Christmas Acts of Kindness
Baxter Billings (David Blue) is a talented young photographer who is engaged to be married. But like so many artists he is struggling, making ends meet doing school photos whilst having to deal with an unreliable car. But Baxter's fortunes change when he is the winner of a raffle with the top prize a fancy car, although he does a deal with the garage to take money instead. Whilst a friend suggests Baxter should open his own photography studio his girlfriend thinks they should splash the cash on luxuries and book a fancy honeymoon. As such when Baxter decides to play secret Santa with the money and help those who need it more it doesn't go down well with her, although his random acts of kindness helps to bring a change of attitude amongst many. It also brings him close to Pamela (Ashley Jones - A Teacher's Crime), a waitress who is a struggling widow with a young son.
Back in 1994 Nicolas Cage starred as Charlie Lang, a cop who won the lottery and with a waitress, who he promised half his winnings to, go on a spending spree, helping others in the process. That movie was "It Could Happen to You" and it was that movie which sprung to mind as I watched "12 Days of Giving" as it sees a good hearted young man using a windfall of money to help those he feels are in need. And the similarity doesn't stop there as in "12 Days of Giving" Baxter becomes close to a woman who works at a concessions stand despite already being with someone else who starts to show her true colours when it comes to being greedy and selfish.
But the thing about "12 Days of Giving" is that whilst we have this drama which sees Baxter becoming close to Pamela, whilst discovering how self centred his girlfriend is, there is some thing else to the movie. That is we see how like a smile can make a smile we see how Baxter's secret acts of kindness end up affecting people and making them kinder and less stressed. To be honest the attempt to show this ends up being a little too cheesy in places but the intentions are good. And that is where the strength of "12 Days of Giving" is as there is a wholesome side to the movie where we see how Baxter's kind hearted acts bring multiple blessings to others and also him. And that is where the likeable nature of David Blue and Ashley Jones comes in to play as that allows us to warm to their characters.
What this all boils down to is that "12 Days of Giving" ends up a made for TV Christmas movie with some good intentions and has a charming cast. But it doesn't quite pull it off as in trying to show the good hearted side of the movie it gets a little cheesy in places.