The Christmas Card - Pixabay
This Hallmark Made-for-TV Movie entitled “The Christmas Card” will certainly put you in the mood for your Christmas holidays. It is one of the more refreshing films of the season and is well worth your time to view it. The movie was filmed on location in the idyllic city of Nevada, California, which gives off an aura as we take in the magnificent, breathless scenery which the residents of the city enjoy.
Sergeant Cody Cullen (John Newton) has been a career soldier for many years, mainly because his parents are both dead and he has no home to go back to. His father was killed in Vietnam which motivated Cody to serve his country as well. During his deployment in Afghanistan, he received a Christmas card from Nevada City, California from a young lady who sends cards to soldiers through a project established by her parish church. Cody was deeply moved to receive a Christmas card from back home, and kept it on his person for the remainder of his army hitch.
When his fellow soldier Jonesy is killed, Cody is spoken to by his commanding officer who wants Cody to take some time off, or perhaps to leave the army entirely and start a new life. He is asked to return some personal belongings, including dog tags, to Jonesy’s fiancée when he returns stateside. After accomplishing his task, Cody noted that he was within range of Nevada City from where he received the Christmas card. He decided to stop off to thank the young lady for the card which he treasured.
John Newton - Wikimedia
A Chance Meeting
Cody found a nice hotel and went down the street to a diner to have lunch, which consisted of a chicken salad sandwich with crispy fries. After ordering, he went to the men’s room. Upon returning, a young lady was sitting on his stool eating some of his crispy fries. The waitress intervened and told the young lady that the plate belonged to Cody. She was embarrassed and apologized and picked up her to-go package and left.
Back at his hotel, the motherly clerk told Cody she would accompany him to church the next day, for which he was grateful. Of course, the girl who took his crispy fries was there as the congregation moved into another room for refreshments after the services, and they became re-acquainted as she introduced herself as Faith Spelman (Alice Evans) and her father Luke (Ed Asner) and her mother Rosie (Lois Nettleton).
Ed Asner - Wikimedia
Cody Saves Luke’s Life
As they left the building, Luke walked into the path of a speeding car and Cody put himself in jeopardy by running and tackling Luke to get him out of danger. Cody and the family went to the hospital with Luke who suffered just minor injuries, although he required the use of an arm sling for a time. The Spelman family were all so grateful to Cody, they invited him to stay at their lovely log-cabin home as their guest, knowing that he was a soldier back home for good and really had no family to whom he could return. Luke informed Cody that he himself was a Vietnam veteran; Cody told Luke that his father was killed in Vietnam. Luke mentioned that the town had a Memorial to soldiers killed in the Vietnam War. An instant bond was born.
It is apparent that Luke and Rosie have a beautiful marriage and provide great role models for their daughter Faith, who has captured from them the essence of a productive life made easier when surrounded by loved ones in a tranquil setting.
Cody is Attracted to Faith
Cody was quite taken with Faith, but was disappointed when her boyfriend Paul (Ben Weber) showed up and spirited her away for the evening. Luke told Cody about the family logging business which he and Rosie’s brother Richard (Peter Jason) managed. Faith also worked in the office, and loved her job and the beautiful area of Nevada City where they lived. Luke indicated that they could use a man like Cody in their business which took brawn as well as brains. Cody was glad to help out but had not made any set plans now that he was transitioning from the army.
We learned, along with Cody, that Faith’s long-time boyfriend Paul was out of town most of the time as he worked for a winery which took him to other countries on assignments. Luke was definitely not fond of Paul who seemed be stringing Faith along with no definite prospects in mind. However, when Paul noticed that Cody seemed to be taking an interest in Faith, he decided it was time to make a commitment to Faith.
Meanwhile, Cody and Faith were thrown together at the logging office, and a friendship began to develop. At one point as they were romping in the snow, they fell on each other and, of course, they kissed. We have been made aware previously that Cody has fallen in love with Faith, but Faith’s loyalty to Paul has held her back. We can sense her dilemma however.
Lois Nettleton - Wikimedia
Paul Pops the Question
On Christmas Eve, Paul showed up with a diamond ring for Faith, which she accepted. Paul let her know that together they would travel the world for his business, which would require her to leave Nevada City and her loved ones. The next day, at church services, Faith had second thoughts about the arrangement and returned the ring to Paul. Cody was unaware of this development and had already planned to leave Nevada City, devastated that he had lost Faith. On returning home, the family realized that Cody’s motorcycle is gone and his belongings are no longer in his bedroom. He did leave a map for them, however, to a place where they would find his Christmas present to them, which he had made himself at the lumber mill. Luke consoled Faith by saying he knew exactly where Cody would stop off before leaving town, and Faith rushed off to find him.
Kudos to Ed Asner
Edward Asner was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for his role as Luke Spelman in this film. He definitely stood out as a seasoned actor who empathized with his character. He was a natural for the role.
“The Christmas Card” is certainly a feel-good movie, and I recommend it highly to anyone who can use an emotional lift in this turbulent life of ours. I am sure it will become a classic Christmas story along with “White Christmas” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.”