Some traditional and not-so-traditional films and music that will get you caught up in the fall feels.

The moment the face makeup and elaborate Halloween costumes come off, Christmas begins. But what about the Thanksgiving lovers?

Thanksgiving is a controversial holiday, now more than ever because of the day’s historical origins. For the sake of this post, the focus will be on the symbolic meaning of Thanksgiving, a time to come together and be grateful.

Thanksgiving is quite underrated. The Hollywood film industry has films that celebrate Valentine’s Day, New Years Day and has commercialized, idealized and romanticized (in all the best and worst ways) Christmas.

Thanksgiving, on the other hand, has fewer options to enjoy. This movie menu is for those that want to enjoy pumpkin pie before Santa’s cookies. Or at least want to enjoy one holiday at a time.

MOVIE MENU: By Yours Truly

“Dan In Real Life” (2007)

Plot (according to IMDB):

“A widower finds out the woman he fell in love with is his brother’s girlfriend.”

Stevel Carrell stars in this film around the same time he was starring in Season 3 of “The Office.” Carrell showcases a heartfelt, meaningful performance. The chemistry of actors — from those playing love interests to those playing family members is undeniable.  It’s a subtle movie that moves slowly, but through it’s lovely acting and cinematography, it’s a Thanksgiving must-see. 

Where to Watch:

Disney+, Amazon Prime Video

“Knives Out” (2019)

Plot (according to IMDB):

“A detective investigates the death of a patriarch of an eccentric, combative family.”

“Knives Out” is the perfect film for a family movie night (with mainly adult aged family members). The mystery-crime-comedy will have the family come together and open dialogue about “who did it?” in a light-hearted fashion.

Where to Watch:

Amazon Prime Video


The following is a necessary tangent: none of these films showcase Thanksgiving, but their vintage fashion and high-quality romantic comedy stars make these films a fall favorite.

It seems as though Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan created what we now know to be romantic comedies in the early 90s. Their chemistry and character arcs make you fall in love – over and over again. Hanks is the quintessential good guy – even when his character in “You’ve Got Mail” (1998) puts his love interest, Meg Ryan, bookstore out of business. 

These are a cultivation of movies that take you back in time — a time before social media — where people listened to radios rather than podcasts and read emails like they were direct messages rather than work-related. A time in which Hollywood was beaming with hopeful wonder and people ran to the cinema to see Hanks and Ryan reunite. 

The essence of each film stars brisk weather and open hearts. These are the films to watch when sipping hot chocolate and avoiding cheesy hallmark films — these are more hearty, more daring and of higher quality. They have heart and artistry, much more to learn from than traditional holiday films.

Where to Watch:

Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, HBO Max

“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” (1973)

Plot (According to IMDB):

“Peppermint Patty invites herself and her friends over to Charlie Brown’s for Thanksgiving, and with Linus, Snoopy and Woodstock, he attempts to throw together a Thanksgiving dinner.”

Not only did it earn 100% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s free on Youtube! This is one of the films that you might have seen in primary school, and forgot about. This film allows for virtuous decisions to be made, and love to be shown. It’s a throwback TV short that is sure to hit the feels. 

Where to Watch:

Part 1-7 available on Youtube

Adele “25”

Adele’s third album making this list might shock some people, but I think it makes perfect sense. In my mind, this album lives rent-free. Adele explains that the album is about “intimacy on every level.” This intimacy translates to melodies that tell stories and an experience unlike any other—listening to this album in its entirety while journaling and sipping a cup of tea might be what the doctor ordered. Listening to it is an escape from screens and a welcomed friend to fall festivities.

Where to Listen:

Spotify, Youtube, Apple Music

Taylor Swift “Red” Deluxe Edition

Since the album’s release in October of 2012, “Red” has served as Swift’s unofficial fall anthem. It’s the home for two of my all-time favorite Taylor Swift songs;  “All too Well” and “State of Grace” (Acoustic Version). The Rolling Stones called “All too Well,” “So casually cruel in the name of being awesome.” 

Swift pens the lyrics in “State of Grace,” “This is a state of grace /This is the worthwhile fight.” It’s in this song that traditional cheery and cheesy love takes a slower pace. Reflecting on love and life, she examines that it’s the only thing worth fighting for. Thanksgiving, too, is about reflection on the things you have and the people you love.

With the weather becoming colder and Instagram aesthetics changing from neon summer to a beige fall trend, it’s officially “Red” album listening season. In my humble opinion, it’s the unofficial album of Thanksgiving. 

Where to Listen:

Spotify, Youtube, Apple Music