CHRISTMAS KEEPSAKE is a charming Christmas drama on the Great American Family network. After moving from Australia to a small town in America, Tom and his 13-year-old daughter, Grace, follow the instructions to “have the best Christmas ever” in an old tin Grace found in their backyard. Upon fulfilling the first instruction, they meet as beautiful young woman named Elizabeth and her mother, Alice. Eventually, the two households find that experiencing a Christmas, the holiday, and all that it entails, can bring people together.
CHRISTMAS KEEPSAKE has a bright script with nice plot points, dialogue and music. The movie is also blessed with gifted actors and appealing performances that run the gamut from joy and humor to sorrow and compassion. CHRISTMAS KEEPSAKE also has a strong Christian worldview with very strong moral values and brief biblical allusions. For example, it promotes family, strong child-parent relationships, celebrating a Nativity display, running a family business, prayer, and the Christmas star. Finally, the climax includes one important lyric from a Christmas carol, the words, “The Savior reigns” from “Joy to the World.”
(CC, BBB, CapCap, PP, V, A)
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong Christian worldview with very strong moral worldview with strong biblical allusions promotes family, healthy, loving parent-child relationships of the two households in story, inclusion of attending separate Nativity ceremony and Christmas Eve candlelight ceremony in order to have “the best Christmas ever,” a grandmother type asks a preteenage girl, “Did you say a prayer?” at the Nativity ceremony, and child said she did it first thing when they arrived, lyrics from the Christmas carol “Joy to the World” are heard during a climax when singers sing, “Joy to the World, the Savior reigns! Let men their songs employ,” camera lingers at the window over the entrance to a main character’s home to highlight a circular window that boasts a simple cross in the pane woodwork, new friendships help two families overcome loss of a wife and a father, and new family traditions for Christmas are overtly added to old family traditions for Christmas, there are two treasured tree toppers atop the male lead and his daughter’s new Christmas tree, namely, an angel and a star, representing key Christmas stories of the New Testament, and there’s a balloon decoration of a wise man, plus there’s a strong, though implied, capitalist worldview in the many scenes at the local coffee shop involving the owners as main characters and through the phone conversations a main character has with a company contacted to produce a Christmas fair in his backyard for
No obscenities, profanities, or scatological issues
Two very light, somewhat comical, scenes where two female characters have a brief little snowball fight in a small backyard and where a few townspeople have a brief little snowball fight at a Christmas celebration
No sex and sexual immorality, does include two passionate but not salacious kisses toward the end
Man takes brief sip of wine at a dinner table in one scene
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,
Nothing really objectionable.
CHRISTMAS KEEPSAKE is an enjoyable Christmas drama presented on the Great American Family network as another entry in their 2023 Great American Christmas movie collection. The CHRISTMAS KEEPSAKE namesake is a time capsule, in the form of a Christmas tin, found by preteen-aged Grace hidden in the yard of her new home. Grace’s father, Tom, just moved from a big-city in Australia to Small Town America for a fresh start with their lives following his wife’s death early in the year. The round tin is full of Christmas mementos described in an introductory message, written in a child’s hand, titled, “How to Have the Best Christmas Ever.” To celebrate their first Christmas in the United States, as well as to possibly meet the planters of the Christmas tin, Tom and Grace decide to follow the instructions.
Step One is to get hot cocoa at Luna’s Bakery and Coffee Shop. There, they meet a Elizabeth, a beautiful young woman, who takes their order at the counter. Elizabeth mentions she hasn’t seen them at Luna’s before this. That prompts Grace and Tom to tell their story and start a friendship that will grow throughout CHRISTMAS KEEPSAKE. It’s also a friendship that will spark a tentative romance between Tom and Elizabeth, which will be further encouraged by Elizabeth’s mother, April, the co-owner of Luna’s.
Tom and Elizabeth’s relationship will not be without some difficulties. Elizabeth’s father died very near Christmas Day when she was a child. So, ever since, she’s had misgivings about any close relationships for fear of losing another person dear to her. Through Tom and Grace’s relatively recent family loss and Elizabeth’s long-term grief, CHRISTMAS
KEEPSAKE explores the grieving process at the Christmas holiday season with great skill, without overdoing it.
CHRISTMAS KEEPSAKE is blessed with gifted actors and high quality cinematography that keeps viewers engaged. At first blush, though, the script appears to present too many coincidences, like Tom and Grace living next door to April, and yet Elizabeth not knowing it until almost halfway into the story. The script itself calls out this accord, however, when Tom reflects with Elizabeth about “one coincidence after another” in their relationship. He then asks, “What if this is all meant to be? How many things have to happen to realize that they aren’t just coincidences?”
The filmmakers add a subtle and graceful treatment of the grieving process at holiday time. As a result, CHRISTMAS KEEPSAKE is a more meaningful entry in the Christmas romance genre. Speaking of the script, one cannot help but mention a line Tom speaks that tips a hat to GAC’s series of Christmas movies, of which CHRISTMAS KEEPSAKE is a part. Thus, right around the movie’s halfway point, Tom says, “I just want to give my daughter a great American Christmas.”
CHRISTMAS KEEPSAKE has a strong Christian worldview with very strong moral content and brief biblical allusions. For example, the lyric “the Savior reigns” is heard at the movie’s climax when the soundtrack breaks out into a brief reference to the Christmas carol “Joy to the World.” Also, Tom and his daughter, Grace, visit the opening of the small towns Nativity display. One instruction in the time capsule tells the finder to say a prayer at the opening of the Nativity display. April asks Grace if she said a prayer, and Grace says she did the moment she arrived. The movie also has references to the Christmas Star. Finally, CHRISTMAS KEEPSAKE also promotes family, positive parent-child relationships, helping other people overcoming grief and family tragedy, having a family business, prayer, and living in America. In effect, the movie sends the message that celebrating Christmas, and all that, that entails, brings people together.
All in all, therefore, CHRISTMAS KEEPSAKE is a holiday treat with content that’s appropriate for all ages.
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