Movies to Wrap To

There’s a specific kind of movie that shows up in my house at Christmastime.

It’s the kind of movie that is set in a picturesque location and includes a charming house or even houses. The actors – from the stars to the supporting – are fabulous. It’s funny and sweet and there’s a little romance. And does it go without saying that it takes place during the holidays? Well, I said it anyway.

The guys in my house would call this kind of movie a chick flick. And while they’re open to watching one now and again – and may even tell you that they enjoyed it – they’re generally not down with watching the same one year after year the way my daughter and I are.

All of which makes this the perfect kind of movie to wrap presents to.

Because I’m usually wrapping presents alone.

And I need something on TV where I don’t have to pay attention to every single frame, but that lets me look up and pay attention at my favorite parts, or even take a little wrapping break to just enjoy the “feel” of the movie for a while.

So here – in no particular order – is my list of movies to wrap to:

While You Were Sleeping


Location: Chicago

Cast: Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman, Peter Gallagher, Peter Boyle, Jack Warden, and Glynis Johns (the mom from Mary Poppins – still adorable!)


Why it’s great: Has there ever been a more perfect girl next door than Sandra Bullock or a more perfect boy next door than Bill Pullman? The Joe Jr. character is a funny surprise (“I seen how you look at him. Like you just seen your first Trans Am.”). And lots of shots of Chicago at Christmastime.


Love Actually


Location: London and thereabouts

Cast: Bill Nighy, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Laura Linney, Keira Knightly, Liam Neeson, and Hugh Grant (plus look for January Jones in a small part)


Why it’s great: It’s British, so there’s that. And while big ensemble movies sometimes don’t live up to the high expectations they set, this is an exception. And, oh yeah, it’s British.


The Holiday


Location: L.A. and rural England

Cast: Funny American actors: Cameron Diaz and Jack Black. Charming British actors: Kate Winslet and Jude Law. Plus, Eli Wallach!, Ed Burns, and John Krasinski in a small part.


Why it’s great: The Holiday was written and directed by Nancy Meyers, known for making movies “starring” great houses (It’s Complicated, Something’s Gotta Give) and the plot of this movie revolves around a house swap, so enough said.


The Family Stone


Location: New England

Cast: Diane Keaton, Craig T. Nelson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Dermot Mulroney, Luke Wilson, Claire Daines, and Rachel McAdams


Why it’s great:  It’s the perfect combination of funny and poignant and anyone who has been in a big, close family will recognize the dynamics of when a new person is brought in. Plus, the extended family coming home to the charming old house in snowy New England creates the perfect holiday vibe.


So I’d like to know: Do you have a favorite movie to wrap to (or bake to or decorate to) at Christmas?

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    1. Liz, my daughter and I re-watched The Family Stone just tonight. Great movie!

    1. It is with great shame that I tell you that I’ve never seen White Christmas. (Although not so much shame that I didn’t just type it out for the whole internet to see. ;))

  1. Yes…you got it! White Christmas for sure…or ANY chick flick I’ve seen at least ten times! It’s the only way to wrap presents! 😉

  2. This is my list, too!! Great minds think alike……….

  3. Miriam Gebhart says:

    Julie, Just getting to read your post a day late. I can so relate to you. I, too wrap alone and mostly deck the halls alone too. I guess it is a “Mom” thing, LOL!
    I love your list of movies, and just have to add that I have a 21 year old daughter and we watch our same favorite chick flicks over and over. The Holiday is one of our favorites, as is LOVE, Actually. One you might enjoy that is a classic chick flick starring Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman in his first role is Kate and Leopold. If you haven’t seen it, it is a real treat. Thanks for sharing your list with all of us busy wives and moms :).

    1. Miriam, I saw Kate and Leopold a long time ago but I had forgotten all about it. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. Haven’t watched The Family Stone, but it’s now on my list! ;)! The other movies are fabulous, my fav being While you were sleeping! LOVE Sandra Bullock!

  5. Call me old-fashion!!—my favorites are Remember the night, 1940 with Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray, Christmas in Connecticut, 1945 with Barbara Stanwyck and of course, It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart! It wouldn’t be Christmas wrapping season up here in the north without them!

  6. I have to also throw in a favorite or two: The Bells of St. Mary (I watch it every time it comes on), and Holiday Inn (at least I think that is the name) with Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, and Danny Kaye.

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