Does anyone watch these? There are like 84 of them this year. The one I keep hearing about is Snow on ABC Family starring NBC's Ed. Then there's one on NBC called Secret Santa starring 90210's Jennie Garth. The Story of Santa Claus on CBS. Then there's Tony Danza's Stealing Christmas, A Very Cool Christmas with George Hamilton, Karrol's Christmas with Mini-Me, Christmas Everyday, 12 Days of Christmas Eve with Molly Shannon, A Boyfriend for Christmas, The Christmas Box, Christmas in Connecticut, Kathy Ireland's Once Upon a Christmas and the sequel Twice Upon a Christmas (I was just dying for the sequel), I'll Be Home For Christmas starring Home Improvement's JTT, Shelly Long in A Different Kind of Christmas, A Carol Christmas with 90210's Tori Spelling (90210 really has a monopoly on these made-for-TV Xmas movies), Steve Guttenberg in Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus, Santa Junior and Santa Who on USA Network, and.... okay, I think I'm sick of this.
My favorite Made-For-TV Christmas movie, the one I watched all the time as a kid but haven't seen in years because I wore out the VCR tape and I really doubt it's on DVD, is One Magic Christmas. It gets three stars in the Yahoo! TV Guide, which is really good for a Made-For-TV Christmas movie (Roger Ebert only gave it 2 stars, but I think it's because the movie is so depressing for a Christmas movie). It stars Mary Steenburgen as a woman who has lost her Christmas spirit and Harry Dean Stanton as her family's angel Gideon. Everything goes wrong for the family when her husband is shot during a bank heist and her kids are tragically kidnapped and driven over a bridge into a river and drowned. (This being my favorite Christmas movie as a kid might explain my totally dark and depressing DVD collection.) The angel Gideon grants Mary Steenburgen a miracle and the father and kids are brought back to life. Somehow, the daughter goes to the North Pole to meet Santa, the family has a great Christmas, and viola... mommy gets her Christmas spirit back.
I always thought Mary Steenburgen gave an Oscar-worthy performance (hey, I was eight!) and I think the movie deserves to be ranked among A Christmas Story and Christmas Vacation as required holiday viewing. Especially for kids whose future DVD collections include Magnolia, Fight Club, Y Tu Mama and Requiem for a Dream.
It's really one of the darkest Christmas movies I've ever seen and worthy of your tivo.