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Joy to the World!!!

What makes a good holiday movie? My take? A meddling, over opinionated mother figure is a must have in a holiday movie. Particularly because she has the ability to get you to feel all the feels. The meddling, over opinionated mother is always making the decisions no one asks her to make and has the audacity to feel some type of way when folks don't embrace her way of doing things.

My latest watch on OWN brought me great joy seeing Lamman Rucker on my screen. For obvious reasons I love all things L.R. (insert smile emoji). In this film he plays Donovon a renowned baseball player, widower and father of three. The illustrious Megan Holder plays Chloe who is hired to be the family's chef for the holidays after being fired from her head chef role at a fine dining restaurant. Not only was she out of a job, but the owner had previously promised to help her get her own restaurant off the ground, so she had to put her dream on hold as well.

The show would be incomplete without the family secrets, a kid with a bad attitude for no reason and yes, you guessed it - there is a meddling, over opinionated, audacious mother. The movie fulfills all the typical requirements for a corny romantic flick, so no surprises there, but it highlights joy as a central aspect of the season.

Chloe is integrated into the family dynamic as the chef during a time that was difficult for Donovon and his family, since it's the time he and the children miss their mom (his wife) the most. She brings a welcome change to Donovon's bland, overly nutritious, and boring meals, but things are off to a good start. In addition to the delicious meals Chloe serves up she also manages to bring joy to this family.

As she cooks she connects with the children, with Buck (who is actually Donovon's father, which he finds out later), and ultimately with Donovon. Chloe brought all of her cheerful self into the story in such a way that made the family feel safe and regain a sense of normalcy during a difficult time. Of course the meddling mother tries to thwart the developments between Chloe and Donovon, but in the end love wins. Donovon also ended up learning the truth about uncle Buck, which caused a little falling out, but all holiday movies end well, Donovon was able to forgive his mom and his dad and forge a renewed relationship with them both. In the end, Chloe ended up with still being able to secure her dream of opening her own place (a Christmas gift from Donovon), and she secured her guy as well. It just goes to show, that spreading a little joy can really go a long way.

Living in a world plagued by a pandemic has certainly presented many challenges. For those of us who may have experienced any kind of loss it particularly may affect our ability to find joy. What I learned from this movie was, that joy is one emotion we can create for ourselves and for others. if we seek joy we will find it.

Joy greets us in the morning with the rising of the sun and kisses us goodnight with each twinkle of the stars in the night sky. Joy beckons us forward to explore and engage the creation and all that is around us. Joy doesn't have to cost a penny. Just a kind word, perhaps a smile, a kind gesture, a simple note. There are ways to find joy if we are careful to look for it. My hope for us all is that we create joy, that we seek joy, and that we hold on to the joy we find!


May You Find Joy!

May the peace of the Lord fall upon you

May the grace of the Lord go with you

May the hope of the Lord fill you

May the love of the Lord encompass you

May the joy of the Lord shine on you

Above all may you have joy!

By: Onica Stewart


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