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Finding Hope in the Christmas Tree: A Heartwarming Family Tale

The Christmas Tree – A Heartwarming Tale of Family, Love and HopeThere’s something magical about the holiday season, and Christmas especially. It’s a time of year that brings families together, creates lasting memories, and spreads joy and goodwill.

The Christmas Tree, a movie directed by Sally Field, is a touching story about a family that struggles to find hope and happiness after a tragic loss. It’s a heartwarming tale that will make you believe in the power of love and the importance of family.


The movie follows the story of a single mother named Julie, played by Julie Harris, and her six-year-old son, David, played by Andrew McFarlane. Julie is still grieving the loss of her husband, who was killed in action in Vietnam, and is struggling to find her footing as a mother and provider for her son.

One day, on a whim, Julie and David decide to cut down their own Christmas tree, instead of buying one at the store. They venture into the woods and find a beautiful tree that David immediately falls in love with.

However, on their way back to the car, David’s foot gets stuck in a crevice, and he can’t free himself. Julie is forced to run back to civilization to get help, leaving her son alone in the woods.

As time passes, David becomes delirious and starts hallucinating about his father. Meanwhile, Julie’s mother arrives to help search for David.

When they finally find him, he’s unconscious, deeply hypothermic, and near death. But, the tree that David chose becomes a symbol of hope and resilience for the family.

It reminds them that even in the darkest times, there’s always a chance for new growth and new beginnings.


The Christmas Tree is a movie that deals with themes of grief, loss, and hope. It is a poignant reminder of the sacrifices that soldiers make for their country and the toll it takes on their families.

It also highlights the inseparable bond between a mother and her child and the lengths that a parent would go to protect their child. The importance of family is another key theme in the movie.

Julie’s mother is portrayed as a comforting and supportive figure, and her presence is a reminder that family can help us get through tough times. Moreover, the relationship between Julie and David is one of unconditional love and sacrifice, and it shows how parents are willing to do whatever it takes to keep their children safe.


In summary, The Christmas Tree is a heartwarming tale that will uplift your spirits and remind you of the joys of family, love, and hope. It’s a movie that will make you appreciate the simple things in life, like the beauty of nature and the warmth of a mother’s embrace.

As we approach the holiday season, this movie is a perfect reminder of the true meaning of Christmas spending time with loved ones and cherishing the moments we have together. The plot of The Christmas Tree is a heart-rending tale of a family that faces the challenges of life with resilience.

The narrative is layered with emotion and compassion, and it provides a deeper look into the experiences of people who have lost loved ones in war. One of the essential aspects of the plot is the symbolism and imagery associated with the Christmas Tree, which is a vital element of the story.

The use of the Christmas Tree as a motif is a powerful tool that the director, Sally Field, employs to give context to the story’s emotional resonance. Trees have long been a symbol of life and renewal, and in the movie, the Christmas Tree is a symbol of hope in the face of adversity.

The tree that David chooses from the woods is not just a decoration, but a living entity that represents the resilience of nature. The tree is also a powerful symbol of the bond between Julie and David.

When David gets lost in the woods, Julie is filled with fear and despair. However, when she sees the tree that David had chosen, she realizes that her son’s spirit is still alive and that he’s waiting for her to find him.

The tree becomes a beacon of hope for Julie, a reminder that even in the darkest of times, there is always a chance for a new beginning. The use of symbolism is not limited to the Christmas Tree alone.

The fact that David grows up without a father is another underlying theme of the movie. The loss of a parent is a deeply traumatic experience, and it affects children in profound ways.

David’s hallucinations about his father highlight the complexities of his grief, and it shows the extent to which he misses his father’s presence in his life. The portrayal of the Vietnam War and its aftermath is another significant theme of the movie.

The movie highlights the human cost of war, including the toll it takes on families and the lasting impact on those who serve in the military. The character of Julie’s husband, who was killed in action, serves as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by soldiers and their families.

Julie’s character is also a reflection of the struggles faced by single mothers. The story shows how Julie has to juggle her responsibilities as a mother and a breadwinner, trying to provide a comfortable life for her son, despite her grief and financial limitations.

The movie thus provides a window into the challenges faced by single parents and the importance of a strong support system. In conclusion, the plot of The Christmas Tree is a beautifully crafted story that explores themes of love, loss, resilience, and hope.

The filmmakers use a combination of beautiful imagery, symbolism, and powerful performances to create an emotional narrative that resonates with the audience. The story of a mother and her son and the struggles they face together is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of love.

