I will be the first to admit that I’m not as much of an expert on Hallmark Christmas films as some members of my family but I think that I have figured out that general formula. Basically, in every Hallmark Christmas movie, one of the girls from Full House either lives in or returns to a small town where it snows all the time and she falls in love while celebrating the holidays. There is always one person who doesn’t have the holiday spirit but, by the end of the movie, they’re saying “Ho ho ho” and drinking eggnog.
In Finding Santa, it’s Jodie Sweetin’s turn to fall in love during Christmas. She plays Grace, who lives in the town of Green River. From her parents, she inherited an all-year Christmas store and the responsibility for organizing the town’s annual Christmas parade. With the parade’s 50th anniversary approaching, Grace wants everything to be perfect but then the town’s Santa Claus, Tom (Jay Brazeau), slips and breaks his arm. Tom runs a Santa school but he says that none of his students are ready to don the red suit. Tom says that only his son, Ben (Eric Winter), can steer his sleigh. The only problem is that Ben has no Christmas spirit and doesn’t want to be Santa. Grace goes to Boston to try to change his mind.
Finding Santa starts out like a typical Hallmark Christmas film, with Grace loving Christmas and Ben feeling that Grace is making too big a deal about it. The thing that sets Finding Santa apart from other Hallmark movies is that, for once, the Christmas skeptic has a point. Grace does make too big a deal about the Christmas parade and protecting her parent’s legacy. Grace is so obsessed with making everyone else’s holiday season perfect that she forgets to enjoy it herself. Of course, by the end of the movie, both Ben and Grace have fallen in love and learned an important lesson about the true meaning of Christmas. It’s a cute movie that teaches an important lesson about taking time for yourself. Plus, I like the idea that there’s a school where you can get a Santa Claus degree.
Before I watched this movie, I was feeling bad because I overslept and missed our annual Christmas parade this weekend. Getting to see the Green River Christmas Parade in Finding Santa made me feel better, I don’t know the name of the man who plays Santa in our parade but he’s been doing it for years and he always does a great job. He probably graduated at the top of his class from Santa School.