Christmas Lodge (TV Movie 2011) Poster

(2011 TV Movie)

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Nice Film
Christmas-Reviewer23 January 2017
I Have Reviewed OVER 500 "Christmas Films and Specials". Please BEWARE Of films and specials with just one review! For instance When "It's a POSITIVE" chances are that the reviewer was involved with the production. "If its Negative" then they may have a grudge against the film for whatever reason. I am fare about these films.

When you watch a "Christmas theme" film you know what your in for. Now does this film break new ground? "No" but not every film maker wants to do that. Some of them want to tell stories about "Faith, hope and love" and that is what they did here and they made a film well worth watching!

Some people might be bothered by the overall religious themes in this but this a "Christmas Film" with a nice message that family traditions are important & that's is what makes "Christmas Special". You are almost not hit over the head with the message but the film is so good you won't care!

In this film Mary Tobin has wonderful memories of family gatherings at the Christmas Lodge. When she arrives for a weekend vacation, she quickly realizes that the lodge she loves has fallen into serious disrepair. With a lack of funds she is sets out to find a way to save the lodge.

I really enjoyed the film and its message about why traditions are important. Now it never tell you that outright but it shows you. The film is well paced and the leads are very charming. Michael Shanks is excellent and I hope to see him again in other films.

If your someone that grew up with large family gatherings for Christmas then you will enjoy this film. I also want to point out this film makes you want to celebrate life with your loved ones! So watch it with someone you love. If your a guy watch it with your girlfriend.

I have now watched this every Christmas for the past 3 years. The film just gets better to me.
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Couldn't finish it
wunderwood14 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Could have been worse. This film felt fake from the start, but I thought we were in for a Christmas movie and was willing to cut it some slack. When they arrived at the lodge and had separate rooms after dating for over a year, I got a bit surprised, and then when the boyfriend was over the top "gee honey I love the city and you don't", it became obvious that this was not a good script.

Sorry to say I wasted the time on this and after coming to IMDb and reading the reviews, it's obvious now that the evangelicals are choosing to give it ten stars due to the references to God and Christ, but that's no excuse for such a lame movie. Even a true believer ought to be able to see this as a sorry excuse for Christmas entertainment.

Avoid this movie.
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Flatter than roadkill
JaynaB25 December 2011
The '4' is for the scenery, which is lush, and for Erin Karpluk, who turned in her usual competent performance despite the lame dialogue, and for the cute little girl and her dog.

The title is a cheap attempt to cash in on the season. This movie has little to do with Christmas except for the obligatory family-togetherness lesson. For family togetherness to work as a plot device, there has to be a smidge of conflict beforehand. But in this movie everyone was so nice, so bland, that their 'apartness' could have been cured with an invitation to dinner or a night of board games in any month before Thanksgiving and the 'project' brought them all together anyway.

As someone else mentioned, there was utterly no chemistry between the romantic leads. Even though both Erin and Michael Shanks are competent actors, it's hard to see why they would take roles that offered so little scope for their emotional range either as individuals, romantic partners, or family members. Everybody in this film suffered from botox of the emotions. Believing in God doesn't and shouldn't equal living your whole life in emotional neutral. If you can't know pain, you can't appreciate joy.

Frankly, it wasn't the religious expressions that turned me off as much as the blatant unreality of the basic setup. Even Christian business people can't simply walk away from 3 months worth of scheduled work to satisfy their ailing grandfather without suffering consequences to their business's reputation for years to come. That kind of blatant guilt trip ought to be unthinkable for an ethical elder of the family. And any grant-funding organization that steered a huge part of their budget to the family business of an employee's dad would be in serious hot water with everyone from their private donors to the IRA.

