I’m Micaela

Hi! Welcome to my little corner in cyberspace. My name is Micaela. I come from the generation that brought you the original Star Wars, side ponytails and mullets, rap and MTV. Big stars like Madonna, Prince, and Whitney Houston got their start during my generation, and Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder were the hottest celebrity supercouple of the early 1990’s. Americans became the first humans to walk on the moon. That was one of the greatest achievements in record history – and it happened during my generation.

We are Generation X. Often coined as “latchkey kids,” we were brought up with little to no guidance. We experienced life entirely on our own. That’s what made us become the independent/hands-on/do-it-yourself-and-get-it-done generation.

My dream home

Home Sweet Home
(WordPress Prompt)

My Dream Home

I don’t ask for much. I don’t want a big, fancy house. I don’t need a big, fancy house. I just want it to be mine. My husband and I have waited a long time. The bulk of it was that we lived in an area (California) in which housing was uaffordable for the average, middle-class person. Now that we have moved out of state, maybe we can finally have a chance?

My dream house will have enough space for many dogs, maybe 5 of them (and a cat or two) to live with us. Maybe 5. It will be nestled in a safe, clean, and quiet neighborhood just outside the city limits. Our neighbors will be kind, caring, and friendly. There will be a yard big enough to plant a garden. I want my dream house to welcome in lots of sunshine. It will be a cheerful place to live with big windows to enjoy the beautiful scenery. I would prefer that it be close to some kind of large body of water like the ocean, rivers, or lakes; but definitely not in the mountains.

Most of all, it will be a home with lots of laughter, peace, healing, faith, and love.

The perks of being single on Valentine’s Day

It’s January. You’re looking forward to starting the new year fresh; but the moment you step into a store, it’s decked with red hearts, flowers, and chocolate practically staring at you in the face. There’s no escaping now. A grave reminder that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and you have no Valentine to spend it with.

The truth is… there’s no shame in being single and partner-less on Valentine’s Day. It’s just another overrated day that will soon pass. In fact, there’s a downside to Valentine’s Day that many couples go through.

Valentine’s Day puts too much emphasis on romance, demanding unrealistic expectations which, if not met, can become a major disappointment. Many women like to imagine themselves as the leading lady in a romcom. They want Valentine’s Day to be the most romantic day of the year while their significant other struggles to make that happen. That kind of pressure can drive a wedge between two lovebirds.

On the other hand, as a single, unattached woman, you don’t have to worry about making Valentine’s Day picture perfect. You can use it, instead, as an opportunity to learn how to love yourself.

The perks of being single on Valentine’s Day:

1. You have the freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want.

2. You can spend the day just being yourself. No one is holding you back or expecting you to “perform.”

3. You have full control to make the day extra special and beautiful. You get to decide how the day should go.

4. You can romance yourself – buy yourself the kind of flowers and chocolate that you like.

5. You get to pamper yourself the way you like: Get a massage, spa, mani-pedis, go on a shopping spree without anyone judging you.

6. No pressure to overemphasize the day with high expectations of romance.

7. You won’t be disappointed if your Valentine doesn’t deliver the kind of romance you deserve.

8. You can watch all the rom-coms you want without anyone complaining about it.

9. You’re not limiting yourself to someone else’s idea of romance.

10. No need to wait around for your Valentine to make a move.

Overall, Valentine’s Day is for you and you alone. Someone is loving you unconditionally. That someone is you.

How to find love without compromising your mental health

If you’re a single, heterosexual woman in her 20’s and early 30’s who’s looking for a better way to find true love, you’ve come to the right place! I was once in your shoes. One by one my friends were getting married while I stood by and watched – wondering when (and if!) it was ever going to be my turn. I thought the day would never come. But it did. 😉

“Why Should I Listen to You?”

