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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A Magic Christmas (2014)

Rated: G

Genre: Family

Starring: C. Thomas Howell, Jonathan Silverman, and Burt Reynolds

Synopsis: While on vacation, Jack and his family run into an estranged friend of Jack's, who now lives the life of luxury and through a series of competitions, Jack realizes that the love of his family is most rewarding.

Review: This was really enjoyable.  While the dog is the narrator, it’s not a talking dog movie. The friction between Jack/Holly and Robert/Eva is interesting as Jack and Holly slowly stop comparing themselves to Robert and Eva and they realize they have a lot in common.  It reinforces the message that family and friends are the most important riches you can have.

Scoring: 3

The Magic Christmas Tree (1964)

Rated: G

Genres: Family, Fantasy

Starring: Chris Kroeson

Synopsis: A boy is given a ring by an old witch. He uses the ring along with a magic Christmas tree which grants him 3 wishes.

Review:  This movie is definitely amateur.  It’s poorly shot, poorly acted, and so boring.  Kids most likely won’t even sit through it.  It was excruciating to sit through.

Scoring: 1

The Magic Snowflake (2013)

Rated: NR

Genres: Animation, Fantasy

Starring: Nathan Simony

Synopsis: A young boy named Nicholas is about to become the next Santa Claus, but must first avoid a crisis that's threatening the magic of Christmas before he can succeed in his new role.

Review: First of all, I don’t get why movies show numerous Santas. He is supposed to be immortal never mind being replaced by a child. One of the Santas is kooky. Nicholas has to find out why he’s growing up too quickly in order to save Christmas. I found it to be bizarre and boring. Children may like it.

Scoring: 2


Magic Stocking (2015)
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy, Romance
Starring: Bridget Regan and Victor Webster
Synopsis: A young widow's daughter was given a tattered old Christmas stocking at a holiday craft sale, but her mother is skeptical of its magic when it seems to create small trinkets on its own.
Review:  An emotional tale with lighthearted and sad moments. The relationships of all the characters and their viewpoints are relatable and special. Seeing the Grandmother date again provides some funny moments.  Perfect if you want to believe in magic.
Scoring: 3
Magical Christmas Ornaments (2017)
Rated: TV-14
Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Starring: Jessica Lowndes, Brendan Penny, and Tim Matheson
Synopsis: Marie, a book editor, has lost her Christmas spirit and her mom tries to restore it by sending her Christmas ornaments from her childhood and a coincidental blessing follows each one.  She meets her handsome new neighbor just as her boss assigns her to edit the book her ex wrote.
Review:  This movie has a somewhat original plot.  The magic in the story is palpable and the children make it even more special. The romance is just a bonus. I couldn't wait to see what was in store after she received each ornament. After watching you may just believe in magic.
Scoring: 3

The Magical Christmas Shoes (2019)

Rated: G

Genres: Comedy, Romance

Starring: Erin Karpluk and Damon Runyon

Synopsis: A pair of magical shoes step into Kayla Hummel's holiday season, allowing her to rediscover her Christmas spirit and find love too.

Review: This is a truly original story. I loved the characters, the plot, everything. Basing everything on the shoes her grandmother sent her each year was special. The way they shared that story and emphasized being your true self felt very uplifting.

Scoring: 4

A Majestic Christmas (2018)

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Romance

Starring: Jerrika Hinton and Christian Vincent

Synopsis: Nell, an architect, is sent to her home town to turn the community playhouse into a multiplex. The Playhouse has been home to their annual Christmas tableaux, which will now have to end after a long and historic tradition to the town.  Connor, the new owner of the theater, has ideas that clash with Nell's. Since Connor hasn't had much experience celebrating Christmas, Nell hopes that if she can give him a crash course in Christmas during the town's Twelve Day Festival, that he might just change his mind about modernizing the Majestic.

Review:  While the plot is different, it isn’t enough to make it interesting. The movie isn’t bad, it’s just blah. Even the town traditions feel lacking. 

