Detours in the right direction: Avignon adventure

Earlier this summer I headed down to the south of France. There was a lot about the trip that didn’t go as planned, starting with my friend I was supposed to travel with having to cancel her trip to France, then learning the joys of non-refundable train tickets (I found a taker for the second ticket), my own inability to judge distances / a surprising lack of connecting trains, and a heatwave and forest fires to top it off.

It really was the last leg of my trip where I was set to see a second friend in Aix that didn’t go as planned. I do love logistics and not backtracking, but no matter how many ways I looked at the puzzle it just seemed forced. No, I was not going to spend 3+ hours on the train for what should be a 20-minute train ride.

Instead, I saw it as an invitation from the universe that this visit was not supposed to happen right now. There was no point in forcing it, especially when it was in the high 30s C / 90s F. Instead I’d head back to Avignon for the afternoon and catch my train back to Paris. I’d been to Avignon before, am good at entertaining myself, and could read my book.

But the adventure didn’t stop there. When I arrived in Avignon Centre (after Ardèche for a couple days), I spotted a banner near the train station for a Dan Flavin expo. I looked it up on my phone, and much to my pleasant surprise, it was only a 5-minute walk from the station so I decided to head that way, hoping I could find lunch nearby. It took me to a place called Collection Lambert, which was also new to me (and is definitely a new favorite!)

I arrived at a walled “city” that was more than just an expo. It was everything I was looking for in an afternoon, and I barely had to move (remember, sweltering heat!) to take advantage of it all. My curiosity had taken me to a magical mecca on both a heatwave day, and a national holiday (14 Juillet/Bastille Day). My bag even fit perfectly into their lockers. I was ready to move in for the day!

My first stop in this magical land I arrived in was lunch at Le Violette restaurant in the courtyard. The sign said they were complet/full, but I asked anyway. By some stroke of luck I got the last—and in my mind, the best—seat before they closed for the afternoon. I opted for a starter and dessert—burrata and fresh tomatoes (with oil and vinegar served in Coke and Orangina bottles) and pavlova with strawberries. I rounded it out with a fresh juice and glass of rosé. I kept thinking to myself, where am I? How did I get here? I wasn’t even supposed to be here. This place is magical!

I probably would have and could have sat there all afternoon, but alas, they closed for the afternoon. I took that as my cue to venture into the contemporary artspace that is more like a museum the much smaller Yvon Lambert gallery and (art) bookstore in Paris 3ème. But wow, there was quite the collection, and the space felt dynamic and brought the works alive. I let the space guide me where to head next. There was Dan Flavin, but also so many other artists whose work I recognized (and new to me works too—including an Afghani artist). Somehow I got lucky with timing as all the shows had opened a couple weeks prior. I couldn’t have planned it better if I tried!

It’s actually quite miraculous it wasn’t more crowded on a holiday. The Festival d’Avignon was also going on at the same time where venues open up for various events. It was clear in another hidden courtyard space there was a theater or performance state set up.

Before heading back to the train I enjoyed an iced coffee with my book in the courtyard for what turned into a perfect and unexpected day.✨ This was all better than I could have imagined!

It was all an excellent reminder to not force plans. Curiosity and openness really can be the best guides. Sometimes the detours really do take us in the right direction when we allow our plans to change.

P.S. Mapping Your Path into 2023 opens for enrollment next week! The 3-month workshop + community is designed to get you thinking about how you want to go into the new year with intention, while getting creative, making maps, being connected to an incredible community around the world, and having a ton of fun. Click here to sign up to be notified. 

A Magic Carpet Ride

I wasn’t supposed to be in Istanbul. I booked a ticket with 10 days of notice after hearing a friend would be there for work and knowing I needed to escape the ghost town that would be the first week in August in Paris.

I had very little intentions for this trip. A friend was going to be there for work, which was just the nudge I needed. I just had the pull to go for reasons I couldn’t explain. There was a clue on my vision board of a beautiful view with a minaret. I knew where I was going to stay the first two nights (the INCREDIBLE Hotel Mest–see here + here), but beyond that, the rest would unfold as it would.

