The Spirit of Christmas (2015)


three star


It’s that time of year! That joyous time when we try to keep out cats from knocking over Christmas trees, drink double our body weight in hot chocolate, and watch really bad Lifetime Christmas movies! I rightfully chose to start with a ghostly romance.

The Spirit of Christmas is a lighthearted story about a no nonsense lawyer who falls in love with a ghost. Jen Lilley plays Kate, a lawyer trying to work up the ladder in her practice. She doesn’t believe in or have time for love. An inn owner dies and she has 12 days leading up to Christmas to get it appraised. Daniel (Thomas Beaudoin) has haunted the inn for the last 97 years, but for the 12 days before Christmas he gets his human form back.  During those 12 days, he and Kate butt heads and eventually fall for each other. There’s also a mystery shoehorned in. They have to figure out who killed him so he can pass on, and also there might be a second ghost. If that sounds familiar, you’ve probably seen the classic The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, which while set not during Christmas, has the same idea of a living woman falling in love with an attractive ghost tied to a specific location. Mrs. Muir is far more revered than any of its derivatives, but that’s probably just due to small things like film quality and better acting.

Other things about this movie that warrant appreciation, other than the contrived lines and suspect acting: In the flash backs, all the old-timey men have such unrealistically impeccable haircuts; the soundtrack is that soft, sparse piano music that all cheesy Christmas movies have; and the rules about how ghosts and hauntings work make no sense! The Spirit of Christmas is cheesy and trashy, but dammit it’s my kind of cheesy and trashy. I love the human-ghost relationship trope, and by the end I’m left wondering, can they make it work?

-Alli Hobbs

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