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Top Eight Holiday Movies On Team Desai’s List

For most of the year Team Desai is devoted to sharing wisdom and insight about living a connected life. These loving and dedicated messengers look for as many ways as possible to remind you that whenever you feel your heart expand you are moving into greater connection.  

Don’t be fooled as to where you may find this connection. It is ever present. In your house of worship, your silent moments of presence, in the smile of your child and even in the argument with your spouse. Everything is the voice of God. Everything is a messenger. Everything is speaking to you. 

This year, we asked our team about their favorite holiday movies – those annual touchstones that are responsible for laughter, joy and tears. Whether enjoyed with friends, family, or simply in the quiet of the late night – all by yourself with a steaming cup of hot cocoa – these favorites open the hearts of those who deliver so much to you year round. 

Happy Holidays from Team Desai and here are our top eight holiday movies!

CINDY LELI

It would not feel like Christmas to me if I did not watch the classic Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer movie. It is one of my favorites because I grew up watching it each year with my family. I remember eagerly waiting for it to come on so it would finally feel like Christmas! 

The message that God has blessed each one of us with being different and while different may seem strange to others, everyone has the power to make others happy with their unique abilities.

BEVERLY LYLES

I really don’t have a movie that signifies Christmas to me. As a child we didn’t have Christmas or should I say, the typical TV movie Christmas.

When I think about a movie that I can say would be a Christmas indicator, I think about the movie “Soul Food”.  My Grandmother was the matriarch in our family and she made the most fabulous dinners from scratch for every holiday.

All the smells that were so enticing, the homemade bread, the pumpkin and sweet potato pies, the German chocolate cake and my favorite, the pineapple coconut cake.  No wonder I was 170 lbs. at 9 years old!  It was not just the aroma that brought a smile to my face, it was the one time that we all came together as a family and that felt really awesome!  To feel like someone has your back and the sense of belonging somewhere was the most beautiful Holiday gift of all.

JC CARPENTER

I love the movie “Home Alone” and the ridiculous fun adventures of 8-year-old Kevin being mistakenly left behind and home alone as his family travels for their Christmas vacation to Paris. Kevin, the family ‘baby’ and the constant target of family jokes and ridicule, defends his house and triumphs over the attempts of a break-in. Kate, the mom, realizing while in mid-flight to Paris that her youngest has been left home alone, does what any mom would do—doing whatever it takes to get home, reunite with her child, in this case on Christmas morning. I do love a happy ending!

I have great memories of watching this movie with my own kids, as they were Kevin’s age when the movie was first released. I can’t tell you how many times we loaded the tape into our VHS player!

MARIA CORELL

For me, there are many must see Christmas movies -“A Christmas Story,” “Christmas Vacation,” even “Die Hard,” but my favorite is “Scrooged.” The retelling of the classic tale of the nasty curmudgeon with a hidden heart of gold stars one of my favorite actors, Bill Murray. After Murray’s character “Frank Cross” receives visits from his three hilarious ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, he realizes the error of his ways and embraces the warmth of humanity and love. It’s a movie about compassion and how we can move beyond our perceived missteps of the past and be the person we always knew we could be. Though this is a rousing comedy, Murray’s final speech always moves me to tears.

ANGELA SPARKS

My favorite Christmas movie is “It’s A Wonderful Life” for all the reasons everyone loves that film, but my most wonderful memories are of singing with my sisters at the holidays.  The songs filled me with joy as we joined together and sang from our hearts in unity. Just being together and singing in harmony was what Christmas spirit was all about. Our bonding over music was so special particularly at that festive time of year.

LAURIE VON MINDEN

My favorite holiday movie has to be “The Polar Express,”– the story of a boy on Christmas Eve who boards a magical train that's headed to the North Pole and Santa Claus's home. The doubting boy, who takes the extraordinary ride, embarks on a transformational journey of self-discovery and believing.  To me, the movie is about the magic and wonder that’s all around us if we just believe.

It makes me cry every time I see it!

JAN DESAI

Like the 12 Days of Christmas for the hopelessly romantic, “Love Actually” is a delightfully endless compilation of the best and the most unexpected of love stories intertwined into a giant holiday festooned box of laughter and tears. And just like a lifetime of Christmas memories – not all have happy endings. Yet one cannot help but be touched by the power of circumstances that influence and ultimately nudge anyone of us to follow our own unique pathways as we search for love…actually. The soundtrack is one of my all-time favorites.

PANACHE DESAI

My favorite childhood holiday movie memory is The Snowman, a 26-minute animated film. The story is the tale of a boy who builds a snowman one winter's day. That night, at the stroke of twelve, the snowman comes to life and the two go for a ride on a motorbike then take flight over the boy's town, flying over houses and through an arctic landscape. The two wander hand-in-hand into a snow-covered forest and attend a snowmen's party, at which the boy is the only human. The movie transported me to a land of limitless possibility and the magic that surrounds Christmas.



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