Little did I know just how big (and hilly) Istanbul was. Hotel Mest put me on the Golden Horn side of town, an easy walk to the Hagia Sophia (a must given my art history studies) and Blue Mosque.

My first full day in town I decided to venture to the Hagia Sophia. At one point I veered off Google Maps directions when I saw a couple places that I’d starred on my map that were recommended by a friend. These put me on a street I wouldn’t have been on.

The next thing I knew there was a very attractive Turkish man stopping me in the street. The conversation started by telling me how crowded the Hagia Sophia is right now and he recommended the Cistern Basilica (that actually was on my radar thanks to another friend). I knew the Hagia Sophia was my priority.

We keep talking and I’m very aware of what’s happening. He tells me he likes practicing his English, his family has a business that sells carpets, that I’m very beautiful, I have great energy. I tend to pride myself in my stubbornness (there’s no way in hell I’m buying a carpet), but there was something about being in a foreign land that feels very different from my daily life I was up for a bit of an adventure.

The next thing I knew I was agreeing to go look at carpets. I’ll get a free tea I tell myself. This will be great. I don’t need a carpet. I don’t want a carpet. I don’t have the space for a carpet.

I’m now sitting upstairs in the shop. I’ve been handed off to the uncle. I thought my hot new friend would be joining us, alas not.

They find out where I live. Paris. They definitely understand Paris apartments are small, which I appreciate. The tea arrives, as does some water.

The entire process is fascinating. An art that’s been perfected for centuries.

I’m sitting on the couch. The uncle is on the single seat next to me making small talk. The next thing I know two men are unrolling rugs—which are piled in stacks around the room, making me reminiscent about my childhood and wanting to jump all over the piles while rug shopping with the family.

The “nicest” fanciest rug goes down first. It’s on the right.

Next to it is a similar rug. I later learn that there is a 500€+ price difference between the two.

The rugs keep getting unrolled faster and faster.

“Which one do you like?” and then I’d point or say “that one.” I’ve come to realize this is an incredible strategy of life. We often need the comparison between possibilities to really get clarity on what we like/want.

More rugs came out. I could say no right away. I don’t like those colors. No, not that pattern. Not my style.

I’m not for certain, but I’m fairly certain that the rug I liked best was rolled out early on. The points of comparison allowed me to see what I liked in the process. It happened so fast I didn’t have time to overthink for once. But ultimately, it came down to feel.

Then we finally get to talking about price.

I’m still in my typical stubborn mode. I’m fully convinced I’m not leaving with a carpet. Perhaps this tactic helped me in the end.

The next thing I know the carpet price is dropping 150 USD. Less scary, but still I don’t need a carpet. Besides, the idea of having to get it on the plane was a nightmare (if I wanted another bag I’d have to pay for it).

My not budging is paying off. I try to explain that my apartment is small and there isn’t even room for a carpet. I don’t need a carpet. I’ve never wanted a carpet. (And in the meantime in the background I’m starting to dream about a future dream home with a carpet.)

“What about shipping?” I ask. Ok, that’s included. “And customs?” (I knew I’d had to pay customs on the past 5 gifts shipped to me that were tiny, so customs on a high-priced product terrified me.) Yes, customs included.

Uh oh, the needle is starting to move. I’m rather entertained.

The other carpets have been restacked. The helpers have retreated.

Mind you, I don’t even have any idea what size this carpet is or what size would fit in my living room.

I stayed seated on the couch. Drinking my tea. Drinking the water. The carpet came towards me — “here, feel it, look at the quality.” Funny, at this point I didn’t even care to go have a closer look.

I agreed. Ok. I’ll take it. I started laughing, and kept laughing all day. What just happened?!?!

Friends later asked what carpet I bought and I barely had an answer besides a laugh. I said, “I think it’s this one.”

