Ginny Grainger is the mother of two children, Abbie and Cal. Her husband has been out of work for months, and the family has to move out of the company house by January, and it's almost Christmas. He enjoys fixing bikes, and wants to start a business fixing bikes, but his wife worries that it will take too long to turn a profit from that, when they needed money immediately, and urges him to find a new job, causing a fight between them.Due to the constant financial worry her family is facing, Christmas coming along will only present more problems, and thus Ginny becomes very Scroogelike, forgetting the meaning of Christmas. It is up to the angel Gideon to reunite a broken family and to help teach them the meaning of Christmas once again.Essentially Disney's retelling of the It's a Wonderful Life movie, it's been said by some to be a heartwarming classic, by others to be a horrifying story of a Crapsack World, particularly with what happens to the main character throughout her 'lesson'.
- Adult Fear: One of the children nearly gets hit by a car early in the beginning while merely putting a letter in the mailbox just across the street, but is saved by the angel Gideon. Later on, after having lost her husband to a bank robbery that turned ugly, the heroine is told that the car both her children were in fell over the edge of a bridge into a frozen river, killing them both.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Cal still doesn't believe in Santa and doubts Abbie's plan, despite being saved by a Christmas Angel a few hours before.
- Crappy Holidays: Objectively, Ginny is really not having a very merry Christmas.
- Deus Angst Machina: Essentially everything that happens to the heroine. She goes through the most soul-crushing experiences possible, all meted out upon her in order to teach her to value what she has. Of course everything gets better at the end, but even just having experienced that at all would leave at least a few mental scars!
- Deus ex Machina: Santa Claus, no less, magically makes everything right at the end. Still...
- From Bad to Worse: And HOW.
- The Grinch: Ginny is treated as this because she lacks the holiday spirit. However, given all the understandable reasons she has to feel stressed out instead of merry, this can come across more as The Complainer Is Always Wrong.
- Infant Immortality: Averted.
- Jade-Colored Glasses: Ginny.
- Mood Whiplash: The ending is clearly supposed to be bright, happy and charming, but for many it is darkened by the sheer amount of hell that was poured onto the heroine throughout the film.
- Trauma Conga Line: Poor, poor Ginny is having the worst day she can imagine.