Christmas Jars (2019)
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Jeni Ross
Synopsis: Based on the novel by Jason Wright, it tells the story of reporter Hope Jensen, who uncovers the secret behind "Christmas Jars" - jars filled with money and given anonymously to people in need.
Review: This movie is one that I believe should be a yearly must-see for everyone. I was hooked from the very beginning. The people are so relatable and likable making them easy to care about. I was hoping for a happy ending for everyone the entire movie. I even shed a few tears and not just at the end. The story of the jars is such an inspiration. I hope it leads people to give their own jars to others.
Christmas Joy (2018)
Genres: Family, Romance
Starring: Danielle Panabaker and Matt Long
Synopsis: Based on the book of the same name written by Nancy Naigle, Joy is a corporate market researcher, gunning for a promotion within her firm. Just as her company's CEO is taking notice, Joy finds out her Aunt Ruby has broken her ankle and will be undergoing surgery. Despite the less than opportune timing, Joy makes her way back home to Crystal Falls, NC to be with her Aunt. Stars seem to be aligned as Joy sees her former crush, Ben Andrews, while at the hospital. At first, Joy is focused solely on helping her Aunt heal; even taking over her position as chair of the local Cookie Crawl competition. Eventually, she begins to let Ben in and remembers there's no place like home for the holidays. The pair work together on the Cookie Crawl to make the event a success.
Review: Not altogether unexpected but lovely and definitely full of Christmas spirit. It’s a movie about love, of course, friendship, family, and priorities. A fun watch.
The Christmas Kid aka The Return of the Yuletide Kid (2020)
Genres: Comedy, Family
Starring: Craig Roberts
Synopsis: A struggling former child actor arrives home in Wales for Christmas. He soon has to decide what’s more important, bluffing his way through putting on a show for the gullible locals or reconnecting with his loved ones.
Review: Boring. To make it worse, they constantly play this short burst of rock music that’s screeching. I actually had a headache by the time I was finished. There’s too many characters and no real backstory given, even to the lead character. Skip this.
Christmas Lilies of the Field (1979)
Genres: Drama, Religion
Starring: Billie Dee Williams
Synopsis: A nun wants a veteran to add on to the chapel he built.
Review: I need to preface this by saying I haven’t seen the original Lilies of the Field. This is a made for TV sequel to the award-winning movie. It started out really slowly but that may be that I didn’t know the connection to the end of the previous movie. Once the children became involved, I got interested in the movie. It felt like there was more at stake and an importance to the work. I felt the movie could’ve been done better moving through certain areas but rooting for the children to stay with the nuns made it worth watching.
Christmas Lodge (2011)
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Erin Karpluk and Michael Shanks
Synopsis: Mary Tobin has wonderful memories of family gatherings at the Christmas Lodge. When she arrives for a weekend vacation, she quickly realizes that the lodge that she loves has fallen into serious disrepair. With a lack of funds and a looming deadline, she not only restores the Christmas lodge's charm but finds love along the way.
Review: There are a few slow moments but hang in there. Mary’s passion for the lodge and the people in her life is truly heartwarming. It’s an original plot that celebrates the true meaning of Christmas.
Christmas Lost And Found (2018)
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Dianne Ladd, Tiya Sircar, And Terence Kelly
Synopsis: An event planner mistakenly throws out her grandmother's Christmas ornaments, and the person who finds the ornaments leads her on a scavenger hunt to retrieve them, helping her to find the magic of Christmas again along the way.
Review: This movie was delightful. The plot was a new one and it was done so well. Ladd was wonderful and the scavenger hunt incorporated so many Christmas traditions. It’s one I look forward to watching again.
Christmas Love Letter (2019)
Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance
Starring: Chante Bowser and Adam Cole
Synopsis: When relationship advice columnist Amalie Hess receives an unsigned love letter in a Christmas card, she returns to her hometown to solve the mystery of who sent it and maybe find true love.
Review: This was such a special movie. It had so many little touches that added up to make it engaging. The one guy’s laugh, the little girl, the dog, the senior center, hot cocoa, and many more. I was completely absorbed the entire time and even laughed out loud more than once.