I walked out of the shop and ran into the “lure” who had been out working his magic trying to find more customers. I laughed and said, I hope you get a good commission. (It was 11:11 —my magic number when I left BTW). I’d later run into him again and he showed me just how insane the Hagia Sophia line is and took my photo at the Blue Mosque (which he warned me was under construction).

I should have business expensed my carpet because it seriously was a masterclass in selling.

In my terms we even specified that the carpet wouldn’t be shipped for a few days as I wouldn’t be home to receive it. Did that happen? Of course not. But I bought a carpet!

I was the first sale of the day, so was told I got a good deal and would bring luck to the store for the rest of the day. Did I get a good deal? I have no idea. I think so. What I did get was a good story, and a carpet I absolutely love.

It’s funny. When it arrived the package was much smaller than I expected. And then there was a layer of padding. Was this even my carpet? Whew. It was.

Knowing I never got off the couch or stood on the carpet, or asked what size it was, I really had no idea what I was getting into. I had invited a friend who has strong muscles thinking I’d need help moving my couch. Alas, I didn’t need the hand at all, but still, it became the perfect excuse to have a couple friends over for what became my first “magic carpet party.”

The late Ann Hamric, a friend’s mother, once said in her Last Lecture Series talk that she always keeps a bottle of champagne in the fridge in case there’s something to celebrate. This was cause to celebrate. I bought a carpet in Istanbul! It was accompanied by the Turkish Delights my hotel had gifted me on my way out, and some pretzels in the container. Classy ;) And of course good conversation too!

We had the best time, and I realized the carpet was more than a carpet.

The day before I had the urge to take all the post-it notes off my walls and clear my desk to a clean slate. I’m definitely not a minimalist, but tend to operate in stratospheres of piles. It was a big departure. Then the rug arrived and EVERYTHING CHANGED. My room that had become a frozen time capsule of creative inspiration was transformed instantly.

My entire space came together (and has even been updated since this photo). The colors of the carpet even pulled together my swimming pool art on both sides of my living room. I never would have picked this carpet or these colors had it not been for the “comparison game.” Perhaps my subconscious was at work because I really think I was operating by feel—a theme of the entire trip.

In the words of Marie Kondo, my carpet “sparks joy.” On a daily basis I tell my carpet I love it. Ha!

I see the magic carpet as the carpet found me, I didn’t find it. I didn’t know I was looking. However, it’s unlocked so much. It was like the first domino pulling my apartment together. I’d done a lot of work last fall going through my stuff and “making space” (shout out Paul Sockett for support on that front). It was subtle at the time, but all the groundwork I laid then meant everything now has been super speed.

I cleared my hallway, removed my workshop table, bought new bedding (a matching set and found the perfect accent pillows). It’s been fun, rewarding, and just flowed. And with it I started writing again too.

So yes, while we may not need a new carpet. Sometimes what we’re buying is more than just a carpet. It’s an investment in ourselves. It’s a story. It’s something to weave everything in our worlds around us together.

For more fun from Istanbul, check out the inspiration that kept appearing all around me. I swear there was magic a play in that city.

P.S. Mapping Your Path into 2023 opens for enrollment in mid-September. The 3-month workshop + community is designed to get you thinking about how you want to go into the new year with intention, while getting creative, making maps, being connected to an incredible community around the world, and having a ton of fun. Click here + sign up to be notified. Click here to see my 2022 map.

A trip to a snail farm + the season of slow

Travel has always been about unique experiences for me. Little did I know that my recent trip to Ardèche in the south of France would involve a trip to a snail farm!

Have you ever considered what a snail farm would look like?

Well, now you know! It looks like the picture on the left. The snails like to hang out on the inside of the diagonal planks to stay cool. As you can see (right), they like to huddle. There’s moisture and plants under there too.

Now guess how many snails are grown on this farm?

360,000!!! Yowza. These babies are ~1.5 mo.

I was sad to not be there for the annual snail races—now that sounds thrilling! But I love the idea of a race of the slow.