I had to wonder, too, what message the writers/director thought they were sending, because it came across to me like 'If you're a Christian and pray a lot, you can convince total strangers to allocate millions of dollars to give your family's company money to rebuild an old lodge just because your ailing grandfather once had happy memories there.' Silly me; I thought Christianity meant more than using God like a cash machine. Especially at Christmas.
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Wonderful Christmas family movie. So glad we watched it.
lyndakf-558-4907618 December 2012
This is a very heartwarming and wonderful movie. Erin Karpluk was so realistic in her love and devotion to her grandfather that she had each of our family members crying, she is like a modern day Margaret O'Brien. And of course Michael Shanks is a favorite, as always, and it was fun to see him in something other than Stargate. This is what Christmas is really about - Family and family traditions, as is also - helping others in need. It touched the hearts of each one of us so much in our family as we sat and watched it, that some of us didn't want to leave the room for anything. It's uplifting and inspiring and it will be a new family favorite for Christmas from now on.
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Awkward and staged
michellelcalvert20 May 2014
While the story works OK for a 'cute' movie and is very family friendly, I found the main couple (Mary and Jack - such original names!) in this movie to have no chemistry at all. None! In fact, Mary seemed downright embarrassed and uncomfortable around Jack, especially when he brought up any serious topics. And as for Jack, after watching this actor in many of the Stargate shows, I know he is capable of much better acting and have no idea why he was pigeonholed into something like this.

The show was ultimately not realistic, and Mary would have known better than to go begging about how her project was a labor of love - very unprofessional. The story line was very amateur at times, with plenty of time dedicated to watching everyone be called to dinner and eating, Mary and the family all joining in for care-taking, etc. While an instance or two of this is good and emphasized family involvement, showing it over and over again was tedious overkill and added nothing to the plot. It was almost as if they were looking for filler fluff.

Overall, fine for a family showing, with good moral lessons, but lacking if you were looking for anything more.
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Save two hours and go to church
md-36-7962092 January 2015
Some of the plot elements aren't just impossible to believe, but send a mixed message about values. (See "Flatter than roadkill", which sums this up well.) The casting of Mary's parents and grandfather made it hard for me to follow the story. The mother looked liked the grandfather's age, and way older than the father, so I couldn't figure out how the grandmother could be dead. (What? Then who's the white-haired lady taking care of the grandfather, his second wife?) The least they could have done was have Mary clearly call her "Mom" from the second she was introduced and several times in her first scene. Maybe the intention was to say "it's okay to not dye your hair, work out, etc. if you and your husband share true love", but it was too confusing to work.
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Emits fondest memories that will never fade of my own childhood of Christmas's past
Ed-Shullivan20 December 2015
Let me say categorically that Mrs. Shullivan and I had wonderful childhood memories of our own Christmas's past and so this film brought back feelings of our own family Christmas's that were very special. After reading some of the other negative reviews I can only ascertain that these scribes do not believe in the magic of Christmas, or maybe their own families are not very close so the film was not believable to them.

As for those of you who are purest Christmas believers, who enjoy being surrounded by family at this magical time of year, and who have some level of faith in living a Christian life, then this film "Christmas Lodge" should be on your viewing list. The two lead characters names are Mary whose job is to find private funding for restoring historic buildings, and the country Christmas Lodge owner named Jack whose lodge is old and badly in need of extensive repairs. Christmas Lodge was built by Jacks' great grandparents more than 100 years ago and the Christmas lodge has hosted many families over the past two centuries including Mary's family and grandparents when she was a young child.

Mary is played superbly by actress Erin Karpluk, who had a recurring role in the hit action/drama television series Rookie Blue. Jack's character is played by the seasoned actor Michael Shanks who has played versatile character roles in other films ranging from the biographical film Mr. Hockey the story of Gordie Howe, to the successful television drama series Saving Hope. Now Michael Shanks character is a widower and he has a cute pixie of an 11 year old daughter named Charlene, played with devilish charm by the youngster Michelle Creber. In walks Mary (Literally in the woods) in to their unsuspecting lives while Jack is slowly trying to restore Christmas Lodge to its past glory days with nothing more than spit and muscle and little capital funds to pay for the rebuild.

