In the spirit of the holiday season, I decided to review Christmas movies up until the special day. Wish for Christmas was picked at random and, thankfully, was a solid start to this season’s lineup. Is it my new holiday favorite? Probably not. However, it kept my interest throughout and had a good message. So if you are a fan of Hallmark holiday movies and are looking for a Christian substitute, than Wish for Christmas is a good choice.
In this film, a young girl wishes her parent’s faith away when she is unable to skip Christmas Eve service at her church to attend a school dance. The next morning, she finds that her parents no longer make Biblical decisions. Not quite the change she was hoping for, she takes it upon herself to try and bring them back to God. Wish for Christmas stars Joey Lawrence (Melissa & Joey, Blossom), Leigh-Allyn Baker (Good Luck Charlie, Will & Grace), Anna Fricks (Adopted, Death Camp), and Bill Engvall (Last Man Standing, Catching Faith).
First of all, it needs to be said that I was not at all impressed with the first 15 minutes of the movie. The acting seemed very “surface” and cheesy. Everything about the characters, setting, and plotline seemed painfully stereotypical. If I was not planning on reviewing it, I would have turned it off right then and there. Thankfully, I didn’t. As the movie progressed, the acting got better, the story became more interesting, and unique moments began to appear. Okay, so it still remained a little cheesy. But hey, cheese can be delicious!
Now, there are certainly a lot of movies that have a similar plotline. You know the one I’m talking about. The one where someone makes a wish or something happens and when they wake up, their wish came true but they end up wishing it hadn’t. It’s a Wonderful Life and Comfort and Joy are two of my favorite holiday favorites in this genre. I was expecting the exact same story structure with Wish for Christmas. However, they put a bit of a twist on it. Usually, the wish maker wakes up to find that everything is changed and they are the only ones who remember it differently. In this movie, only the wish maker’s parents are changed and everyone in the town notices their strange behavior. Although a seemingly minor point, it made all the difference. I suddenly felt like I wasn’t watching a complete cookie cutter copy of the other films.
The other thing I liked about the movie was that once they made the parents non-believers, they didn’t suddenly make them horrible people just to make a point. They were still the same people, except for the fact that they were making all their decisions from an earthly perspective instead of a Biblical perspective. Just to further that point, it was mentioned in the movie that the dad used to be an non-believer who made selfish choices until he found God. So, when the wish took that away from him, he simply reverted back to the type of person he used to be. Therefore, it’s not to say that all non-believers are selfish, just that this particular person was selfish until he was redeemed. Without the God’s word, he had no reason not to be.
Another message that was highlighted was one of leading by example. As the daughter, Anna (Anna Fricks), tried to make her parents believe in the Lord again, she realized that you can’t force a change in people and that it is best to lead by example. It’s hard to help people grow spiritually if you yourself are not mature in your faith. I thought this was a great message that is important for evangelism.
Overall, I think Wish for Christmas makes a lot of really good points. Not a bad way to start the Christmas season! If you would like to watch it, it is available for free streaming on PureFlix.com.
WHAT AGE GROUP IS IT FOR?
Wish for Christmas a very clean movie that is ideal for pre-teens and older. Although it is suitable for younger children, it is unlikely that they would resonate with the film.
LOOKING TO SHOW IT AT CHURCH?
Although not my first choice to show at church, it wouldn’t be a bad selection. There are a few scenes that could be shown during a sermon. It could also be fun to watch for a youth holiday party. This movie has messages regarding evangelism, putting God first in your life, and being a generous and selfless person.