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Movie Review

Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas also known as “Saving Christmas”

MPAA Rating: PG for some thematic elements.

Reviewed by: John Walker

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults Family
Christian Family Comedy
1 hr. 20 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
November 14, 2014 (wide—400+ theaters)
DVD: November 3, 2015
Copyright, Samuel Goldwyn Films click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Samuel Goldwyn Films Copyright, Samuel Goldwyn Films Copyright, Samuel Goldwyn Films Copyright, Samuel Goldwyn Films Copyright, Samuel Goldwyn Films Copyright, Samuel Goldwyn Films Copyright, Samuel Goldwyn Films Copyright, Samuel Goldwyn Films Copyright, Samuel Goldwyn Films
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Samuel Goldwyn Films
What is the true meaning of CHRISTMAS?
What is the TRUE meaning of Christmas? Answers for skeptics. Plus carols, games, coloring pages, reviews of Christmas movies, and more.

Which Christmas-time practices and symbols in our culture are not true to Christ and to remembering the Gospel message? Which are better than others?

How can I know what is right and wrong? Answer

materialism and Christmas

The purpose of Christ’s birth was to ultimately die in payment for our sins.

Jesus Christ: His Identity, Life, Death andResurrection

What should we thank God for, and how should we praise Him? Answer

Are you thankful to God? GO

What impact does storytelling have on kids and adults?

a book that had a strong influence on Kirk Cameron and this movie is God Rest Ye Merry: Why Christmas is the Foundation for Everything by Pastor Douglas Wilson (2012)

Fact check—Bear in mind that the Santa Claus we know and St. Nicholas are not the same person. Rather, the Santa Claus myth, in its many tranformations, is partially derived from legends about a 4th century gift-giver named Nikolaos. Tradition says that Nikolaos of Myra (commonly called St. Nicholas) was a dedicated Greek Christian servant leader in Lycia (now Turkey), when ruled by Rome. He apparently lived from perhaps 270 to 343 (or 345 or 352) A.D., was known for his generosity, and possibly signed the Nicene Creed and possibly attended the Nicean Council (first ecumenical synod held in Nicea), and may have slapped a heretic there. There are apparently no historical documents from his time (much less a contemporary biography) that verify anything about him, including his existence. However, it seems reasonable to believe that the traditions are based on a real person and some fact, but the details are uncertain in origin and some seem like embellishments.

The story about St. Nicholas conveyed in “…Saving Christmas” appears to stem from a comical 2005 article (“Slappy holiday”) by Dr. Gene Edward Veith in World magazine and is based in tradition. Veith is provost of Patrick Henry College, and formerly a professor at Concordia Theological Seminary.

Christmas movies
REVIEWS of “Christmas” movies
Featuring: Kirk CameronKirk
Darren Doane … Christian
Bridgette Cameron Ridenour … Actress
Raphi Henly … Actor
Ben Kientz … Actor
Director: Darren Doane
Producer: Camfam Studios
Provident Films
Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films

a comedy speaking to grumpy, humbug Christians

In some ways, it may be easy as a Christian to give this Kirk Cameron flick an enthusiastic thumb up for its overall message and values. I knew going in that I would probably not find anything very objectionable in the film, and I would not feel uneasy seeing the movie. My presumptions were true, and I think I enjoyed the movie on those points. There is more to the movie than I expected, but I think it will be up to each individual person seeing it to take from it what you bring to it in the first place.

The movie starts with a short monologue by Kirk and then leads into the main movie from there. The story is about an evening spent with Kirk at his sister’s Christmas get-together. There are friends and family gathered to celebrate Christmas in the way most of us might spend Christmas together. There is food, a Christmas tree, presents, nice decorations and even Santa Claus (stay with me before you get too upset)—everything you might expect at this time of year. Herein lies the problem, Kirk’s brother-in-law in the film has a conflict of the soul as to whether the true message of Christmas is being lost on the world and those around him. As he ponders these things from the confines of his car in the driveway, Kirk comes out and tries to help him regain the joy, meaning, and purpose of the holiday that we celebrate as Christmas. Kirk takes his brother-in-law’s points of contention and tries to help him discover the hidden Christian origins of each of those lost traditions.

An accurate explanation of the purpose Jesus Christ’s birth. Answers for skeptics. Plus Christmas carols, games, coloring pages, reviews of Christmas movies, and more%u2026

First, let’s talk about what the movie is not. It is not a big Hollywood production. It lacks big sets, famous actors, large production trappings and an overall polished sense of a fine movie. The acting is so-so, and the story develops way too slow for my contemporary tastes. The dialog seems drawn out and could be compressed more, so that the audience does not begin to feel awkward at those moments. It does feel a little amateurish and silly, at times, but that can be part of its appeal also.

