracle to save the show when the theater loses its lease.
Review: This is yet another movie that just happens to be during the Christmas season but it’s not a main part of it other than the play being 'A Christmas Carol'. I wanted everything to work out but being invested in it took effort. The movie has to work too hard to make up for a story and dialogue that's lacking. The fact that it moves so slowly makes it even harder. It’s just okay.
Scoring: 2

A Christmas Eve Miracle (2015)

Rated: NR

Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy

Starring: Olivia D’abo, Anthony Starke, C. Thomas Howell, and Jonathan Silverman

Synopsis: After wondering what her life would be without children, workaholic Sharon is unexpectedly granted her wish while on Christmas vacation.

Review: This is a sequel to “A Magic Christmas”.  You can watch it by itself but you may get more out of it watching the two back to back.  Again, the narrator is a dog but it’s not a talking dog movie.  It’s a little predictable but I still enjoyed it.  The Christmas Magic of Santa made it fun.  It also had the message of the importance of family and valuing what you have over what you don’t.

Scoring: 3

Christmas Ever After (2020)

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Romance

Starring: Daniel D. Tomasso and Ali Stroker

Synopsis: Sparks fly during Christmastime when a romance novelist meets a handsome man who looks like the leading character in her books.

Review: I love that the main character is in a wheelchair but that’s not a plot line. It’s just her as a person. Where the movie falls short is it’s lack of focus. There are too many stories here. The father retiring, the son taking over and making changes, the son being a single dad, the writer not knowing love, the writer needing to rewrite her story, and the writer seeing her main character in the son. The sad part is that the inn has all these Christmas traditions but they’re not highlighted enough. Falls flat because you can’t focus on any one thing. 

Scoring: 2

Christmas Everlasting (2018)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Family, Romance

Starring: Tatyana Ali and Dennis Haysbert

Synopsis: Lucy has spent years working hard at her law firm and will be made partner after the New Year. However, when Alice, her older sister with special needs, unexpectedly passes away, Lucy returns back to Nilson's Bay, Wis., to attend the funeral and handle her estate. Once back in Nilson's Bay, Lucy meets her old high school sweetheart Peter, and Alice's former attorney, who informs her of the terms of Alice's eccentric will that  states in order for Lucy to inherit the family home, she must live there for 30 days through the holidays.

Review:  As a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, it has all the expected emotions and drama. There were a few questions that I had because if they explained it the explanation was so brief, I missed it. Besides that, it was a lovely story. It was emotional without being dark. Ali was wonderful.  One worth watching again.

Scoring: 4

 

Christmas Every Day (1996)

Rated: G

Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy

Starring: Robert Hayes and Bess Armstrong

Synopsis: Billy Jackson, a miserable 16-year-old, hates Christmas. From his little sister to Joey Mancuso (a local bully), he is not very fond of Greenwood Falls. Until he learns the true meaning of Christmas, Billy must relive this holiday over and over.

Review:  This is a watered down and not so well-done version of Groundhog Day. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t enjoy it. There's only so much sullen and unhappy teen I can watch.  I think this may appeal more to tweens. 

Scoring: 2

 

Christmas Everyday Of The Year (2015)

Rated: G

Genre: Documentary

Synopsis: We celebrate the great eccentrics for whom Christmas means a whole lot more than just December 25th.  Meet a whole cast of Christmas crazies including a man who celebrates Christmas every day, the granny buying baubles whatever the season, Britain’s oldest Father Christmas, and Joshua who designs the perfect lights display.

Review: I should preface this with the fact that I’m a HUGE fan of Christmas.  Since you’re reading this on my website you probably already know (LOL).  My love is more movies, music, and the feeling.  I don’t collect tons of Christmas materials (except for DVDs, of course).  Still, these are my people.  You’ll probably enjoy the quirkiness and the love of Christmas. 

Scoring: 3

A Christmas Exchange (2020)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Romance

Starring: Laura Vandervoort and Rainbow Sun Francks

Synopsis: Sparks fly between a country girl and a London financier who have agreed to swap their residences.

Review: Does it borrow a little of its plot from “The Holiday”?  Yes. American trades homes with an Englishman, one is a cottage and one is a modern urban home, and the neighbors are involved.  However, the similarities end there.  But it’s a lovely romance. I wondered the whole time where they’d end up. Sadly, we don’t know all the details as the story ends without it.  The neighbors are endearing. Great acting and a nice story. 

