Letters to Santa Review: How a Magical Pen and Hope Saved Christmas

Spoilers

How many divorced children wish for their parents to reunite during the holidays?

Using Santa’s magical pen on Letters to Santa, siblings Sam and Izzy ask for things to make their family happier again.

While the Hallmark holiday film follows a predictable arc, the child actors capture your heart immediately.

Katie Leclerc and Rafael de la Fuente play a separated couple, Rebecca and Enrique. While I appreciated that they kept up holiday traditions for their children, Sam and Izzy, part of the film, I wanted to scream at them for being so stubborn.

Neither one would adjust their work schedule or ways of thinking to fix their marriage, and it was affecting the kids.

Counselor: The idea is to get back to what made you fall in love in the first place.
Enrique: I would like that.
Rebecca: I would like that, too

Kids pick up on things quicker than parents would like. Even as the children were visiting Santa, things were awkward between Rebecca and Enrique.

While Sam was going to ask for a PlayStation, Izzy saw another disagreement and wanted something magical to bring their family happiness, but she didn’t know if Santa was genuine.

Santa must have felt sympathy for the kids and made up the story of the magic pen, which granted wishes if they were true of heart.

I loved Izzy’s childlike dreams and her belief that getting a dog would make their family happier again. Those were the dreams of an innocent little girl, and it worked so well.

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Having Camilla play “Santa” was so sweet. She loved her grandkids and wanted to bring them joy, and Noel was the cutest ball of fur.

That led to issues since Rebecca felt Enrique made a unilateral decision to keep the dog without discussing it with her.

Enrique: Honey, that’s not fair. Mom didn’t choose to get a dog.
Sam: Well, we didn’t choose to live in separate homes.
Izzy: You said it was only going to be a couple of weeks. Now it’s almost Christmas, the best time of year. You’re making it the worst time of year.

Like many disagreements, she couldn’t say no to the dog now, or she’d risk looking like the mean mom, and she already felt like he and the kids blamed her for the separation.

There was so much arguing and resentment that it wasn’t a surprise that the kids were confused.

All Sam and Izzy saw was their dad wanted to fix things as badly as they did, but he kept messing up and making their mom mad. That made them question if their parents still loved each other.

The kids thought asking Santa for flowers to cheer their mom up would help, but it only worsened things.

Camilla and Enrique’s sister, Maria, chose flowers resembling Rebecca’s wedding bouquet, so she assumed Enrique sent them.

He should have played along since he would have looked romantic, which would have sped up the reconciliation, but that was one of those times I screamed at his stubbornness and stupidity.

Both Rebecca and Enrique were suspicious of the other’s assistant, and this was one of the first times I’d seen the assistant be a platonic colleague and not an interloper.

It was hilarious that the kids even thought Liam was an elf sent by Santa to help their mother until they noticed how jealous Enrique seemed of him.

While the kids loved their mom, those kids were definitely Team Dad at helping him fix their family.

When they asked Santa to reunite their family, it nearly broke Camilla and Maria’s hearts, seeing how determined the kids were.

Izzy: Are Mommy and Daddy broken?
Sam: Are they ever going to be fixed?
Camilla: Are you forgetting what time of the year it is? It’s Christmas. Amazing things happen at Christmas.

Things had become so tense between Enrique and Rebecca. You could tell they still loved each other when they gazed into each other’s eyes, but they’d start sniping about schedules again within minutes.

The kids took advantage of that and ran off to confront Santa about fixing their family. My heart went out to Izzy and Sam.

Hearing your parents argue constantly is rough, and they started screaming again the minute they found them. Even Santa looked alarmed.

Luckily, Enrique realized something had to change before they destroyed their children.

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While Rebecca and Enrique annoyed me at times, I appreciated that their separation wasn’t because of cheating and that it focused more on communication difficulties and the differences in how they were raised.

We don’t often think that our family history affects our marriage, but it does. I have a family similar to Enrique’s that likes to be involved in people’s business but that takes care of each other. That takes getting used to if you didn’t grow up with it.

Rebecca seemed to resent how much time Enrique spent at his family’s restaurant, and she missed when they would inspire each other. He’d write his song lyrics, and she’d write her children’s books simultaneously.

They both lost their creativity when problems in their marriage began and with her book deadline looming, the stress worsened everything.

The problem was even though Camilla meddled in others’ lives, and she didn’t want people to know how the restaurant suffered after her husband died.

If Rebecca had known, she would have understood why Enrique gave his mom their money instead of becoming a point of contention. That’s tricky because you always want to help your family after they’ve been there for you, but those decisions need to be joint.

On the flip side, Rebecca learned that Enrique’s family would do anything to support her, and it was hilarious how they worked together to build the story of Santa’s magic pen based on her own family.

She realized how much her children and in-laws would do to save their family.

In true Hallmark fashion, Rebecca and Enrique reunite on Christmas Eve, and the kids got their Christmas miracle.

My favorite part of this film was the original song. Rafael de la Fuente has a beautiful piece; the lyrics were so fitting.

What did you think of Letters to Santa? Were you satisfied with the ending, or would you like to follow up with this family?

Let us know in the comments.

Laura Nowak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on X.

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