Now Mary's own family is very busy in the renovation industry with her father and her two brothers working independently on various renovation projects trying to maintain a living. Mary's grandfather has been bed ridden for quite some time but his past memories of Christmas Lodge and the love and Christian upbringing that he has bestowed on his extended family made Mrs. Shullivan and I warm and emotional. Call us saps if you will, but Christmas Lodge is a story of caring for one another and believing in the goodwill of all mankind. Grandpa is played by John Innes and his bedside visits and long chats with his granddaughter Mary only wish that our own parents and grandparents were still alive. They are very sensitive and touching scenes and add great value to the movies theme....especially near the end of the film.

The film has a romantic story line and the spirit of Christmas comes to a wonderful climatic ending with Mary's family at Christmas Lodge well worth waiting for as the film closes. So for those other reviewers who commented they could not watch the entire film I must surmise their past Christmas's were filled with stress and grief and this film is about hope and love.

Michael Shanks and Erin Karpluk are wonderful in the lead roles. This is a family friendly Christmas film. I give it an 8 out of 10 rating, and suggest that if you are a lover of the Christmas spirit that you won't be disappointed with Christmas Lodge.
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Tired (and Phony) in Every Way
whoster6931 December 2011
It wasn't the bludgeoning, over the top, religious nonsense that utterly destroyed this movie (though that would have been bad enough), nor was it the incredibly bland acting (you know a movie is bad when the dog does some of the best acting). It was the incredibly dull, lifeless script. These are supposed to be real people? I've seen better acting by cardboard cut-outs like Al Gore!

The only redeeming quality of this film is some of the scenery, which is quite nice.

I'm a sucker for light Christmas romance stories but this one is a turkey. Avoid at all costs.
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Bland and forgettable
rangeriderrango22 January 2012
This movie had no competent script, the actors were sleepwalking through their parts, there was no chemistry between the romantic leads and all the actors seemed like they were cardboard cutouts. There was no conviction from anyone in this. It was totally unbelievable.

The settings and scenery were nice. But there was no sense that Christmas was even anticipated in any way. No snow on the ground, no lights or decorations anywhere, no Christmas music, no Christmas spirit, this film was totally lacking in life.

God and Christianity were poorly interpreted in this vehicle and the whole premise was lacking substance. It had a lot of potential and so much could have been done with these actors and the setting had they perhaps had the right director, but in the end it was very boring and forgettable.

I had such high hopes before watching this that it would be a memorable and heartwarming story. It was a big disappointment.
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Very nice TV movie
holodeckone3 March 2013
I don't normally search for these sort of films; my wife loves them and for the entire month before Christmas, these are on TV in our home. However, this year, I did not see this one. I was searching thru Netflix and found it in my queue; apparently my wife had watched it so I figured I'd give it a go. It was about 1 am and the worst thing that could happen would be that I might fall asleep. I did not. I found this to be quite a charming and nice movie, though I felt "Grampa" played it a little too hammy. But all in all, I found the film to be quite enjoyable. I was also amazed at the full mention of God and Christ and found that to be a breath of badly needed air; Family values are great and this is one movie to enjoy. Yea, the title "Christmas Lodge" sort of connects it with Christmas. I wonder if this was ever based on a true story?
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A wonderful Christmas movie!
Andrew_London_113 December 2011
This is a great Christmas movie with a theme that echoes the real meaning of the season! Perfect for families - it is absolutely clean and appropriate for all ages. There should be more Christmas movies like this!

What a refreshing change from the usual Hollywood trash that includes filth, obscenities and violence. This movie emphasizes Christian love and the spirit of giving and includes some beautiful scenery as well.

If you are looking for a wholesome, family-friendly Christmas movie that will leave you with a warm feeling in your heart, be sure to check this one out.
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Atheists beware
dave-538-54989514 December 2015
I like a slushy romantic Christmas movie but this was barely related to Christmas at all. Erin Karpluk puts in a reasonably good performance as the female lead but I should have smelled something odd when everyone seemed to be wanting to get her married off to a totally unsuitable beau.

