I absolutely love this time of year. It’s a time for reconnecting with family, decorating the house, finding that perfect gift for someone special, and baking dozens upon dozens of cookies using tried and true recipes (plus new ones I found on Pinterest)! What I look forward to doing most of all, however, is watching ALL the Christmas movies on television.
Here are my top three picks:
# 3 – THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR (2008) – starring Henry Winkler, Warren Christie, and Brooke Burns
Retired cop, Ralph, (played by the wonderful Henry Winkler) flies across the country to see his beloved niece and great nephew for Christmas. While on the plane, Ralph befriends Morgan Derby, and is immediately taken in by his live-in-the-moment attitude and love for all things Christmas. When Morgan’s flight to Denver is canceled, Ralph doesn’t want to see his new-found friend spend Christmas sleeping on the floor of the airport and invites him to come with him to his niece’s.
Jennifer Cullen (Ralph’s niece) is a no-nonsense woman dating an equally no-nonsense jeweler. She stays up til all hours of the night writing Christmas cards to people she doesn’t know out of obligation and then in turn throws the cards she receives in the mail in the trash after reading who they’re from. She just wants Christmas to be over and becomes increasingly irritated by Morgan’s presence and jubilant attitude.
In a hilarious turn of events, bah humbug Jennifer finds herself drawn to Morgan, but an unexpected offer on Christmas Eve throws her for a loop. Can Jen give into her feelings and go after Morgan? This is truly a wonderful movie to watch with the whole family. Henry Winkler is delightful and lights up every scene he is in, as do Brooke Burns and Warren Christie.
# 2 – THE NINE LIVES OF CHRISTMAS (2014) – starring Brandon Routh, Kimberly Sustad, Gregory Harrison
Most of you who know me are aware that I love cats and that I have a thing for men who are tall, dark, and handsome. This movie has both. Brandon Routh plays sexy fireman Zachary Stone who one afternoon saves a cat from the clutches of a dog and takes him in – in spite of his obnoxious girlfriend Blair’s disapproval.
Marilee White (played superbly by Kimberly Sustad) is a veterinary student/lowly pet store employee who puts her studies before everything, including her own happiness. All that changes on a chance encounter at the grocery store when she runs into Zachary.
Ambrose the cat promptly makes himself at home with Zachary, but a devilish deed by Blair causes hardship for both Ambrose and Marilee. Can Zachary put aside his vow to commit to love, and can Marilee stop fighting her attraction to him and give in?
This is a delightfully funny, playful, feel-good movie that will leave you with a with a smile on your lips well after the credits have rolled.
The Nine Live of Christmas is playing next on the Hallmark Channel Nov. 19 at 8:00 pm central, and Nov. 28 at 2:00 pm central.
As a side note, I had the opportunity to meet Brandon Routh at a Comic Con convention in Nashville a couple of years ago. He was very sweet.
# 1 – A DREAM FOR CHRISTMAS (1973) starring Hari Rhodes, Lynn Hamilton, George Spell, and Zara Cully
This is an old one I know, but it is timeless and it is my favorite. Following along the same lines as The Waltons and Little House on the Prairie, this movie captures what Christmas is all about: God and family. Hari Rhodes plays a poor country minister from the south who moves his family to California where he has accepted the job as minister of an even poorer church. As his wife, mother, and children struggle to adapt to their new surroundings, the reverend learns that the church is scheduled to be demolished.
Refusing to give up on his dream, Rev. Will Douglas decides to go door to door to invite people to church to prove the developer of the shopping mall (who told him that no one goes to church anymore) wrong. I’ve seen this movie only twice since 1973 and I love it. It sounds cheesy to say heartwarming, but that’s what it is. A Dream For Christmas is a beautiful movie and if you see it come across your channel guide, please watch it. You won’t be disappointed.
So those are my favorite Christmas movies. I’d love to hear what some of yours are! Please drop a line in the comments below!