The Ghosts of Christmas Always is the Hallmark Channel's spin on A Christmas Carol. It's the story of three ghosts who try to help a man find his Christmas spirit and get his life back on track. Here's my full review on whether this version of the story is worth a watch or whether you should stick with one of the classics.
Ghosts of Christmas Always Storyline
The Ghosts of Christmas Always is the story of three ghosts, past, present, and future. Every Christmas, they set out to help one soul find their Christmas spirit. The movie opens with the ghosts wrapping up one assignment. Before heading back to heaven, the Ghost of Christmas Present (Kim Matula) makes a quick detour to a local bar. Usually, she can wander in and out of places without being seen, but in this case, Peter (Ian Harding) can see her.
Fast forward a year and the ghosts learn that their next assignment is Peter. So off they go to help him, and contrary to how it is supposed to work, Peter remembers Katherine (Ghost of Christmas Present) from the year before. The Ghost of Christmas Past takes Peter on a journey through his life to show the struggles he faced as a child.
Peter adored his Grandfather. He was a businessman who started out with a small corner store that was essentially a cross between a convenience store and a grocery store. It reminds me of an old-fashioned bodega. He used his store to help his community and always had food to share with those who needed it.
On the other hand, Peter's father is a hard-working businessman who never has time to help others. Peter grew up with his Dad working all the time, even on Christmas. Peter’s Dad was overcompensating for what he thought his Dad had done wrong. The Grandfather squandered his money by helping too many people, or that’s what Peter’s Dad believed at least.
Peter is at a crossroads because his Dad wants him to take over the business, but it's not what Peter wants. He wants his life to be more than just work and to continue the community service work he has carried out in tribute to his Grandfather.
Katherine and the ghosts show Peter how important Christmas is to him, and they help him find his Christmas spirit. They also help him see that he needs to stand up to his Dad and turn down the position at his company. Peter wakes up the following day and immediately calls his Dad with the news.
All would seem right in the world with things going according to plan. But just as the ghosts are back in heaven celebrating their victory, they learn there has been a terrible mistake. They were sent to the wrong person, and they were supposed to be helping Peter's father.
Ghosts of Christmas Always Cast
Is it too cheesy for me to say that this cast is heavenly? Because they really are. I especially loved Kim Matula. She has that old Hollywood vibe, like the gorgeous movie stars from the 1950s. And since her character would have lived during that period, she was the perfect fit for the role. Everything about her was exquisite, and they did a beautiful job styling her for this character.
Ian Harding was equally good as Peter, and he and Kim had such a natural chemistry. They were charming, funny, and a true delight to watch. The Ghosts of Christmas Past and Future were played by Lori Tan Chinn and Reginald VelJohnson, respectively. They both brought great humor and fun to their roles, and the 3 ghosts together complemented each other.
Ghosts of Christmas Always Review
If you haven't guessed already, I really loved this movie. Check out my Best Hallmark Christmas movies page to see where I ranked this one. Should I put it in the number one spot?
There are so many things to love about this movie. Yes, I loved the cast, and that is already clear. But I also really liked the story. I didn't want to spoil it for you, so I've only given you a synopsis of part of the story. A lot happens after the ghosts learn that they helped the wrong person.
I love the twist in the story and that this is a modern version of A Christmas Carol. This version is light, bright, and much more enjoyable than the original. The original and all of the subsequent versions have been pretty dark. The Scrooge character is typically miserable, and the movies are usually very dark. The Ghosts of Christmas Always is more positive and uplifting. It was beautiful to see how the life of Peter's grandfather tied into the present day, and watching the ghosts poke fun at people was entertaining. The Ghost of Christmas Past is a real spitfire.
Recap of the Ghosts of Christmas Always
There are usually half a dozen great Christmas movies each year, and I’m sure the Ghosts of Christmas Always will be included. This originally aired on October 30th, so it's the beginning of the Christmas movie season, and there are lots of good movies to watch. But take advantage of this one. Watch it immediately and use it as the gold standard by which you watch all the others. You won’t be disappointed!