What’s better than a heartwarming Christmas movie? A heartwarming Christmas movie that goes beyond the usual storyline to include a message of the value of all life. “Faith Filled Christmas” is the tale of a family built through foster care, adoption, and love, a family inspired by faith to reach out to the homeless and the elderly. I’ll be looking for this video-on-demand movie when it’s released on December 5!
The faith-based drama will be released on December 5, 2017.
Synopsis: The Fairway family is determined to honor God during the Christmas season, but serving God didn’t look quite as they expected. Grandparents Simon and Mildred are residents of a local retirement home, and realize they must spend the day apart in order to seize the ministry opportunities available to them. “Faith Filled Christmas” tells the story of a very special family and the ways they ensure the Christmas season is a time focused on Christ through their involvement in foster care, adoption, a retirement community, and homeless ministry.
As the movie opens in the luxe lobby of a senior-living complex, one character observes, “The Christmas spirit is as real as Santa Claus.” The rest of the movie brings out just how real the Christmas spirit can be, through a series of sweet pay-it-forward moments of gift-giving in unexpected ways. That was easily my favorite part of the story, but I can’t tell more than that about the gifts without spoilers.
While this is clearly not a Catholic movie, the faith basis in the storyline is unmistakable and inspiring. I was impressed with how multiple generations of the same family were very comfortable heading out to invite people to visit their church, answering people’s concerns about having been away from church too long and assuring them that they are welcome. That is no easy task, and it made me wonder what would happen if we all invited people — friends or strangers — to accompany us to church!
The movie dealt with very real struggles such as the isolation of senior citizens, terminal illness, homelessness and foster care. When I watched the screener for this movie, I was also in the middle of Another Place at the Table, a memoir by a foster mom, and the struggles that the foster parents clearly felt when they brought young Bina for a visit with her mother (hardly more than a child herself) were underscored by what I read in that book. I loved that the first thing the foster parents did when the little girl and her mom left for an afternoon at the park was to join hands and pray.
Comic relief came when Byron, who will do almost anything to break the monotony of his days in the retirement village, gets a few spry (and some not-so-spry) seniors together to organize the Geezer Games on a day when a church youth group is scheduled to visit. The teens’ interaction with the seniors is touching, and there are plenty of laughs for the audience. All I’ll say about this is that wheelchair races and pot-bellied pigs don’t mix!
Enjoy this EXCLUSIVE clip of a scene early in the movie, featuring Betty, who stole my heart in spite of (or maybe because of) her bah-humbug attitude. I get the feeling Betty hasn’t had an easy life.
“Christmas is meant to be intentional,” one character observes. As you and your family prepare for Christmas, consider renting this video, which will be available on video-on-demand platforms on December 5, and sharing it with your teens. It would also be an excellent movie for members of a youth group to enjoy together.
Copyright 2017 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS
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