Scoring: 2


Making Spirits Bright (2021)

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Romance

Starring: Taylor Cole and Carlo Marks

Synopsis: Grace and Tony are from separate families who are in the business of decorating homes for Christmas.  Unfortunately, they have also been in a feud for as long as anyone can remember.  This holiday season they must try to find a way to get everyone to work together in order to win a town competition that could save their livelihoods.

Review: It started out interesting but it started to feel blah. It’s cute and okay but it’s lacking oomph. Even the family animosity isn’t dramatic. This is good for viewers who enjoy Hallmark feel good stories. 

Scoring: 2

The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Drama

Starring: Dan Stevens

Synopsis: The journey that led to Charles Dickens' creation of "A Christmas Carol," a timeless tale that would redefine Christmas.

Review:  As I’m not an expert on Dickens, I can’t speak to the historical accuracy of this film. I will say it was visually quite dark and uninteresting. It was very slow for me. Because we know the tale so well you know what to expect and at times, they make his creativity curious but other times it’s odd. 

Scoring: 2


The Man Who Saved Christmas (2002)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Family

Starring: Jason Alexander

Synopsis: A.C. Gilbert figures out a way to keep Christmas alive after the war threatens to take it away in his name.

Review:  The fact that it’s based on a true story adds an interesting dimension to the movie. Other than that, it fell a little flat. It’s a good story but the production needed some oomph. 

Scoring: 2


Mandie And The Forgotten Christmas  (2011)

Rated: G

Genre: Drama

Starring: Kelly Washington 

Synopsis: This takes place in December, 1900 Miss Heathwood's Boarding School for Girls. Thrust into the chaotic and unfamiliar world of a boarding school at Christmas, Mandie finds herself hounded by new rules and regulations at every turn. Unable to grasp the finer points of high society, she constantly falls into trouble. While visiting the school's forbidden attic, Mandie stumbles upon a mystery from which she is warned to flee. Seeking the truth will require Mandie to lie, but it just might provide the key that unlocks the memories of a long-forgotten Christmas.

Review:  Full disclosure, I didn’t see the other Mandie movies before watching this so I don't know any of the back story. It’s a bit slow at times and has some historical inaccuracies but children and tweens will probably like it more than adults. 

Scoring: 2

Maps and Mistletoe (2021)

Rated: PG

Genres: Family, Romance

Starring: Humberly Gonzalez and Ronnie Rowe

Synopsis: A cartographer of school maps has plans for Christmas at home until her boss has a last-minute project for her, designing a novelty treasure map of the North Pole.

Review: I love the push and pull between the adventurous abstract thinker and the stability-loving linear thinker. Of course, I knew there’d be a happy ending, but would it be true explorer staying out or the map maker leaving with the explorer. It’s got a nice pace and was an interesting character-driven movie. 

Scoring: 3

The March Sisters At Christmas  (2012)
Rated: TV-14
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Amy Berman, Justin Bruening, Mark Famiglietti, and John Shea
Synopsis: To keep the family home from being sold, 4 very modern March sisters tackle home improvement on their own. But their romantic entanglements involving the boy next door, an old flame and a new acquaintance become a distraction.
Review:  It has the sappiness of the original story with characters full of spirit and differences. It’s appealing but missing some of the complexities of the original. 
Scoring: 3
Married By Christmas (2016)
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Romance
Starring: Jess Macallan and James Eckhouse
Synopsis: Carrie is a high-level executive who has worked hard for years in the family business. When her sister announces her engagement, their parents share a twist from their grandmother’s will. The first sister married inherits the company. Carrie must find herself a husband before Christmas or lose the company she’s worked so hard for.
Review:  I enjoyed watching it but there are so many moments where I ask myself why something is happening. There’s a lot of antagonism and relationship difficulties. It can make it awkward to watch.  If you’re like me you will watch to see how it ends. The way Carrie's sister is so willing to take the company away after all of Carrie's work made me feel very disappointed throughout the movie.  I didn't like how it ended.  It didn't feel like a happy ending.  Despite all this, I would still watch it again.
Scoring: 2
Marry Me At Christmas (2017)
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance
Starring: Rachel Skarsten, Trevor Donovan, and Emily Tennant
Synopsis: Bridal boutique owner Madeline Krug is hired to plan a last-minute Christmas wedding. What Madeline didn't expect was to be swept off her feet by the bride's gorgeous brother, movie star Jonny Blake. Planning the perfect wedding leads to candlelit dinners and strolls through snow-covered streets. Madeline finds the real Jonny even more captivating than her celebrity crush. Will the action star be brave enough to take on the role of a lifetime?
Review:  A delightful movie that moves at the perfect pace. I enjoyed how kind and understanding Madeline was. Johnny learning about priorities through his sister and Madeline is interesting. A first-rate experience. 
Scoring: 4

