Christmas Movie Review – Day 5

As a screenwriter, I find myself analyzing movies on two levels.  For the Day 5 selection in my Countdown to Christmas Movie Review – Christmas in Boston (ABC TV Movie – 2005), my screenwriter side kicked into auto-pilot and overrode my want-to-be-entertained-holiday-viewer side even sooner than usual.

Day 5 - Christmas-In-Boston

I love the concept; a couple of pen pals who’ve been intimately close on paper except for one gentle lie: They’ve both hidden behind their best friends’ photos, but will they come clean when they have to meet when their work lives intersect right before Christmas – in Boston, of course? Continue reading

Christmas Movie Review – Day 4

My pick for Day 4 of my Christmas Movie Review is Angels Sing (2013 – Hallmark) with Harry Connick, Jr., Connie Britton (think Friday Night Lights and Nashville), Kris Kristoferson, Lyle Lovett, and Willie Nelson.

Day 4 - Angels Sing

With such a star-studded cast, what could go wrong, right?  Continue reading

Christmas Movie Review – Day 3

I can’t help it.

For Day 3 of my Christmas Movie Countdown, it’s back to the The Holiday Yule Log – with Happy the cat and Happy the dog.   Hallmark, of course, 2007.  The original version dates back to 1966.

The Yule Log for Thanksgiving

Warning:  It’s three (3!) hours of nothing but a burning Yule log, Christmas music, and watching the dog and cat bliss out by the fire, or maneuver with each other for the best spot (the cat always wins).  Continue reading

Christmas Movie Review – Day 1

Countdown to Christmas Movies – Day 1.


Since I’m specializing in writing Christmas family movies, I’m thrilled the calendar has flipped over to December so I can unabashedly watch all the Christmas movies I want, grinning as I go from one to the next. My husband is willing (and I think secretly happy) to go along for the ride, unless he realizes he’s watching one he already saw.

I’m simply going to share my impressions.  Continue reading

A Little Yule History

Yule log

What does “Yule” really mean?

From the

The lyric from “Deck the Halls” goes “Troll the ancient yuletide carol.” Amidst all the fa-la-la-ing, did you ever ask yourself exactly what yuletide is?

Yule is the ancient name in the Germanic lunar calendar for a winter festival corresponding to December and January. Later, yule referred to the twelve-day holiday associated with the Feast of the Nativity after the widespread adoption of Christianity through Northern Europe. The word has Gothic origins, but English speakers are most familiar with yule through associations dating to its original use. For example, the yule log, as in the lyric “See the blazing yule before us,” was originally a real tree limb or trunk, but now makes an appearance at Christmastime as a cake shaped like a log.

Yule also carries associations with a farm animal. The Yule Goat carried Father Christmas on his back and is a symbol of Christmas throughout Scandinavian countries. The Yule Goat may have associations tracing back to Norse mythology. The now-famous comic book god Thor rode in a chariot pulled by two goats that could also be eaten and magically regenerate into living creatures again.

Most Americans associate yuletide with singing carols, a tradition in Northern Europe, also known as wassailing.

Continue reading