A date with a guy I really liked wasn’t as big of a dilemma for me as scoring a second or third or fourth date. Oftentimes, after our first date, I never heard from them again. It left me filled with self-doubt. For a while, I believed something was wrong with me. In my eagerness to find my soulmate, I didn’t stay true to myself. Instead, I tried so hard to please in order for them to like me. The disappointment seriously had a negative effect on my mental health.

The good news is that all those years of experiencing the good, the bad, and the ugly side of dating did not go to waste. For every failed attempt to find romance, I learned more and more about myself. I noticed a distinct pattern in my approach to dating, i.e. my thoughts and behavior, interactions, and the type of guy I was typically drawn to. Before I knew it, I’d mastered the art of dating in America’s 20’s and 30’s social scene.

So I’m here to share with you what I know to help you find love the healthy way. Keep in mind though that I’m a product of Generation X so if you are a Millenial or Gen Z, my tips may seem antiquated and irrelevant but, overall, the basic ideology of love and romance in our culture translates across all generations.

The Dating Game

Men are natural-born hunters and have been since the early ages of humankind. You can’t break it out of them as it’s an innate part of their genetic make up. While no longer hunting for prey as a means of survival, men still enjoy the thrill of the chase. They will quickly lose interest when you, the object of their desire become an easy catch.

Rule #1: Don’t be at their beck and call.

You want to appear interested yet often unavailable. They’re not a priority yet (they shouldn’t be) and you want to show them you have a life (you should).

Pause … before replying to texts.

Pause … before saying yes to a date.

Pause … before going on a date.

The bottom line is that you want them to think you’re busy, not easy. They will otherwise lose interest.

Rule #2: Don’t meet up on the first date with your beer goggles on.

You want to see them as they really are, without alcohol influencing the way you feel and think about them.

If you want them to like you, you also need to make sure they are seeing you for you, not someone just to have fun with on a Saturday night.

Also, the more aware you are of yourself and your surroundings, the more you can trust your judgment. You’ll be able to tell if you truly like the guy when you’re alert and sober. When you’re buzzed, you could be having fun with them just because they’re there, not because you’re attracted to them.

To play it safe, I suggest that you meet in public on your first date, i.e. coffee or lunch. Keep it casual. No expectations.

Rule #3: Don’t let them know too much about you.

So you’ve had your first date. You learned that you have things in common and are pleasantly surprised how quickly you’ve bonded. There was an instant connection and undeniable chemistry. You’ve developed mutual trust. Now, you feel safe, like you can tell each other anything. Don’t.

As I said, men tend to lose interest pretty quickly. Even though their feelings for you are genuine, their natural instinct is to try to win your affection. Most of the time, they’re not even aware of this. Keep their undivided attention by remaining discreet for a while, at least at this stage of the game, and only divulge your life story a little at a time.

Rule #4: Make them wait.

No hooking up. Even when the chemistry between you two is sizzling hot, don’t give in to the temptation. This is not a popular answer, I know. Back then I couldn’t accept it either but it has been my experience (as well as others’) that having physical intimacy this soon is the fastest way to get your heart broken. Sex can kill any budding romance right from the start, before it can even get a chance to blossom. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do it. Just wait a while so they don’t grow tired of you.

Don’t go rushing to him whenever you want. Just like what Rule #1 says: Don’t appear so available. You’re busy loving life anyway, right? Well, you should be. 😉 Try to stay busy by doing something that bring you joy, like a favorite activity. Spend time with friends. Work on projects – something fun that will keep your mind preoccupied. Having them wait to hear from you will leave them wanting you more.

Rule #5: Don’t make the first move.

So let’s say you hit it off on your first few dates. He’s interested in you and wants to continue seeing you. Since you like being with him too and can’t wait to see him again, you reach for your phone to contact him even if it’s just to say hi. Don’t. Here’s why:

By contacting them before they contact you, you are taking away their innate need to chase you. It will now become too easy to ghost you when they know they’ve got you. Soon they’ll be searching for a new challenge. However, I’m not saying don’t contact them. I’m saying don’t contact them first. Let them make the first move.

