• A movie can have the right message but deliver it in a way that just doesn’t work and feels kind of awkward. 12 gifts of Christmas (2015) is that kind of movie. The script includes nuggets that are just great, but there are also numerous cringeworthy scenes, that you want to look away.

    The premise is good, the execution lacking. It’s not clear whether it is the script, direction or acting. Maybe a mix of all three, but the movie never flies. One problem is also how it blurs the lines between employee and love interest.

    One good question the movie raised: how do you select the perfect Christmas gift?

    • Pay attention to the person receiving it
    • Be personal
    • Go for experience rather than impression

    If the gift is timeless, bonus points might be awarded

    “I just want the whole family to be together for Christmas” is the message of this film.

    • Seen on 26 November
    • Rating: 2 wrapped gifts


  • A week in Krakow earlier this month was a great opportunity to get to know this beautiful city better. I was there to prepare the upcoming LWF Assembly and attend the meeting of the LWF’s Executive Committee.

    This was a chance to see a beautiful city in all kinds of weather. The next visit will likely be in the winter and I’m looking forward to see wintery Krakow.


  • In his childhood, Peter ‘Star-Lord’ Quill was inspired by Kevin Bacon (or more precisely his films). Later, he went on to tell his friends numerous stories about Bacon, including the one where he saves a whole town by dancing.

    When his friends want to do something nice for Peter, they decide to celebrate Christmas and bring him Kevin Bacon as a Christmas gift. Chaos and kindness follow.

    This is a beautiful short movie, in the form of a television special, about reconnecting with youth and giving somebody the gift of Christmas. It also raises a couple of question like how would you explain Christmas to an alien. Last, but not least, it reminds us of a core message: human beings are not for sale.

    This is a good holiday special. Don’t miss it.

    • Seen: 25 November
    • Bonus points for opening and closing with the Pogues and Fairytale of New York
    • Rating: 4 aliens

  • Return to Christmas Creek (2018) tells the story of a young app developer who has made a tradition of spending Christmas in the sun, far away from family. The reason: a difficult family event that took place at Christmas. Noticing a pattern?

    After breaking up with her boyfriend, she decides to return to her hometown, aptly named Christmas Creek, and the lodge managed by her grandfather and later by her father and uncle.

    “I am going back to my roots,” she says and that proves to be a wise move. She meets childhood friends (and flames) and through those encounters is able to reconnect with herself and with Christmas. The family is reunited and all is good. This movie is one of those that define Christmas as a time for family and giving to your community.

    • Seen: 25 November on Netflix
    • Rating: Two Christmas gifts

  • Christmas With You (2022) tell the story of a young and famous singer who is struggling in her career.

    She is tasked with writing a Christmas song, but finds it difficult because of her relationship with Christmas. The reason: trauma in the past. Meeting a young fan and getting to know her family (including the handsome) unlocks new possibilities.

    Together, they write a hit single and on that journey they also fall in love. This is a romantic comedy catering to a Spanish speaking audience through various cultural references as well as the actors.

    • Seen: 24 November on Netflix
    • Bonus points: Passes the Bechdel-test
    • Rating: 3 Christmas hit songs

  • Holiday season is upon us and that means a new playlist of good and not so good Christmas movies. I’ll document some highlights here. This will be a post in progress until Christmas.

    22 NovemberFalling for Christmas (2022)**
    24 NovemberChristmas with you (2022)***
    25 NovemberReturn to Christmas Creek (2018)**
    25 NovemberThe Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022)****
    26 November12 Gifts of Christmas (2015)**
    27 NovemberChristmas Made to Order (2018)*


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