Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas (PG)

In a word: Gentle

 

"This film follows a well-trodden path but, well-supported by a solid cast (which includes a couple of appearances by Happy Days’ Mrs Cunningham (Marion Ross), it’s a warm-hearted, gently comic take on an old theme – that of the 'Christmas miracle'."

For many people, Christmas is a hard time and for many it’s the strained and broken relationships with family members that make it so. So it is with the characters in Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas.

Tasked with ensuring that no letter to Santa will go unanswered before Christmas, the staff of the US Postal Service’s Dead Letter Office in Denver are celebrating the successful delivery of 20,000 letters in 20 days when a final letter – this one addressed to God – is handed to them.

Headed by Oliver O’Toole (Eric Mabius), the team – who include newcomer Shane (Kristin Booth), Rita (Crystal Lowe) and Norman (Geoff Gustafson) – set about trying to find the little girl who sent the letter in which she asks that her sick mother may be well so she can watch her play a shepherd in the nativity play.

They find Hannah, in a nearby hospital and on seeing the situation, decide that, with her mother unable to leave the hospital, they’ll put on a Christmas pageant themselves right there so that the girl’s seemingly impossible dream may come true.

And it’s while frantically trying to prepare for the pageant that each of them – helped by the mysterious consultant Jordan (Rob Estes) whom O’Toole tells at one point - “You’re not from the post office” – come to face their own past and experience the healing of God in their lives. It's not always an easy decision - as Mr O’Toole is told at one point - “Christmas is a gift...but it’s your choice to accept it.”

This film follows a well-trodden path but, well-supported by a solid cast (which includes a couple of appearances by Happy Days’ Mrs Cunningham (Marion Ross)), it’s a warm-hearted, gently comic take on an old theme – that of the “Christmas miracle”.

While the characters haven't been drawn with a great deal of depth, it remains an enjoyable enough film for the whole family to watch together as we’re reminded about the opportunity to engage with the bigger picture that Christmas presents.