The Even SAPPIER Holiday Movies

Last week I talked about the sappy holiday movies: and focused on the silly.  But then there are some that are so sappy that you can go through a box of tissues before the thing is over.

Now while I'm mostly thinking of the Hallmark/Lifetime "films" this heart-wrenching trend goes WAY back...
1.     The House Without a Christmas Tree first aired in 1972 and I can remember watching it on CBS.  It didn't become a perennial like Charlie Brown, Frosty, etc., but it did run for several years.  Taking place in 1940s Nebraska, Addie wants a Christmas tree, but angry and grieving dad (Jason Robards) says no.  Addie plans to win the classroom tree, but will doing so melt her dad's heart?  This story is truly a classic and despite obviously being done on a tight budget it worth looking for.  (It also spawned several other made for tv specials.)
2.     The Man in The Santa Claus Suit (1979):  3 different men decide to rent Santa Claus suits from a kindly old man (Fred Astaire!) for different reasons.  Bob, a math teacher, wants to propose to his model (girl) friend, but is too shy to tell her his feeling.  Stan, a con man, is hiding from mobsters and ends up breaking into a wealthy family's home where they teach him the meaning of the holiday.  Gil, a politician, is too busy for his family and his hoping to surprise his son on Christmas Eve.  Can you guess who the REAL man in the Santa Claus suit is?
3.     A Christmas Without Snow (1980):  Zoe, recently divorced, leaves Nebraska for San Francisco hoping to find better opportunities for her son (who stays behind with his grandparents) and herself.  She joins a local church choir and the members become her extended family, each with their own issues and problems that need to be overcome.  The biggest challenge is the group's attempt to perform Handel's Messiah for the holiday.
4.     A Mom For Christmas (1990):  You can probably tell from the title what Jessica wants for Christmas.  Her wish is granted when mannequin, Amy (Olivia Newton John) is brought to life.  But Amy will only be around till Christmas Eve, unless...(I have to say that I watched this one as I had met Jim/the dad who was played by Doug Sheehan, a few weeks earlier at a polo match in California [that's an unbelievable story unto itself...and some day needs to be told!].  He had been Joe Hardy on a favorite soap, General Hospital, and was charming in person.  How could I not watch this???)
5.     Christmas Every Day (1996):  Ok, so if you've seen Groundhog Day, you know the basic story.  Selfish teen (is there any other kind?) Billy (Erik Von Ditten) ruins his family's Christmas and his adorable little sister (Yvonne Zima) makes him wish it was Christmas Every Day...and sure enough it is and will be until Billy is able to make everything right.
6.     Home By Christmas (2006):  Julie (Linda Hamilton) is a well to do housewife until her husband divorces her and her daughter decides to study abroad.  Left with very little, things take a turn for the worse when she is mugged and the thief clears out all that she had left.  Julie is left homeless and lives in her car.  With the help of a newfound friend, Selma, can she find stability and love?  (Sappy, yes, but this one DOES show how easy it is to lose everything.  Poverty and homelessness is not predicated on race, sex, religion, etc.)
7.     November Christmas (2010):  WARNING:  You are going to need two boxes of tissues for this one!  Vanessa is a little girl battling cancer as her family struggles to make a new life in a Rhode Island community.  Fearing that she will not live much longer, her dad (the incredibly handsome John Corbett) starts moving up the holidays:  resulting in the town celebrating Halloween in August and Christmas in November.
8.     A Christmas Wish (2011):  Martha (Kristy Swanson) is left alone with her two daughters and step son after her husband takes off with all her money.  Taking the family in a car that perpetually breaks down, they end up living in a motel with Martha begging for a job at the local diner.  But the motel can only keep them until Christmas Eve and the diner is closing down in the New Year.  With faith, will Martha be able to keep her family together?
9.     The Christmas Ornament (2013):  Kathy (Kellie Martin) is a widow who finds Christmas to be an incredibly difficult time as she and her husband always presented each other with a special ornament at the holiday.  She refuses to be part of anything Christmas, even turning down a tree from Tim (Cameron Mathison; who makes ANY Hallmark movie look good; even when he plays the "bad" guy as he did in Window Wonderland) who owns the local lot.  Kathy and Tim keep running into each other at the local skating rink and she helps out by baking cookies for his shop; making her realize that cookie making is her true passion and not the failing bike shop that she and her late husband own.  But can Kathy let go of the past?

Did any of your favorites make my list?  Is there one that you love and I don't know about?  How many boxes of tissues will I need if I watch each and every one of these??  Might be time to buy stock in Kleenex!


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