Spend the Holidays With Loved Ones – and a Few Shows

December 5, 2018|

By Samantha Barksdale

I love the holiday season. Just walking into Kroger and catching a whiff of the cinnamon broomsticks takes me back to my childhood. How I long for the days when my sisters and I would wait impatiently by the oven, peering in the window every few seconds, watching the cookies take their sweet time. My mom made all kinds of cookies and pies, and we fought over who got to lick the spoon.

But the holiday season isn’t really about the delicious snacks. It’s about spending time with the ones you love and sacrificing when we need to. This month’s reviews are dedicated to just that.

‘Tree Man’

Whether you do it in early November or on Christmas Eve, picking out a Christmas tree is one of the hallmarks of the season. Signs announcing the arrival of trees pop up out of nowhere, and once-empty lots fill up with spruce, fir and pine varieties.

I’ve never bothered to consider what it takes to run a Christmas tree stand, but after watching Tree Man, I have a newfound respect for these individuals.

Francois lives in Quebec with his wife and three young children. Each year, Francois leaves his family and drives to New York City. He spends one month in the city, living in his van while making his living selling Christmas trees.

He is not alone, however. There are many others who embark on this same adventure, and Tree Man interviews many of the men and women who choose this profession.

I’ve never been to New York City, so I’ve never experienced the rain, snow and biting cold that envelopes the city during the winter months. Through it all, however, the tree salesmen are there, standing under tents, trying to stay dry and warm, and delivering trees on their backs to homes around the city.

To be honest, this documentary is a little slow. Watching it late at night, I fell asleep. Twice. But well-rested Sam was truly intrigued by the lives these entrepreneurs live. They leave their families and spend the month cold, wet and exhausted, and for what? To bring the Christmas spirit to the rest of us. Make sure you say thanks when you get your tree this year.

‘The Holiday Calendar’

First and foremost, I’d like to make it known that my husband chose this movie. He knew I was working on my reviews for the December issue and wanted to help. Super sweet, I know.

If you are a fan of Lifetime or Hallmark movies, The Holiday Calendar is right up your alley. Unfortunately, I’m not really a fan of that type of film. This movie was so cliché it was painful to watch. Even my husband, who chose the movie, left me on the couch to finish it alone because he just couldn’t take it anymore.

Here’s the rundown: Guy and girl have been friends since childhood. Girl’s family loves guy, but she says they’re just friends. Grandpa gives girl a magical advent calendar. Girl meets new guy and whirlwind romance ensues. Friend guy is jealous, and their friendship gets a little rocky. I’ll stop there and let you guess what happens next.

I’ll admit, there are a few cute things scattered throughout this film. They weren’t worth the hour and a half I lost watching it, though. It would, however, be good background noise for a nap after eating too many Christmas treats.

No matter how you celebrate this time of year, make sure you spend a little time with the ones you love. You don’t know how long they’ll be here, so appreciate them while you can. And if you don’t know what to talk about, just try bonding over a bad movie. Happy holidays!

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