In 1985, One Magic Christmas was first released. It starred Mary Steenburgen (one of my favorite actresses of all time) as Ginny, a mother of two children, Abbie and Cal. She and her husband Jack (Gary Basaraba) are struggling to make ends meet, making the holidays a very stressful time for the family.
Jack has been out of work for some time, and likes fixing bikes. Although he cannot yet fulfill his dream of opening his own bike shop, he still does what he can for the kids in the neighborhood. Ginny is a grocery store cashier and does not like her husband’s idea of opening a store because they need funds immediately.
An angel, Gideon (played by legend Harry Dean Stanton), sees Abbie trying to mail her own letter to Santa Claus. He returns the letter to her because he believes she should try to get her mom to mail it. She almost gets hit by a car, but Gideon stops it from hitting her. He also tells Abbie not to be afraid of what may happen the next day and that she needs to help her mother to find her Christmas spirit.
The following day, Jack decides he is going to do some Christmas shopping for Abbie and Cal. He goes to the bank and leaves the kids in the car. Across the street from the bank is the grocery store that Ginny worked at, so Abbie left the car to go say “hi” to her mom. When Ginny sees that Abbie is all alone, she has to leave the store to bring her back to the car. At that point, her boss fires her, leaving both parents without a job.
Ginny takes Abbie back to the car and goes to enter the bank. She realizes that a poor man is robbing the place. Jack tries to talk the criminal down, and in a panic, the thief shoots him. In his getaway, he steals Ginny and Jack’s car with the children still in it! Ginny hops in the robber’s car and chases him. The cops have the end of a bridge blocked off, and as the thief tries to swerve around them, he and the children drive off of the bridge and land in the water.
Ginny learns that her children must have been dropped off by the robber before he crashed (Gideon saved them) and they are still alive! When they come back home, Ginny has to tell them that their dad is dead. Abbie leaves that night to ask Gideon for his help, and he explains that only her mother can help. Santa Claus gives Abbie an old letter Ginny wrote to Santa, and Abbie gives it to her mother. At that p0int, Ginny gets all of her Christmas spirit back and all of the lights around her turn on.
The next morning, Ginny wakes up to discover that it is the previous day and she gets to relive the whole thing all over again! Needless to say, she has a whole new attitude toward Christmas, and gives the day another chance. She ends up back home that night with her whole family surrounding her and completely filled with the Christmas spirit.
I have always loved this movie. Because it was one of my mom’s favorites, it was always something we watched as a family every year. I will always love it. If you have not yet seen it and I just gave everything away, watch it anyway. You will love it… unless you are a total Grinch.
5/5 all day long!
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