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Holiday TV Movies & (Non-Rankin Bass) Holiday Specials

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On 11/10/2020 at 10:18 AM, MorganSte said:

Has anyone watched Holidate on Netflix?  I liked it for the most part.  It had a slightly different flavor, but was still true to the tropes of a Christmas movie.

We just saw this last night. I didn't recognize the female lead and had to look her up. I know she's Julia Roberts niece but I've never seen Emma in anything before. Kristen Chenoweth was a hoot as the aunt and Jessica Capshaw and Alex Moffatt were a nice addition to.

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Christmas on the Vine on Lifetime was decent. I like the lead in other movies (even if she was the annoying sister on the Resident) and it was refreshing that the leads weren’t hating each other in the beginning like the typical trope.  

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9 hours ago, anniebird said:

You and I like and dislike all the same people - you need to publish your speadsheet when it's done.

Please do and include columns for things like children, old flame, dead parent/spouse, saving a business in peril, small town, annual gathering of some sort, magical item, kiss in last 5 minutes, hot cocoa, cookies, winter activity, time travel, interrupted journey, misunderstanding, and (new this year) a musical instrument.  

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On 10/31/2020 at 1:10 PM, Ashforth said:

I also only made it about 30 minutes into A Crafty Christmas Romance. I just didn't get it. Why did the guy leave the box of books in the alley outside her shop instead of bringing them in when it was open? Why was the craft store taking donations, was it also a thrift store? If so, why did the helper say that she should they were only accepting new items? If they wanted to know more about the coin, why not look on the internet as a start? Then she takes it to the guy who says he doesn't know much about coins, but then whips out his big reference book and voila! There it is!

I tend to not pay close attention to these movies, so maybe it all made sense but I missed it. I didn't like the leads, either, though. As mentioned above, her hair hanging in her face really bugged.

Omg - I came here to post pretty much the same about this movie, which I just watched yesterday

And THANK YOU for mentioning her hair.  Not only do I think the Hallmark hair dept uses the same style wigs for all the female leads (just-past-shoulder-length with soft, curling-iron-made, beachy waves) but they overdo the face-framing side pieces.  Trust me - when I have my side piece hanging while I'm working at my desk, I don't last 5 minutes before it's either tucked behind my ear or pulled back in a pony tail.  I mean - you'd think the scene where she went to help him paint that she would've pulled her hair back!  I spent several hours on Sat with Mr.Ctlady painting an outside wall and I was in old clothes and work boots, my hair out of my face - and I was still splattered.  This girl didn't even put gloves on and not one drop of paint on her (but, kudos to the writers for having him give her a flannel work shirt to wear over her lacy top)

Onto the other unbelievable dreck - just about all of these movies where the female lead owns a cutesy shop, they have an assistant they just cannot do without and practically has no life so they can run the place while said lead goes on 'missions'.  The lead here (Mandy) barely worked in her own shop the entire movie.  And what kind of mom and pop craft store can make enough money all year round from sales and 'make-your-own-ugly-sweater-and-ornaments' workshops to afford an assistant's pay, and enough for Mandy to support that beautifully designed and decorated home?

Onto - Jonah.....what a stupid dolt!  Nothing about him screamed 'romantic lead'.  The guy's in debt, yet he has time to run around with Mandy searching for the book/letter/coin owner rather than - I don't know - working 24/7 with minimal help to fix a job that a plumber he hired ruined which caused said debt.  And correct me if I'm wrong, but do debt collectors really stamp PAST DUE on the outside of the envelope?  And Mandy trying to help him financially by asking the pastor to pay for the church job he's also working on in full before the job is done so he'd have money to pay his bills - I'm wondering how the church was able to stay financially afloat while being shut down with no tithes/offerings coming in. 