I didn’t know that I’d be visiting a snail farm when I was on the train to the south of France to visit my friend Judith. But on my train ride, I had drafted a new blog post on “The Season of Slow” for my Biz Blog. I’ve come to realize just how much magic there is in slowing down, so I love that the snail became symbolic of my trip.

Fun fact. After I posted my snail doodle for my blog post, Judith informed me that I drew the snail shell in the very rare direction—99% of snails have clockwise spirals. I love that unknowingly I managed to draw a magic snail! ✨ Read the blog post here.

Mapping Your Path into 2023 is my 3-month workshop and community designed to get you thinking intentionally about how you want to show up for the new year (and beyond) through creative mapping exercises and connection to a warm-hearted global community. It’s not about doing more; it may even involve slowing down. It’s about having fun, enjoying the journey, and taking the time to reflect while mapping a path forward that excites you. Come unlock the magic within you!

The next cohort runs Oct 2022–Jan 2023. Enrollment opens in mid-September. Kick-off is the first Friday in October. Sign up to be the first to know when it opens!

What if there was another way? Mapping Your Path Accountability Booster Group

My favorite question: What if there was another way? 

We get stuck in an either/or, black or white way of thinking. Yet, the best options are the possibilities we never considered or knew existed. When we find them everything feels lighter. Let’s keep opening doors, not closing them. 

What if there was another way is the guiding question of Mapping Your Path, but I think it relates to so much of life too! Sometimes that means getting creative, sometimes it means trusting our intuition, and sometimes it means believing that we’ll get there even if we don’t know when or how. 

But here’s the thing. We don’t have to have all the answers to get started, and we don’t have to go it alone. 

Mapping Your Path is a 3-month “incubator,” workshop series, and community for accountability, forward progress, and good vibes. It’s a door to exploration that will provide you support, inspiration, and a boost of motivation. The May-July MYP Accountability Booster Group is about to get started. The community opens next week (May 9), and the kick-off workshop is May 13!

Let the next 3-months be about taking real, yet imperfect steps. This summer (or winter if you’re on the other side of the world), be intentional to move forward on that business idea, hobby you’ve been wanting to try, or project you’ve always been wanting to do that always gets out to the wayside. You may just discover there’s another way forward that you haven’t considered yet… 

The Accountability Booster Group is designed to have fewer distractions (fewer workshops, but more exercises and prompts on demand) so you can make real progress on the path you really want to be on. Three months can seem like a big commitment, but it will also fly by. In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to lose track of how far we’ve come, but when you zoom out you’ll be able to see all the progress you’ve made. You’ll also have a community that feels like old friends to help you see and celebrate what’s easy to miss. 

Come join a global community of incredible humans navigating their own paths! You’ll get my direct support and feedback every step of the way. It’s like having a coach in your pocket and a team of cheerleaders on the sideline, ready to celebrate every small win along the way. My approach isn’t like other coaches (you can read about my approach in Forbes). I fully believe in learning to navigate life on your own terms and playing by your own rules. It’s only when we do that that can we put our best work into the world and be the change we want to see.

There is no perfect time. Don’t wait to feel ready. Start before you’re ready. Let the Mapping Your Path Accountability Booster group be the first small step of many. You don’t have to be the perfect student to enroll (in fact that’s discouraged—we are human after all). This experience is designed for people with actual lives and other things going on. It’s flexible and created in a way to ensure you get to put yourself first for once! It’s up to you how much time you want to devote to it, but even a few hours a month can put you on just the trajectory you need.

How do you want to show up in the world?!

Learn more about the Mapping Your Path Accountability Booster Group + sign up today!

Questions? Not sure if MYP is right for you? Don’t hesitate to reach out. It’s time to get out of your own way. Keep going! You’ve got this!!!!

P.S. I’m running Write Your Own Rules Workshop this Saturday, May 7th. It’s a great place to start, but is by no means required. I’m also running my FREE Make A Map! FieldTrip through CreativeMornings on Wednesday, May 4th.  (There will be banana mapping!!)

