Candace Cameron Bure stars in her first Great American Family Christmas movie since leaving the Hallmark channel. She was known as the queen of Christmas on Hallmark, so can she continue the tradition with A Christmas Present?
A Christmas Present Storyline
Maggie (Candace Cameron Bure) and her husband Eric (Marc Blucas) are an over-worked, over-scheduled couple who are trying to keep things together for their family. Maggie is loading up the family calendar with Christmas activities she thinks they should do. She's trying to juggle her real estate business, while Eric is an attorney working on a big merger deal. Their life is so scheduled, that they don't have time for each other like they used to.
When looking ahead to the holiday, Maggie decides that the family should go to Ohio to visit her brother Paul and her niece Ashley. It's the first Christmas without Ashley's mother, and Maggie knows it will be a difficult time for them. So she packs up the family and plans a 10 day visit with them.
Just like at home, when Maggie gets to Ohio she has a detailed plan of activities for the two families to do. In her mind, these over the top activities are what makes Christmas fun. But for Paul and Ashley, they long for the quieter time together and the family traditions that are important to them.
A Christmas Present Review
I think that A Christmas Present is one of those love it, or hate it movies. All I could think about when watching it was the slogan, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” This movie focuses on faith, and God. For me I felt like it was trying to beat me over the head with biblical verses and beliefs. Some people may love this, but for me it was frustrating. I don't need a Christmas movie to preach to me.
At the heart of A Christmas Present is the question, “What does Christmas mean to you?” Maggie gets caught up in all the activities that she thinks the family should be doing together to celebrate the holiday. What Paul helps her realize is that Christmas is about the quiet moments that we spend together. We don't need big extravagant events, but little ones like baking cookies, making handmade ornaments, and decorating the tree.
The Verdict: Annoying. This movie rubbed me the wrong way right from the get-go. I didn't like Candace Cameron Bure's Maggie. She is annoying and frustrating. She pushes her agenda and schedule on everyone and doesn't take the time to listen to what people need. Yes, of course she realizes this by the end. But, we have to put up with a whole movie about it.
I also don't want to watch a couple go through marriage counseling in front of me. That's what it felt like at least. And as a widow, I can tell you please don't push your assumptions on someone. Helping someone doesn't mean showing up and pushing your agenda and idea of what the person needs. Everyone grieves differently, so let the person do it the way he or she needs. Show up and surround the person with love, but that's all you need to do. Just being there is all a person needs, at least that's my personal opinion and how I appreciated people handle it with me.
A Christmas Present Recap
There really is a good message in this movie, it's just too bad that it got lost in translation so to speak. Or to me at least. If I want scripture recited to me I'll go to church. For my Christmas movies, I want to sit back and enjoy the magic. I want to be moved, but not moved to change the channel. But if you want a movie that takes you to church, then A Christmas Present may be just the movie you're looking for.