DVD review: 'Christmas Grace' captures nostalgia of the season

Monday, November 24, 2014
Stacy Long - Guest Columnist

Christian values and ethics in business are put to the test in a newly released Christmas film when a small hometown toy store is suddenly faced with competition from a giant new toy store opening right across the street.

Conflict escalates in Christmas Grace (see trailer below) when Mr. Tollman, owner of the new toy store Tollman Toys, makes it his personal agenda to drive Gary's Toys out of business, expressing animosity toward the owner Gary's Christian faith while doing so. Despite the large-scale competition against his smalltime business, Gary perseveres with quiet trust in God and personable, old-fashioned service that continues to draw his loyal customers.

However, Mr. Tollman does not rest with trying to steal Gary's business through carefully strategized marketing campaigns. Instead, he devises an underhanded scheme to cripple Gary's business just as the Christmas shopping season begins. Forced to close his shop just as his wife announces that she is expecting their first child, Gary enters a season of fruitless job searching and the testing of his faith.

But when a sudden breakthrough turns his situation around, Gary finds himself with the opportunity to show surprising kindness to his former rival, Mr. Tollman. As it turns out, all the characters in this endearing film are in for a surprise as they experience the Christmas Grace that brings meaning to the season even amid the bustle of Christmas shopping.

While the production by Crystal Creek and Bright Horizon films is of low quality in some respects, Christmas Grace captures the charm and nostalgia of the Christmas season in a way that makes it feel like a familiar favorite. The simple storyline presents Christian responses and decisions to common, real-life challenges in a way that is clear and straightforward, and which perhaps could lead to family discussion on practicing Christian values. There are no concerns over content to prevent the film from taking a place in family Christmas celebrations. However, the pace of the movie is a little slow, and the peaceful setting may fail to hold the interest of younger viewers.

The film, which is "family-approved for all ages" by the Dove Foundation, is available on DVD from ChristianMovies.com, ChristianBook.com, and other online sellers.

Stacy Long is a staff writer for AFA Journal, a monthly publication of the American Family Association.

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