This little movie has become a favorite of mine. I look look forward to it every year. Along with a wonderful story, I fell in love with a song….
A small Rhode Island community comes together to create special Halloween and Christmas moments several weeks early for Vanessa Marks, an 8-year-old girl with a life-threatening illness.
At the beginning of the film, the father (John Corbett) gives Vanessa a snow globe of a little girl holding a snow globe, and inside that globe is another little girl holding a snow globe. The mother (Sarah Paulson) tells Vanessa that she has to shake the globe to make it snow. Vanessa is fascinated with the snow, having never seen it before, and wishes that she could see it for Christmas. The father, hearing this, becomes concerned that Vanessa may not live to see December.
After the father quietly asks a neighboring farmer (Sam Elliott) about buying pumpkins – and later Christmas trees – the farmer figures out that the father is trying to speed up the holidays so that Vanessa will have a Christmas before she dies. The farmer, searching for pumpkins to surprise the family, heals an old friendship that he’d lost when his own son had died, and is rewarded with an invitation to be his old friend’s best man at the friend’s upcoming wedding. Together, the two men sneak a truckload of pumpkins onto the family’s front porch, much to the surprise of the daughter who decides she wants to have a Halloween party. The mother tries to explain that it’s too early, but the father agrees to the party and Vanessa (and her younger brother) begin to plan their Halloween costumes.
As a show of appreciation, the father goes to the farmer’s home and invites him and his wife to the party. The farmer goes to town and mentions it to Tammy, a young waitress (Elizabeth McLaughlin) at the local restaurant whom Vanessa had befriended. Later, the farmer gives the father a box of Halloween decorations to help decorate the family’s house, and on the night of the party the waitress arrives with the town’s children to help celebrate. Vanessa – who was prohibited from going to school and meeting other children because of her illness – is overjoyed at having so many playmates. The farmer, his wife, and his friend and his new wife follow carrying trays of food. Tammy tries her skills as a storyteller and tells a ghost story that makes the children scream and laugh.
Together, the farmer, his old friend, and the waitress help the family celebrate Halloween – and each holiday thereafter – a month early, and in doing so unite an entire community and teach everyone that what really matters in life is love.
As Vanessa and her family return home one night from a particularly sorrowful hospital visit, they find that the neighbors have decorated their homes and streets with brilliant lights and holiday decorations a full month early. The farmer, his friend, and the neighboring community line the family’s driveway to greet Vanessa as she arrives home; her own house covered in beautiful lights. Everyone is invited inside the home to celebrate with food given by the town’s local restaurant, and later, Vanessa runs outside with her snow globe just as an early snow begins to fall, duplicating the little girl inside the globe.
Later, Tammy writes a children’s book about Vanessa’s life, with pictures that Vanessa had made herself during her illness. In the final scenes, a teenager (reading Tammy’s book to children at the local library) explains that she is Vanessa; she survived her illness after that early Christmas. Afterwards, she goes to the farmer’s Christmas tree lot where she reunites with her family and the farmer; to select the town’s annual tree.
The music and her voice……magic!
Same song used in the movie….