Marry Me For Christmas (2013)

Rated:  G

Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance

Starring: Malinda Williams, Brad James, Jason Weaver, and Carl Payne

Synopsis: To appease her family during the holidays, a single woman pretends to be engaged to her employee.

Review:  I really like the Chandler family and their traditions. This movie through a couple of surprises at me but overall, it’s a sweet story that kept me engaged.  

Scoring: 3

Marry Us For Christmas (2014)

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family

Starring: Malinda Williams and Karon Riley

Synopsis: In the sequel to the popular UP Original Movie Marry Me For Christmas, it's a year after Marci and Blair declared their love for each other and decided to tie the knot. But as the big day approaches, Marci is so consumed with work that she hasn't had time to plan her wedding. To make matters worse, she may have to team up with former assistant/fake fiancé Adam to win a project she's been vying for - a little tidbit she hasn't shared with Blair.

Review: In this sequel, we get to know the Chandler family a little better.  I love the sisters and how they interact with each other.  Spending time with family at the holidays is something that most everyone can relate to.  I really enjoyed this one even more than the first one.

Scoring: 3

Marrying Father Christmas (2018)

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Family, Romance

Starring: Wendie Malik, Erin Krakow, Niall Matter, and Jim Thornburn

Synopsis: In the third installment to the Father Christmas trilogy, Miranda and Ian finally look to tie the knot, but more complications are always on the horizon, putting their happily ever after in jeopardy.

Review:  They’ve managed to keep the same feeling and tone as the other movies in the series. This one can stand alone if you haven’t seen the others but it’s more meaningful if you see them all. This is my favorite of the three. 

Scoring: 3

Mary Christmas (2002)

Rated: G

Starring: Tom Bosley, Cynthia Gibb, and John Schneider 

Synopsis: When a nine year old girl writes a letter to Santa Claus asking for a mommy, a television station news director gets wind of it and assigns a hard-bitten reporter to get the story. With the help of a male nanny, the reporter learns learns that at Christmas, wishes can still be granted.

Review:  I honestly went into this movie with no expectations. I was pleasantly surprised. The addition of an Angel, in the guise of a song and dance man, who leads the characters on their journey was truly touching. All the characters are likable and the movie kept a brisk but comfortable pace. I recommend checking this one out. It would be a good family movie. There’s even a beautiful surprise ending I never saw coming. 

Scoring: 4

Mary, Mother of Jesus (1999)

Rated: PG-13

Genres: Drama, Religion

Starring: Christian Bale and Pernilla August

Synopsis: Mary, Mother of Jesus and her pivotal position in Christianity is portrayed in the story of the woman who has been a symbol of hope and inspiration to people of diverse faiths throughout history.

Review: The Christmas part of the story, the nativity, is the very beginning.  The remainder of the movie is their lives.  It’s a well-done version without being overly dramatic.  It feels like a true telling.

Scoring: 3

Matchmaker Christmas (2019)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Romance

Starring: Emily Rose and Corey Sevier

Synopsis: As the Christmas party for a book publishing company approaches, editor Maggie volunteers to help her boss, Amanda, find a date.

Review: Maggie’s matchmaking is really the smaller story here.  The love story between Maggie and Jaxson is what really makes the movie.  There’s not a lot of Christmas here, other than the one party, but the story is sweet and the characters are all relatable, especially dealing with regrets and moving on.