How the Dating Game Can Affect Your Mental Health

We all want love. We all want to be loved. Sometimes, though, in an effort to love and be loved, we lose ourselves. Some of us end up loving too much for our own good. That’s when loving someone can do us harm.

Generally-speaking, guys (who are mentally well) are repelled by women who appear desperate to be with them – even more so when your emotional attachment happens so soon. If you find yourself working too hard to get a guy to notice you, move on. You’re wasting your energy. He’s not the right one.

It also wouldn’t be wise to invest so much of yourself into a relationship that may or may not happen. By doing so, you’ll be setting yourself up for disappointment. Nothing can ruin your mood, self-esteem, and self-image more than the pang of rejection. The more you like the guy, the harder it will hurt and the harder it will be to bounce back. It will also make it that much difficult to love yourself if you’re struggling with that already.

Love, passion and romance as shown on TV and movies do not exist. Their allure is deceptive. The kind of love, passion, and romance that exists in real life is so much more meaningful. The right (and healthy) kind is always worth the wait.

Finally, my biggest take away: Learn to love yourself. Learn to enjoy your own company. When you do, everything will fall into place.

How you can tell one Hallmark Christmas movie from another (levity)

What’s the deal? Is there an actual formula to make a Hallmark Christmas movie? Seriously, every time one comes on, I’m like, haven’t I seen this before? Oh wait… that was the other one.

NOTE: This post is heavy on sarcasm. If you are a big fan of Hallmark, proceed with caution. <wink>

I’m under the impression that in order for a Christmas made-for-TV movie to be accepted into the world of Hallmark, the story must fall under one of the following conditions:

There must be a prince in it.

Because what woman wouldn’t want a prince to fall madly in love with her, sweep her off her feet and whisk her away to the magical land of “happily ever after?”

Me: Dear Hallmark, do I look like Meaghan Markle to you? Why would I want to leave my life (and freedom) behind for some guy only to have to conform to his family’s restrictive rules and way of life? Pssst… hey Cinderella, how do you like your happily ever after now? That prince is starting to look more like a frog, huh?

Also Me: Speaking of land… notice every made-up name of the country (kingdom?) the prince is from sounds like one straight out of the Baltic region – yet the prince has an English accent. Go figure. It’s the same theme in every Hallmark Christmas movie with a prince in it. Every. Single. One.

Keyword “Christmas” or “Bride” or “Snow” or “Santa” or “Prince” must be part of the title.

Because we, the viewers, aren’t experts on the obvious.

Me: Hmm… I wonder if the poster with a Christmas tree in the background is about Christmas. Oh, look! A guy wearing a Santa suit. This movie must have Santa Claus in it.

The leading male character must show a vulnerable, sensitive side, like a widower with small children or a lover of dogs (preferably a rescue).

Because we women are suckers for that sort of thing.

Me: If this does happen in real life, it’s very rare. I mean, it’s not the first thing that comes to mind when a woman meets a man she’s attracted to. Usually, it’s “Does he stink?” “Does he often look like he just rolled out of bed?” “Is he married?” “Does he have a job?” “Is he an ex-convict?” Hallmark seems to bypass the background check part to focus on the awe-inspiring side of the leading man.

The leading characters don’t like each other. Well, not at first.

The tension build-up between them keeps us, the viewers hooked as if we don’t already know how the story is going to end.

Me: A love-hate romantic comedy is the perfect recipe… to get a couple of schmucks like me and you to subscribe to the Hallmark channel. Guilty as charged.

Two very attractive characters who can’t stand one another end up getting engaged for the sake of pleasing their parents.

Because, apparently, that still happens in this day and age, except, in a Hallmark movie, one is actually secretly in love with the other. And vice versa.

Me: I don’t know where the writer is from but in America, no one ever forces you into marrying anyone. We are fully capable of doing that to ourselves. <wink, wink>

Flirting must include baking cookies together after midnight.

