It’s nothing unusual to see film trucks in our hometown. Abbotsford is one of the most beautiful places. I was a bit surprised when hubby and I were driving into old downtown and I saw lights surrounding one my favorite stores Spruce Collective. I had no idea what movie was being filmed in our Historic Downtown area. But it’s always a cool thing to see.
Fast-forward a year later, I’m sitting in bed alone, ten days before Christmas Eve when I settle in to watch another Hallmark Holiday Movie. I’m like a junkie during this time of year, setting my PVR to record each and everyone that comes on television. And tonight I got lucky because I was about to watch one I had been waiting for called The Christmas Secret.
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.
Christine’s ex-husband provides no child support, and does nothing but makes her 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.
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 holidays.
Wait Just A Minute! Pause to Interrupt!
I realized at this point while watching the movie that this was the movie Corey and I had seen being filmed downtown. They took my favorite store Spruce Collective and turned it into Wilson’s Collective 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, next to Creekside.
Tourists love to visit the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford has so much to see and do. 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 as a single mother down and out doing her best to raise her kids, but having an awful ex who didn’t pay support or even give a lick about the children. He was 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 to bring them what they asked for because his elves were busy. The kids of course understand but Christine leaves to the kitchen with tears of a mother heartbroken filling 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 and worry about paying the rent, buying food or if we were going to be evicted or without electricity.
But just like the movie, my life changed because of love. The Christmas Secret is a movie that gives you hope that if you believe, hang on and push forward. Good things will come.