About a year ago, hubby and I were driving down Essendene when we saw the movie trucks set up on location. We had no idea what movie was being filmed, just that it was being filmed in our Historic Downtown center. Always a cool thing to see.
Fast-forward a year later, I’m sitting in bed alone, ten days before Christmas Eve and settled in to watch another Hallmark movie. I PVR them all of course. Tonight it was The Christmas Secret. What I didn’t know was that it was the film a year ago hubby and I saw them shooting here in our hometown.
When a struggling young single mother saves the life of an elderly woman, she sets into motion a series of events that will test her strength, loyalty, and determination. Christine Eisley (Bethany Joy Lenz) is the mother of 7 yr old Zach and 5 yr old Haley. Her ex-husband provides no child support, and does nothing but make Christine’s life difficult, using their children as pawns. Christine works long hours as a waitress to make ends meet, but loses her job because she’s always late to work, stuck between finding unreliable teenage sitters.
When Christine saves the life of the elderly woman who owns Wilson’s department store, her husband sets his grandson Jason (John Reardon) off to find her to thank her for saving his wife. But Christine has disappeared once again. Jason has no idea who the mysterious “Christine” is. An accountant by trade, he lost his job due to downsizing and is back in town to help his grandparents with Wilson’s over the holiday’s.
Wilson’s used our very own Spruce Collective to create the toy / vintage shop where Jason’s grandparents work. Spruce is where I buy all my DIY paints and knick knacks for my home. It’s my one-stop inspiration shop here in Abbotsford.
It was extremely cool to see areas of my hometown in the movie, but more than that was the movie itself. I haven’t cried since watching the Christmas Shoes, another heartbreaking but wonderful Christmas tale. I don’t know if it was because I could relate to Christine’s character, single mother, down and out, doing her best to raise her kids, having an awful ex who didn’t pay support or even give a lick about the children, just using them to hurt her.
Or if it was moments like one in the movie where Christine has to tell the kids Santa may not come bring them what they asked for because his elves were busy. The kids of course understand, but Christine leaves to the kitchen, tears of a mother heartbroken filtering in her eyes.
I used to be there. I used to be Christine. I had an ex that was a jackass, who didn’t care about my son at all, just hurting me. I used to sit up at night, worried about paying the rent, food and if I could afford the electricity. But just like my life — The Christmas Secret gives you hope that if you believe, hang on and push forward. Good things will come.
What’s more Christmas than that?