I am a complete sap about Christmas. I love the traditions. I love the family time. I revel in the beauty and the food. As a Christian, I also revel in the meaning of it all.

During the holidays, my family and I enjoy watching movies when we are together. In fact, I want to recommend some films you might enjoy this season, ones that portray leadership themes that can instruct and inspire. You might also want to discuss some of these themes with the rising young leaders in your home.

Here goes. Enjoy.

1. It’s a Wonderful Life

The central theme of this classic is what would your world look like had you never lived. In other words, are you making a difference? Are you doing any good? The imaginative technique of this movie is a good one for leaders as they consider their own lives and the lives of those they lead.

2. Apollo 13

In this beautifully made film, note the leadership of NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz, played by Ed Harris. Note the way he sets expectations, challenges doubt, and keeps a vision of success ever before his team.

3. Seabiscuit

This inspiring movie depicts the way members of a team can extend strengths, challenge weaknesses, and achieve success despite oddities and obstacles. Listen carefully to the very last words of narration.

4. October Sky

This tender story portrays the way a vision can rally misfits and empower them to break out of an ensnaring culture.

5. Rudy

Leadership is about breaking barriers. This film movingly portrays the true story of a young man who worked to fulfill a dream despite a family culture that worked against him. He broke through barriers to achieve. Parents, note that there is a surprising amount of foul language in this film.

6. Hoosiers

In this true tale of Indiana high school basketball, we witness how love, admission of wrongs, and investment in others makes champions.

7. Braveheart

In this fictionalized account of William Wallace’s life, we learn what it means for a leader to embody the values he seeks to embed in those he leads. Parents, this film is very bloody. Be careful.

Okay. That’s it. And, yes, I know I have a preference for history on the screen. No apologies. Enjoy these films and use their lessons to lead even better than you already do. Merry Christmas!