I loved this movie! The Holidays are always difficult for me - I lost my fiancé of three years suddenly several years ago during the Christmas season, and often find the standard Holiday fare depressing or worse; reminders of past happier times.
This film, as with many Hallmark productions, is uplifting and inspiring, not to mention timely, given our current involvement in Iraq. I come from a long line of Air Force officers - there are seven extended family members currently serving all over the World, including one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, so the war emphasis had special meaning for me.
Although the film may not be Oscar material, the plot line just makes me feel better. I do hope Hallmark releases this movie on DVD, because I have continued to watch my TV recording over and over since the Holidays. When I'm having a bad day or lapsing into self pity and other negative feelings, I watch at least a portion of the movie. It never fails to improve my mood! Unless you're "dumber than a box of rocks", you just can't help but be reminded of hope, the power of a family's love and acceptance, the generosity of others and the ability to overcome the questionable decisions we all make in life.
Finally, while some may think the plot line contrived, there are "Nevada City" cities all over our Country and people who really DO live their lives much as the movie characters do.
BTW: Peter Jason as Uncle Richard "steals" every scene he's in, with his whimsical quips and general persona! I wish he were a member of my family! LOL