Scoring: 3

Matchmaker Santa (2012)
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Starring: Lacey Chabert, Florence Henderson, John Ratzenberger, and Robert Pine
Synopsis: As a little girl, Melanie wished to find her own Prince Charming, just like her parents found true love. Now an adult, Melanie is running her own bakery and dating a handsome CEO, Justin. Although things seem perfect when Justin asks Melanie to spend the holidays together at his beautiful lake house upstate, and meet his mother, Melanie finds herself spending more time with Justin's best friend and loyal assistant, Dean, who just might be harboring a secret crush on her. When complications arise that throw Melanie and Dean together over the holiday, will the two realize they're meant to be?
Review:  If you’re a strong believer in fate, this is the movie for you. If you believe in Santa and magic, you’ll really love it. Fate keeps Justin with an old girlfriend and Melanie with Dean. It’s a delightful journey. The town and their traditions make it really special.  
Scoring: 4

Meet Me at Christmas (2020)

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Family, Romance

Starring: Catherine Bell and Mark Deklin

Synopsis: A woman tries to coordinate her son’s Christmas Eve wedding with help from the bride’s uncle.

Review: This movie feels like a moody teenager. It doesn’t have the uplifting feel a Christmas movie or a wedding movie should have. It’s also short on romantic feelings. The best part was finally hearing why Beau didn’t make it to the tree lighting and them finally getting together.  Too bad the movie didn’t build up to that moment the way it should have.  It’s okay.  But just okay. 

Scoring: 2

Meet Me In St. Louis (1944)

Rated: NR

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Musical

Starring: Judy Garland

Synopsis: In the year leading up to the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, the four Smith daughters learn lessons of life and love, even as they prepare for a reluctant move to New York.

Review:  I’m not sure why this is classified as a Christmas movie but I’ll review it for those who believe it is. You can’t go wrong with Garland. Getting a glimpse of American life in the early 1900s was a bonus. It's a good classic movie but if you're looking for Christmas it won't deliver.

Scoring: 4


Meet The Santas (2005)
Rated: G
Starring: Steve Guttenberg, Crystal Bernard, and Marietta Hartley
Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Romance
Synopsis: Because she is marrying the man who assumed the mantle of Santa Claus last December 26, Beth's postponed wedding has to be rescheduled for Christmas Eve. Overwhelmed by selling the house she and her son share, and the prospect of the duties of Mrs. Claus, she has to call on her estranged socialite Grinch of a mother to arrange the wedding. Of course, her mom has never met the fiancé nor his family, and has no inkling of his secret. This is a sequel to 2004's Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus.
Review:  This movie could stand alone but it has deeper meaning if you watch the first movie before this one.  I liked following the adventures and frustrations of all the characters as they work through so many obstacles. Beth’s relationship with her mother is the low point but I didn’t mind as the rest was entertaining. The Santa magic is special. 
Scoring: 3

Megan’s Christmas Miracle (2018)

Rated: PG

Genres: Family, Religion

Starring: Dean Cain, Deven Bromme, Brooklyn Nelson, and Timothy E. Goodwin

Synopsis: Christmas story about a teenage girl that finds hope in a magical nativity display at her church.

Review: While there is a basis in religion, particularly the birth of Jesus, the majority of the story is about acting Christian.  It shows a church embracing a widower and his daughter.  The daughter has to deal with the loss of her mother and a move to a new place.  It also shows her struggling as an adult until she remembers her magical encounter.  It was an interesting story.  I just wish they showed more of her as an adult to complete the story.

Scoring: 3

Memories Of Christmas (2018)

Rated: G

Genre: Drama

Starring: Christina Milan and Garry Chalk

Synopsis: When Noelle inherits her mother’s house, she finds out that for the past few years her aging mother had been hiring professionals to decorate it for Christmas. Noelle tells the decorator that the deal is off, but he refuses to take no for an answer. 

Review:  This movie offers the feel-good Christmas you expect. There aren’t really surprises (I knew the end by 10 minutes in) but it offers a warm Christmas feeling and a relaxing experience. 

Scoring: 3