Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas Movie Poster Image
Actor encourages grumpy Christians to embrace the season.
  • PG
  • 2014
  • 80 minutes

Parents say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Argues that Christmas should be big and extravagant and materialistic, but all in the service of drawing attention to and celebrating the holiday's religious significance. Whether you agree with that message will depend on your own beliefs.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Cameron loves his sister so much that he's willing to skip the family Christmas party to spend it convincing her grumpy husband to relax and enjoy the celebration. The husband is willing to listen patiently to his brother-in-law talk about Christmas traditions.

Violence & Scariness

Cameron mentions King Herod's soldiers, who killed infants. Historical recreation of that incident and of St. Nicholas smiting a heretic with blows to the head.

Sexy Stuff

A kiss between a married couple is expected (the wife even says,"What you got in mind, Big Papa?") but doesn't occur.

Language
Consumerism

Apple computer.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Christmas party guests are drinking, but it's usually hot chocolate and coffee. At a holiday meal, wine is on the table, and some guests have champagne.
 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas isn't a politically motivated indictment of the secular humanist movement to remove religious Christmas symbols from public spaces or the "war on Christmas." It's actually a response to Christians who think Santa, lights and trees, parties, and expensive presents dilute the true meaning of the season. Cameron takes those Christians to task by arguing that there's a way to see widely celebrated Christmas customs as symbolic of not only Jesus' birth but of salvation and more. Like most faith-based films, Saving Christmas seems directed specifically to evangelical Christian audiences. Those who see it should know that there's some minor violence in historical recreations of St. Nicholas attacking a heretic and of King Herod's soldiers rounding up babies.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bycriseaver December 7, 2014

Not really movie worthy

I gathered 25 youngsters (of my sons' friends) and we went to see this together. We left very confused. And dissappointed that we'd spent so much mo... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byNot known April 9, 2018

This was not for christans

This was just god awful. I'm a christian myself and even I don't like this film. It felt so forced against me. I mean, It was just silly, the plot, th... Continue reading

What's the story?

KIRK CAMERON'S SAVING CHRISTMAS opens with a prologue of the actor (as himself) explaining how much he loves everything about the Christmas season, from the trees and decorations to the hot cocoa and carols. He bemoans how critics of Christmas range from the naysayers who don't believe that religious holidays should co-opt all public life to fellow Christians who think that commercial aspects and yuletide cheer take away from the true "reason for the season." Next thing we know, Cameron is attending his sister's (played by real-life sister Bridgette) Christmas party, where he's thrilled to be part of the family's festivities -- until she reveals that her husband (Darren Doane) just isn't into Christmas. This is unacceptable to Cameron, so he follows his Grinch of a brother-in-law, who's sitting in a parked car, and proceeds to explain to him why trees, Santa, decorations, and gifts aren't secular customs but actually symbolic of Jesus' birth, grace, and more.

Is it any good?

Yes, faith-based films have religious themes, but they should also have a plot, actors, dialogue, and a story; by that measure, Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas can barely be considered a movie. There's no real plot; almost the entire movie boils down to one long conversation in which Cameron decides to "take back" Christmas traditions from their historical context and imbue them with more strictly religious symbolism. For example, Santa Claus is based on St. Nicholas, and he kicked heretic butt during the Council of Nicaea, even if it wasn't "politically correct" for him to do so. Or, the Christmas tree can be a reminder of the crucifixion -- the tree on which Jesus willingly gave his life. And a pile of wrapped presents under a Christmas tree can remind Christian shoppers of the skyline for the New Jerusalem, where believers will spend an eternity with God.

The most surprising thing about this movie is that Cameron isn't taking on or debating the secular humanists who believe that, as a religious holiday, Christmas shouldn't be thrust upon them during the post-Halloween, pre-New Year time period. Instead, Cameron hopes to gently correct other believers into understanding that, as he sees it, God wants them to spend lavishly on one another, party hard, and go full Pinterest-mode on decorations every Christmas. In other words, he's saying there's nothing wrong with a big, fat, material celebration of the holiday, and those within the faith community who'd rather focus on charity and austerity are just party-pooping curmudgeons who are missing the point entirely. Why anyone would pay to hear Cameron preach about why Christmas should be full of presents, hot cocoa, and Santa photos is indeed a Christmas miracle.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Saving Christmas' view on the holiday. Do you agree that many seemingly secular traditions can have a religious component? Are you surprised that this movie debates curmudgeonly Christians rather than atheists?

  • Discuss your own views on Christmas and the holidays. Talk to your kids about the traditions behind how you celebrate.

  • The movie references the "war on Christmas" and the misguidedness of "political correctness." Are those political statements? If so, do you agree or disagree with them, and why?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love the holidays

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate