A Christmas Tail (2014)
Genres: Family, Romance
Starring: Antonio Cupo and Chandra West
Synopsis: Two single parents fall in love while fighting over a puppy to give to their children for Christmas.
Review: While this movie takes place at Christmas and the occasional decoration is in view, it’s not really about Christmas. This is primarily a movie about two single adults developing a relationship. It’s a sweet story that’s well acted. The dog is really funny and keeps the movie light and keeps the pace going.
Christmas Tears (2014)
Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy, Religion
Starring: Andre DeLeon, Kyle Grant, and Will Mercado
Synopsis: Story of 3 best friends hitting rock bottom on Christmas Eve. The toll it takes on their family and the chooses they make leads them on a magical day that they will never forget
Review: While it is clearly a low-budget film, the story is pretty good and so is the acting. They do a good job of letting us know the histories and pain of the characters. The only thing I didn’t like was that everything finished with a perfect happy ending. That’s not real life but that’s where the fantasy part comes in. It’s not one I’d watch again but it if you like redemption stories this is for you.
The Christmas Temp (2019)
Genres: Comedy, Romance
Starring: Sara Canning and Robin Dunne
Synopsis: An out of work artist discovers a special Christmas temp agency that matches her with a handful of festive jobs, but falls into a creative rut while juggling holiday preparations and feelings for the agency’s HR manager.
Review: This is a fun movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The relationships are playful and loving. I enjoyed how they poked at little fun at how pretentious some in the art world can be. Of course, it’s a happy ending, but there was lots of fun getting there. It’s more focused on art than Christmas but there’s enough talk of it and the feeling of it to get the point across.
The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t (1966)
Genres: Family, Fantasy
Starring: Paul Tripp
Synopsis: Santa has to get a job as Santa to earn money to pay his overdue rent bill
Review: My biggest problem with this movie is it stripping the magic away. How can someone else own the North Pole and charge rent? How can the all-knowing Santa get stuck owing rent and facing possible eviction? I don’t want to see Santa as human. He’s immortal and magic. I don’t want to see the North Pole as real estate but rather a magical wonderland. The music is okay but I’d pass on this one.
Christmas Time (2017)
Genres: Comedy, Family
Starring: Maclain Nelson, Jake Van Wagoner, and Clare Niederpruem
Synopsis: Two estranged brothers try to reconnect at Christmas but there's something that one of them can't get past...the other thinks he's a time traveler.
Review: I wouldn’t have children watch this even though it’s PG. It’s a little odd. Maybe very odd. By the end I couldn’t figure out if he really was a time traveler. It’s funny, it’s moving, and I loved the brothers reminiscing. It ends with to be continued so I guess we will see.
Christmas Together (2020)
Genres: Family, Romance
Starring: Vivica A. Fox, Anna Marie Dobbins, and Marc Herrmann
Synopsis: A woman leaves New York for LA after a break-up and falls in love while renting the guest house of a young father.
Review: While parts of it seem blah and a little amateur, even the eventual kiss was sort of anticlimactic, it’s still a sweet story. I enjoyed the little girl who is quite a handful. What young child rents out the guest house to show she’s ready for a dog? Vivica A. Fox is at her best on this role.
A Christmas To Remember (2019)
Genres: Drama, Family
Starring: Robin Givens
Synopsis: Two families that hated each other for years are forced to spend Christmas together.
Review: I did not enjoy this movie. I think a main problem is there are so many characters and they don’t take the time to really let you get to know or care about any of them, even the parents who are the center of the film. It’s just a bunch of people working out a lifetime of family issues.
A Christmas Too Many (2007)
Genres: Comedy, Family
Starring: Mickey Rooney, Andrew Keegan, Sam McMurray, Marla Maples, and Gary Coleman
Synopsis: A Hollywood legend invites her not-so-normal family home for the holidays.
Review: This movie is just so, I don’t know, I guess I’d say ridiculous. Each character is almost like a caricature of a stereotype. I didn’t find it funny at all. The dad not wanting to give up his annual hunting for dinner, even though they’re in Malibu, so he’s outside hunting guinea pigs that got loose. I could go on, but why bother. Skip this one.
Christmas Town (2019)
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Candace Cameron Bure, Tim Rozon, Beth Broderick
Synopsis: Lauren Gabriel leaves everything behind in Boston to embark on a new chapter in her life and career. But an unforeseen detour to the charming town of Grandon Falls has her discover unexpected new chapters - of the heart and of family - helping her to embrace, once again, the magic of Christmas.
Review: Once again a Bure movie is filled with magic. From the name of it you know it’s filled with Christmas. The addition of the angel tree topper, Dylan, and all her father’s letters, make it so very moving and special. Don’t miss it.
The Christmas Toy (1986)
Genres: Family, Fantasy, Musical
Starring: Brian Henson
Synopsis: It’s Christmas Eve and the playroom is alive with excitement for the new toys that will arrive the next day. Balthazar, the old and wise bear, explains to the other toys that they must welcome the newcomers even though each of them may be replaced as one of the children’s new favorite toys.
Review: This is amusing but also a bit magical. The toys are all familiar and their experiences mirror what we face in our daily life. Children should be captivated by the toys coming to life. I loved the poor cat toy who smelled like catnip.
Christmas Train Spectacular (2010)
Synopsis: Five amazing Christmas train displays, all with sparkling lights, glistening snow, trains zipping around Christmas villages - and marvelous stories that will tug at your heart, train buff or not.
Review: This is definitely a great documentary for train enthusiast. I appreciated the stories and the connection between trains and Christmas. It did get boring for me after a while, especially when naming trains or using technical terms, but if you like trains you’ll like it.
A Christmas Tree Grows in Colorado (2020)
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Rochelle Aytes and Mark Taylor
Synopsis: A woman in charge of a Christmas festival must win over a firefighter to obtain a magnificent tree.
Review: This story had the required happy ending but it managed to throw in a few plot twists that had me questioning what would happen. The little girl was precious. I loved how much they emphasized adopting older children out of foster care and community outreach. There’s tons of Christmas fun in this movie.
Christmas Tree Lane (2020)
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Alicia Witt and Andrew Walker
Synopsis: When music store owner Meg spearheads community efforts to save her street from demolition, she is shocked to find out that the man she’s falling for is working for the company that she is fighting.
Review: Other than the always wonderful performances of Witt and Walker, the first half of the movie was very average. It picked up a little steam as it went on and the ending was wonderful. If for no other reason, Witt’s performance at the end makes this worth watching.
Christmas Twister AKA F6 Twister (2012)
Genres: Adventure, Drama
Starring: Casper Van Dien, Victoria Pratt, and Richard Burgi
Synopsis: On Christmas Day the Texas area to the South West of Forth Worth is struck by a massive storm system sprouting several severe tornadoes.
Review: Truly cheesy. If you want an enjoyable Christmas movie this isn’t for you. If you want a so-so tornado movie you’ll like it.
Christmas Under The Stars (2019)
Starring: Autumn Reeser and Jesse Metcalf
Synopsis: Nick takes a gig at a tree lot, where he meets Julie and her son, Matt.
Review: This movie really took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting any chemistry between Reeser and Metcalf but they worked. The little boy was as wonderful as the children always are. The part that really got me was the character of Clem. He was so kind and loving, he really made the movie complete and magical. I didn’t need tissues but I came close. This movie is so moving and filled with Christmas spirit. All the trees didn’t hurt either. Don’t miss this one.
Christmas Unleashed (2019)
Starring: Vanessa Lachey and Christopher Russell
Synopsis: A missing dog leads exes Becca and Max on a search that brings back fond memories of Christmas pasts that they spent together.
Review: I found the flashback format refreshing and not at all confusing. It helps the story slowly unfold. I just wish they had let us know the characters a little more individually before sharing their story as a couple. They glossed over some details that could’ve brought more heart to it but it was enjoyable.
Christmas Unwrapped (2020)
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Amber Stevens West, Marco Grazzini, and Cheryl Ladd
Synopsis: An ambitious reporter learns the true meaning of Christmas when she investigates Erik Gallagher, a beloved member of the town who insists all the gifts he provides are from none-other than Santa himself.
Review: I really loved this movie. There’s something as magical as Santa himself. It starts out seeming to be a standard romantic comedy but there are twists and turns. I can’t wait to watch it again.
A Christmas Village (2018)
Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance
Starring: Madeline Leon and Neil Paterson
Synopsis: Piper agrees to work for the owner of a failing Santa’s Village.
Review: It’s low budget, it’s corny, the acting is so-so, and there’s not much to enjoy yet I still did. I liked the relationship between the sisters, the children, and the hint of Santa magic. It starts slowly and doesn’t really pick up speed but I enjoyed it. I didn’t enjoy it enough to watch again, though.
Christmas vs. The Walters (2021)
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family
Starring: Shawnee Smith, Dean Winters, Betsy Beutler, Chris Elliott, Paris Bravo, Bruce Dern, Caroline Aaron, and Richard Thomas
Synopsis: Diane Walters, an over-burdened mother of two with a third child on the way, strives to create the perfect Christmas while her loving but dysfunctional family falls apart around her.
Review: I truly enjoyed this movie. It has characters that we can relate to who, even in their worst moments, are likable. It shows the complex family relationships while maintaining humor. The HOA president, with his complete lack of boundaries, and the doctor who is more than a little quirky, played brilliantly by Chris Elliott, add extra layers of comedy to the movie. Anyone who has felt the stress of Christmas will completely get Diane. As an added bonus, the scenery and Christmas decorations are absolutely stunning.