My Southern Family Christmas wasn’t what I expected. It wasn’t even close to what I expected. Actually I really didn’t know what I was stepping into when I turned on the movie. But I knew that I was so intrigued after talking to Ryan Rottman and Jaicy Elliot.
My Southern Family Christmas is special. It truly is special.
Under the guise of a journalist writing a story about a tight-knit community that makes Christmas special, Campbell (Elliot) has a chance to get to know her biological father Everett (Campbell) for the first time – without him ever knowing who she really is. As she spends time with him and his family, as well as Jackson (Rottman), the town’s record keeper, she realizes that families are messy, wonderful things. In the end, Campbell must decide if she’s going to keep her identity a secret or reveal the truth to her father – a decision that will change their family Christmas forever.
Elliot plays the lead, Campbell Wallace. She’s fierce, strong, creative, and innovative. She’s a travel writer for an airplane magazine and if anything, she taught me that I should have more respect and read the magazine on the plane.
Campbell has a family that loves her and a job that she loves. But there is something that has always been missing from her life.
She’s had a Dad since she was a kid – a stepdad – who has raised her as his own. He’s the Dad she’s always known, but she’s always wondered about Everett. He’s her biological father, who disappeared from her life a long time ago. She never knew why and really has always felt unwanted.
But her stepmom, played by Moira Kelly, reaches out to her to try to get her to talk to him. Campbell isn’t sure that this is something that she wants to do, until she finds out that she has sisters. I can see how that would change everything because there is just a bond between sisters that can’t be broken.
When Campbell pitches going to Sorrento to her editor, I was kinda shocked that she had the strength to do it. At this point, she has the intention of telling him everything when she meets him. I was thankful that when she arrived it was her stepmother who said that she didn’t have to tell. She could just tell him that she was there for the article.
Now while no one condones lying, no one can really blame Campbell for wanting to protect her own heart. There is nothing worse in the world than feeling rejected by parents. It’s what sticks with us. Campbell may not want to tell Elliot but she does want to get to know him and that is okay that it’s on her terms.
One thing that I will say is that I loved that about this movie is that it’s family first and a romance – well that’s in the back ground. While I would love to see more of Ryan Rottman in the movie, I do appreciate what we do get of him. The chemistry between Elliot and Rottman on the screen is everything I need in a Hallmark movie. Something so understated but so obvious that it’s there – good casting.
Jackson finds out who Campbell is and confronts her on it. But in the kindest way. He wants to help Everett, but he also cares enough about her to make sure to be there for her. She wants to run from the truth, but he wants her to hold onto it
The truth is a weird thing. There are so many versions of it that it’s sometimes this empty feeling and sometimes it’s a feeling that brings you back to life. The truth can both cripple and save. We don’t ever know someones truth, but we do owe it to others to give them our truth and our understanding.
Everett is becoming the towns Père Noël, which is like their version of Santa Claus. It’s a big deal and it’s made him think a lot more about the little girl that he left behind. Having Campbell there and digging more into his past is making him wonder about his little girl even more. It hurts him, truly hurts him, which makes him even more likable.
While I don’t believe that anyone should ever leave a child behind, I do think that we need to hear the reasons. It’s up to us whether or not we forgive.
Everett is distraught over his little girl being a missing part of his life, but he did think he was doing the right thing by her. He thought that she had the family that she needed and he was doing the best thing by leaving her behind. Campbell overhearing this and knowing that at one point that he came back for her is what makes her want to tell him the truth.
When she goes to tell him the truth, life gets in the way. She wants to leave, but Jackson talks to her and convinces her to stay. Of course we don’t know if she’s going to, at first, but when we see that she is going to, it’s everything.
Her telling Everett who she is broke me to a puddle of tears. Can we all admit that we cried? And when he left the room, definitely screamed at my television. But when Everett returned and gave her journals that he’s written her to let her know what she was loved… well that broke me. It was a beautiful moment.
My Southern Family Christmas is definitely going to rank up there in our top movies of this season, because it is that special. Really am going to need more movies with Jaicy Elliot and Ryan Rottman.