Scoring: 3

Christmas Festival Of Ice (2017)
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Taylor Cole, Damon Runyan, and Wendy Crewson
Synopsis: Emma finished law school and her mother expects her to practice with her. But Emma finds out her beloved Christmas festival ice-sculpting contest, has been canceled and she springs into action. Determined to keep it going, she enlists sponsors and artists. Emma convinces Nick, the town's ace artisan, to be her teammate. As Emma and Nick work together, she realizes there's more to life than legal briefs. Transformed by Emma's can-do spirit, Nick is invigorated, too. They just might have a shot at winning this very special Christmas contest - and a lot more.
Review: Emma doesn’t want to disappoint her mom but she wants to follow her dreams. An age-old tale most people can relate to. We get to see Emma straddle both worlds in this darling story. There are also the various ice projects to watch as they develop into beautiful sculptures.
Scoring: 3

Christmas For A Dollar (2013)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Family

Starring: Brian Krause

Synopsis: America is in the midst of the Depression, and the Kamp family is struggling to get by, especially after Mrs. Kamp's untimely death. Now little Ruthie, with her mother gone and her father overwhelmed by doctor bills resulting from her brother’s polio, expects another Christmas without presents or festivities. But when her father brings home one dollar in change and lets the children use it to buy special gifts for each other, the Kamps come to find that money isn't what fills Christmas with joy, love, and miracles.

Review:  This isn’t a typical Christmas feel-good movie but it brings the emotions. We get a glimpse of the struggles people faced in depression era America. It strips away today’s commercialism and shows the true meaning of Christmas.

Scoring: 3

 

A Christmas For Mary (2020)

Rated: PG

Genres: Family, Romance

Starring: Morgan Dixon, Vivica A. Fox, and Jackée Harry

Synopsis: A journalist uncovers a tale of young love that inspires her to follow her heart at Christmas.

Review: I really enjoyed watching Lena search for clues about her grandfather with the help of Michael looking for answers about his grandmother. The mirror of their relationships aren’t obvious at first. It’s a sweet movie and while the major storylines are expected, the journey of discovering about Clarence and Mary offers the unknown. 

Scoring: 3

A Christmas For The Books (2018)

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Romance

StarringChelsea Kane and Drew Seeley

SynopsisA romance expert conceals her recent breakup and asks a morning show producer to pretend they are a couple before she is exposed as a fraud. When he agrees, she never expects to find herself falling for him. 

Review:  While there’s plenty of expected moments there are also some surprises. It’s a little sappy and everyone behaves a little better than real life. However, there’s still lots of Christmas magic and love. Charming. 

Scoring: 3

 

Christmas For The Wealthy (2015)

Rated: NR

Genre: Documentary

Synopsis: Ever wonder how the mega wealthy celebrate Christmas?  Join us as we uncover the secrets of what money can buy you when it’s that special time of year.

Review: This is an interesting look behind the scenes at artists who create items for clients and a concierge who helps the wealthy get what they want.  It’s an interesting look at some amazing artwork.

Scoring: 2

Christmas Getaway (2017)
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Bridget Regan, Travis Van Winkle, and Teryl Rothery
Synopsis: A travel writer takes a Christmas vacation, but finds herself double-booked with a widower, his mother, and his daughter at the holiday site.
Review: I love that each character is kind and sweet. The main characters are hurt and flawed but with the help of his mother, daughter, and Christmas traditions they begin to heal and open their hearts.
Scoring: 5

The Christmas Gift (1986)

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Family

Starring: John Denver and Jane Kaczmarek

Synopsis: A man and his daughter visit a town of Santa Claus believers.

Review: If you can get past the film being from 1986, and looking like it, you may enjoy it.  The acting is good, the scenery is beautiful, and it has lots of Christmas traditions.  I personally found it very slow.  By halfway through I was still sort of bored and waiting for it to be over.  It had everything needed for a great movie but was just missing some magic.  It’s nice seeing the town come together.  It’s the type of small town I’d love to live in.

Scoring: 2

The Christmas Gift (2015)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Family, Romance

Starring: Michelle Trachtenberg and Rick Fox

Synopsis: A reporter searches for a stranger who unknowingly changed her life with an anonymous Christmas gift.

Review:  With its more serious subject matter, the story still has enough light moments to balance them and has a feel-good plot. It’s a great story about how the

smallest acts of kindness can have a ripple effect. The underlying meaning and story are worth it. The characters' lives intertwine in interesting ways. It’s got some slow moments but the overall emotion of it left me feeling good about people.

Scoring: 3

 

Christmas Grace (2013)

Rated: TV-Y7

Genres: Drama, Family, Religion

Starring: Ryan-Iver Klann

Synopsis: Rival toy store owners compete over several Christmas seasons, and God's grace goes to work in their lives.