Come make maps! Mapping Your Path Tuscany

I’ve teamed up with Ashley Bearden of Travel Parallel for a brand new experience: Mapping Your Path Tuscany! Fun fact: I met Ashley because she joined a MYP cohort. Then some magic happened for us both! ✨ It could happen for you too!

Ashley is a talented filmmaker with a production background (she’s worked with Anthony Bourdain, on Reading Rainbow, and started a collective for youth activists). In this new chapter she’s applying all those skills she picked up on the job to something she believes in and wants more of in life: meaningful travel. I’m beyond excited to be teaming up with her for this experience.


June 27 – July 2, 2022

Mapping Your Path is a week-long retreat where exploration, creativity, community, and connection collide, and where you get to show up unabashedly as yourself.

Are you ready for the next chapter? Do you ever feel like you’re stuck on auto-pilot? Encountering the same roadblocks/excuses over and over? Running in circles? Uphill? Doing all the things the gurus told you, and it doesn’t feel true to you? Playing by a set of rules that leave you exhausted and depleted?

WHAT IF there was another way from what society told us, from what school taught us, from what family modeled, and what we’ve told ourselves?

WHAT IF we could do the things we really want deep down?

WHAT IF the journey didn’t have to be hard and heavy?

WHAT IF it could feel fun, energizing, engaging, and inspiring?

WHAT IF you could step away from what you know and do it in Tuscany?

Welcome to Mapping Your Path, a devoted time to focus on YOU for a whole week. It’s time to be intentional, take (aligned) action, and do things differently. Show up for yourself, with the support, encouragement, and company of an incredible community of humans. You don’t have to do this alone, you’ll be guided every step of the way.

All levels and places in life are welcome.

Each morning the creator of Mapping Your Path, Anne Ditmeyer, will lead us in a  session where we’ll be exploring creative mapping exercises as part of our journey to map our paths forward. We’ll explore mindset, our strengths, what brings us joy and energy, and more to focus on our paths forward that light us up—all through the help of pen, paper, and mapping!

Along the way, it will be a lot of FUN and you’ll uncover your superpowers and learn to embrace the secret sauce within you. No artistic skills are required. This is about learning to see the world through a different lens. No two paths are the same. There’s no one-map-fits-all. Maps help show us where we are, and where we want to go. You get to be the one who maps your path forward.

Afternoons are loosely structured sessions both at the villa and in the surrounding villages, allowing us to dig deeper into the work we did in the morning and use Tuscany as a lens for exploration.  There will be also plenty of time to spend at the villa relaxing, wandering through the vineyards and reading or journaling by the pool.

Each evening we will come together again and check-in either through an informal group session or yoga – or maybe both! Dinner reservations will be made for the group in neighboring towns, you can choose to eat with the group or set out on your own – dinners (except for the first and last night) are at your discretion and not covered by the cost of the retreat, allowing you flexibility. There is a full kitchen at the Villa you can also choose to prepare meals in!

Spots on this trip are going to go quickly (only 7 available!). Check out Travel Parallel today for many more details and come join us in Tuscany!!

Photo credits: Ashley Bearden and Katie Mitchell Photography.

How Voting Works in France

In 2016 I became French. This is my second French presidential election.

You can read my experience about my first election (with photos!) and find this post on Instagram.

p.s. My Mapping Your Path 3-month Accountability Booster Group opens very soon! I’ll also be running my popular (and free!) CreativeMornings Make A Map FieldTrip! on May 4th, and my 2.5 hour Write Your Own Rules Workshop on May 7th. Sign up to join the fun!

Map on a banana! CreativeMornings FieldTrip (Feb 1 – free!)

What do bananas and maps have in common? You’ll have to join me for my CreativeMornings Make A Map FieldTrip on Tuesday, February 1st at 6pm CET/noon EST to find out. It’s free when you sign up on the CreativeMornings website. You’ll need to bring a banana (sweet potatoes, lemons, oranges, or anything non-traditional works just fine too), plain paper, markers/pens, and a paper napkin!

