Finding the Christmas Spirit

Call Me Claus

Call Me Claus is a simple made-for-cable-TV movie starring Whoopi Goldberg and Nigel Hawthorne. Goldberg is Lucy Collins who is a successful TV producer for a shopping network. Lucy is searching for the perfect Santa Claus to bump up the ratings.

Nigel Hawthorne is Santa Claus (Nick). He is forced to search for a Santa Claus replacement. It turns out that every 200 years there is a new Santa Claus, and according to the Elf Board, the current Santa has to find a replacement. Hawthorne’s Nick has exhausted his list of potential new Santas. If he doesn’t find a new Santa by midnight on Christmas Eve, the world will come to an end. (Did I mention this was a made-for-cable-TV movie?)

There is only one name left on the list. Lucy Collins.

Lucy needs a Santa for four days to go on the air and sell crazy holiday gifts. Nick only has four days left to convince Lucy to be in the new Santa. It’s almost too perfect. Nick’s audition wows the crew, and soon wows the television audience as well. This is the only relationship with Santa Lucy wants to have.

As a child, Lucy was filled with the Christmas spirit, until the night she met Nick at the 5 and dime. As she sat on Santa’s knee, she asked for her dad to come home from Vietnam. As her mother led her and her little brother back home, they were met with military personnel, delivering the sad news that her father had died. Ever since, Lucy had very little to do with Christmas or Santa Claus.

Nick is patient, though. He knows that Lucy needs to experience healing before finding the Christmas spirit. And he knows that the spirit to give is within her. It is with a little bit of Christmas magic, he finally convinces Lucy that she is the perfect new Santa.

Though the plot is a little quirky (Santa and the end of the world and all), the movie is a fun, family film. It also breaks down some of the boundaries of race and gender. Neither are a concern or issue as the grouchy Lucy becomes the jolly St. Nick.

Most of all, it is a story of transformation. No matter what place of grouchiness we find ourselves, we too can find the Christmas spirit of giving to others.