Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie

6 Must-Watch Movies for Christmas


Sleigh bells ring, are you listenin’?

In the lane, dog’s are friskin’…

Wait. Was that Rudolph?

Okay, wait a min. That’s not quite how the lyric goes. But who’s counting? Cuz around here we are So Excited! Because … Christmas!!

Mom and I? This time of year we like to snuggle into our favorite recliner with a hot cuppa and a blankie and read Christmas-themed books. But one of us – I won’t say who – also likes watching Christmas movies! We even made a list. Checked it twice. See our prior post on 14 Best Christmas Movies You Never Heard of (and a few you have).

A Little Diff

Well. This year we’re doing something a little diff. We’re gonna add to that list some movies we watched recently that we loved.

Now, we’re not exactly talkin “new releases” here, understand? In fact, most have been around awhile. (One of us is slow. Hi, Mom!) They’re just new to us. They’re a little different from your average holiday fare. But all feature solid storylines, sturdy characters, and themes of hope, joy, and love. Second chances. Forgiveness. Redemption. Grace. You know. Like CHRISTMAS!

Ready? Great! Here’s our new totally subjective list of 6 must-watch movies for Christmas (in no particular order)! How many have you seen? 

6 Must-Watch Movies for Christmas

1. One Special Night

James Garner and Julie Andrews shine in this endearing, heartfelt movie that’ll probably become a holiday classic.

A widowed physician (Julie Andrews) and a developer with a penchant for saying the wrong thing (James Garner) meet on a snowy Thanksgiving at the nursing home where his wife, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and a heart condition, is a patient. After the doc offers the dude a ride home, they skid off the road and find themselves stranded in a vacant cabin.

Can two strangers lost on a cold winter’s night find true love?

2. The Christmas Lodge

Discover a place where a heart-warming past and a loving future meet for one remarkable group of people. This is an uplifting story about the importance of faith, family and the true holiday spirit.

During a weekend trip to the mountains, Mary (Erin Karpluk) finds herself at the now run-down lodge where she spent the holidays with her family growing up. She becomes determined to restore the building to its former glory.

Inspired by her grandfather and guided by her grandmother in heaven, Mary throws herself into the project. During the process she finds herself drawn to Jack (Michael Shanks), a handsome man who loves the lodge as much as she does. Historically unlucky in love, this chance encounter allows Mary to renew her faith in life and discover her one true love…

3. Us

Michael Landon’s final role. Us is a 1991 TV  movie that’s produced, written and directed by Michael Landon. It was a pilot for what would’ve been Landon’s fourth consecutive television series. Landon’s death precluded its go ahead, but the pilot aired as a posthumous tribute to Landon in September 1991.

Landon played Jeff Hayes, a man newly released from prison after being wrongfully convicted of a murder he didn’t commit. After 18 years in prison, Hayes tries re-connecting with his estranged father and the son he’s never known.

Us isn’t a “Christmas” movie per se, but themes of family, forgiveness, and second chances abound. (Sorry, we couldn’t find a trailer.)

4. The Ultimate Gift

James Garner, Bill Cobbs and Brian Dennehy star in this heartwarming story about a spoiled billionaire brat on an “improbable journey of discovery.”

Jason had a simple relationship with his uber wealthy grandfather, Howard “Red” Stevens. He hated him. So when Red dies, Jason figures that his grandfather’s money will allow him to continue living in the lap of luxury. And that the “reading of the will” is gonna be another simple cash transaction, right? 

Wrong! Because what Red leaves his grandson is anything but simple. 

A little slow in places, but we love just about anything with Jim, Bill, and Brian. Based on Jim Stovall’s best-selling book, The Ultimate Gift

5.  The Heart of Christmas

Open your heart.

Open your mind.

Take time to make someone to feel loved.

And cherish every moment.

Austin and Julie Locke are devastated when they learn that their young son, Dax, has been diagnosed with cancer. But with courage, determination and faith, they decide to give Dax one last Christmas, even if it has to be in October. When the community sees the holiday decorations and learns the heartbreaking truth, what happens next is a miraculous outpouring of caring and support.

Based on a true story. (Mom always does that sparkly-eyed, sniffly thing with this one.)

This brings us to another new favorite. You knew this was coming, right? And you knew it would involve a sweet furry face, right? Well then. Here ya go:

Our New Favorite:

6. A Dog Named Christmas

How one special dog became the greatest gift of all…

A developmentally-challenged young man is determined to prove to his family that he can care for a dog on his own. But Todd’s father (Bruce Greenwood) is dead set against the idea of fostering a dog for the holidays. Todd eventually prevails and in so doing, inspires his father to love the new member of the family. And then… Oh, wait. You’ll have to watch the movie for the rest.

We loved this movie. Bring tissue.

Have you seen any of these?

What are your favorite Christmas movies?



4 thoughts on “6 Must-Watch Movies for Christmas

  1. I have not heard of any of these movies, but they all sound great. Especially A Dog for Christmas! (I’m guessing that is Kimber’s favorite movie). I also like the sound of One Special Night.

    • Yes on A Dog Named Christmas! 🐾 One Special Night was a surprise. A good one. Worth the “price of admission” just to see these two outstanding performers together on screen.

  2. Eowyn, I haven’t seen any of these…thanks for the tips! One special night looks especially promising. I love Julie Andrews and James Garner!

    • Us too! One Special Night was a pleasant surprise. Worth the “price of admission” just to see these two fine performers together in the same movie. Enjoy!

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