In 2005, Jason Wright published a little book called Christmas Jars that told the story of a young woman named Hope, who was abandoned as a baby in a diner. Fifteen years later, Fathom Events will release the cinematic version of the story, showing how Hope grows up to become a would-be news reporter who goes “undercover” to earn her first byline. After receiving one of the anonymously donated Christmas Jars, she seeks out the person or people behind the jars. As she falls for one of the family members involved, Hope becomes entangled in the lies she tells to get the story, and struggles to determine her way forward.
Beautifully crafting the visual images that match Wright’s text, director Jonathan Wright mixes a healthy dose of humor, romance, and wisdom into a narrative story that takes the audience on a Christmas-themed journey. The cast proves more than capable of filling the roles through the story, surrounding Jeni Ross’s Hope with the necessary community to develop her character and understand her purpose. The whole depiction of family comes across in a realistic and uplifting way, thanks to the cohesion of the parts and the chemistry of the actors on screen.
Without giving too much away, the overarching story provides a sense of a family-friendly “whodunit,” while also layering the purpose of celebrating Christmas in a counter-to-commercial way. This outpouring of generosity and care for others is the key to the original text, and definitively shines through this wonderful Christmas tale. More than just a story, Christmas Jars will leave you inspired to see yourself and your community differently, and challenge you to consider how you can make a Christmas Jars delivery to someone who needs to be reminded that they are loved, that they aren’t alone, and that there’s hope for their future.
The Dove Take:
As Christmas Jars is one of my favorite books of all time, it’s no surprise that the wholesome family film based on the story is Dove-Approved for All Ages, for everyone, everywhere. Whether you need a jolt of Christmas cheer or a reminder that your Christian generosity should be an earmark of your faith year-round, the film will “bring all the feels.”