Because… we all do that.

Me: I’m going out on a limb here. No one ever says, “Hey, I totally like this girl. I think I’ll ask her out to go baking with me.” Personally, baking cookies in the middle of the night is not my idea of a good time. Waking me up just to bake-flirt is a major deal-breaker.

The leading man always has at least one good friend, co-worker, or sibling who eventually guides him on the right path.

Because what guy doesn’t need a wingman?

Me: Hmph. Having a wingman (or wingwoman?) is good, that is, as long as they are rooting for the girl – the main character in the story.

Did you also notice that the female lead is often her dad’s favorite?

One of the leading characters has a jealous and manipulative “ex” who’s vying for their affections.

You can spot the ex (or significant partner) based on how much of a jerk he or she is. You can’t miss it. Their villainous behavior is always over the top.

Me: Two words. Restraining order.

An engagement ring, one that’s the biggest and the brightest, followed by a wedding, of course.

Because apparently women feel incomplete without them.

Me: Correct me if I’m wrong but shouldn’t we go out on a date first?

To sum it up, it seems Hallmark likes to tell the same story over and over again in many of their Christmas movies, in many different ways. The only thing that changes is the title. Well. Sort of.

I must’ve come across to you as a critic who finds Hallmark Christmas movies to be annoying, unrealistic, and absurd. But no one could’ve been able to observe so many of their idiosyncrasies in such great deal… unless they enjoy watching them, too. 🙂

So… yes. As cheezy as they are, I admit I do watch them. It’s been a Christmas tradition of mine for many years. In fact, there hasn’t been one Christmas when I didn’t watch at least 10 of them. Ha! I even own some! I’m not kidding!

There’s a reason these movies are so popular and appear year after year at Christmastime: They set the mood for the season. Many women who love Christmas tend to love Hallmark Christmas movies, too – more than we care to admit – because they’re very good at reaching the child within to reawaken the spirit of Christmas in us.

The trouble with bipolar disorder

I’ve been living with bipolar disorder (type 2) for all of my adult life. At first, it went unchecked during my late teenage years because I was unaware of it and uninformed. Though unmanageable and disruptive, I coped with the symptoms the best way I knew how.

Denial. That was my coping strategy. In fact, I became very good at keeping it (whatever it was) a secret. I covered it up under the guise of codependency, over-the-top partying, and unhealthy romantic relationships. Years went by and the cycle remained the same. Highs and lows. Lows and highs. Eventually, I talked myself into believing it was just a normal part of life.

The unending cycle:

  1. Recluse.
  2. Social butterfly.
  3. Recluse.
  4. Life of the party.
  5. Recluse.
  6. Everyone’s best friend.
  7. Recluse.
  8. Superwoman.
  9. Repeat steps 1 though 8.

This was the all-too-familiar cycle of what I considered “normal.”

Every time I reached the hypomania state, I was convinced that that was the real me – and the depressive state was just a fluke. Each time that part of the cycle came around, I tried rationalizing over and over again that it was triggered by <insert problem here> and that next time, that disabling kind of depression will never happen again. Guess what? It always does.

Many years later, during another bout of depression, a doctor finally detected what was going on. It was the first time bipolar disorder was mentioned. It never occured to me that I had been living with it all this time. I faced the diagnosis with high skepticism but somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew the doctor was right. I just didn’t want to believe it.

The force behind bipolar 2 became increasingly more difficult to hide as I got older. People were beginning to notice. Once again, a second doctor observed my mood swings to be those consistent with bipolar 2 disorder and, once again, I believed they got it all wrong.

But why would someone want to continually deny an unmistakable illness that two doctors had already diagnosed? One word sums it up: Stigma. The stereotypes and preconceived notions about mental illness are so inaccurate and even downright insulting that I preferred to leave my condition untreated rather than admit to it, even to myself.

