Other reviews complain about the (alleged) wooden acting, and poor script, and predictability. Surely no one watches Hallmark-type Christmas films for the adventure or suspense. They are meant to be heartwarming celebrations of good will and the broad meaning of Christmas. This film does not disappoint, but its limitations need to be accepted. SPOILER ALERT I will try to explain why this is a good Christmas film for the family by outlining the story. The story begins in "the present" but quickly jumps back to 10 years earlier. Occasional vice-over narrative fills some of the gaps and adds commentary. A boy (about 12, in the main narrative of the flashback) is living in rural Kansas (actually filmed in Canada) with his grandparents at Thanksgiving, several months after his father was killed in a freak accident. The boy's mother has not coped well with the loss of her husband. She has gone to live in Minnesota with her older daughters who are at college. A neighbor who has a dubious past is convicted of drink-driving again, and put in gaol. The grandparents agree to help him by looking after his dog, who, usually, is left in the front yard of the man's house, with nothing to do except bark wildly at the passing yellow school bus. But as soon as the boy and dog see each other the dog shows his good nature and pleasure at having company and play. The dog seems to have no name, so, when he is seen all tuckered out after romping with the boy, he is named "Tucker". But then the neighbor is released and he takes back his dog. The boy is sad, but this was inevitable. Meanwhile the boy decides to ask the neighbor if he can have the dog for himself. The neighbor refuses, curtly. The boy's charming girl bus-companion points out that you can't get something for nothing, so the boy scrapes some money together, with the girl's eager contribution (she says she had been saving her pocket-money to put herself through law school: she is a delight, but without subtitles is often hard to follow in her soft fast speaking.) As snowing increases the grandfather (a dairy farmer) has extra duties as a snow-plow driver, keeping roads clear, safe, and drive-able. To cope with the heavy snow he trains the boy to use the snow-plow. This includes checking that neighbors are OK in the bad weather. The boy discovers the neighbor with the dog is "ill" and the boy is asked to get some "medicine" from an even nastier neighbor who lives in a trailer (caravan). This is obviously moonshine alcohol, but the boy only guesses at the murky jars he collects and delivers. Then on the next welfare visit he finds that the neighbor is comatose. The boy calls his grandmother by radio, and she calls an ambulance. The moonshine was a bad brew and seriously toxic and the man nearly died. Meanwhile Tucker had, as usual, been left outside, and nearly froze. Again, while the neighbor is in hospital, the boy looks after the dog, and when the neighbor is discharged from hospital, the grandfather tells the neighbor (rather abruptly, and on no official authority) they will keep the dog. But so far only the boy knows he delivered the moonshine, and where it came from. His conscience is troubled. Worse still, the bootlegger threatens him and the dog if he tells anyone what happened. When, guiltily, the boy confesses his part in getting the moonshine, his grandfather thinks (rather harshly) that this is a bad act, and insists that the dog goes back to the neighbor. Meanwhile we learn, as the boy finds some old photos of his father when he was a young man, that his father and the neighbor had been friends and had been naughty young men, occasionally. But the father had given up his bad behavior, and the neighbor had got worse. Eventually, the whole family comes together for Christmas. The mother realizes she had run away from memories of her husband at the farm, and that her older daughters are independent of her in their Minnesota college, so she will stay at the farm – which the boy had just asked her if he could also do. And, when the repentant neighbor visits on Christmas Day he gives Tucker to the boy, with the grandfather's approval, partly because the neighbor is turning over a new leaf and will be taking a job that will keep him away from his home for long times. Overall, the film is predictable, sentimental, occasionally annoying (the grandfather's high principles are too tough on the naive and well-meaning boy, and high-handed when he deals with the neighbor – but to some extent that reflects his age, and his grandparent and parent role within the story), but thoroughly satisfying. The whole story is told in flashback, from 10 years after encountering the dog, and at the end we see how, 10 years later, the family has progressed, all very positively. Well made, and (for me) touchingly acted, despite the predictability. Indeed, predictability in some films is part of their charm.