I’ve been running these workshops from time to time ever since April 2020 lockdown, and have had a ton of fun with them. I recommend coming into it with an open mind and a spirit of exploration and adventure. Throughout the hour-long experience, I’ll guide you through a series of prompts and you’ll walk away with three maps! No artistic ability required.

For a sneak peek check out the hashtag #makeamapfieldtrip on Twitter or Instagram. If you don’t know CreativeMornings, they’re an incredible free community offering monthly talks through 240+ chapters around the world (that are also shared online), and FieldTrips where you can learn anything and everything from the incredible generosity of the creative community.

If you’ve never experienced my workshops, Make a Map FieldTrip is a great way to get a taste of what my 3-month workshop + guided community Mapping Your Path feels like. The next cohort kicks off on Feb 4th!

Mapping Your Path: the way forward (now open!)

The new Mapping Your Path: the way forward cohort is open for enrollment! Join the 3-month workshop + guided community which kicks off February 4th and runs through April.

Get creative. Get connected. Have FUN!
You are HERE. Where do you want to be?

So what is it? It’s a world where questions are valued more than answers. It’s a place where detours are encouraged, and you don’t always have to know where you’re going, as long as you enjoy the ride. It’s not about doing more or playing by old rules. Mapping Your Path is where exploration, creativity, community, and connection collide, and where you get to show up unabashedly as yourself. This is YOUR journey. This is the way forward.

On a practical level, Mapping Your Path is a 3-month incubator and creative hub for the next chapter of your life. Every month there’s a Workshop with exercises to get you digging deep (in a fun, insightful way). Two weeks later there’s a Reflection Session where we get to build on those ideas and take them one step further. You also have the opportunity to join a Connection Call with me and ~5 other community members (these are always a highlight for participants and described as magical!).

Along the way, there’s also a truly incredible community (on Slack) where you can come to be inspired, ask questions, share resources, and connect with these truly WONDERFUL humans around the world. Think of this as a cool café where you can pop by at your convenience, and stay as long or as short as you want. There’s no pressure to follow every conversation. It’s all here to support you wherever you are now.

You’ll walk away with:

  • Exploratory maps
  • New exercises to help your inner compass stay on track
  • Your own playbook to refer to when things go off course
  • A fresh, empowered mindset!
  • Added accountability, new friends + support system :)

It all starts Friday, February 4th!

As a thank you for being such an awesome blog reader, I’m offering a 100€ early bird discount. Use the code MAPONABANANA at check out to take advantage. The discount is valid until midnight EST on Sunday, Jan 23rd.

Click here to learn more about Mapping Your Path: the way forward. (Or jump straight to the checkout page to sign up.)

Map of 2022 – The Magic within YOU

Every year one of the things I look forward to is drawing my map for the year ahead. It all happens in one sitting, and usually takes a couple hours as a café. I don’t have a grand plan when I sit down to draw it. I see what comes to me.

The past two years my map has been born out of the work we do in Mapping Your Path, the 3-month workshop + guided community I run. I’m an active participant as we go through workshops, uncovering things about my own journey.

Typically my map integrates things I’ve learned from the previous year (or years), and I integrate my guiding force (word or theme) for the year ahead. Every year feels like a different season, chapter, or cycle, so each year carries a different spirit.

2022 is my year of “the magic within you.” You can find out what that means to me—and see the map full size—on my Biz Blog post.

P.S. The next cohort of Mapping Your Path starts soon!!! Stay tuned on Wednesday when I announce the latest 3-month MYP workshop + guided community. I’ll be sending an early bird discount that will only be available a few days, so if you’ve been itching to join this week is the week to sign up! (If you want to pay full price that’s cool too—ha!) It all officially kicks off on February 4th. Sign up on the workshops page of to be alerted when it opens, and subscribe to my weekly Connect the Dots newsletter if you haven’t already.

