With your middle school friends on “Christmas break” this week, below are some ideas for a “socially-distanced viewing party.” There are a few hidden gems that I bet a lot of our WyldLife friends have not yet seen!
JINGLE JANGLE (Netflix)
This musical (I feel the eyerolls, but stick with me) is an unexpected surprise. It gives The Greatest Showman vibes but has a great message and is very heartfelt. I found myself getting emotional about 15-minutes in and then was captivated by the rest of the movie.
“A simple act of kindness always sparks another.” In this animated tale, Jesper, an over-privileged postman gets assigned to a faraway place that is cold and unhappy. There he befriends a kind woodsman and together, their kindness and gifts melt a town feud and bring joy to the children. This take on a classic tale features a few familiar voices and just makes you smile.
MY GIFT: A Carrie Underwood Christmas Special (HBO Max)
Not only does Carrie have an amazing voice to listen to, but on this album, she sings with passion because she sings about her faith. This Christmas special is magical. She wears beautiful gowns and jewelry that she picked specifically for each song and her son makes a guest appearance along with other familiar faces.
MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1994) (rent on YouTube or iTunes)
This movie is underrated and deserves more attention. Richard Attenborough (famously known for being Hammond in Jurassic Park) is the perfect actor to portray the heart behind the deeper meaning of this movie. There are many underlying themes but the one that sticks with me the most is “in God we trust.” If you don’t know what I am talking about, please be kind to yourself and watch this classic. Watch the trailer here.
WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954) (Netflix)
A classic that many kids are unaware of. This masterpiece is timeless and fun to watch with kids who have probably not been exposed to a musical with tap dancing, colorful costumes, and many dance breaks. Also, this movie features the Christmas classic song “White Christmas” sung by the one and only Bing Crosby (another name students will probably not recognize).
WAYS TO WATCH
TELEPARTY | An extension for Google Chrome where you can watch movies from Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and HBO. There is a minor learning curve but it does work well!
ZOOM Screen Share | Use the screen share feature on Zoom and make sure that you check the box that says “Share Computer Screen.”
Disney+ and Hulu | Those apps have their own “group share” options.
Bonus Suggestion: PHIL WICKHAM
It’s not a movie, but the “CHRISTMAS: ACOUSTIC SESSIONS” album by Phil Wickham is amazing. He always produces quality work, but the way he reimagines recognizable songs is so acoustically pleasing. I’ve found myself listening to this on repeat while drinking coffee with the Bible open.