With Jingle Bells ringing in your ear every time you shop, the pressure of sorting through your list, and the bustle of shopping after work, you may have overlooked one small detail: once all the presents have been opened, all the tears shed, all the hoots of delight raised, and all the wrappings cleared from under the tree, what do you do for the rest of Christmas Eve?
Naturally, you pop in a video or catch a streaming video.
With at least a dozen good movies to pick from, I’ve made a list of the top 3 I thought were terrific.
In Scrooged, directed by Richard Donner and starring Bill Murray, Robert Mitchum, and Karen Allen, you’ll run into Frank Cross, an A+ (overly ambitious) TV executive, who is willing to pay any price necessary to boost the ratings on his shows, even if it means the staff has to forfeit any hope of holiday good cheer. Like the classical Scrooge, he places love for lucre over love of humanity. Besides launching a holiday special entitled “The Night the Reindeer Died,” completely oblivious of his bad taste, he also forces his staff to launch “A Christmas Carol” live on Christmas Eve.
As you might imagine, he stirs up some ghosts to set him right, and like the ghosts evoked by Charles Dickens to straighten out Ebenezer Scrooge, these ghosts do a little time traveling to give Frank Cross a sense of perspective. As a result, he revisits his unhappy past, his bland present, and his dismal future. The tough love works, and you actually begin to like him in the closing scene.
In Silver Bells, which is based on Luanne Rice’s novel and starring Anne Heche and Tate Donovan, it’s just another miserable Christmas holiday season for Christopher, who can’t get past his grief over his wife’s death. He hides behind a solid work-ethic to repress his feelings and on a business trip with his two children, a journey from Nova Scotia to the Big Apple, family relationships fall apart at the seams. Meanwhile, there’s Catherine, who is equally driven to hide behind the demands of work. She is in New York to work on a Manhattan art museum project. For her, this is the third Christmas since her husband died from cancer. Through the course of the movie, Christopher and Catherine run across each other, but stay emotionally distant—until a crisis forces them to combine forces, and in the process, they renew a long lost sense of love, hope, and faith.
In November Christmas, produced by Executive Producer Brent Shields and starring Sam Elliott, Sarah Paulson, John Corbett, a critically ill little girl experiences the joy of the holidays miraculously moved forward just for her. The story revolves around children’s author Vanessa Marks recalling how her father Tom and neighbor Jess moved the holidays forward when she was 8 years old because she was a sick little girl. In order to pull it off, they got their entire small town to collaborate in simulating Halloween in August and bringing Christmas all the way up to November.
Add Special Memories This Holiday Season
All three of these feel-good movies have story lines that take place over the holidays to add to the joy of this special time of the year. Additionally, all three are part of the Hallmark Christmas movies collection. Of course, you’re always free to watch them at any time of the year, but they add special memory to time spent with the family during the holidays. You’ll quickly be drawn in by the actors, chuckle at the lines in the witty dialogue, and be drawn into a realistic yet still larger-than-life stories.