I was also thinking that the interior decor of Jonah's house was just a little too Better Homes & Gardens for a guy who works construction.  Not that a guy who works construction is ignorant to decorating, but it just seemed a bit too put together and neat to be believable

The dialogue was cringy and Mandy's voice always had her going up a slight octave on the last word of every sentence (kind of opposite of a vocal fry, but not as 'valley girl')  The scene with Jonah on the phone with her discussing him cooking Christmas dinner:  Jonah:  "I'm looking around my kitchen and I"m thinking I'm going to need to get some food if I'm going to cook Christmas dinner"  Uh.......ya THINK!  Oh, and when they finally found 'Judith' which I think was Dec 23rd, he still hadn't gone grocery shopping for Christmas dinner.  And his 'wish' in his letter to Santa was that Mandy would love him.  That was just......awkward.

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I saw the creepiest movie the other day.  This couple was I the process of getting a divorce but it seems like magical sources were not allowing them to sign the final papers.

Enter an 8 year old girl who just appears in the husband's house.  They call the authorities but notice she's not visible in a mirror so nothing gets done.  Eventually they discover she's an angel who claims she wants to know what it's like to have parents.  She brings the couple together before she ends up leaving.  In the process he drew a picture as a Christmas gift for them.

The picture turned out to be her as an angel looking over the parents holding a baby.  Well here's the creepiness:  It turns out she was a miscarried baby they had 8 years ago.  This is supposed to be a Christmas movie!!

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I'm sure this has been said before but I have to ask "how is it that the people on these holiday movies almost always live on millionaire row"???  I just watched Never Kiss A Man in a Christmas Sweater which was cute but forgettable and if they ever explained how a 2nd grade teacher could afford that lovely home complete with piano and guest house then I missed it.

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4 hours ago, WinnieWinkle said:

I'm sure this has been said before but I have to ask "how is it that the people on these holiday movies almost always live on millionaire row"???  I just watched Never Kiss A Man in a Christmas Sweater which was cute but forgettable and if they ever explained how a 2nd grade teacher could afford that lovely home complete with piano and guest house then I missed it.

In this case at least she was divorced, so I assumed she got the house that she and her ex had bought together.

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I watched A New York Christmas Wedding on Netflix, and it was a bit cheesy but hey, good for LGBTQ couples for getting their cheesy Christmas movies too! Plus Chris Noth plays a priest!

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On 11/15/2020 at 10:23 PM, anniebird said:

You and I like and dislike all the same people - you need to publish your speadsheet when it's done.

🤣 Its a bit out of control- I have over 300 movies on it that are either recorded, recorded watched and deleted, scheduled to record or waiting for it to show up in the guide to record.   

And I keep coming up with movies that aren't on the list, including those on Netflix, Tubi, Amazon Prime.  I'm working from home so I have time during the day to watch some but I'm running out of room on my DVR.  

Anyone wish to share what is their one Can't Miss Holiday movie?  Snowed Inn is pretty high on the list but I'm trying to figure out what others might be up there.

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2 hours ago, Spartan Girl said:

I watched A New York Christmas Wedding on Netflix, and it was a bit cheesy but hey, good for LGBTQ couples for getting their cheesy Christmas movies too! Plus Chris Noth plays a priest!

When I saw Chris Noth had a supporting role in this, I expected a little bit bigger budget than the technical aspects of the movie displayed.   I didn't love the movie but yes, good for LGBTQ representation. 

2 hours ago, Callietwo said:

Anyone wish to share what is their one Can't Miss Holiday movie?

Love At the Thanksgiving Day Parade but I don't think it aired this year. 😞

Edited by Irlandesa
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@Callietwo I have a few can’t miss movies, such as MistleTones, A Recipe for a Perfect Christmas (which never airs on Lifetime now), Nine Lives of Christmas, and Snow Bride. I watch these movies at least once a year and if they are on TV I will tune in. 
 

Princess Switch 2 dropped on Netflix so planning on watching it tomorrow night. I hope it’s as cute as the first one.

Edited by twoods

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I've been watching a lot of movies since I retired right before Covid hit.  I loved Snowed Inn and because of Andrew Walker I watched Merry and Brite yesterday and loved that one too.  I'm a fan of the Christmas Spirit with the ghost returning every year even if the plot confuses me in the end.  I saw another one recently with Adeline Kade (Mary Queen of Scots) in a holiday baking competition at Mrs Rose's bakery going against a culinary expert.  I just liked the characters so much for some reason.  Last night I saw the Christmas Wish and I liked the plot.. ha ha 30 minutes in I had no idea who the boyfriend was going to be (shock)!!!  I also loved Holidate on Netflix and 12th Date of Christmas

I turned off The Magic Shoes 15 minutes in.  There was another where a guy and a girl were looking to return some trinkets to a man who lived in the town 40 years ago.. ugh.  changed it immediately.  And most of all one with Jonathan Bennett playing the high school sweetheart for a Christmas Reunion???  OMG the girl was so annoying.

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Has anyone watched A Very Charming Christmas Town? Is it any good? The description and Lifetime’s track record this year makes me want to skip it but I am a little curious since I am familiar with the town it is set in. 

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3 hours ago, Dani said:

Has anyone watched A Very Charming Christmas Town? Is it any good? The description and Lifetime’s track record this year makes me want to skip it but I am a little curious since I am familiar with the town it is set in. 

Is that the one in Solvang? It was okay. I am also familiar with the town (my sister lived next town up the valley for a few years so I had been there with her a number of times; I even went to their July 4th parade a couple years ago). It did bug me that the lead actress kept calling it Saul-vang. I was also annoyed by her character for the first little bit, but I still watched the whole thing. It was nothing great, but ultimately fine.

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43 minutes ago, redpencil said:

Is that the one in Solvang? It was okay. I am also familiar with the town (my sister lived next town up the valley for a few years so I had been there with her a number of times; I even went to their July 4th parade a couple years ago). It did bug me that the lead actress kept calling it Saul-vang. I was also annoyed by her character for the first little bit, but I still watched the whole thing. It was nothing great, but ultimately fine.

Thanks.  I decided to watch and it’s been a rocky start. As the opening started I was thinking how nice it was going to be to watch one of these movies in a setting without snow. Clearly my hopes were dashed very quickly. Between the digital snow over the title, Saul-vang and immediate mention of 4 inches of snow I don’t know how long I’m going to last. Now someone’s taking picture of fake snow around light posts with a snowball fight and slipping on ice in the background. Aerial shots with no snow but snow in the close-ups. This is hilarious. 

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Lifetime movies have been a big disappointment this year (as others have mentioned) because there are usually a few every year that I love, and so far zilch. I usually can’t get past 20 minutes and end up deleting it.

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18 hours ago, Dani said:

Has anyone watched A Very Charming Christmas Town? Is it any good? The description and Lifetime’s track record this year makes me want to skip it but I am a little curious since I am familiar with the town it is set in. 

That was one I didn't mind because the leads worked for me for some reason.

A Taste of Christmas is super cheesy.  Intentionally so, maybe?  But cheesy.  I do like the personality of the lead actress, though which is why I'll leave it on in the background.

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30 minutes ago, Irlandesa said:

That was one I didn't mine because the leads worked for me for some reason.

I ended up mostly liking it. Although I never did stop laughing at the four inches of snow slowly melting in flower beds for two weeks in Solvang’s freezing highs of 60+ degrees. Or when it snowed as she’s standing there in a open weave sweater. 

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Christmas Unwrapped was okay-ish. Derivative, but I appreciated the cold, snowy Ottawa exteriors.

Despite liking both movies' leads, I didn't care much for Netflix's Operation Christmas Drop and Christmas on Wheels. Neither of those movies managed to keep me interested till the end (but then again, army-centric movies tend to leave me cold, and a lot of CoW felt really implausible).

Oh, and Holidate... eh. I wouldn't even call that a Christmas movie, since 90% of it didn't take place during the holidays, but overall, it was average. I liked the cast (Aimee Carrero was criminally underused, though, and Luke Bracey really felt like the casting director tried to get a Hemsworth, but couldn't afford one ^^) but the movie probably lacked a rewrite to tighten things up, and I liked it more when it was called Plus one.

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On 11/19/2020 at 9:19 PM, Irlandesa said:

Anyone wish to share what is their one Can't Miss Holiday movie?

Most Wonderful Time of the Year with Henry Winkler. One Christmas Eve with Anne Heche.

 

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On 11/19/2020 at 7:16 PM, Callietwo said:

Anyone wish to share what is their one Can't Miss Holiday movie?

A Season for Miracles.

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On 11/19/2020 at 4:16 PM, Callietwo said:

Anyone wish to share what is their one Can't Miss Holiday movie?  Snowed Inn is pretty high on the list but I'm trying to figure out what others might be up there.

Trading Christmas. It’s the one Hallmark movie I can watch even when I’m not in the mood for Hallmark movies. It’s worth a watch just for the line, “Out of which orifice do you suggest I start pulling dancing elves?"

Outside of the Hallmark style movies it’s easily While You Were Sleeping

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35 minutes ago, Dani said:

Outside of the Hallmark style movies it’s easily While You Were Sleeping

Ditto.  And Michael.

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On 11/19/2020 at 9:19 PM, Irlandesa said:

Love At the Thanksgiving Day Parade but I don't think it aired this year. 😞

It played several weeks ago.  I'd seen it before but really enjoyed it.  

On 11/20/2020 at 1:57 AM, twoods said:

MistleTones, A Recipe for a Perfect Christmas (which never airs on Lifetime now), Nine Lives of Christmas, and Snow Bride.

I haven't seen MistleTones or a Recipe for a Perfect Christmas as far as I remember.  Love Nine Lives of Christmas but I didn't have a fond recollection of Snow Bride so I didn't bother recording that one.  Maybe I should give it another shot.  

5 hours ago, Angel pie said:

Most Wonderful Time of the Year with Henry Winkler. One Christmas Eve with Anne Heche

I have Most Wonderful Time recorded, but I think I skipped One Christmas Eve.. I'll look that one up, thanks!  

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I just saw a new list and Lifetime keeps adding new movies. Just between Hallmark and Lifetime there are 70 movies premiering this Christmas. That’s insane. 

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1 hour ago, Callietwo said:

I haven't seen MistleTones or a Recipe for a Perfect Christmas as far as I remember. 

I watched The MistleTones last year after all the recommendations here.  I highly recommend it as it was a lot of fun.  The only thing I remember about A Recipe for a Perfect Christmas is that I wished the chef got together with the mother instead of the daughter. 

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We watched two premieres tonight- The Nashville Christmas Carol and The Angel Tree.  

TNCC was okay, kinda hokey but I enjoy Wes Brown, and Jessy Schram has grown on me.  But wow, the years have not been kind to Wynonna Judd & Sarah Evans.  

The Angel Tree was just like several other movies with the 'wish upon a tree in the town square and the wishes will come true" theme, including The Christmas Wish which was a bit more enjoyable to me. 

On a shallow note, Jill's wardrobe was atrocious for almost all but that red dress at the party.  Those too short sweaters and tucked in shirts just looked super frumpy on her.  

On an even shallower note, Lucas Bryant is a bit unattractive to me; he's much too thin and angular.  I don't find him leading man material at all.

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1 hour ago, Callietwo said:

We watched two premieres tonight- The Nashville Christmas Carol and The Angel Tree. 

I watched both too.  I ended up fast forwarding through The Nashville Christmas Carol after about half way through. I like Jesse Schram but the ghosts of Christmas present/past is one of my least favorite Christmas tropes.  And for a movie based in Nashville with a ton of country stars, it took way too long for the musical portion of the evening to kick in beyond Sara's initial song.

1 hour ago, Callietwo said:

On a shallow note, Jill's wardrobe was atrocious for almost all but that red dress at the party.  Those too short sweaters and tucked in shirts just looked super frumpy on her. 

She just gave birth in April so I wonder if she wanted more comfortable clothes. 

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@Callietwo Mistletones usually airs on Freeform, but it is on Disney+. I picked it for the kids to watch during movie night so I didn’t have to watch it after they fell asleep, and they both loved it. 

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Feliz NaviDAD was an awful title for a movie but I actually found it quite delightful.  I think the way music was used really helped.  AnnaLynne McCord and Mario Lopez were good together and his bad dates were funny.  (Although, I did notice they were all blondes.)

 

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I really like Jessy Schram and Wes Brown but that was the most boring, low-stakes version of a Christmas Carol I’ve ever seen. It particularly stood out in the family members complain about Scrooge scene. The big insult is that the boss is intense and has to have things her own way.

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11 hours ago, twoods said:

@Callietwo Mistletones usually airs on Freeform, but it is on Disney+. I picked it for the kids to watch during movie night so I didn’t have to watch it after they fell asleep, and they both loved it. 

Freeform also has it available to stream for free. Looks like they are doing that with all of their movies that are not airing this year including the ones not on Disney+. I’m watching Angry Angel right now which I am really enjoying. 

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Just watched 12 Dates of Christmas with Any Smart and Mark Paul Goselaar. I really enjoyed it. Cold weather, the ex wasn’t a bad guy, no evil boss and the plot was simple enough. All the actors were really charming. I wish the newer movies were a bit more like this with substance and less bland.

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39 minutes ago, Avabelle said:

Just watched 12 Dates of Christmas with Any Smart and Mark Paul Goselaar. I really enjoyed it. Cold weather, the ex wasn’t a bad guy, no evil boss and the plot was simple enough. All the actors were really charming. I wish the newer movies were a bit more like this with substance and less bland.

I've only seen this once or twice and really enjoyed it.  It never seems to air on any of the channels I get and you can't seem to buy it on DVD.

 

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23 hours ago, Kohola3 said:

Outside of the Hallmark style movies it’s easily While You Were Sleeping

I agree. I like Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory too, but haven't seen that one in years.

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A Child's Christmas in Wales is an annual viewing at my sister's house.  You will never find it on TV but a lovely, charming, funny story.

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1 hour ago, Kohola3 said:

A Child's Christmas in Wales is an annual viewing at my sister's house.  You will never find it on TV but a lovely, charming, funny story.

It's on YouTube, if this is it:

In other news, How The Grinch Stole Christmas is on TBS right now! I found a schedule:

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is a holiday classic. If you’re looking for a place to watch it this Christmas season, you’re in luck — the 1966 animated film will be airing on broadcast TV, cable and streaming.

Here’s where you can watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” this year.

Nov. 27 — 7 p.m. MST — NBC

Dec. 6 — 6:30 p.m. MST — FX

Dec. 6 — 8 p.m. MST — TBS

Dec. 7 — 1 a.m. MST — FX

Dec. 13 — 9 p.m. MST — TBS

Dec. 18 — 9 p.m. MST — TNT

Dec. 25 — 7 p.m. MST — NBC

You can also rent “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” on Amazon Prime, iTunes or YouTube Movies for $3.99.

I love Max.

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15 hours ago, Vermicious Knid said:

Oof. Huffpost really, really does not like Dolly Parton's Christmas On The Square. 'Quirky' is the kindest thing they can say.

I watched it yesterday because I was feeling like fluff.  It was cheesy fluff and told a very rudimentary/basic story.  But having Dolly, Jenifer and Lewis and Christine Baranski star in it made it worth it for me.  All three were great.  But for those wondering if they should watch--seriously expect a cheese fest. 

Dolly's Coat of Many Colors was better.

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Cheesefest, indeed. I almost gave up right there, during the in-your-face opening number, but thankfully, it toned it down later on.

Still, it was rough. "MGM musical meets Hallmark meets A Christmas Carol meets Touched by an Angel meets It's a Wonderful Life meets community theater meets Dolly Parton - but with no budget, awkward lip-synching, flat direction and staging on a cheap overlit backlot" rough.

Every now and then it worked thanks to Dolly, Baranski, Treat Williams, or a song or two, but overall, it will probably end up being a holiday favorite for MST3k-type snarky commentary.

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On 11/20/2020 at 11:00 PM, twoods said:

Lifetime movies have been a big disappointment this year (as others have mentioned) because there are usually a few every year that I love, and so far zilch. I usually can’t get past 20 minutes and end up deleting it.

Same here. I'm not even looking forward to most of them, and my watchlist is usually pretty full with their movies. This year, I have like three on my list and so far I've only liked one (still need to see the others).

