Film: A Country Christmas

A Country Christmas (also known as The Great Santa Rescue) is a 2013 made-for-television Christmas movie (also available on DVD.)

In the film, a cranky US senator wants to ban belief in Santa Claus and succeeds in passing a law forbidding all images of him. This causes Santa to start losing his powers and he finds himself (and one of his helpers) stranded on a farm in a small town called Hope, Arizona. There he is found by the owner's children, Miley and Zach. Since the rules that govern Santa's existence forbid his revealing himself to the public or interfering directly, he's doomed to cease to exist soon. The children then set out to save him by publicly challenging the senator to an open debate over Santa's existence.

Tropes in A country Christmas:

  • All-Natural Gem Polish: The diamond hidden inside Max's coal lump was like this after Santa crushed it out.
  • Batman in My Basement: Or rather Santa in my Barnyard!
  • Christmas Elves: Elliot the Elf. Of note is the fact that after Santa gives up his powers to save the children's mother, Elliot becomes the next Santa Claus!
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Not only the source of Santa's magic, but of his very existence.
  • The Grinch: Senator Max Schmucker. Turns out he knows Santa exists -he saw him as a child- but because he only got a lump of coal, he nursed a desire to see him destroyed.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Once Max is told why Santa left him a lump of coal all those years ago, he immediately retracts himself in public. This also saves Santa's life just in time.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Santa gives up his powers to save the mother and becomes mortal (though he didn't exactly know what the price was going to be, he was still OK with it afterwards.)
  • Kick the Dog: Taking advantage of a dying mother's health to win a debate with a little girl (over Santa Claus' existence no less?) Ouch.
  • Kid Hero: Miley and Zach. She's very smart for her age, he's tech-savvy.
  • Leaving Food For Santa: This is used by the children as a bait to make the invisible Santa appear.They end up catching his elf partner instead..
  • The Man Behind the Man: Or Woman Behind The Man, in this case: Max is being prodded on by his agent. She even breaks into the mother's medical files to find out about her condition!
  • Meaningful Name: Hope, Arizona.
  • Papa Bear: The children's father almost goes this on Max after the debate, but his guards saved him.
  • Portal Network: Santa uses one to travel around the world. It shorts out when belief in him starts to wane.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Santa intended Max to find the diamond inside the lump and thus understand that he needed love in his life, not just toys. But he never checked it.
  • Rules Lawyer: Elliot The Elf, complete with the (one page) rulebook, and constantly checking the Naughty and Nice list.
    • subverted in the end when Santa breaks a rule to save the children's mother and loses his powers; even Elliot finds this acceptable.
  • Saving Christmas
  • Shout-Out: Santa crushing a piece of coal into a diamond is a homage to an old trick of Superman's from the Silver Age of comics.
  • Talking Animal: Duke the Horse and Lee Roy the Goat, after they eat some of the reindeer food Santa was carrying. It allows them to fly too.
*The Topic of Cancer: The children's mother is dying from this. Max finds out and uses it as leverage to make Miley lose the debate. However Santa ends up giving up his powers to cure her.
  • Yes Virginia: This is mainly Miley's approach during the debate. She might have won too, if not for Max's Kick the Dog moment.