This season is not lacking in cute, funny, romantic and sappy sweet movies and televisions specials. But if you’re not in the mood for extreme Christmas cheer and looking for something a little more substantive in your holiday entertainment, check out these flicks.
A Christmas Without Snow
Michael Learned (the Walton’s mom) plays a divorced single mom trying to pull her life back together. She joins the choir of a local church led by curmudgeon John Houseman. As the group prepares for the annual Christmas program, they deal with racism, ageism, sexism, single-parenting and choir divas. It was made in 1981, but it’s themes still ring true and it will leave you feeling good.
You can actually watch the whole movie here
Pieces of April
This is actually a Thanksgiving movie, but perfect for any holiday when family (especially estranged family) is gathering. A young Katie Holmes plays a wayward daughter who has invited her estranged family, including her cancer-ridden mother, to Thanksgiving dinner. It’s a tale of redemption if ever there was one. (Language warning. Lots and lots of cursing in this one.)
Available live streaming on Amazon prime, on disc from Netflix and for rent or purchase on I-tunes.
While You Were Sleeping
In different hands, this movie might have fallen under the sappy sweet category. But it’s more than a romantic comedy. It’s about the importance of family at Christmas and how family can be people we choose, not simply those we are related to. And it’s one of those rare movies that you can watch with an eight-year-old or an eighty-year-old and not experience any awkward moments due to language, sex or “adult situations.”
Available on Netflix streaming, Amazon prime and for rent or purchase on I-tunes
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
What do you get when the worst kids in town show up to star in the church Christmas pageant? The funniest, best and possibly most accurate Christmas pageant ever. If you think you’ve heard all you ever needed to hear about the nativity, check out this show. (The book is pretty great, too.)
Watch the whole featurette (it’s less than an hour long) here:
I dare you to be in a bad mood after any one of these films.
Rev. Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently based in New York City. Doubting Believer provides tools and encouragement for the rollercoaster ride of your faith journey. Follow me on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube. You can also follow on TikTok. Get emails to keep up with all that is happening.