Written by : Mariana Lenox

Recapture the Holiday Spirit

A list of 9 great films that are sure to help you meet the challenge of recapturing joy and love this holiday season.

Happy christmas couple wearing santa's hats and holding a remote control

The holidays are a great time to gather with family and friends and rejoice in each other’s company. If hustle and bustle of the season is keeping you from doing much relaxing and rejoicing, challenge yourself to take a deep breath and recapture that holiday spirit. Watching a good holiday movie is a perfect way to infuse that good cheer. Here is a list of films that are sure to help you meet the challenge of recapturing joy and love this holiday season.​

Love Actually
"Love is…actually all around.” Love Actually shares the stories of multiple people falling in, and a few out, of love during te holiday season. The various story-lines demonstrate the true meaning of  love, both the good and the bad. Take the time this holiday season to tell the special people in your life that you love them.

Miracle on 34th Street
Kris, a jolly, good-hearted man, claims to be Santa Claus and spends his time reminding people the true meaning of Christmas despite the rampant commercialism all around him. Most think he is delusional and a danger to the kids, but Kris has convinced a few to believe. Miracle on 34th Street is about belief, a belief in Santa Claus, a belief that represents hope and joy.

A Christmas Carol
There’s a good chance the most have read, watched or even acted in some variation of A Christmas Carol. The story follows Ebenezer Scrooge, (Bah, humbug!), a man who thinks of nothing but money and doesn’t care about the people around him. That is until one night, when he is visited by three ghosts that teach him life-changing lessons. The most important lesson to gain from this story is that you should always be grateful for what you have, no matter how little or how much.

The Polar Express
The Polar Express is a modern classic children’s book adapted into a movie in 2004 by Robert Zemeckis. A young boy boards a special train on Christmas Eve that takes him on a magical adventure showing him the wonder of life will never fade if you always believe. Just like the lesson from Miracle on 34th Street, believing can open your eyes to the many wonderful things and opportunities you can have in life.

White Christmas
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas follows two army buddies turned entertainers who fall for a sister-act post-WWII. However, this isn’t just a love story. The selfless acts performed by the characters Wallace and Davis (played by Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye) for their ex-general is the best part. So, take a note from White Christmas and do something selfless this holiday season. You will be surprised at how much joy even the simplest of acts will bring you.

Meet Me in St. Louis
This isn’t a typical Christmas movie but it has a moving Christmas scene where Judy Garland sings “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” The beautiful thing about this movie is the togetherness of the family. Although they have their problems, they work through them together.

It’s a Wonderful Life
This classic Christmas film is a must-see! A guardian angel helps a compassionate but depressed and frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he never existed. Author and inspirational speaker Bob Welch wrote the book, 52 Little Lessons from It’s a Wonderful Life. One of my favorite quotes is from George, who says that “No man is a failure if he has friends.” Definitely food for thought that should keep you motivated all year round.

The Bishop’s Wife
This is another classic film that everyone should see at least once. An angel (played by Cary Grant) arrives to help a Bishop and his wife realize what is truly important in life. Dudley the angel brings happiness and good will to anyone who needs him. Give this a watch and take a lesson from Dudley and put your family first this holiday season.

Die Hard
Most people don’t think of this as a Christmas movie, but it most definitely is. It is a mix of a variety of films including The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street and A Christmas Carol. With so many Christmas themes packed into one film and all wrapped up in a big shiny Hollywood box of explosions and action how could you want anything more?

We hope you get to cuddle up with your loved ones and watch at least one of these movies this season. We are sure you will see an increase in your holiday spirit and overall happiness.


Mariana Lenox is half of the husband/wife movie review team at the blog Reel and Unscripted. Her love of movies began young with all things Disney but has since been expanded to include all genres, as proven by her now 4,000 strong movie collection fondly known as the "movie wall". You be the judge on whether or not this represents an obsession or a just a hobby!

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