No Life Like It

My most favourite time of the year

I love Christmas.

I love the lights, the decorations, the music, the smell of pine, purchasing and putting up the Christmas tree, listening to Christmas music and best of all watching Christmas movies with my family. This tradition started many years ago before VCRs and DVDs, when we still had to rely on the cable companies to schedule Christmas movies. Hence, it was one of the only times I could watch the Sound of Music, still one of my all time favourite movies.

I have watched it during the festive season and in various languages (did I mention I am only fluent in English) for more than 30 years. God bless my Norwegian grandfather who sat with me as I sang all the songs and watched the whole movie – explaining it to him.

Watching movies is one tradition I have carried on with my family and one my husband protests participating in every year – “Is it really that time of year again?” “Didn’t we just watch that?” and finally, “We already know how it’s going to end.”, are just a few of the remarks he shares as I queue up the DVD with one of my favourite festive movie.

A few in my collection include:

Scrooged – I love the modern day twist to Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. Okay maybe not so modern as the movie was made in 1988. Bill Murray’s character, Frank Cross, is the perfect example of someone who has lost the spirit of Christmas in this hilarious take on a classic, and Carol Kane is the best ghost I have ever watched.

The Santa Clause collection – A trilogy I look forward to watching every year with my children.

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas – A classic with Jim Carrey. Did I mention their decorating tools rock!

The Family Man – Described as a modern day “It’s a Wonderful Life”, this movie explores the road not taken. For me this movie reminds me to not take my family for granted and to be grateful for all I have. Even though the road to riches looks appealing, I am a very wealthy woman because of my family.

Love Actually – Love this movie! Although there are several storyline threads at the beginning of the movie which can be a little confusing, if you hang in there as the movie progresses it all falls into place. This movie is funny and touching. A great combination to put me into the Christmas spirit. Did I mention it was British?

National Lampoon’s Christmas – This movie always makes my husband and me laugh, as well as feel good and reminds us to accept the good with the bad, and that lowering our expectations often leads to better Christmas memories.

The Family Stone – The Stone family exemplifies what it is like when you come from a large family. I remember watching this in the theatre when it came out in 2005. Since then it has become a staple. I believe my husband actually enjoys this movie too. It reminds me that time is precious, savour the small moments, and try not to be too controlling of a mother.

In between movies is the most recent tradition I have acquired and it drives my husband nuts – having the festive TV channel on. With the digital fireplace blazing and Christmas music blaring-it has become another staple in my holiday traditions.

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Cyndi Mills

Over the last 24 years Cyndi Mills has had the opportunity to move around the country with her husband, Scott and their four children. Having lived in Chilliwack, Edmonton, London and Petawawa. She stumbled into the world of journalism by accident – looking for a career that could give her the flexibility to work from home to be with her children and support her husband's military career. Cyndi is also a military parent as her two oldest children are in the military.

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