As you snuggle indoors on these chilly days and celebrate Christmas, here are some of my favorite movies to watch. If you have others, please share them, so that I can add them to the list. Happy holidays, and don’t forget the meditation below.
1 – JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY, written and directed by David E. Talbert, choreographed by Ashley Wallen, with the amazing 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, remains number one on my list. Streamed on Netflix, this land of invention and innovation uplifts the magic of what genius, generosity and giving are all about.
In Psychology Today, Dr. Pamela Rutledge says holiday movies are an important antidote to stress, creating 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 39 more of my favorite holiday movies.
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)
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 the importance of love between women, featuring the story of 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. (OWN)
5 – A Christmas Proposal, directed by Martin Wood and written by Mark Amato, this is a wonderful story of a chef who dreams of having her own food trucks and agrees to pose as an attorney’s girlfriend in order to help finance her new venture. Starring Adam Rodriguez, Jessica Camacho, and Jaime M. Callica, they learn that family is more important than competition. (Paramount+)
6 – Something From Tiffany’s, directed by Darryl Wein, and written by Melissa Hill (book) Tamara Chestna (script), this engaging film deals with the importance of integrity when an engagement ring that was for someone else leads a woman to a more honorable relationship. Kendrick Sampson and Zoey Deutch, along with Leah Jeffries, and others provide a compelling performance in this warm, inclusive story. (PRIME)
7 – The Sound of Christmas, written and directed by Booker T. Mattison, along with co-writer Tiffany Warren, features an all-star cast with Ne-Yo and Serayah, who I love to watch perform. This is a delightful story about a man who regains his sense of self through the compassion and genius of a talented woman who comes into his life around Christmas. (BET+)
8 – Christmas DejaVu, directed and written by Christel Gibson, this is a beautiful modern take on the power of Christmas transformation for a young woman who gets to re-create herself despite the trauma she suffered from death of her father at an early age. Two of my favorite actors star, Amber Riley and Loretta Divine, as mother an daughter, and it’s just fun to see them share their fabulous beauty and talent, along with the debonair and devoted love interest portrayed by Blue Kimble. (BET+)
9 – A Chestnut Family Christmas, directed by Roger Robb and written by Chad Quinn, starring Meagan Holder and Brad James, is yet another testimony about the importance of authenticity and trust, told through as 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. (OWN)
39 – This Christmas is A CLASSIC, A POWERFUL WAY TO TELL OUR STORY OF FAMILY, WARMTH & HEALING
40 – The Christmas Candle is last but certainly not least as one of the most powerful holiday movies of redemption and transformation: the lesson of light and truth is always miraculous.