Category: Movie Review

The Santa Box | Movie Review (+ Giveaway)

Posted November 13, 2020 by Jana in Movie Review / 4 Comments

The Santa Box | Movie Review (+ Giveaway)

I’m excited to be a part of the official The Santa Box movie blog tour! If you know me at all, you know how much I love Christmas and Christmas movies, so when I was offered the opportunity to be on this blog tour . Thank you to the PR company for providing a free copy of the DVD for this review!


The Santa Box Movie
Rating: NR (Family movie, suitable for all ages)
Genre: Drama
Movie Trailer
IMDB Info Page
Amazon | Seagull Book | Deseret Book

For 12-year-old Kallie Watts, Christmas is anything but merry. For the last five years, the tinsel-strewn holiday has spelled disaster for her family, so when an apartment fire leaves Kallie and her widowed mother homeless just in time for the holidays, it comes as no surprise. There’s only one logical conclusion: Kallie is cursed by Christmas.

When her mother finds a new job in a small California town, Kallie steps out of the moving van and into her worst nightmare: a real-life version of “Whoville,” overflowing with holiday decorations and brimming with Christmas cheer. Forced to navigate the complicated ins and outs of her jolly new surroundings, Kallie is shaken out of her gloom one day when she discovers an ornately carved wooden Santa box on the porch, addressed to her. The moment she lifts the lid, Kallie’s life is changed forever as she rediscovers the true magic and meaning of Christmas …

What a sweet, heartwarming movie about the true meaning of Christmas: it’s better to give than to receive! The movie starts out during WWII with a boy stealing food from two soldiers in order to survive, and then flashes to present-day with Kallie’s story of dealing with starting life over after a devastating house fire. The town they end up in is suuuuuper Christmassy, and Kallie is overwhelmed by it all. As she and her mom meet new people and see a few miracles in their own lives, things turn around for them both and Kallie begins to soften. I won’t give any more away because I hate reading reviews that spoil books/movies, but it’s very sweet. Well, except for the hints of teens picking on other teens and the popular kids versus the unpopular ones. I don’t enjoy teen drama, and felt that took away a little of my overall enjoyment of the story. I did love the parts of the movie that included Otto, a sweet old German man. The friendship he and Kallie form is so special, and I love how much he loves the magic of Christmas. He takes her under his wing and gives her some great advice. I also really enjoyed the hints of romance between Kallie’s mom and the handyman who comes to their door one day. There were a lot of important messages in the movie including making the most of what you have, forgiving others, and being kind. The magic of the Santa Box was also really fun, but I don’t want to go into more detail than that. Overall, The Santa Box is a wonderful movie that really got me into the festive spirit. I definitely recommend it. And wow… did you notice how many times I used the word “sweet” to describe this movie? lol.

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Christmas Jars | Movie Review (+Giveaway)

Posted December 4, 2019 by Jana in Blog Tour, Movie Review / 0 Comments

Christmas Jars | Movie Review (+Giveaway)

I’m excited to be a part of the official Christmas Jars movie blog tour! I’ve never read the book by Jason F. Wright, which this movie is based off of, but I’ve heard wonderful things about it and would like to read it at some point in the future. Thank you to the PR company for providing a free copy of the DVD for this review!


Christmas Jars Movie
Rating:
NR (TV movie, suitable for all ages)
Genre: Drama
Movie Trailer (Don’t watch it, though. It gives too much away! Be surprised instead!)
IMDB Info Page
Amazon | TargetDeseret Book

Read about the book on Goodreads.
Buy the book at Deseret Book or on Amazon.

Based on the New York Times best-selling novel by Jason F. Wright.

Hope is an aspiring reporter who has had her fair share of tragedy in life. Abandoned at birth, she’s grieving the recent death of her adopted mother when her apartment is burglarized of all her possessions. While reporting the burglary to the police, Hope discovers a jar full of money, labeled “Christmas Jar.” Shocked and grateful for this act of kindness, Hope discovers that people all over her hometown of Columbus, Ohio, have been receiving Christmas Jars for years during times of need. The jars are always anonymous and always contain different amounts. In this heartwarming Christmas classic, Hope goes undercover to discover the secret behind the Christmas jars, putting into motion a series of events that will change her life, and her community, forever.

Christmas Jars is a new favorite movie of mine! It’s perfect for the Christmas season, and made me smile from ear to ear as well as cry happy tears multiple times. As soon as it was over I started it all over again, then went and bought my mom a copy, and then went on Twitter and started telling people to watch it! I am a MAJOR Christmas movie fanatic. I watch all the new Hallmark and Netflix Christmas movies each year, plus I’m always looking for new ones elsewhere. Because I watch so many,  I’m kind of picky with my movies. I’ve only got so much time to watch Christmas movies each year, so I like to make sure they’re amazing. I tend to space out and play games on my phone or just stop the movie and move on to something else if it isn’t grabbing me. I actually had to quit decorating my Christmas tree (my actual favorite things to do) and sit down because I was so invested in the story. This rarely happens to me! I will admit that I didn’t have highest expectations for Christmas Jars. I thought it would be a nice movie, but I didn’t know it would enter my heart and make itself at home. There’s tenderness, romance, family love, love for others, snow, Christmas decorations, and music I woke up humming this morning.

Hope’s story touched me so much, and I really liked her as a character because she’s so genuine and sweet. The movie begins as her birth mother abandons her in a cute little diner. One of the waitresses finds Hope and adopts her. Viewers see a short montage of Hope and her mom celebrating various birthdays and holidays together over the years. During the last part of that montage we see her help her mom battle what we can only assume is cancer, before ultimately losing her to that battle sometime in November (that’s the only time I sad-cried). Shortly thereafter, Hope’s apartment is burglarized and on that same night she receives the Christmas Jar. In her quest to discover the truth behind this jar, she takes viewers on an inspiring and heartwarming journey. I love the entire cast of this movie. Well, except for Hope’s superficial co-worker who I never could talk myself into liking and her crappy boss. Other than those two, I loved everyone… especially Adam. He’s one of the sweetest dad figures I’ve seen on TV recently. I also love Ian, our swoonworthy male lead who looks amazing in his Christmas green cardigan. He’s so sweet and caring and I have a major crush on him. Hope grew up in the diner she was abandoned in, and the people that work there are like family. They are so much fun.

There’s so much heart and humor in this movie and I giggled a lot. The cinematography is great, there’s so much snow, and everything is so festive. I loved all the decorations. I love the little town this movie takes place in. The romance is barely there, but was just enough to make my heart flutter. I think my favorite thing about this movie, though, is the message that we should remember what this Christmas season is about. It’s not about all the presents or the decorations, it’s about love. There is a huge focus on loving and helping others who are in need, whether it’s financially or emotionally. Christmas Jars inspires you to look outside yourself for those who need you. I really love that message, and I think that’s why I immediately started the movie over again once I finished it. It made me feel hopeful and inspired and happy. Many of us don’t have a ton to be happy about, but I was reminded that you can always find something to make yourself happy. Sometimes that’s sacrificing something you want for someone who needs it more than you do.

Bottom line, I wholeheartedly recommend this movie and plan to gift it to friends and family this year. You pretty much need to go buy it ASAP!

NOTE: For those interested, there is no focus on religion or faith in this movie. I would consider it to be in the same vein as Hallmark’s Christmas movies.

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