A Christmas Love Story (2019)
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Kristin Chenoweth and Scott Wolf
Synopsis: A youth choir director needs to write a big song for the Christmas Eve show but "finds herself distracted" when a boy with a golden voice joins her choir, which will come as news to his widowed father.
Review: The beginning was slow and lackluster. As it went on it became more and more interesting. It even through in a few plot curveballs. It was quite emotional at the end. I can’t wait to watch it again now that I know the ending.
Christmas Made To Order (2018)
Genres: Family, Romance
Starring: Alexa PenaVega and Jonathan Bennett
Synopsis: An architect hires a professional coordinator to help him host his family for Christmas.
Review: There are lots of Christmas and family traditions to enjoy, fun characters, and beautiful scenery. It’s a little too sweet and everything resolves in an unrealistically simple manner but it’s a relaxing watch.
Christmas Matchmakers (2019)
Genre: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Vivica A. Fox, Anna Marie Dobbins, and Andrew Rogers
Synopsis: Two overworked personal assistants hatch a plan to get their bosses to date each other.
Review: I loved the unique plot. Of course, we know what will happen with the assistants but I wasn’t sure what would happen with their bosses. It was funny and sweet and filled with reminders of prioritizing family, especially at the holidays. It’s a fun and easy movie to watch.
A Christmas Memory (1997)
Genres: Drama, Family
Starring: Patty Duke, Piper Laurie, and Eric Lloyd
Synopsis: A boy, Buddy, whose parents have split and whose mother is an actress in New York, has been dumped in the south at the small-town home of some older cousins, all of whom are unmarried. Buddy brings life to the house and develops a close friendship with one of the older, simpler ladies, Sook. Buddy and Sook undertake many adventures together, including the baking of 31 fruit-cakes which they give as Christmas presents, even mailing them to President and Mrs. Roosevelt and Jean Harlowe! Just before Christmas, one of the older cousins begins to wonder if it is best for Buddy to be living with them...
Review: A sweet tale of unconditional love and friendship. It’s very moving and makes you feel all the emotions you want to feel at Christmas.
Christmas Miracle (2012)
Genres: Drama, Family, Religion
Starring: Aaron Pearl
Synopsis: Due to a road closure, eight strangers must take refuge in an abandoned church during a storm. They learn how to manage through various dilemmas by working together.
Review: There are so many life situations faced by the eight that many people will find relatable. It’s an endearing and moving story.
A Christmas Miracle (2019)
Genres: Family, Romance
Starring: Barry Bostwick, Brooks Darnell, and Tamera Mowry-Housley
Synopsis: Ever-optimistic single mom Emma Sanderson is looking for a Christmas miracle to write about for the lifestyle magazine at which she has landed a temporary job. While following her lead on the story, Emma discovers unexpected romance with a supportive colleague and takes it upon herself to bring about a Christmas miracle for a lonely street musician.
Review: One of the best parts of this movie is Emma herself. Her Christmas spirit, optimism, and seeing the positive in situations and people is contagious. Her relationships with her son and her coworker Marcus are so sweet. The only negative was that everything, throughout the movie, resolved too easily. I left the movie feeling a little lighter and happier. What more could you want?
A Christmas Movie Christmas (2019)
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Romance
Starring: Brant Daugherty, Lana McKissack, Ryan Merriman, and Kimberly Daugherty
Synopsis: Following a Christmas wish, Eve and her sister Lacy get magically transported into a Christmas movie.
Review: This movie is going on my list of all-time favorites. Obviously, as the Christmas Movie Queen, I would naturally love a movie about living in a Christmas movie. Still, it was sweet, funny, moving, and still had a happy ending. It kept the humor by including every movie cliché and making fun of it without making fun of loving the clichés. I kept wondering how the sisters would end up happy when they left the Christmas movie but the magic continued. Don’t miss this one.
A Christmas Mystery (2014)
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Esmé Bianca, Ryan Bittle, and John Ratzenberger
Synopsis: When a reporter discovers that her late mother had been receiving Christmas cards from a secret admirer, she decides to track him down. In the process, she'll discover a family secret more dangerous than she could have ever imagined.
Review: This movie was lacking in every department, from script to casting to direction. It’s not horrible to watch but it’s not enjoyable either. It just falls flat.