The pace is pretty lethargic as we get introduced to a wide range of family members that never seem to have a bad to word to say to each other, something that is right out of the ordinary in my experience. Almost surreptitiously the religion slips into the dialogue and for a while can be ignored but as we stagger on through the story a Bible appears, grace is said without a murmur before anything is eaten and we're endlessly informed that all around is provided by the good Lord in the sky.

While the story is a fairly standard wishy washy slow road to love the religion becomes so outrageous that I couldn't help but start to laugh out loud every few seconds whenever it raised its head. Whatever soppy story there was became a distant second to the hilarious God stuff.

Needless to say, there's no sex in this at all. I can recall only one kiss. There were some lingering shots of hands being held though. Quite forgettable.
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Really bad!
slam25617 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Way too preachy to my taste. In all honesty, it felt like a catholic priest was directing the movie.

The characters were not believable and never once there were real conflicts or disagreements. The majority of the time they were smiling like idiots without any reasons.

The two boys and their father did not even say boo!!! They just stood there like props. I can't believe that in a 2011 a man would say to a women "I wish you could come live with me at the lodge if we were married". It was a ROFL moment for me.

I've seen school plays with more feelings.

Please save yourself money and don't even rent it, unless you are a bible thumper. Only they'll be satisfied with this drivel of a movie. Too bad I cannot give zero out of ten. This is basically the worse Christmas movie made in the past 30 to 40 years.
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Even "Surviving Christmas" was better if you want a romantic Christmas film
ryansassy128 October 2012
I'm a sucker for a good, get-in-the-mood Christmas movie as much as anybody else -- some of my favorites are Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Home Alone, A Christmas Story, and Elf. It's my habit to start watching Christmas films the weekend after Thanksgiving to get myself into the spirit of the coming holidays. So last year I rented Christmas Lodge, and really, really tried to get into the spirit...or at least the story...the romance?....meh. Okay, it was a nice setup for picturesque wintertime scenery.

Christmas Lodge's plot is about a woman who is inspired to restore an old family building to please her dying grandfather. I hope I got that much right, because honestly, a year later the details escape me (not a good sign for the memorability factor). In any case, there's a subplot about a romance between the lead actress and another man who also has connections to the lodge; lots of family memory moments; and a wholesome message about faith in God.

It pains me to have to put down a film with such good intentions and Christian messages, but..there is no charitable way to say that I thought the acting was flat and wooden all around. Any higher praise than that is simply lying. The dialog and the overall direction of the story did nothing to make me engaged or interested in the characters or their plight: I can barely even remember most of it, except that the production values seemed decent, because this is a "Thomas Kinkade Presents" after all..but the guy's a painter, not a filmmaker. Whatever made him decide to sell his name for movies? Films are a lot more than pretty "moving pictures"-- somebody should have thought of that before making this one.

So dear readers, my purpose in outing this movie is now clear: I don't want anybody to waste their time/money on Christmas Lodge simply because a famous name that appeals to Christians and evokes sentimentalism is plastered on the cover. It's such a blatant money-grab on the part of the producers. There are a much more heartwarming and romantic Christmas films out there than this one if that's your desire.
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Not a very good movie with little to no Christmas spirit!
ccmulder17 March 2013
My wife and I are suckers for a sappy Christmas movie in the classic Hallmark genre. You do not expect Al Pacino or Jack Nicholson type acting. In fact, if you look at the IMDb reviews of Christmas movies, they are almost always on average 2 to 3 stars above what one would rate a non-Christmas movie because people understand these are "feel good" movies designed to inspire Christmas spirit, not win academy awards (and that is why I gave this a "3" instead of a "1"). That being said, as one reviewer mentioned, this movie HAD NO Christmas SPIRIT. There was no Christmas music, no decorations, no snow--nothing remotely Christmasy until the final scene (unless you count the endless references to "Christmas Lodge." And the acting—even giving due consideration to the usual sub-par acting in Christmas movies—was very poor with the exception of Erin Karpluk and the little girl--both did a decent job working amidst a bunch of stiffs.

