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December 8, 2009

These Christmas ‘Shoes’ Keep on Walkin’

Third film based on Donna VanLiere's holiday novels to air 12/13 on Lifetime

When Beth Grossbard, executive producer of The Christmas Hope, sent me a copy of the made-for-TV movie a few weeks ago, I'll admit that the film's title had more hope than I did.

I expected something cheesy with a bit of eye-rolling schmaltz, especially since it was destined for the Lifetime Network. And though the flick certainly is guilty on both counts, it's also a sweet, loving story of redemption, forgiveness, and second chances. It kept my attention all the way through, and I cared about the characters at the center of the story, even when things were predictable. How could you not care about a recently orphaned little girl who has no place to turn for Christmas?

Some of the direction and swelling music is emotionally manipulative, but hey, this is the Lifetime Movie Network. But it's 99 minutes well spent for the family, and good fodder for discussing how we might care for the lost and lonely, the widow and the orphan at a time we're celebrating Christ's birth, live, and gift of love.

The Christmas Hope premieres Sunday, Dec. 13, at 8 p.m. Eastern--immediately following a 4 p.m. screening of The Christmas Shoes and a 6 p.m. showing of The Christmas Blessing, parts 1 and 2 of VanLiere's popular holiday stories.

Watch Lifetime's 30-second preview here: