The Most Movie-ful Time of the Year

The Most Movie-ful Time of the Year November 14, 2023

Christmas is and always has been my favorite holiday season of the year and it’s become apparent in the past few years that I am not the only one who feels that way. The rise over the past few years of feel good holiday movies on television, streaming services and even cable has proven to be a goldmine for not only studios but audiences as well.

Every year my family and I have some holiday movies that we try to watch during the season. As things get busier and the kids grow up, it’s harder to make those dates happen but still, there’s nothing like snuggling up on the couch to watch movies with the family.

So grab a cup of cocoa, put on your favorite jammies, and check out some of these Twichell family classics.

This is a fun little movie that not nearly enough people have seen. When Holly (Tia Mowry) auditions for a singing group called the Sleigh Bells, she learns very quickly that the mean girls (led by Tori Spelling) are now in control of the group. Determined to get some music into her holiday season, she starts her own group with some co-workers. It’s a lot of fun, family friendly, and it’s packed with some really fabulous music.

Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger
Yes, this is a sequel. Though my family also loves the first film, Nativity!, starring Martin Freeman, we discovered this film quite randomly when we were in the David Tennant era of our Doctor Who viewing. Though I personally believe the film could be quite a bit shorter, if you have a crazy sense of humor and are able to watch without taking it too seriously, it’s a really fun watch. (Side note: Did anyone else’s grammar brain meltdown while reading that sentence above??) 

Mr. Peterson (David Tennant) has just been hired to replace one of the teachers who has moved on to a new life. (Martin Freeman from the first film.) On his first day of class, he meets Mr. Poppy, an exuberant, larger than life classroom helper who is anything but helpful. Mr. Poppy decides that the children need to compete in a national singing competition and from this point on, hilarity and insanity take over.

Again, you can’t watch this holiday movie with any level of seriousness. There might also be moments you want to fast forward, but there are fun little moments throughout the movie and also, some really good tugs on the heart strings.

Yep, my family watches this every year around the holiday season. To be fair, we usually watch around Halloween but if we miss that, we always try to work it in. I mean c’mon, how can you not think this is a Christmas movie when there are lights, carols, and the most epic Christmas baking scene that has ever happened on film?

Arthur Christmas
This animated holiday movie is jam packed full of incredible talent including Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent and James MacAvoy just to name a few.   We watch it every Christmas and giggle the whole way through.  A multigenerational tale of Santa’s traditions and family, this one has so many quotable lines and fun scenes, you don’t want to miss it.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Okay so this one is tough for me. The humor and a lot of the scenes in the film were never really something that connected with me. When my kids got old enough to watch it and it became a family affair, that’s when I really started to enjoy it. Watching my kids laugh, cackle, and quote the film is something that will always delight me. So it has grown on me for sure.

A Star for Christmas
This is one of my own personal favorites. Occasionally I can get my kids to watch it with me, but more often than not they just roll their eyes at me and shake their heads when I mention it. One year while up by myself at midnight working on gifts, wrapping, and putting things under the tree, I caught it on television. It made me laugh out loud more times than I can count and so for me, this one became a personal tradition. I watch it every year and without fail, even as cringe-worthy as some parts are, this one’s still a personal favorite.

For the more complete (and completely crazy) list of Twichell family favorites, check out my account at Letterbox’d. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a little like Goodreads but for movies. I’m just starting to get into it and explore it more, but I do have some reviews, lists, and movie titles available.

Do you have any family viewing traditions around the holidays? I would love to hear what you and your family watch as part of your celebrations. If you have any recommendations for me, let me have ‘em! I always love to check out new favorites that have been sent my way by friends.

About Lori Twichell
Lori Twichell is a screenwriter, publicist and marketing director in the entertainment industry. You can read more about the author here.

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