** Secret Santa (2003)

Madison Avenue Productions Inc., The Polson Company

Jennie Garth, Steven Eckholdt, Charles Robinson, Joel McKinnon Miller, Victor Raider-Wexler, Josh Randall, Barbara Billingsley

Rebecca Chandler (Jennie Garth) is a reporter who is sick and tired of the non-news stories she’s keeps getting assigned to.  She’s sick of her skills not being respected with these fluffy stories.  Hamden has a Secret Santa who gives gifts anonymously based upon need and no one seems to be able to say for sure who he is.  Rebecca’s boss wants her to cover the Secret Santa story, but she has a better plan.  She and her boyfriend are going to Maui for Christmas where he’s bound to propose to her.  When she meets him at the airport, he’s there to tell her he’s moved up and found someone better and is no longer taking her.  So she heads to Hamden to find out about the Secret Santa.   When she arrives, there’s no room in the inn.  The last room was just rented.  But a lovely place down the road takes all the overflow of the hotel.  But it’s a retirement home.

Off she goes on her search for the Secret Santa.  Her journey begins with self pity and selfish reasons, but as she gets closer to determining the real secret, she learns a lot about who she is and what is important.  After one false lead after another, she finally meets Miss Ruthie (Barbara Billingsley) who teaches her a lot by very few words.  Lesson by lesson, she figures out the mystery and makes the changes to her own life that will bring true happiness.

This is about a perfect Christmas story. From the surface it looks like it would not be, but it will surprise you.  It’s a wonderful story that is told piece by piece, line by line, and when it’s over you’re amazed to realize that you have been enthralled all the way through with the loveliness of this tale.  Excellent film.

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** Secret Santa (2003), 3.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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