Caroline Rhea Nails Role In Hallmark’s “A Mrs. Miracle Christmas”

Debbie Macomber’s A Mrs. Miracle Christmas Plot Summary

When a family faces loneliness and loss of faith, Mrs. Miracle swoops in to renew their Christmas Spirit, and they experience a holiday of heavenly proportions.
Starring:  Kaitlin Doubleday, Steve Lund, Paula Shaw, and Caroline Rhea
A Mrs. Miracle Christmas
Image: Crown Media

Big Shoes To Fill

Doris Roberts captured the hearts of Hallmark fans when she took on the role of an angel in the 2008 movie based on Debbie Macomber’s novel, Mrs. Miracle, where she nannied twin boys and served as housekeeper, chef, and matchmaker for a single man.
So enthralled were fans by this story of divine intervention, Hallmark transformed another Macomber novel into a movie in 2010–Call Me Mrs. Miracle.  This time, Emily Merkle posed as a seasonal employee in the toy department of a struggling retailer.
Roberts passed away at the age of 90 in 2016 from a stroke, so finding a suitable replacement fans would accept and embrace posed a unique challenge for Hallmark.  Roberts “owned” the character of Mrs. Miracle, unlike, say, a changing James Bond figure fans are conditioned to adapt to.
It helped that 11 years had elapsed since the last Mrs. Miracle was released.  Fans had time and space to let go of Roberts and look forward to a continuation of stories surrounding the heavenly help of Mrs. Miracle.
Caroline Rhea’s performance eclipsed viewer expectations.  She proved herself to be the perfect replacement for Roberts.  Since Roberts was so iconic to this part, Hallmark tweaked the character’s name from Emily Merkle to Gloria Merkel, thus preserving the integrity of the original character so fans could appreciate it wasn’t exactly the same Mrs. Miracle–a nice homage to Roberts.

Rhea is a stand-up comic and best known for her role in the television series, Sabrina the Teenage Witch. We see her comedic talents in play with the way she handles the cantakerous Helen Atwater, played by Paula Shaw.

Paula Shaw
Image: Crown Media
Helen lost her husband recently, so granddaughter Laurel and her husband Will have moved in to look after her.  They worry about Nana while they are at work, so they call a caregiver agency for help looking after her; no one is available.  Suddenly, Gloria Merkel appears at their door with cookies–the exact kind Laurel forgot to make for a work party that day.
Helen is suspicious of Mrs. Miracle, accusing her of being a scammer.  Feigning an emergency, Nana calls Laurel at work to express her grievances against Mrs. Miracle, who hears every word she says and offers a sing-song response after every false accusation.  Recall, for example, how Helen claims Gloria is stealing the silverware and advises Laurel to count the pieces–Mrs. Miracle pops out from the kitchen to announce the exact number they own.  Gloria knows just how to handle Helen, and the two ultimately unite for the common goal of helping Laurel.
Mrs. Miracle manages to accomplish many feats in short bursts of time.  When Laurel and Will enjoy a rare date night night, they return home to find the house decorated inside and out in only a few hours.
Oh, and the many large items Mrs. Miracle can pull out of her purse defies all the laws of physics!

Memorable Lines From The Movie

Helen always says, A good distraction is never a bad idea. Yes, when something is weighing on you, it becomes your complete focus.  Diverting attention from it can bring some much-needed relief.
While many of us might become discouraged by too many closed doors in life, Gloria puts a positive spin on it, saying she likes closed doors because it points you to the open ones.   How many of you needed to hear that?  That line should speak to somebody.
A Mrs. Miracle Christmas
Image:  Crown Media
People grieve differently.  When you lose someone you love, you either respond by trying to block the pain from your mind by ignoring and burying your memories, OR you find comfort and peace in those very same memories.  Gloria wisely declares, Cherishing memories is better than ignoring them.  If you’ve suffered a loss and find your heart hurting during this Christmas season, try celebrating your memories and see if it helps.
We all know the cliché, It’s always darkest before the dawn.  The meaning is clear–crisis, trauma, difficulty, or whatever hardship you’re facing often comes to a head eventually, and then life has a way of working out for the best.  Mrs. Miracle puts it this way:  Hardest times often lead to greatest moments.  It’s true!  Too many give up right before their breakthrough comes.

A Mrs. Miracle Christmas Is A Story Of Hope

Three themes pervade this movie that are relatable to a large number of people.  One, many couples want children who aren’t able to have them.  Watching families enjoy Christmas and the sound of the pitter patter of little feet can be depressing when you desperately want that for yourself.  Two, losing a loved one makes it hard to enjoy the season because it amplifies your sense of profound loss.  Three, when you’re a child from a divorced family, you may know what it’s like when a parent remarries and starts a new family and life that doesn’t seem to include you.
A Mrs. Miracle Christmas
Image:  Crown Media

 

A Mrs. Miracle Christmas is inspiring because it offers hope–something we all need.  God cares about us, and though we might not get to experience angelic intervention, we know God loves us and has a plan for our lives.
It is possible for things to turn around for good.  It is possible to shake the shackles of grief and disappointment.  It is possible for us to be happy!

One Blight On The Movie

Debbie Macomber is a Christian, and her faith is evident in the stories she weaves in all of her novels.  She executive produced A Mrs. Miracle Christmas, so it’s utterly disappointing that she didn’t fight Hallmark harder to stop them from including a lesbian couple from occupying one of the ending scenes–lesbians who were taking their adopted children to Mass, no less.   Any regular churchgoer with sincerely held faith who actually reads the Word and acknowledges the Bible as God’s blueprint for living would know homosexuality is clearly denounced in scripture as not being part of God’s design.  Shame on Hallmark for, once again, trying to force us to accept this lifestyle by making it look like gay people are good Christians too.  You can’t be a true Christ-follower and wallow in this continual sin without repenting.  Macomber should have backed out of her contract before allowing Hallmark to compromise her faith.
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