Further, there was too much interjection of the Bible in the movie. I understand that Christmas has its origins in the birth of Christ, but frankly, it has become a secular holiday for many around the world. I typically do not mind and even enjoy some reference to Christ, but even Christmas movies that do that, avoid such overt, over-the-top references to the Bible this movie included. I almost felt as though I had attended a sermon by the end of the movie.

Moreover, the single most important aspect of a romantic Christmas movie as this one tries to be—where lonely forlorn man or woman find the true love and the Christmas spirit—is good chemistry between the male and female leads. There was zero chemistry in this movie—nothing, nada, zip.

I think the only reason anyone would give this movie above 5 stars (and "5" is generous) is a strong religious or sugary "G" rating bias—that is people who cringe when the realism in a movie moves a hair off dead center of the G rating scale. So if you have that bias, you'll have a chance of liking this movie—not much of a chance, mind you—but a chance. If you prefer real Christmas movies with all the attendant Christmas trimmings to get you in the spirit of the season, you will want to skip this movie—or watch it after you've watched all the others you can possibly rent or find streaming on the Internet.
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The BEST Movie I've Seen in a LONG Time!
LoveMyTwoFerrets25 December 2012
This is the best movie I have seen in a long time! I love all the actors and I feel they all worked well together! The story is excellent ... the way the families past and present are intertwined in this beautiful setting is what dreams are made of.

I love the fact that the actors spoke of Christ and their faith on an every day basis ... they allowed the Lord to guide their footsteps and that is a difficult challenge in today's fast paced world. The genuine depth of devotion to following the Lord and depending on Him to meet one's needs as He sees fit ... well ... it's such a blessing to me and proves that families that are raised up in a Christian environment will keep those values throughout their lives! Thank you for this wonderful story!
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wonderful family movie
raneill28 November 2011
This was a wonderful, feel good, fun for the whole family type movie. The acting is well done, the characters are believable and real, and the main characters are explored enough so that the audience connects. The scenery is awesome, and having many Canadians on the cast is another plus! One thing that was extremely nice to see was the amount of and quality of references to God. There was no swearing, no violence, no sex - just great acting and a great plot. This is the first movie in a while that I've seen where God isn't just used as a swear word, and prayer was more than "praise the Lord, pass the potatoes". The family seemed to have a real relationship with God, and it was lived out - scripture was quoted, Bible stories referenced. Amazing, and to boot, it was on a channel not normally known for its morality. Awesome!!!!
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tommy567729 November 2018
This movie is way to big on sap. Seriously. Everybody's too happy and life just isn't like this. It seemed there was little if any conflict in this movie and the female lead has difficulty convincing us that she even likes her love interest. By the end she's still unsure of her relationship and should just go off in the sunset and it off the deep end.
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Decent Movie
nikicianciola20 December 2011
I agree with some of the other comments; overall, I think it was a pretty good movie. I liked the lead actress and the message of the movie. The mother was too old for the part, and it wasn't really a Christmas movie per se. I also agree that there was absolutely NO chemistry and no buildup to the relationship between Mary and Jack. I did not see them together at all, and perhaps better casting or better character development could have improved this.

The scenery was beautiful and shot well.

