Inspired by a true story, Christmas for a Dollar is a holiday classic about a family that finds out what truly brings joy and love at Christmas. In the midst of the Great Depression, the Kamp family has struggled since Mrs. Kamp’s untimely death. The older children do their best to take care of the family, but the younger children, including Hopalong Cassidy fan Norman and straight-talking little Ruthie, struggle the most with a bleak-looking future. With mounting debt from Norman’s battle with polio, the siblings fully expect a Christmas without presents.
However, when Father scrapes together a dollar in coins, everything changes. As each child comes up with a special gift to give another member of the family, they soon begin to discover that the spirit of Christmas is priceless.
You always need a good story to make a good movie and “Christmas for a Dollar” has both. The acting is excellent, the camera work is solid and the production is well done in every area. I really enjoyed watching this film.
Although the story takes place during the Great Depression, there is no doubt that viewers in today’s world and economy will relate to it. The family is having difficulties replacing clothing for their of five kids and dad, a widower. Their Christmas might be short on material things but it appears there will be plenty of love as the family is rich in that.
The plot involves a young boy’s love for a neighbor’s horse, the oldest sister of the family attempting to take on the role of mother, and a young sister dealing with deception when her honest acts of kindness toward winning a gift box from the teacher is thwarted by a fellow student who lies about his supposed good deeds. In addition the eldest son wants a mechanic’s job to help his father provide for the family but his dad is hearing none of it. The father manages to come up with a dollar that the family can split to buy Christmas gifts for one another. He reminds them of the one who did a lot with five loaves and two fish.
This story is well told and features themes of being adaptable, kind, and putting family first. It has its realistic moments when characters deal with disappointment. We are pleased to award the film our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal for all ages.