The Christmas Chronicles (Netflix)

ChristmasChronicles

The Christmas Chronicles (PG) is one of the recently released Christmas films produced by Netflix. It tells the story of two kids who startle Santa (played by Kurt Russel) causing him to wreck his sleigh and lose the presents and the reindeer in the process. Together the kids and Santa must find a way to ensure all presents are delivered or calamity will strike – the Christmas spirit will disappear, leading to all sorts of unpleasant things. (According to Santa, the Dark Ages and almost every war in history is a result of him not being able to complete his Christmas deliveries.)

The Christmas Chronicles is one of the best newer Christmas movies I’ve seen. There is something in it for kids and adults. It is just an all around fun, relatively clean (only a couple of instances of profanity “hell” and maybe a “damn” – I can’t remember.) Christmas movie that families can enjoy together. The show is well acted, even by the child-actors, and what I would consider about 4 steps above your stereotypical “Hallmark” Christmas movie. So, check it out!

When Calls the Heart (Hallmark)

When Calls the Heart

When Calls the Heart is a Hallmark channel TV series (which can currently be viewed on Netflix). This show reminds me of Little House on the Prairie, just in a different time period and atmosphere.

The show follows the adventures of a wealthy, young lady, Elizabeth Thatcher, who moves to the small mining town of Coal Valley to serve as a teacher for the children there. While there, she experiences many challenges as she gets used to the lack of “modern” conveniences in Coal Valley. Yet, she throws herself into life in Coal Valley with enthusiasm and does her best to assist the children and families of the town.

While the show is a little slow at times, you soon find yourself enjoying the relationships between the characters, particularly the relationship between Elizabeth and Constable Jack Thornton, a Canadian Mountie, who doesn’t think very highly of Elizabeth.

What I like about the show is this:

1) It is clean, and the grudging romance between Elizabeth and Jack is entertaining.

2) The show is entertaining to watch, but not so good that I can’t turn it off part way through an episode if I have responsibilities to get to.

3) It is interesting to see what life was like for miners and their families. This is a time period in history that I’m not familiar with, so it is interesting to watch how different life was in a mining town.

The New Legends of Monkey (Netflix)

NewLegendsoftheMonkeyKing

For those of you who liked Power Rangers or who have kids who are at the age where Power Rangers would be entertaining, Netflix’s TV show, The New Legends of Monkey, is a show to watch. It is an entertaining, albeit some-what goofy show that provides some clean fun for families. Younger viewers might find it intense, while adults can sit back and laugh at the comedic situations and ridiculous responses the characters. All-in-all, its an entertaining show that families can enjoy together.

Stoneheart Trilogy by Charlie Fletcher

Stoneheart Charlie FletcherRecently, I’ve been re-listening to The Stoneheart Trilogy by Charlie Fletcher. This series is one of my favorites because it deals with fear, abandonment, anger, loneliness, guilt, and self-confidence. The series itself is fiction and is intended purely for entertainment, but the manner in which these issues are melded into and addressed in the story leaves the reader feeling hopeful and encouraged.

The series, probably geared towards young teens on up, is set in London in a world where statutes and gargoyles come to life. Only certain people, however, can see these “living statutes” and George, the main character, sees the living statues only after breaking one of them in anger. This launches him on a journey where he has to make choices – to take the easy way or the hard way; a journey where he must face his fears; and a journey where he comes to grips with his dad’s death.

Along his journey, George meets Edie, a tough young girl who has grown up relying solely on her wits and her instinct in order to survive. This story is as much about Edie as it is George. Due to her tumultuous past, Edie is quick-tempered and struggles to maintain her visage of control on her life, not allowing herself to appear vulnerable. Nonetheless, throughout her journey with George, Edie is exposed to situations that lead her to deal with her feelings of abandonment, anger, and loss.

If you are looking for an entertaining, uplifting pleasure book, The Stoneheart Trilogy by Charlie Fletcher is one worth reading.