Overall, I enjoyed this movie and would recommend it to other viewers if you are looking for a clean, wholesome movie that the entire family can enjoy!
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Crisp and wonderful in every way
lcheetham3 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Erin Karpluk's character was brilliantly presented. It is amazing how crisp, clean lines and a quick-witted delivery can move a story along. The director kept his foot on the peddle to prevent a soppy tale, and in return created a stunning and convincing tale of good-minded people willing their way to happiness in our world. There were opportunities for awkwardness in the storyline that simply failed to materialize: I salute the straight forward dialog that dispatched Mary's first beau back to the City and the later change of scenes which plunked the Grandfather down on top of Christmas Lodge. Both these actions came across to me as plausible, reasonable, and adroitly done by the writers and the director.
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Simply an amazing Christmas movie!
GraySkies858 February 2013
Very cute love story that just makes you feel all fuzzy inside. Its a definitely must watch! Its not some huge budget film but if you are looking for just a feel good movie this is it! I honestly thought after watching it, it was a hallmark movie. Ha. Its a very wholesome family Christmas movie with no foul language or nudity. Its a Christmas love story at its finest. I don't understand the other reviews that rated it so poorly- my guess is that they expected more nudity and foul language. But if you want a tear jerker amazing heart warming Christmas movie, this is it. =) Oh and "Holiday in handcuffs" is a good Christmas comedy and the "Call me Mrs Miracle" number 1 and 2 were also good wholesome Christmas movies that were good. So add those to your Christmas movies list!
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Young woman stumbles upon happy place of her youth, but finds out it is in disrepair, and decides to do something about that.
stefbuik31 December 2013
Not too bad.

It's a nice little story with a positive undercurrent.

However, the continuous invoking of religion really starts to grate towards the end. I guess it's an American/Canadian thing.

Luckily the beautiful surroundings of Vancouver and BC do compensate a bit for the "message" that's constantly rammed home. And the actors do a nice job of showing a close family, without getting too sappy.

I guess, in the end, this movie will really be loved by the very religious, yet when one looks beyond that, there's still a decent Christmas movie behind all of it for us non-believers.
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celtigra21 November 2019
It was very slow and boring. I would not watch it again. It is just my dislike of films that preach. Christmas films should be light and frothy not sermonizing.
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Decent overall story but some parts are as forced as the ridiculous soundtrack
AJ-Reviews13 January 2020
Warning: Spoilers
The overall story arc is good form beginning to the conclusion. The characters are well put together and the acting does the character's justice (great casting). So why does this movie only have 6 of possible 10 stars? Because there are some flaws that exist. One major flaw that was annoying from the intro to the closing was the music choice. The music is actually good. The problem is the timing and placement of it in the movie. It is just ill-conceived and poorly executed. It makes an otherwise good movie feel campy. In fact, I believe the entire movie would have been better off if they had left the soundtrack completely out of the movie. The final "slap in the face" was (spoiler alert) the violin playing at the very end. The actor actually did a great job. As a professional violinist, I can tell you that he must have worked to get his right hand grip looking well and his left hand and set-up was passable (for anyone who cares). Then, the soundtrack (which was bad from the beginning) comes in with violin music that isn't remotely what the actor is trying to perform. It is just...bad. Next failure: I don't mind religious undertones in movies but this one felt forced and -like the music- ill-placed in the movie. It just wasn't done right. Didn't feel right either. Lastly, the relationship/romance was completely non-existent and felt rushed by the very end. Bleh. To conclude, the movie has some heartfelt moments and a good overall storyline and characters but gets lost in the execution.
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Thank-you God
tammy-pickering27 November 2011
I would like to thank the company and TV network for not being scared to share the love of God through this movie, I would love to see more movies like it all year long. If there were more movies sharing the Grace of God as it was done in this movie The Christmas Lodge maybe more people would know what a real family is supposed to be like, and the world would be a happier place no matter where you live. Please make more movies like this. I really loved how the grandfather and granddaughter believed in God and followed their hearts knowing God would follow through. How the families stuck together to get a job done no matter what got in the way. This is the best Canadian movie I ever saw. When Mary went into the country and into the woods I felt exactly how she felt, watching her talk to her father about her need to help repair the Christmas Lodge and him telling her to give up it was too costly, etc this was me and my husband, I didn't follow Gods plan, in hind site I should have taken away his remote control and read him the scripture. I can't say anything bad about this movie loved it from the start. Please help keep the Christ in Christmas
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