HAPPY HOLIDAYS – UPDATING THE BEST HOLIDAY STORIES: December 22-25, 2021

JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY, written and directed by David E. Talbert, choreographed by Ashley Wallen, with Madalen Mills, Forest Whitaker, Anika Noni Rose, Phylicia Rashad, Keegan Michael Key, Justin Cornwell, Ricky Martin, Hugh Bonneville, and so many other diverse and talented cast members, is still number one on my list. Streamed on Netflix, this land of invention and innovation uplifts the magic of what the generosity of Christmas is all about.

In Psychology Today, Dr. Pamela Rutledge says holiday movies are an important antidote to COVID stress and Zoom fatigue. They create a profound sense of hope, social connection, love, and purpose. When we “suspend disbelief and revel in the simplicity” of predicting the outcome, being inspired by the values, and feeling reassured “that the world will be put right, especially now when everything feels so upended,” we are blessed by the magic of creativity, and we can enjoy the same experiences over and over again because storytelling is good for the soul.

Below is an updated list of 33 more of my favorite movies.

HERE IS A MEDITATION ON CHRISTMAS

2 – Kirk Franklin’s Gospel Christmas, starring Demetria McKinney, Chaz Lamar Sheperd, and the amazing Ms. Regina Belle, brought me to tears more than once and definitely nourished my soul. This story of a young assistant pastor, who gets assigned to be a lead pastor at a new church a month before Christmas, is a powerful story of redemption and transformation. (Amazon/Lifetime)

Here is an update of some additional favorites
to add to your list. Most are from OWN but can also be accessed via a free seven-day discovery+ app trial.

3 – A Sisterly Christmas, directed by Jerry Lamothe
and written by Angela Burt-Murray and Maryam Myika Day, starring Deborah Joy Winans and Kendrick Cross, is about two sisters who receive an early Christmas gift: an inheritance that takes them luxury holiday vacation, with the caveat that they must spend time together.

4 – A Chestnut Family Christmas, directed by Roger Robb and written by Chad Quinn, starring Meagan Holder and Brad James, is the story of a lawyer working as a live-in cook who poses as her employer to impress her family
until her secret is exposed.

5 – A Christmas Stray, directed by Roger Bobb and written by Tobin Addington, starring Andra Fuller and Rhyon Nicole Brown, is the story about a corporate executive who is guided by a stray after he is stranded in a mountain town on Christmas Eve to a local veterinarian.

6 – A Jenkins Family Christmas, directed by Robin Givens and written by Oscar Estella, Joy Kecken and Christopher Oscar Pena, stars Regina Taylor, Kim Coles, and Tammy Townsend, is the story of two sisters struggling to preserve their family holiday traditions in the wake of their father’s passing, when a half-sister they didn’t know existed shows up.

7 – MIRACLE IN MOTOR CITY on AMAZON/LIFETIME with Smokey Robinson, Tia Mowry-Hardric, and Mark Taylor is a must-see.
8 – ICE WINE CHRISTMAS on AMAZON/LIFETIME uplifts love, business, and trust with Roselyn Sanchez and Lyriq Bent.
9 – LOVE HARD on NETFLIX, one of few holiday movies with an Asian cast, addresses valuing ourselves as well as how we judge others.

10 – BLACK NATIVITY is a Christmas based on Langston Hughes’ gospel oratorio is on AMAZON.
11 – THE HOLIDAY is one favorite to watch all year round, also available on AMAZON.
12 – HOLIDAY RUSH is another NETFLIX favorite, starring Romany Malco and Sonequa Martin-Green.
13 – CHRISTMAS LODGE, on AMAZON, is my go-to feel-good movie, emphasizing, love, spirituality, family, and the joy of giving.
14 – A HUSBAND FOR CHRISTMAS is a HALLMARK movie featuring two of my favorites – Vivica Fox and Ricco Ross are available on AMAZON.
15 – A FAMILY CHRISTMAS GIFT with Holly Robinson-Pete and Patti LaBelle is another HALLMARK favorite, available on AMAZON.
16 – POLAR EXPRESS, starring Tom Hanks, takes us on a classic holiday ride that is magical and transformational on AMAZON.
17 – EVERY DAY IS CHRISTMAS is my favorite Christmas love story and Scrooge tale, featuring Toni Braxton and Michael Jai White on AMAZON.
18 – CHRISTMAS HOTEL, with Sean Patrick Thomas and Tatyana Ali, is another holiday rom-com with an all-star cast on AMAZON.
19 – A NUTCRACKER CHRISTMAS is a wonderful story of love, loss, and redemption, which can also be accessed through AMAZON.
20 – CHRISTMAS WITH A VIEW is a great story of trust, betrayal, and triumph, available on AMAZON with great, diverse casting.
21 – ANGELS IN THE SNOW is a remarkable story about the power of entertaining strangers, as they might be angels, on AMAZON.
22 – MERRY LIDDLE CHRISTMAS BABY on AMAZON/LIFETIME continues the love as Part 3 of the loving Kelly Rowland-Thomas Cadrot series.
23 – DANCING THROUGH THE SNOW with Colin Lawrence, AnnaLynne McCord, and Colin’s real-life daughter Bianca, is a new AMAZON/Lifetime favorite.
24 – A GINGERBREAD ROMANCE is about the power of creativity, teamwork, support for one another, and success. An oldie but goodie, it’s available on AMAZON/Hallmark.
25 – JINGLE BELL BRIDE provides terrific performances by Julie Gonzalo and Ronnie Rowe, Jr. Also available on AMAZON.
26 – A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER is another favorite, with a great plot about change, family, and healing. Also available on AMAZON.
27 – LAST HOLIDAY is a feel-good favorite, with an all-star cast sharing the gift of prosperity.
Also available on AMAZON.
28 – CHRISTMAS IN EVERGREEN IS A MOVIE SERIES TO FOLLOW. AVAILABLE ON HALLMARK OR AMAZON.
29 – THE CHANDLER FAMILY MOVIES ARE ALSO SOME GO-TO FAVORITES FROM AMAZON – UP FAITH FAMILY.
30 – ANGELAS CHRISTMAS MOVIES ARE ALSO A GIFT OF LOVE, SACRIFICE, AND DELIGHT. AVAILABLE ON NETFLIX.
31 – THE CHRISTMAS SWITCH MOVIES ARE ALSO FUN WITH A TALENTED CAST, STARRING VANESSA HUDGENS ON NETFLIX.

“If you’re feeling guilty indulging in a holiday movie, don’t. If anyone in your family gives you grief, tell them it is cinematherapy.   

DR. PAMELA RUTLEDGE
FROM PSYCHOLOGY TODAY
32 – THIS IS A MAGICAL STORY OF HOPE AND TRANSFORMATION, FULL OF SURPRISES.

33 – THIS IS A CLASSIC, A POWERFUL WAY TO TELL OUR STORY OF FAMILY, WARMTH & HEALING

34 – This is a powerful, must-see holiday movie: the lesson of light and truth is always miraculous.

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