Secret Santa (2003)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama, Family  |  14 December 2003 (USA)
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Newspaper reporter Rebecca Chandler, who feels she got no fair chance to prove her worth in her three years career, looks forward to a Hawaian holiday with her fiancé Ryan, but instead of a... See full summary »



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Airs Tue. Dec. 08, 11:00 AM on ABCF

3 wins. See more awards »
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Nick's plan to let fate bring his wife to him must be altered because he must replace his father as Santa Claus on December 26. Ernst, the right-hand man to several generations of Santas, ... See full summary »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Russell (as Charlie Robinson)
Victor Raider-Wexler ...
Cody Fleetwood ...
Marilyn O'Connor ...
Fiona Hale ...
Nick Pietropaolo ...
The maitre'd
John A. Keim ...
Santa Claus (as John Keim)


Newspaper reporter Rebecca Chandler, who feels she got no fair chance to prove her worth in her three years career, looks forward to a Hawaian holiday with her fiancé Ryan, but instead of a ring he brings her- walking orders, he found better. So she accepts again to be the bachelor on duty in the Christmas season, and write the annual romantic non-news feel good-story, once more about the elusive Secret Santa in small-town Hamden, where the Christmas spirit it said to last all year. Bad luck follows her from Indianapolis: her car breaks down, she can only get lodgings in a home for the elderly without Internet, and nobody wants to help her unmask the secret Santa. Soon she guesses it must be the only rich philanthropist, but the popular Mr. John Martin Carter doesn't grant her an interview and isn't tricked either, in fact meets her at the worst repeatedly without her knowing him, until he arranges to be presented at the mayor's Christmas party, then invites her for dinner and proves ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

christmas | See All (1) »


She set out to uncover Santa...and discovered the best gift to open is your heart.


Drama | Family





Release Date:

14 December 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Il mistero di Hamden  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This was Barbara Billingsley's final acting role before her death on October 16, 2010. See more »


John Martin Carter hands Rebecca the same glass of apple cider twice at the mayor's Christmas party. See more »


Russell: Giving, in its purest form, expects nothing in return.
See more »


References A Christmas Story (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

Wonderful feel-good holiday movie
16 December 2003 | by See all my reviews

Rebecca is tired of reporting on 'fluff' stories for the Indianapolis Sentinel. When her editor wants her to do a story on the 'Secret Santa' who gives anonymous gifts to people in the small town of Hamden, she doesn't want to do it, until she realizes that she can prove herself by making the story more than a fluff piece. (A last-minute change of plans also helps.)

After some misfortunes, Rebecca starts getting to know the people of the town, and she suspects the 'Secret Santa' is one of the town's richest men, a lawyer named John Martin Carter. There are plenty of clues, but getting to the real answer is not easy. She gets splashed by a careless driver ... in this type of movie, when a young woman despises a young man, you can almost predict what is going to happen.

Jennie Garth was great. Not only adorable and sometimes funny, but also determined, and quite pretty too. There were lots of good performances, including Charlie Robinson as an employee at a rest home, who, despite his image as a comic actor, gave one of his best performances ever later in the movie when he wasn't even being funny. Also good was Barbara Billingsley as one of the rest home's residents who teaches Rebecca a lot.

The movie was sometimes funny, but it was also touching. And it was appropriate for the whole family, with a TV-G rating, a rare thing these days on broadcast TV.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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