James shows up to help because he's trapped in the cycle of abuse, and between a handful of his carved wooden horses and some random new character's fruits and vegetables, there's, well, there's no goddamn way they're raising 3,500 bucks. But they have Hope as the star attraction! People will come from miles around and pay all sorts of money to see a horse!
So maaaybe 40 people show up ...
... and somehow they buy enough massively overpriced eggplants to cover "a few months of payments." That's enough time to cover Hope's training for shows! Yay! Everyone hug! Except for you, James, no one wants to touch you. It's OK, man. They don't deserve that honor.
Lizzy asks to keep living with Grandma for a bit, and we close with Grandma literally spelling out the message that hope is important. You just have to believe in the power of a bunch of new characters showing up to give you money. Oh, and something about horses, and also God helped.
So, a Christmas miracle saves the day ... except Lizzy is still having serious academic problems and emotional issues, and there's no way the performance of a single inexperienced horse in a sport where payouts are unreliable will permanently solve Grandma's money problems, especially if she refuses to re-evaluate her lifestyle. In other words, Christmas briefly helps everyone continue to ignore problems that are going to be all the more pressing in the coming year. Huh, this is secretly the most accurate Christmas movie ever made. Happy holidays, everyone!
Mark is on Twitter and has an inspirational book.
Let's Scrooge things up some more in 4 Christmas Movies That Get More Praise Than They Deserve and 5 Christmas Movies You Never Realized Had Insane Messages.
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