Review: I truly liked this movie.  The main messages are having faith in God that things will work out, doing the right thing, and giving to others.  Even if you don’t care for movies that have a strong religious message you may still enjoy it. The main characters are interesting people and the story moved right along.

Scoring: 3

Christmas Harmony (2018)

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Musical

Starring: Kelley Jakle, Adam Mayfield, and Sally Struthers

Synopsis: Kelley Jakle stars as young woman who returns to her small hometown to rediscover music, family bonds, and the magic of the Christmas season.

Review:  It’s a little dumb at points but that doesn’t matter. I found myself getting frustrated with the main characters for what they did which means I cared.  The story has too many pauses but the love stories make it worth the watch. 

Scoring: 3

 

The Christmas Heart (2012)
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Religion
Starring: Teri Polo, Paul Essiembre, and Tess Harper
Synopsis: When a teenage boy desperately needs a heart transplant on Christmas Eve, his family and neighbors' forty-year tradition of lining their quaint street with Christmas luminaries is put on hold. When his parents, Ann and Mike, pray for a donor on a stormy night, the neighbors suddenly realize their luminaries could have a deeper purpose.
Review: Remarkably moving movie. I admit I got chills and needed a tissue. The town and their support are what we should all strive for. I felt so invested in the outcome. I love it. But be prepared, this is a very heavy subject matter and they take it seriously and do it justice.
Scoring: 4

A Christmas Hero (2020)

Rated: NR

Genres: Drama, Fantasy

Starring: Michael Welch

Synopsis: When a young disillusioned war vet, home from Afghanistan, sees nothing good in his life during Christmas, a visit by his guardian angel shows him that his life really did make a difference.

Review: This takes place at Christmas and the angel takes him to his past Christmases and future ones but it’s really more about his coping as a veteran.  He’s angry and feels no one understands him.  Because of this he’s pushed everyone away.  His angel helps him see he has life left to live.  It’s a little slow at points and almost too superficial.  It feels like it was written by someone who never served and just has common knowledge.  If you like the synopsis, you should like the movie. 

Scoring: 2

The Christmas High Note (2020)

Rated: G

Genres: Family, Romance

Starring: Jamie Luner and Johnny Messner

Synopsis: A woman falls for a single father while helping his daughter prepare to sing in a holiday pageant.

Review: While a single father meeting someone and keeping his guard up is fairly typical, the other cast members made this feel fresh enough to be enjoyable.  I would have liked it better if Rachel and Michael had better chemistry plus Ted being so ridiculous took away from the seriousness of the story.  It’s a sweet story. Nothing overly new but I nice watch. 

Scoring:3

Christmas Homecoming (2017)
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Julie Benz and Michael Shanks
Synopsis: A widow of a war hero takes in an injured soldier who has just returned from Afghanistan. Together they help each other heal and find true love.
Review: A very sweet love story. Christmas provides the backdrop as we watch Amanda and Jim move beyond their past pain and fall in love. It’s another reminder of the sacrifices made by service members and their families.
Scoring: 3
The Christmas Hope (2009)
Rated: PG
Genres: Drama, Family
Starring: Madeline Stowe, James Remar, and Ian Ziering
Synopsis: When lives intertwine during Christmas, hope is the only unifying gift. After suffering a personal tragedy, a social worker throws herself into finding homes for children in need.
Review: A moving and lovely story. It truly examines what makes a family. Seeing the couple heal as the girl heals kept me emotionally invested in them. It also shines a light on all the children in our foster system and how much they can add to a family. I needed the tissues for this one.
Scoring: 3

Christmas Hotel (2019)

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Family, Romance

Starring: Tatyana Ali, Sean Patrick Thomas, and Sheryl Lee Ralph

Synopsis: A big city hotelier finds her promotion is based on returning to her hometown and restructuring the Mt. Holly Inn, where she got her start, which the townspeople are less than thrilled about.

Review: I adored that the hotel became Christmas themed to match the town.  Activities like selling local products, gingerbread baking class, and adding memories to the trees, made the movie feel so festive.  It’s a full movie of Christmas traditions and spirit.  Enjoyable time.

Scoring: 3

The Christmas House (2020)

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Family, Romance

Starring: Jonathan Bennett, Robert Buckley, Sharon Lawrence, and Treat Williams

Synopsis: A mother and father summon heir two grown sons home for the holidays.

Review: This movie is so chock full of Christmas it’s downright fun. It also has its share of drama. An older relationship struggling to stay new, a couple reuniting after years apart, and a couple finally getting the child they’ve dreamed of. All different stages and scenarios of real life working themselves out while creating the most festive house. Definitely a happy ending but it just feels like it missed a chance to let us feel along with them rather than just watching.

Scoring: 3