Christmas is a big deal for a lot of people, but when you’re a child of divorce it is difficult. It’s hard for the child, being torn between two people. It’s also hard when a parent moves on and you feel forgotten.
Especially at Christmas.
And when Jason’s father lets him down at Christmas, his Mom wants to make it the best Christmas ever. When all the ski resorts are filled she decides to take him to St. Nicholas Island.
Melanie and Jason’s relationship is complicated. Most parental relationships are. But the thing is, the beauty of this movie was the evolution of their relationship. The beauty of this movie was Melanie not only finding herself, but finding her relationship with her son. Sometimes, one needs to be reminded that Christmas is what is in your heart.
While I am not a believer in love at first sight, I do love to watch it in the movies. It’s kinda one thing I do love about Countdown to Christmas, or any movie on Hallmark in all honesty, is that they make you believe in love. They show you that opening up your heart and finding all the joy and love that is out there in the world.
I think sometimes, I watch these movies and I wonder where Christmas plays in, but I forget that part of the joy is the lead up to Christmas. Part of the joy is the effect that the celebrating brings. It’s reminding people that they are loved.
So, yes, I did love this movie. I loved this movie because it made me feel. It made me cry. It brought me joy.
And yes, the light it brought me was a way to guide me home and remind me that Christmas is about more than just the day. It’s about the feelings and traditions and the heart.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Melanie (Hobbs) faces spending her first Christmas after her divorce by herself, as her ex-husband is taking their teenage son Jason (Everett Andres, “Virgin River”) on a snowboarding trip. When he cancels at the last-minute leaving Jason crushed, Melanie scrambles to find a fun back-up plan to make the holiday special for her son. Unfortunately, everything is booked – except for a listing for a charming lighthouse on St. Nicholas Island, complete with lore about guiding good ol’ St. Nick himself on Christmas Eve. The soggy ferry ride to the island gives the trip a rocky start but it gets worse when they arrive at the lighthouse to discover it looks nothing like its photo. When she comes face to face with the lighthouse owner at the local café, she’s dismayed to see that he’s the smug ferry passenger she met on the way over. Peter informs her that she booked an immersive experience that comes with lighthouse duties, including decorating it for the holidays so it will be ready for the Christmas festival. Though Peter isn’t a fan of Christmas, he helps them out. Having grown up in the lighthouse that’s belonged to his family for decades, Peter teaches Jason morse code using the spotlight and the two begin to bond. Meanwhile, as they continue to deck out the lighthouse and participate in fun, holiday festivities in town, Melanie and Peter grow close. His dislike of the holiday even seems to soften, although he is harboring a secret about his family’s lighthouse that’s weighing on him. But when Jason overhears them talking and learns the real reason his dad canceled their plans, he takes off. As Melanie, Peter and their new friends in town search for Jason, the dormant lighthouse may still have some life left in it and help navigate a Christmas miracle for all of them.
IT’S GIVING: Lights. Lots of Lights.
STANDOUT PERFORMANCE: Everett Andres as Jason. He was the ever angsty kid that sent everything moving forward.
SCROOGEISH THOUGHTS: Nothing makes me more mad in a movie than an absentee parent. I am fully aware that these things happen in life and I am fullly aware that kids go through things.
But I do love movies where parents rise to the occasion and put their kids first – no matter what happens. In the movie, Melanie is willing to do anything to protect her son and TBH, she’s a hero, because her son is a handful. He’s going through a lot, but he takes it all out on his mom.
Melanie wants to do everything that she can for her son. Making him happy is all that matters. I loved the twist of taking Jason to the lighthouse and them having to do work and set the lighthouse up for the holidays. It made for a twist and bonding moments.
I do believe that bonding moments are important and in movies they set a tone. In so many movies it feels as though they are forced and these ones didn’t. These ones felt like natural fights between a mother and a child. These ones felt like a natural struggle and the way they found an understanding felt natural and relatable.
This season, so far on The Hallmark Channel, what we’ve been seeing is the beauty of relationships in ways that we haven’t really seen. I am not sure how to explain it, because you’d have to watch the movies over the years to see it. I feel like the changes in Hallmarks leadership have opened up a door that has allowed for the network to grow in a positive direction.
And though I have had some issues with the movies this season, I have seen those changes and I love them. This movie being one of them.
Peter, the owner of the lighthouse, is a Scrooge. He’s not the biggest fan of Christmas and doesn’t want to discuss why. He grew up on the Island and he left without really ever explaining why. It’s the people of the town that convince him to help Melanie and Jason decorate the lighthouse for Christmas.
The Lighthouse is an important place for the community. It may not lead anyone to safety anymore, but it’s steeped in tradition. The town doesn’t light up a Christmas tree. They light up the lighthouse, which they call Santa’s Star.
It’s the three of them working together that helps them bond. It gives Jason a male role model, which he is begging for. He misses his father and he wants nothing more than him back in his life. His father has been absent since his parents divorce and he’s begging for his fathers attention.
Melanie finds someone that she can talk to, in Peter. The two find ways to open up to each other and allow some grace in their lives. The best part of Peter and Melanie’s growing relationship is they challenge each other and find a way to show each other that healing is something that they can and should allow themselves to do.
Now, of course there is drama. That happens when Melanie finds out that Peter had planned on selling the lighthouse and didn’t tell the community. It would destroy the community and she’s angry with the lies that he’s told. Rather than take it, he retorts with telling a secret she’s kept from Jason.
I admit, I cussed at the screen, so angry at what Peter did, because you just knew that Jason could hear.
Overall, there is a resolution, one that I can say made me smile.
I’ll reiterated, the reason that I liked this movie so much is that it reminded me about the journeys in life. It reminded me that Christmas – there is a lead up to it and that we need to partake in the joy of the journey. Things may not always go our way, but they will evolve.
And they will move forward.
And that’s the greatest gift of all that we can give ourselves.
CHRISTMAS CHEER: 🎄🎄🎄