What does bipolar disorder feel like? Like I’m perpetually at war with myself. And when combined with major life stressors, it feels like I’m fighting a battle I can’t win. Not even the pang of a life-threatening physical illness can outmatch the ferociousness of bipolar depression. It eats at my core unmercifully.

Mental illness still, to this day is grossly misunderstood. Systemically-speaking, even as suicide rates are rising year after year (suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States), government policies and institutions seemingly contribute to the problem by burying their heads in the sand as if oblivious to the impact the social stigma of mental illness has had on the lives of… well… way too many. I firmly believe the root cause of this toxic malfeasance is that our society, by in large, favors putting blinders on to avert “the elephant in the room” over engaging in such discourse.

The stigma of rejection.

And the general consensus continues to be that, unless an illness can be seen and measured, it’s not a “real,” justifiable illness, and certainly not one that is as disabling as a physical injury.

THIS IS WHY I hide. Having to explain over and over again how crippling bipolar disorder (or any mental illness) can be, as if it’s something that ought to be proven, is excruciatingly exhausting. It does nothing but exacerbate shame and destroy one’s self-esteem.

“This is why I hide.”

It seems that most of society is ok with leaving the stigma of mental illness at the bottom of the priority list, to say the least. Why? Because mental illness is the kind of illness that’s too uncomfortable to witness and too inconvenient to deal with; they’d just as soon neglect it than address it. For this reason, many of us who struggle with mental illness may resist the urge to ask family and friends for help. Based on their typical reactions, we would rather suffer in silence than suffer the sting of shame and rejection.

Traveling long distance with your cat

Have you ever taken your cat on a road trip? I have. And it was quite an adventure.

Astin. A Rescue. Domestic Shorthair. Age 12.

Meet Astin. Astin hates car rides. It becomes a whole fiasco every time I drive him to the vet even when it’s just 15 minutes away. Ooooh the meowing. It sounds like sirens going off all the way to the vet. He can’t handle it and ends up vomiting and well, you know… doing his business.

When it came for us to relocate to another state, my husband and I dreaded the drive. We were moving cross-country, from west coast to east coast, and didn’t know how to make our trip as smooth and comfortable as possible for Astin and our dog Thaddeus.

So I consulted their vet. Here’s what she advised for our road trip (and it worked!).

The drive

The vet prescribed something for Astin to keep him calm during the car ride. Boy, was he a handful! Getting Astin to cooperate was a huge ordeal. I needed him to sit still so I could safely insert the syringe into his mouth. Ugh. By the startled look on his face, Astin hated the taste of the medication. His frantic dart across the room to hide under the bed gave it away.

We had to wait long enough for his meds to kick in before placing him into his carrier then into the car. I seriously cringed when we started driving off (this was usually the time when endless meowing commenced), but… no… not a peep. YES!!!

Our car was jam-packed with all of our stuff. Maybe the tight spaces around the carrier also gave a sense or security. Eventually, whenever Astin woke up from a peaceful nap, we slightly opened the carrier gate to give him the option of coming out if he wanted to. And he did! He looked like he had no care in the world. Wait… was this the same cat that once detested and protested on the drive all the way to the vet? Geez… whatever the vet gave him… I want it.


Note: Please make sure that the hotel/motel/airbnb you book with accepts cats. Nowadays, more and more hotel chains are opening up their doors to welcome pets. However, just because they’ve called themselves “pet friendly,” it doesn’t mean they are cat friendly. Grrrr. I wonder why they just didn’t call it “dog friendly.”

I’m sharing this because you do not want to make a room reservation only to find out they won’t let your cat inside once you check in. For instance, Best Westerns pride themselves as one of the pioneers of the “pet friendly hotel chain” status but, be careful, not all of them accept cats. True story. That was our experience during our road trip. Travel websites also indicate whether a hotel is “pet friendly” but, since they are merely third-parties, they’re unaware of the details or changes in hotel’s policies. My absolute favorite go-to site when traveling with Thaddeus is Bringfido.com. They have it clearly printed whether a hotel accepts both dogs and cats, or just dogs only, and so far the site has been pretty accurate. Still, it’s best to inquire before making the reservation, just to be on the safe side. By the way, many hotels do charge pet fees. That’s something to keep in mind also.

