If you came to this review expecting a review of one of the many Hallmark or Lifetime movies named “The Christmas Gift”, you came to the wrong place. The version of this title I love is from 1986 where it premiered on TV. My parents didn’t have much money when I was small so most of our movie were taped off of the Networks. When I was six, my mom recorded a holiday movie starring John Denver and Jane Kaczmarek (the mom in Malcolm in the Middle). I watched it every year after until I moved away for college. Then, as luck would have it, I found it on DVD on Amazon. Now, as an adult, I watch in annually again as I did when I was small.
George Billings (Denver) is an architect and single dad whose wife died the previous year around Christmas time. Wanting to avoid being home without his wife on Christmas, he takes his daughter to Colorado on a work trip for his boss who wants him to snag up so property for a large resort.
In that small town in Colorado, George finds it is much like his childhood home and he gets to know the townspeople. The good natured elderly brother and sister that run the hotel. The woman who runs the post office (Kaczmarek). The family about to lose their farm – the very land that his boss sent him to look at.
The town catches wind of his bosses true intentions and does not like the idea but, unless the farmer can pay off his debts, there is nothing they can do to stop the sale of the land. On Christmas Eve, George suggests that some of the local people put up their businesses as collateral to help the farmer pay off his mortgage and, in true holiday spirit, the townspeople gladly do so.
For a TV movie, this one is done surprisingly well. Whoever thought of casting John Denver is a genius and I’m glad we have this bit of movie history to immortalize him with. The world was certainly a better place with him in it.
If you can find a copy of this on DVD, pick it up. It’s worth it.