Now, let’s talk about what the movie is. It feels like an honest attempt to infuse some joy back into what can be a less than festive time for some at this time of year. As Christian parents, I think we strive to find that balance of spirituality and celebration that the birth of the Lord Jesus deserves. I did enjoy the vignettes of believers past and the telling of some of the trappings of today’s Christmas celebrations and how those traditions came into being. To be honest, some of the presentations were a little preachy, but I like a good sermon; how they affect you individually probably has a lot to say about where you are at with these traditions, even more than whether you agree with their definitions. As I thought about the traditions I celebrate, I began to ask myself, do I bring Christ to the forefront in my Christmas traditions? Probably not as much as I should.

Kirk Cameron is a decent actor and is very likable, and his moments on screen are not dreadful. The film is mainly for Christians, but may lead both believers and unbelievers alike to research the basis of their Christmas traditions. There is not really anything too objectionable, except for maybe one vignette which has a few moments of Saint Nicholas from history shown as very threatening and violent to someone who would present Jesus as any less than the person of God that he is. This may be a little scary for small children, and parents should use their discretion.

In my own unprofessional opinion, I might have streamlined the dialog and included a few more traditions that have given way to lost meanings and rote practice. I can wholeheartedly agree with the premise of the film which is that Christmas is what we as Christians make it to be. It is our attitudes and words that make Christmas either an overblown indulgence-fest or a Christian holiday full of the symbolism and joy we expect the celebration of our Lord coming into the world to be (Matthew 1:23). Don’t go in with too much expectation, but do go in expecting to come out asking how we can help make Jesus the reason for the season again.

Violence: Minor / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None

official site:

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—We just returned from seeing this movie, and I really enjoyed it. I laughed out loud seeing myself on the big screen (played by the character “Christian,” that is). I have actually “hated” Christmas for years now. When I saw the trailer for this movie a couple of weeks ago I thought, “I have to see this. Maybe this will change my mind.” Yes. It did. Praise Jesus. I’m still not buying the whole Santa thing, but “Christian’s” Santa-Rant is hilarious.

Okay, I think I’ll go put on a Christmas CD and praise the Lord some more. Maybe I might even put up a tree this year.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jennifer M, age 46 (USA)
Positive—Though I say positive, I was disappointed that this was a docu-comedy-musical. I thought a return to comedy would be great for Kirk Cameron. I guess I will have to keep looking forward to that, as it is his niche. He doesn’t pull off serious actor well. As a man who has already turned back to Christmas, I was interested how he would approach this. I have already seen a lot of bad history out there with the anti-Christmas crowd (yes, we all know he wasn’t born on Dec. 25th, get over it). But, myself, having researched the paganism behind Christmas, I think Kirk could use a little more fact checking. There are a lot of historic pagan festivals around December.

But my argument lies here, Satan is the counterfeiter, God is the creator. We can redeem anything we want to and turn it back to the Lord, if God so leads. And you can’t justify everything about Christmas, with the Bible, just as much as the anti-Christmas people can’t tear everything about Christmas down with the Bible (typically very weak exegesis). Just as the book of Jeremiah isn’t speaking against Christmas trees, it’s a hard sell to compare a pine tree to the tree of life. But read on to the summary.

I sum it up with this “All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.” The Spirit of God drew me back to worshiping Jesus at Christmas time. I don’t have to justify it, I’m justified. Will I follow the condemning spirit of the Scrooges out there? Or, the Spirit that leads me to all truth? That is a simple one for me… and so is whether I’d recommend Kirk Cameron’s “Saving Christmas.” I would, maybe not at full theater price though.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Dirk, age 47 (USA)
Positive—A wonderful Christmas movie that had real substance, unlike the garbage at the theaters these days. Keep up the good work Kirk!!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Maryjo, age 56 (USA)
Positive—Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas is an entertaining and educational movie that families will enjoy together. We all have a wonderful opportunity each year at Christmastime to share the joy and the love of Christ with people in our lives. Take your family to see Saving Christmas and start the celebration early this year!
—Tim Wildmon, President—American Family Association (USA)
Positive—SAVING CHRISTMAS is a wonderful defense of Christmas traditions and is quite educational. Candy and I also enjoyed some good laughs. I pray that God will use it to His glory.
—Dr. Ben Carson (USA)
Positive—With culture constantly steering our families away from the real meaning of Christmas, I am so grateful for Kirk Cameron’s new movie Saving Christmas. It is an entertaining reminder of the biblical basis for our Christmas traditions and celebrations. I’m looking forward to taking my family to see Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas!
—Monica Cole, Director— (USA)
Positive—SAVING CHRISTMAS will let you and your family see Christmas in the true light of Scripture as it was played out in actual history. This is a film that entertains and informs. It is a film to be shared with others. It is a film that will cause you to sing with renewed hope and wonder. Kirk Cameron will help you and your family save Christmas. See SAVING CHRISTMAS and bring Joy to the World!
—Jay Younts, Author and Speaker (USA)
subject: Saving Christmas (2014)
Neutral—My husband and I rarely go to the movie theater, but we wanted to see this movie because we have enjoyed many of Kirk’s other projects. Unfortunately, we were both disappointed. I understand what Kirk was trying to emphasize—that we should give seemingly pagan Christmas symbols new meaning to focus on and point others to Jesus—but the message did seem to get lost in the silliness of the presentation.