Feliway is a product we will never go without. This spray fills the room with pheromones to help reduce stress for your cat. While Feliway works for Astin, it may not work for other cats, but it’s still worth a shot! Either way, asking your vet is always the way to go.

This has been our experience with Astin on our long, long journey to a new home.

Why depression happens during the holiday season

Have you ever felt your mood gradually transition into sadness around the time when Thanksgiving is just right around the corner? The mood can range from feeling more sluggish than usual to persistent depression.

In my opinion, it all boils down to one word – Pressure. Why? Here are some examples:

Grieving a loss

For obvious reasons, grieving can worsen during the holidays. It tends to be all the more difficult when it’s the first holiday season without the person you love. Christmas is commonly associated with joy but when you’ve lost someone who was a significant part of your life, the pressure of feeling joyful when you are not can get to you.

Social isolation

For some people who can’t be with their families, lack social support, or have little to no access to socializing, the holiday season can be lonely. Thanksgiving and Christmas in western culture mean family and togetherness. Once again, it’s about the pressure of having “the Christmas spirit” that only reminds them of what and who they don’t have.

Financial Insecurity

The idea of believing in Santa Claus, a Christmas miracle, and spreading good cheer is idealistic but.. let’s be honest here … Christmastime in the United States has sadly become a major shopping holiday. It’s all about the getting, giving, wrapping, and unwrapping of Christmas presents. Gift exchange is a staple of the American holiday tradition. You can’t get away from it. It’s in the movies, packed toy stores, Black Friday deals, and horrible traffic just going to the mall, all of which are reminders of how expensive Christmas can be. Sure, there are many who say they are skipping their gift-giving this year, but the pressure is still there. You want to buy your mom a present but can’t afford it. It’s such a bummer. It’s especially difficult for parents of little children who expect to get presents from Santa. It’s no small wonder that Americans undergoing financial distress cringe the closer we get to the month of December.

The pressure to be cheerful and happy. The pressure to be surrounded by family and friends. The pressure to spend money you don’t have in order to make people happy. It takes a toll on our mental health when we can’t measure up to societal standards. Some call this the “Holiday Blues.” If you are feeling discouraged, anxious, and lonely this holiday season, please know that you are never ever alone. There are people standing by just to hear your voice and know that you are okay. Will you contact them today?

If you just need someone to talk to: Text 741741 anytime day or night.

Having a mental health crisis? These are trained counselors that can help you, or get you help: Call or text 988 anytime day or night.

sad woman outside in the snow


Kerr, M (2010). Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/holidays

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/988.

25 of the Best Feel-Good Christmas Movies of All Time – 2022

The countdown is on! Are you ready? Let’s do one movie a day starting December 1st all the way to December 25th, Christmas Day (Psst. You’re allowed to binge-watch them too). The hard part is figuring out which movies will make the cut – there are so many good ones! So I will draw from my own playlist.

Counting down to December 25th with 25 of the best Christmas movies of all time:

It’s a Wonderful Life is a classic that no one should miss this Christmas. Its main character is George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) who’s lost all hope, believing in his heart that his life is no longer worth living until Clarence, a heavenly angel shows up to show him what the world would be like without him. It’s a Wonderful Life is a heartwarming movie that brings hope and happy endings.

While the original movie that was released in 1947, starring Natalie Wood, has been a long-time beloved classic, the 1994 remake of Miracle on 34th Street is my favorite. Richard Attenborough’s portrayal of Kris Kringle is so convincing that you may even mistake him for the real Santa Claus. Hey.. I BELIEVE! 😉 You’ll get it when you watch the movie.

