Ashley has been on her own all her life. She feels even more alone this Christmas as she searches fruitlessly for a job. The seasonal cheer around her only rubs salt in her wounds as she scrapes by to support herself and her dog, Dash. But her neighbor, Nick, knows exactly what to do. He offers her a job, to be his assistant in the best work – helping others. There’s one catch that Ashley must honor though – she can’t tell anyone that her new boss is a sort of Secret Santa, helping others anonymously.
Through her new job, Ashley meets Will, a writer for a business magazine who uncovers what Ashley is doing, and more importantly, Nick’s involvement. As Ashley and Nick help people in need, Ashley tries to protect Nick’s secret, and her own heart, while Will must weigh the consequences of what he does.
This is a fantastic Christmas story and, since a lot of it concentrates on helping others, it can be enjoyed year round. Kari Hawker stars as Ashley Matthews, a single woman who is struggling to survive. The film opens with her large dog, Dash, attempting to rouse her from sleep. She tells Dash she isn’t getting up until the alarm goes off. Three seconds later the alarm goes off! So there are dashes of humor thrown in which work well in this film. Her day doesn’t improve when the water stops running while she’s taking a shower, and her dog eyes her a bit later and his empty water dish. On top of this, her car won’t start and she has to take a bus in a hurry to get to a job interview. She bumps into a man, loses her cell phone, and she makes it to the job interview to learn they just called her to tell her they hired someone else! Fortunately, her phone had been picked up by a man she develops an affection for, named Will (K.C. Clyde).
The three main actors all hit the right notes and we learn in this story that Ashley’s neighbor Nick (Bruce Davison), due to a painful past, now helps people who are in need or hurting. He calls himself “Secret Santa”. He hires Ashley to be his assistant and they help a lot of needy people. Ashley, having been passed around to various foster homes as a child, resents Christmas but Nick and Will begin to help her to open up and trust people again. I enjoyed this movie very much, partly due to the fact that it is presented in a realistic way but with scenes of encouragement for the hurting people in the story, including a man who owns a small restaurant who lost his son the previous Christmas season. This is one of those rare films which has a powerful combination of solid acting, tight direction, and a very good story to tell. We happily award our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to “Christmas Angel.” If you have been struggling with faith, watching this film just might renew it for you.