Movie and plot overview
The Granger family is struggling to make ends meet as Christmas approaches. Jack’s out of work and Jeannie’s lost her Christmas spirit. The couple’s girl, Abby, tries to send a letter to Santa Claus, but is stopped by a mysterious angel named Gideon who tells her that Jeannie should send a letter for him. But when tragedy strikes the family on Christmas Eve, Santa Claus and the restoration of Jeannie’s Christmas spirit puts everything right and reminds Jeannie to celebrate what you have, not what you want.
Film One Magical Christmas Summary
Below is a brief description of the spoilers.
Jack and Jeannie Granger (Gary Basaraba and Mary Stinburghen) are the parents of two children, Cal (Robbie Magwood) and Abby (Elizabeth Harnois). Jack and Jeannie are going through a difficult time as the family approaches Christmas break. Jack hasn’t worked since July and the family has been asked to move within the first six months. Jack spends his abundant free time cycling in the basement. He plans to give a bicycle as a Christmas present to a friend of his poor children, Molly Monaghan (Sarah Polly). Jack would like to open his own bicycle shop, but he realizes that this would affect the family’s savings, which are badly needed to survive. Meanwhile, Jeannie works as a cashier in the grocery store to make ends meet until Jack finds another job.
One night, just before Christmas, Abby puts a letter to Santa Claus in her mailbox. An angel named Gideon (Harry Dean Stanton), who is supposed to watch over the Grangers, takes the letter out of the mailbox and sends it back to Abby. Gideon tells Abby that the letter has to come from her mother. Abby accepts the angel’s request and starts crossing the street to go home. Suddenly, on the way to Abby’s, a car accelerates. Gideon stops the accident and lets Abby cross the road without further incident.
The next day the Grangers visit Jack Caleb’s grandfather (Arthur Hill) in his house. Caleb brings the kids presents, a Christmas book for Cal and an Arctic snow globe for Abby. That night, Gideon visited Abby in her room. Abby told Gideon that her mother didn’t send Santa Claus a letter. Gideon warns the girl that certain things are going to happen the next day and that she doesn’t have to be afraid.
Meanwhile, Jeannie and Jack are in the kitchen discussing their finances. Jack wants to open a bicycle shop, but Jeannie is against it and tells her husband that he has to find a new job. She says it will take too long for the company to make a profit and that the family cannot afford to be without money for so long. Jack is disappointed in his wife and bursts out of his house. Jeannie’s looking for her husband and trying to make up for it. As she walks past the Christmas lights, they all begin to go out around her, symbolizing the last Christmas spirit poured out on her.
The next day, on Christmas Eve, Jeannie goes to work for a friend. With a friend he stops at a gas station and Jeannie sees Harry Dickens (Wayne Robson) trying to sell part of his property to feed himself and his son, without much success. She doesn’t care about Harry’s fight, and she’s making her day. Meanwhile, Jack takes the children and goes to the bank to get money for Christmas shopping. Jack tells his children to wait in the car while he goes to the bank, but Abby visits her mother in the grocery store across the street. Abby tells Mom that Jack is a bank that takes money to buy Christmas presents, which pisses Jeannie off. She goes to arrest Jack and sees her boss, Herbie Conklin (Timothy Webber), who quickly fires her for leaving the store.
Jeannie takes Abby and puts her back in the car before she goes to the bank to stop Jack from withdrawing money. However, she is shocked when she sees Harry inside trying to rob a bank under threat of a gun. Jack tries to stop the robbery and Harry eventually shoots him. Jack fell dead on the floor. Angry Ginny pushes her dead man to the ground while Harry panics and steals Jack’s car with Cal and Abby in it. Jeannie is chasing Harry with her car, but unfortunately she ran out of gas before she could catch up with him. Meanwhile Harry goes to the bridge where the police have set up a roadblock to stop the bank robber. Harry waves his hand to avoid him, but he walks off the bridge and dies in the icy river below.
Beaten Ginny goes back to her empty house and cries in the bathroom. Caleb comes to her house and says the children were found on the side of the road between the town and the bridge. The police think Harry dropped her off before the accident when Gideon actually rescued her from the river. When the children are brought into the house, Jeannie will tell them that their father was murdered by Harry and that he will not come home.
Later that night Abby escapes to the center of town, where the big Christmas tree of the municipality stands. She searches and finds Gideon, and Abby asks the angel to bring her father back. Gideon tells him he can’t fix things like his father’s death, and the only person who can bring Jack back is Santa himself. The angel takes Abby to the North Pole to meet Santa Claus (Ian Rubes). Santa Claus tells the sad girl that he too cannot bring her father back and bring the Christmas spirit back to her mother. But Santa tells Abby she can. Santa takes Abby on a tour of his factory and receives an old letter Jeannie wrote when she was little. Santa Claus explains to the girl that the letter could help Abby help her mother.
Gideon’s taking Abby home. A young girl gives Jeannie an old letter. Jeannie reads the letter and finally understands the true meaning of Christmas – celebrating what you have and not what you want. Jeannie goes to the mailbox and drops off Abby’s letter. Then all the Christmas lights in the area go back on. Suddenly Jack appears and Jeannie kisses him now, a very lively but very confused man. Jack came back from his walk on Christmas Eve.
The next day, on Christmas Eve for the second time, Jeannie experiences the events of the day with a much more optimistic attitude. Ginny convinces her boss Herbie to take a day off to spend it with her family. At the gas station she buys a camping stove from Harry, who is grateful and wishes her a merry Christmas. Late in the evening, she is present at an illuminated Christmas tree on the village square, where she participates in the carols.
Later, Jeannie Jack writes a cheque to pay for her dream bike company. The Granger family then handed Molly a repaired bicycle. At night Jeannie starts to fall asleep when she is woken up by the noises on the ground floor. She goes downstairs to investigate and discovers that Santa Claus is putting presents under the tree. Santa turns around and wishes Ginny a merry Christmas. The sedated Ginny gives him back his feelings.
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