Title: The Christmas Candle (2013; PG)
Director: John Stephenson
Major Themes: Christmas, Family, Miracles
Synopsis: When Christmas traditions collide with a young, progressive minister’s beliefs, the town of Gladbury learns about love and care—and the miracles we can work for each other.
Last year, I went through a movie watching kick, and somewhere along the lines, I came across The Christmas Candle. Even after I got the DVD, it took a few months for me to pick it up—but when I did, I decided it was one destined to be shared with the family. One day. I was hoping we could watch it together sometime in this past Christmas season, but we ended up rather busy, so it may wait until next winter. Although I didn’t agree with everything in this movie, it was a beautiful reminder of God’s love and care for us, and I want my family to see it at least once.
Disillusioned and discouraged, David Richmond, a young minister, is called to a pastorate in the small village of Gladbury. According to a legend, every 25 years, an angel comes to the local chandlery and blesses a candle. Whoever receives the candle, lights it, and prays, will have their prayer answered on Christmas Eve. David doesn’t believe in such rubbish—in his opinion, kindness and good deeds will go much further than one supposedly blessed candle. When he tries to bring reform to the village, however, things start going awry. And when the Christmas candle does arrive—and is subsequently lost—will the Christmas season in Gladbury this year be destroyed altogether?
I loved The Christmas Candle for the setting, the music, and the themes of hope woven throughout the story. I was disappointed that the Lord wasn’t brought into it more, though; the focus was more on doing good deeds rather than work done out of faith and love toward Him. I think the part that blessed me the most was the realization some of the characters had that God does hear and understand our sorrows and that He prepares the way before us—whether we recognize it at the time or not.
If you enjoy sweet stories of growth and change, Christmas cheer, and miracles, this could be a good movie for you. I loved the period drama feeling this movie had, and wouldn’t be surprised if I find myself watching it again soon. It’s not my most favorite movie ever, but it’s a good one.
WARNING: At 5:40, a girl is kicked out of her home and is pregnant out of wedlock (she has the baby near the end of the movie). From 56:40 – 58:00, people are scared as bulbs explode above their heads, part of the church catches on fire, and a man has a heart attack and dies. 1:18:11 has the word “blasted”. From 1:28:35 – 1:32:06, there is a terrible storm, and a miracle happens where a candle stayed lit even through the storm to help them find someone who was lost. At 1:35:07, there’s a kiss.
Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12, 12 – 15, 15 and Above, Adults, Family Friendly