Ah, another must-watch Christmas movie that I’m almost positive everyone has seen. Jim Carrey delivers an excellent comedic performance as the Grinch. It would be difficult for any other actor to fill in his shoes. This is another “feel-good” movie that you won’t want to miss.

A Christmas Story is a fan favorite of Gen-Xers. There are so many funny lines from this movie about a dysfunctional family just trying to get through Christmas. Lines from the movie that many Gen-Xers can still quote to this day. It is a memorable film that should be watched year after year after year.

There are like, 500 versions of A Christmas Carol (just kidding, close but not really) but this one with George C. Scott has been the most highly rated. Two of my top favorites though is the one with Patrick Stewart and the other one is a musical with Albert Finney. Both are vintage but still so good.

Ok. I lied. This is my most favorite version of A Christmas Carol, but since it’s technically called Scrooged, we can just pretend it’s its own original movie, ok? 😉 While it has the same general synopsis, Scrooged puts a modern and hilarious twist on A Christmas Carol. The key ingredient? Bill Murray. He is a comedic genius. I don’t think anyone else could’ve pulled it off better than Bill Murray as Scrooge.

While You Were Sleeping was one of Sandra Bullock’s breakout roles. This rom-com has all the elements guaranteed to tug at your heartstrings. Part romance, part comedy, part inspirational, part emotional equals one feel-good happy ending.

Love Actually, another rom-com is unique in that it tells the story of more than 4 different couples’ romances, which also includes that of a little boy’s. It’s soooo cute, sooo sweet, sooo funny, sooo inspirational, but most of all, at its core is love which takes place during the holidays.

This movie seems unlikely to make it on my list but once you’ve watched it you’ll know why I consider it a great feel-good Christmas movie. First of all, the premise is already funny on its own, but when you combine it with wonderfully talented actors, the movie will take your Christmas mood to a whole new level. It’s about the importance of spending Christmas with family. Blended families included.

I don’t think there is any Harry Potter film that doesn’t include Christmas in the story. In fact, if you’re a fan, you might be associating Harry Potter with Christmas almost every time.

Elf is an all-time favorite, especially when you love Will Ferrell. He delivers the childlike innocence of his character so effortlessly.  The story is just as touching as it is hilarious. Santa Claus? Check. Elves making toys in the North Pole? Check. Snow? Check. Christmas carols? Check. Elf has all the good trappings that can put people in the holiday spirit.

Here we go. Didn’t I tell you? Another Scrooge movie. Bah Humbug! The Muppet Christmas Carol is another spin on the original. Who doesn’t love The Muppets?! I think they did a great job with their rendition of A Christmas Carol. True to form as a Muppet sing-along, The Muppet Christmas Carol adds their own unique flare while paying homage to The Muppets creator, the late Jim Henson.

While Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer uses the old stop-motion animated flick of the 1960’s, it is still one of the best movies to watch that puts you in a feel-good mood. The story follows along with the words of the song (its namesake). When you watch this movie, you’ll understand why it was and still is a beloved Christmas classic. Whether you’re 9 or 99, Rudolph’s timeless classic has an endearing message for both young and old.

Whether or not you follow the Christian faith, The Nativity still gives a historical account of what happened during that period in history. The movie depicts the life, customs, and traditions of the people of Nazareth but this Biblical depiction begins with Mary’s betrothal to Joseph and ends with the birth of Jesus.

Whenever you need a little pick-me-up to get you in the Chrismas spirit, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation will do the trick! It’s packed with loads of fun, goofiness, physical comedy, and memorable characters. Fun fact: Did you know that Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory) is one of the main characters in this movie? Yeah, check out the kid in this film so you know who I’m talking about!

White Christmas is a long-time beloved film, starring Bing Crosby, where the popular Christmas carol, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas” was originated. It is a timeless classic that is just as enjoyable today as it was back in the day.

Eloise looks like just another children’s book and a movie to represent it. But you don’t have to be a child to enjoy it! It’s funny and cute and  has a little romance to go along with it. The movie is very festive and has a wonderful happy ending.

Godmothered is fairly new. It came out in 2018 and can be found on the Disney Plus channel. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s well-written, the lead character (aka the Godmother) is amazingly funny. There is a plot twist at the end (we all love unexpected plot twists, don’t we?). Overall, inspirational, magical, funny, sweet, and yes, there is a “happily ever after.” Well. Sorta. You just have to see it to find out!

Noelle is another fairly new Christmas movie produced by Disney and can be found on the Disney Plus channel. I must admit, I didn’t expect to be so entertained by it as the cover looked like just another Christmas Santa movie like all the others. This one is not cheezy at all. Anna Kendrick plays the leading role and she is hysterical. The great Shirley McClain is one of the cast as well. That should be a clue that it’s going to be good! The story delivers such a touching message that drives another happy ending.

Do you know anyone who have never seen Home Alone? It’s known to be one of the most popular Christmas movies in American culture for a reason: Its the only one of its kind where a kid outsmarts two bandits by himself using his own clever wits. McCauley Culkin is perfect for this role. And of course, when it’s directed by John Hughes and the soundtrack is by John Williams, it’s destined to do well in the box office, as well as in history! It’s almost impossible for anyone to not fall in love with this heartwarming classic.

Ditto from previous review! Kevin McCallister is up to his own antics again while lost in New York. Meanwhile, the same 2 crazy bandits are still after him. This seems like just a continuation of the first Home Alone movie, and under the same scenario, but still will not disappoint! Which of the two Home Alone films do you like best?

Trouble in suburbia. What do you do when a new family moves into your neighborhood on a mission to have the most spectacularly decorated house on the street, not to mention the brightest? What do you do if that house is right across street? Deck the Halls shows what greed and envy can look like during the holidays. It’s a fun movie with a strong, inspirational message in the end. Photo credit: TV Guide.

Comedic actor, Martin Short joins the cast of The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause as the character, Jack Frost. It’s another fun-filled film brought to us by The Santa Claus franchise. It’s a Christmas movie that’s fun for the whole family.

The Santa Claus 2 without a doubt tops the charts as my number one most favorite Christmas movie of all time. To me, this plot is much more complex and exciting than the first movie as it introduces two pivotal characters: Bernard the Elf and Carol, Scott Calvin’s (Santa Claus) love interest. The main difference between The Santa Claus and it’s sequel is that the former has no romantic love interest while the latter does.

Finally, we get to The Santa Claus, which is considered a top favorite by so many. Actually, The Santa Claus may even be tied with Home Alone. What do you think?

And there you have it… 25 of the best feel-good Christmas movies of all time. On my list, that is. I hope it gives you some ideas to put on your own playlist. There are so many other remarkable feel-good movies out there that can definitely get you in the Christmas spirit. These are just some of them.

What are your favorites?

Disclaimer: All photos are from IMDb and TV Guide.

How to stay strong when all has gone wrong

Resilience doesn’t come from having it easy. The strongest people are usually the ones who have gone through tremendous hardship yet persevered. Through every battle, we learn. We grow. We overcome. It’s in the midst those difficult times, that we’ve come to be resilient.

While I’m not a psychologist, nor do I pretend to be one, I can only offer what I know. I have been through the fire myself – many, many times, more than anyone can imagine. Believe me, those experiences taught me a lot! It’s tranformed me into the person I am today.

When it seems like your ship is sinking, grab a rope and hold on to these bits of advice from someone who really knows about this thing called Life.

1.) Talk it out.

2.) Focus on the solution not the problem.

3.) Have faith.

4.) Feel your feelings, but keep going anyway.

5.) Spend time only with friends who understand and are supportive.

6.) Try to find the upside of things.

7.) Be constructive, not destructive.

And there you have it! Take what you need and leave the rest. Are there many more? If so, drop them in the comments!

Remember one thing: You are capable of great things.

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