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Presented by The Painter of Light, Thomas Kinkade’s Christmas Lodge (Terry Ingram, 2011) brings his painted world to life.
For some, Kinkade’s paintings represent a window into a cosy, quiet life – a nostalgic idyll full of warm glowing firesides. To others, the artist’s large scale production, sometimes contrary personality and unchallenging content prove controversial.
Personally, I feel like it’s all to do with classification. After all, putting something that’s meant as a charming collectible alongside the avant garde is never going to make sense.
Following on from that, movies like the Christmas Lodge should bring us right into their cosy world as we watch the characters rediscover family traditions.
So, whose home shall we call at first?
Let’s start with Thomas Kinkade’s.
As for me I’m still trying my best to use the lessons Glen taught me, lessons about art, about life, and about light. In the end, love is the brightest light of all…
Brought to our screens by Lionsgate, this movie could be called The Thomas Kinkade Story – Jared Paladecki plays the artist in his early years, as he starts painting commercially to save his mother’s home. Peter O’Toole steps in as Glen Wesman, the painter’s mentor.
If you’re one of the painting icon’s dedicated collectors, this is the perfect movie for you, and as far as a similar Christmas story goes… what can I say, it’s part of the same family.
There’s no such thing as a wasted prayer…
Envelop yourself in a cocoon of nostalgia with The Christmas Candle.
A village is charged with guarding a precious candle that, when lit on Christmas Eve, grants a miracle to whoever lights it.
Samantha Barks of Les Miserables (Tom Hooper, 2012), singer Susan Boyle and the celebrated former Doctor Who actor Sylvester McCoy all make appearances as village residents, so you’re guaranteed a fun bit of star spotting.
Like Christmas Lodge, this made for TV movie is all about a city executive who returns to the country for the holidays, where she discovers all kinds of forgotten traditions.
It’s a sweet tale, and the Louisiana setting adds something a little different. It’s even got country singer Randy Travis on board, for a little extra authenticity.
An out of work executive accidentally takes a job as a nanny – she has no clue what she’s doing, but thanks to her wealth of fun ideas, she and the kids get along great. And thanks to her holiday spirit, she helps bring the whole family together for Christmas.
If you enjoy this cosy movie, I think you’ll like these other movies like A Princess for Christmas (Michael Damian, 2011) too.
Emily, a widowed Washington mother, arranges a house swap so she can visit her daughter in Boston. But when she arrives, she finds her daughter has gone to stay with her boyfriend’s family in Arizona for the holidays.
This Hallmark movie sees Emily and her swap buddy rediscover the important things, and maybe things will turn out for the best after all.
Some movies capture the same feeling without the Christmas setting.
My life in New York works, Jake. But then I come down here… and this fits too…
Reese Witherspoon movies are hit or miss for me – I can really leave Four Christmases (Seth Gordon, 2008) – but I kind of like this one.
A fashion designer returns from New York to her childhood home in Alabama, intending to divorce her first husband in advance of her upcoming city marriage.
There’s more of a romance drama atmosphere, but the going home theme is strong too. And of course, there’s a ton of tradition to rediscover, even if Christmas isn’t centre stage this time.
Sound good? Make sure to also have a look at these other movies similar to ‘Sweet Home Alabama’.
You live with someone long enough, you can see what they’re trying to hide by the way they try to hide it…
A playwright retreats from her New York life to an isolated little cabin in Washington state, where her mother’s friends find her and convince her to come home. Meanwhile, we dive down into her and her mother’s memories of mid-20th Century Louisiana adventures.
It may not be a Christmas movie, but you don’t have to look much further than this Rebecca Wells adaptation for a story about someone returning to rediscover her home and family.
Is it possible to watch any of these movies without catching a little bit of their small town Christmas enthusiasm?
Well, I don’t know about you, but I think these movies are every bit as warm as Christmas Lodge, and they should have that nostalgic spirit conjured up in no time.
Which movies say ‘home for Christmas’ to you?
Whether they’re made or TV, major movies or secret gems, tell us all about ‘em in the comments.