Part of many families’ holiday tradition is sitting in front of the television and watching holiday films together. It is rare that you can find one that is appropriate for everyone or all ages. This two-film collection will fit that bill. One is (U.S.) Thanksgiving themed while the other is a Christmas film. Both are made for television films from the early seventies, based on a popular novel by author Gail Rock and center around the Mills family.
Some will find the two films dated while others will dismiss them as schmaltzy and overly sugary. While I agree it is a little dated the sentiments behind them is perfect for the season and the acting by the three mains is strong.
The Thanksgiving Treasure directed by Paul Bogart:
Addie Mills (played by Lisa Lucas) is a bright young girl living with her father James (played by Jason Robards) and grandma (played by Mildred Natwick) on the family farm in a small town in Nebraska in the 1940s. After learning about Thanksgiving being a time of forgiveness and coming together in class, Addie comes up with a plan of inviting her dad’s sworn enemy Walter Renquist (played by Barnard Hughes) over for Thanksgiving dinner with aim of ending their long lasting feud.
The House Without a Christmas Tree directed by Paul Bogart:
Wanting to be like every other family in Clearwater, Nebraska, all Addie wants for Christmas is for the Mills to have a Christmas tree in the house. Her father James stubbornly refuses as he has a painful memory from the past and refuses to pick at that particular scab. His growling does not dissuade Addie as she keeps trying and scheming every way she can think of to get a Christmas tree into the house.