Four Brilliant Christmas Movies on Netflix to Snuggle Up with This December

For many of us, a big part of getting in a nice, Christmassy kind of mood is watching some fun, festive movies. Now, Netflix allows us to watch the movies we want on demand, meaning no matter what the networks are airing, you can get your fix of holiday cinema whenever you feel like relaxing!

If you want to find more great Netflix recommendations for the holidays and beyond, then a good site to check out is netflixguides.com, which lists all kinds of Netflix content by category, so whether you want a zombie movie or a family adventure, a classic sitcom or the latest Marvel superhero story, you’ll always be able to be in the know about the best things streaming in your region.

Here are just four of the fantastic Christmas movies you could be watching right now:

The Santa Clause

This 1994 movie starring Tim Allen is one that most millennials will remember as a part of their childhood, and it is still just as fun and endearing as it was back then.

Tim Allen’s character accidentally kills Santa Claus, and so as a result of the titular Santa ‘Clause’ has to take over his job and deliver all of the presents on Christmas Eve. This is a cute, family friendly romp, and if you enjoy it, there are two sequels also available on Netflix to extend the experience!

The Grinch

Jim Carrey’s representation of the character created by Dr Seuss who enviously steals a whole town’s Christmas presents, only to discover the joy of Christmas and give them back, became an instant classic when it was first released.

Now, The Grinch movie has become as big a part of a family Christmas as the book on which it is based, though it is a fun watch for adults too.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Tim Burton’s animated musical The Nightmare Before Christmas is a movie that is well suited for both Halloween and Christmas viewing. It was even nominated for a special effects Oscar – the first animation ever to receive a nomination in this category (though in the end Jurassic Park took home the trophy). Ideal for older kids or people who enjoy Burton’s unique, gothic take on the Christmas theme, this is a movie packed with memorable characters and songs.

Bad Santa

If you are looking for a less family oriented movie to watch on a Christmassy evening with your friends or partner and some mulled wine, then this comedy starring Billy Bob Thornton is a must. Playing a petty criminal who is posing as a mall Santa, Billy Bob’s character gets up to all kinds of amusing misbehavior before Christmas arrives.

Whatever your taste in movies and whoever you are planning to watch with, there is bound to be at least one movie here that will give you some Christmas enjoyment and get you in the mood for Christmas 2017. Why not fire up Netflix and get watching tonight?

Four Guilty Southern Pleasures That Are Actually Healthy Treats

Southern cuisine is known the world over for its delectable nature. It’s also known as a major source of carbs, fats, oils and other unhealthy ingredients that when eaten constantly can have major health repercussions. Ultimately, most things in moderation are perfectly fine, but many people struggle with their love for healthy eating and their love of Southern foods.

Believe it or not, there are many Southern pleasures that can be enjoyed that are a lot healthier than you think. When coupled with smart substitutes for select ingredients, almost any dish can be recreated to give you that authentic Southern experience.

Today, I’m going to make sure you know about four guilty Southern pleasures that can be downright healthy for you when prepared properly.

A Side of Okra

Long known for its vegetable-heavy diet, Southern cuisine has a tendency to take great vegetables and make them into unhealthy – but delicious – recipes. With that said, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy delicious Southern vegetables without the guilt.

Okra, once a staple of Southern cuisine, can be prepared in a number of ways. Fried okra is very common in the South, but another delicious way to prepare this recipe involves roasting okra instead. Not only does this keep the okra from having that slimy texture so many people dislike but they also avoid all of the fats and salts that make the more traditional recipe less than healthy.

Green Tomatoes

Fried green tomatoes are yet another delicacy many Southerners enjoy – the food was so popular they made a movie of its namesake! This side-dish can be a delectable yet guilty pleasure under normal circumstances, but dodging the unhealthy way of preparation can be done quite easily.

By baking the tomatoes rather than frying them, you have more opportunities to liven up the flavor without creating an unhealthy, waist-expanding comfort food. Whether you want to throw in some chives (read more about the health benefits of chives on Health Row) or create a low-sodium crust, this awesome Southern dish can be made from scratch in under an hour.

Collard Greens

Most people take one look at collard greens and assume it’s a healthy dish. Leave it to us Southerners to find a way to make it fattening! With ham hocks, butter, and other unhealthy additions to most families’ recipes, this green, and leafy legume – filled with plenty of vitamins and benefits – quickly becomes a diet buster.

Instead of cooking them the usual way, try this sautéed collard greens recipe that incorporates lemon juice, garlic, red peppers, and a dash of salt and butter. You’ll feel better for eating better, and this collard greens recipe is still very tasty!

Black Eyed Pea Soup

Another big favorite throughout the South, black-eyed peas often accompany meals that are hearty – and they themselves are often cooked in plenty of butter, grease, and oil.

Instead of taking this approach, why not try spinning the dish into a soup for an added health boost? By throwing it in with your favorite vegetables such as carrots, collard greens, onions and parsley, you can create a dish that’s great for any meal and at any time of the year. With a low-sodium broth included, this dish is sure to remind you of home without reminding you to check the scale.

So many Southern foods are delicious but not necessarily nutritious. If you’re wanting to enjoy those timeless dishes in a way that doesn’t make you feel guilty afterward, these four meal ideas may be right up your alley.

What Kids Can Learn by Gardening with Mom and Dad

Spending time with your kids not only builds an unbreakable bond but also teaches them life skills they would otherwise not be exposed to. Actually, most parents would like to have more free time to spend with their families but the skyrocketing cost of living has literally forced many moms and dads to work extra hours just to make ends meet. Why not work a garden with your kids which leads to spending more quality time with them?

If you are looking for any one activity that is fun for the entire family but a useful resource as well, gardening should be your first choice. Here are just a few of the things kids can learn by gardening with mom and dad.

Visible Fruits of Your Labor

Sometimes you wonder if your kids understand why mom and dad leave the home every day to go off to work at some obscure job. No matter how many times you explain that you must work to pay the bills and keep food on the table, they still ask why they need to go to the babysitter or to school on any given day.

Putting effort into growing a garden shows them the rewards of a bit of hard work, albeit a fun activity. They learn to weed and water the plants and in the process can see them growing, day by day. They get to eat the fruit of their labor and this can be an invaluable lesson about work ethics. On some level they may understand about earning money, but visible fruits of your labor puts working in a whole new perspective for them.

The Value of Nutrients

Have you ever had a battle of the wits with your children over eating their veggies? Most parents will quickly agree that getting kids to try a variety of new foods can be a grueling endeavor. As you use fertilizer to nourish your garden, explain to the children that this is much like veggies for plants. Without those organic nutrients and a steady source of water, your garden would quickly wither and die.

After learning about tools for applying organic fertilizers and using pest control on sites like My Gardening Network, you can leave one single plant off to the side which goes untreated. Water it infrequently, don’t use nutrients, and then show your children the value of eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of water. Show them how the plants you’ve cared for are flourishing while those with inadequate nutrients are literally dying. You may even find that your kids start asking you for more foods that are good for them. What a shock that would be!

Respecting Life in All Forms

Many parents also use gardening as a tool for teaching their older kids the value of respecting and nurturing life. There is so much your kids can learn from gardening that it’s a shame more parents don’t plant a backyard garden. Whether using small windowsill herb gardens or larger backyard plots, you can spend quality time with your family while teaching the value of life.