Tis the Season! Cheesy Christmas Movie Roundup

There’s something about December that feels like life moves at warp speed. In more recent years I’ve developed a holiday tradition that I look forward to each year—watching cheesy Christmas movies. I’ve also come to really look forward to sharing my picks. I will admit my selection is limited to Netflix, but I’m sure you can find many of them on other platforms, or at least find a similar plotline elsewhere. I will add that this list is a few years in the making ;)

If you find yourself with downtime in the next couple weeks, here are my “favorites” depending on what you’re looking for.

Legit enjoyable:

  • Home for Christmas – a Norweigan series (watch with subtitles) about a girl trying to navigate the pressures of her family to have a partner at Christmas, but it’s a refreshing change from typical stories. Both seasons are great.
  • Love Hard – A dating app and a crazy idea for Christmas and it’s good fun.
  • Father Christmas is Back – A surprise hit for me where you have arguably annoying family members, but it grows on you, and has some big-name stars.
  • Dash & Lily – Teenagers connect through a journal book and it’s super cute.
  • Princess Switch 12, & 3 – It wouldn’t be Christmas without Vanessa Hudgens where royalty can learn from commoners, and vice versa.
  • Let It Snow – A snowstorm hits a small town, and teenagers are forced to deal with actual feelings. Actually really sweet.
  • Last Christmas – Not on Netflix, but an unexpected favorite of mine that tells a different kind of Christmas tale through the music of George Michael.

Cheesy bad good:

  • A Castle for Christmas – Brooke Shields plays a successful writer who travels to Scotland and finds more than herself in the process. She also joins a knitting circle.
  • The Knight Before Christmas – When a knight time travels to present day, you cannot help but laugh.
  • The Christmas Prince 12, & 3 – Higher budget than most holiday films, so skip this one if you’re looking for added cheese factor. Spoiler alert, they fall in love, get married, and have a baby, but not without a few hurdles along the way.
  • Christmas Made to Order – A wanna be holiday decorator teaches a workaholic architect there’s more to life than work.
  • A Wish for Christmas – Santa grants the girl a wish where she can’t help herself from speaking her mind, particularly towards mediocre white men.
  • Christmas Land – A Christmas movie about the importance of reading legal contracts before signing them.
  • Operation Christmas Drop – The importance of giving to others who have less, inspired by a true story.
  • Christmas Wonderland – A Christmas movie about toxic workplaces and high school sweethearts.
  • Single All the Way – I found the family meddled WAY too much for my liking, but it was refreshing to see a gay couple at the helm of holiday cheer.
  • Christmas Inheritance – Wherein the female lead has to experience small-town Christmas to realize her fiancé is a giant d-bag.
  • Christmas with a View – A holiday story with a very unrealistic view of what it takes to run a restaurant, even if the chef is hot.
  • Broadcasting Christmas – Melissa Joan Hart stars in a holiday tale about misogyny and meddling parents who think they know what’s best for their kids
  • A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish – A predictable Cinderella trope, but instead of scrubbing floors, Cinderella has to carry Starbucks orders.
  • Christmas Wedding Planner – Like Cinderella, but also has a cameo from Joey Fatone of N’SYNC.
  • Holidate – A completely predictable holiday love story that takes place in a mall.
  • My Christmas Inn – Will the spirit of the neighborhood inn teach an American workaholic there’s another way for her?
  • Holiday in the Wild – Charlotte from Sex in the City finds her way to an elephant refuge, where she finds more than just elephants.
  • The Holiday Calendar – A magical advent calendar comes to life as a photographer learns to follow her dream.
  • Christmas Flow – A 3-part French series about misogyny, a big music star, a feminist, and very little to do with Christmas, but has nice views of Paris.

Skip list:

  • A California Christmas – A story about how women do the heavy lifting as a cocky jerk becomes a ranch hand, and a love interest. (The sequel this year pretends to have a Christmas twist, but while better than the first, the Christmas connection is weak.)
  • A Naiji Christmas – Don’t be fooled by the title of this one, this Nollywood film really has very little to do with Christmas.


Share your favorites—or least faves—in the comments! I’m always amused hearing from others.

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