I agree with others who thought Christian’s debate skills were poor, that the intensity of Nicholas’s reaction was over the top, that the presents/city skyline angle was stretching things, and that Kirk seemed to support materialism.

Instead, he could have emphasized giving gifts to others, especially those in need, because God gave us the ultimate gift in Jesus; he could have mentioned the meaning of the candy cane or the star at the top of the tree…

Overall, my husband and I felt that the situation reminded us of the story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. As Christians who celebrate Christmas and teach our children how Christmas symbols can point to Jesus, we want to applaud, praise, and support a Christian movie about Christmas, but deep down we felt that, in reality, the movie was poorly done—we just hate to admit it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Julie, age 39 (USA)
Negative—I love Kirk Cameron and am extremely disappointed that I have to give this movie a negative review, and that my respect for Kirk has slipped quite a few notches. I really thought this movie was not only poorly done (i.e., poor quality, and a real “thrown together” feeling), but it actually seemed to endorse the crass materialism and gluttony that is so often associated with Christmas. Kirk seemed to exhibit a condescending personality with his brother-in-law, Christian, and Christian simply reacted like a buffoon who couldn’t argue his way out of a paper bag.

While Kirk had some good points (about the manger scene, swaddling, etc.), some of his other points appeared forced or even a bit ludicrous (as with the violent St. Nick doing a lot more than smiting the heretic on the cheek, or the gift scene at the base of the tree looking like a city skyline). Any of the “deeper” points seemed lost to me… swallowed up in the silliness of the party scene and ending with the hip-hop/breakdance. I even started to wonder if drunkenness was going to be endorsed at the dinner table.

I am a born-again Christian who totally loves Christmas (including trees, lights, and presents) and many of the biblical values it can represent, but I actually felt offended by this treatment of the subject.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: ½
—Stefanie, age 58 (USA)
Negative—I expect more from Kirk Cameron. I’m sorry, that was one of the worst movie I’ve ever seen. I’m a Christian, and I thought his explanation about the Christmas tree and Santa Claus to be absurd. Then him saying to not worry about materialism because Jesus came as a material being, just absurd. I feel really disappointed that this is being sold as a Christian movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Paul, age 44 (USA)
Negative—Now I lost my faith in Christian films for life. I mean, there are Christian films that worth to watch, but films like Kirk Cameron does, makes throw up everything. Cameron and his friend Ray Comfort make horrible films that I can’t call them “films;” the films that they do are so horrible that even HBO can’t premier. I mean, Cameron was nominated for two Golden Globes in 87 and 89, what happened? There’s better films about Christmas.

I found this an insult to the Christian films, to the Christian filmmakers that work on Hollywood, to the Christians in general and me. But the film is horrible, terrible actor, I’m not gonna lie. I don’t like Kirk Cameron, and I don’t like the things that he does, I found it mediocre, I’m glad that he is a Christian, but he is terrible making films. Lame. Lame. Lame. Lame. Lame.
My Ratings: Moviemaking quality: 1
—Sergio De La Cruz, age 18 (Guatemala)
Negative—I was interested to see what Kirk Cameron was going to do in this movie about Christmas and the tough questions that arise about the Christmas story. Knowing his point of view about how to share the gospel and other things that I respect him for, I have to say this movie gave me a really bad taste. Why? because it’s mixing the things of the world with Christianity. The Christmas tree, the food and gifts—it doesn’t fit in with the Bible story at all. The same with having a Santa Claus and taking pictures with him, takes away what the Nicholas story is all about. And if we add the dancing and wine drinking at the table, I don’t know if that is the message we want to send a non-believer, it’s just awkward.

The Christmas story doesn’t need for us to add any other things, like the ones, presented in this movie, to explain it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Ozzie, age 56 (USA)
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—I, too, am a follower of Jesus the Christ/Y'shua the King and love the Truth of his coming to us as a baby in a miraculous birth, teaching us the Living Word, showing us how to Live as he Lived, saving us from eternal death and separation from him by paying the price for our sins through his death, and returning to Life and his throne to intercede for us.

I do not plan to view this movie, because traditional Christmas is just that, a tradition. Yes, we followers of Christ/Messiah have many traditions. However, Jesus/Y'shua said himself, we must not allow our traditions to override our Father's Truth and instructions (Mark 7:8). more »
—Todd, age 51 (USA)

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