Netflix is my fave this year yet again. I LOVED Jingle Jangle and will probably watch it a third time this season. Such a feel good musical that made me feel like a kid all over again. I laughed, cried, and felt so much wonder all in one movie. Prob my fave of the season. 

I was disappointed in Operation Christmas Drop and I've been looking forward to it since last year cause I love me some Kat Graham (going to rewatch The Holiday Calendar this week). But I fell asleep on that one and have no desire to return to it.

I loved Princess Switched 2, it was delightfully cheesy and Vaness H chewed scenery as the baddy. So good.

Can't wait for Christmas Chronicles 2 later this week, as I freaking loved the first one.

I tried UPtv's new christmas movies and noped right out of the 2 I saw. So, so bad. Felt like they grabbed their offerings from the Hallmark reject pile.

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On 11/19/2020 at 6:16 PM, Callietwo said:

Anyone wish to share what is their one Can't Miss Holiday movie? 

The Christmas Card, Crown for Christmas, Christmas Getaway, The Christmas Angel (the one with Bruce Davison) as well as the others already mentioned.  I have many more, but relatively few from the past couple of years when it seems quantity over quality is the goal.

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I had an enjoyable time a few years back watching  “THE GIFT OF LOVE” which is loosely based on O’Henry’s short story,  “Gift of the Magi.” I’ve always loved this short story, which is my *favorite* Christmas story (and I’m Jewish). Lol

It aired on ABC in 1978  and was produced by the Osmonds.  Yeah, Marie is in it, and yes, her acting is awful, but she does get to sing a delightful song to a little girl.  Timothy Bottoms, James Woods, and June Lockhart also star.  The narrator, O’Henry, opens the movie.

The movie is certainly not any worse than some of the repetitive, formulaic dreck which has been foisted on Lifetime/Hallmark these last few years.  I would arguably say it is better, even with Marie as an “actress.” Lolol

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On 11/19/2020 at 7:16 PM, Callietwo said:

Anyone wish to share what is their one Can't Miss Holiday movie?  Snowed Inn is pretty high on the list but I'm trying to figure out what others might be up there.

My first can't miss, Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade, has already been mentioned, but my second is Magic Stocking with Bridget Regan and Victor Webster. It looks like it will be back mid-December. 

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I usually look forward to Up's offerings but not this year. Lifetime's offerings seem duller than dishwater this year too. And I checked out halfway during the last Hallmark one I watched.

 

Brain power studios put Christmas with a Prince on Youtube this year

 

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On 11/19/2020 at 7:16 PM, Callietwo said:

Anyone wish to share what is their one Can't Miss Holiday movie?  Snowed Inn is pretty high on the list but I'm trying to figure out what others might be up there.

For me the true can't miss holiday movies are pretty vintage.  Holiday Inn, Christmas in Connecticut, The Bishop's Wife and the Alistair Sim version of A Christmas Carol.

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On 11/22/2020 at 2:46 AM, Irlandesa said:

Feliz NaviDAD was an awful title for a movie but I actually found it quite delightful.  I think the way music was used really helped.  AnnaLynne McCord and Mario Lopez were good together and his bad dates were funny.  (Although, I did notice they were all blondes.)

 

I really enjoyed it as well. Melissa Joan Hart directed it, so I am impressed. I thought Mario Lopez and AnnaLynne McCord had great chemistry, which always helps.

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On 11/19/2020 at 4:16 PM, Callietwo said:

Anyone wish to share what is their one Can't Miss Holiday movie?

Oh! I forgot to answer with my favs. I have a few, some of which have been mentioned up thread. I'll add Trading Christmas, Wrapped Up in Christmas, A Season For Miracles, A Bramble House Christmas, A Nutrcacker Christmas, The Nutcracker Ballet with Mikhail Baryshnikov & Gelsey Kirkland, Call Me Mrs. Miracle, Snow Bride, Hitched for the Holidays, The Christmas Chronicles, Can't Fight Christmas, and a few others. Lately, I've been mostly looking forward to the oldies but goodies rather than most of the new offerings.

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