Ultimately, the movie reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas – the importance of family, love, and hope in our lives. The production values of The Christmas Tree contributed significantly to the movie’s success.

From the locations to the costumes, everything was meticulously planned to create an immersive experience for the audience. The director, Sally Field, worked tirelessly to make sure that every element of the movie was perfect.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the production was the use of the natural surroundings in the woods. The movie was shot in Oregon, and the scenery provided the perfect backdrop for the story.

The tree that David chooses from the woods is a symbol of the resilience of nature, and the location was chosen carefully to reflect this. The use of natural light and colors was another important factor in the production design.

The movie uses a subdued color palette with shades of green, brown, and gray to create a feeling of intimacy and warmth. The lighting was also meticulously planned to create a contrast between the natural light of the woods and the artificial light of the houses.

This contrast set the tone for the different moods in the story, from the somberness of the beginning to the warmth of the ending. Costuming in The Christmas Tree was impeccable and contributed to the characters’ depth and believability.

The costumes were appropriate for the time period, and they were also reflective of the characters’ personalities and their life situations. Julie’s character, for example, wore simple clothes, reflective of her financial struggles, while her mother wore clothes that were more expensive and stylish.

Another essential component of the production design was the music. Music is an integral part of the Christmas season, and the movie’s score was carefully chosen to reflect the themes of the movie.

In particular, the song “The First Noel” was used to great effect, especially in the final scenes. The song underscored the spirit of the holiday season and provided a fitting end to the story.

The direction and editing of the movie were also top-notch. Sally Field’s direction was sensitive and allowed the actors to tell the story in a natural and organic way.

The editor, Lynzee Klingman, created a seamless flow of events that helped maintain the film’s emotional resonance. The performances of the actors were outstanding, and they contributed greatly to the movie’s authenticity.

Julie Harris, who played Julie, gave a restrained performance that effectively conveyed the character’s emotional turmoil. Andrew McFarlane’s portrayal of David was sincere and realistic, and he managed to create a relatable and likable character that the audience could root for.

In conclusion, the production of The Christmas Tree was an impressive feat that contributed significantly to the movie’s emotional resonance. The use of natural surroundings, subdued colors, and appropriate costumes helped create a believable and immersive experience for the audience.

The music and direction also played a vital role in conveying the movie’s themes and emotions. Ultimately, the hard work of the cast and crew paid off, and The Christmas Tree remains a timeless classic that continues to resonate with audiences.

The release of The Christmas Tree was met with critical acclaim and captured the hearts of audiences worldwide. The movie’s themes of love, family, and hope resonated with viewers of all ages and backgrounds, making it a timeless classic.

The movie’s release was carefully planned to coincide with the holiday season, ensuring that audiences would be in the right spirit to appreciate the story. The film was first released on December 16, 1969, and was marketed as an emotional family drama.

The release was timed to coincide with Christmas, as the movie’s themes were closely associated with the holiday season. In addition, the release strategy aimed to capitalize on the heightened sense of nostalgia and sentimentalism that people often feel during the holiday season.

The marketing campaign for the movie was centered around the use of the title and imagery of the Christmas Tree, invoking images of warmth and intimacy. The movie posters featured a beautiful Christmas Tree, which provided a fitting visual that captured the essence of the story.

The tagline for the movie – “The story of a little boy and a great big tree” – also conveyed the movie’s emotional resonance. The release of The Christmas Tree was initially limited to a few theaters.

However, the word-of-mouth soon spread, and it became a sleeper hit, grossing over $2 million in the United States alone. The movie’s success was attributed to the incredible performances of the cast, the skilled direction of Sally Field, and the emotional resonance of the story.

The movie’s popularity continued to grow over the years, and it became a staple of the Christmas season. In many households, watching The Christmas Tree became a tradition, with families coming together each year to enjoy the heartwarming story.

It became a cultural phenomenon that captured the imaginations of people worldwide. The movie’s success also led to several adaptations and remakes over the years.

The Christmas Tree was made into a television movie in 1996, with Julie Harris reprising her role. A French Canadian remake, titled “L’arbre de Nol,” was released in 2014 and premiered at the Montreal Film Festival.

In conclusion, the release of The Christmas Tree was a well-timed success that captured the hearts of audiences worldwide. The movie’s themes of love, hope, and family resonated with viewers, making it a timeless classic that continues to be watched and loved even today.

The film’s emotional resonance and the marketing strategy that was employed ensured that it gained cult status as a Christmas classic. The enduring popularity of the movie speaks to its ability to touch the hearts of people across cultures, generations, and time.

The soundtrack of The Christmas Tree was a vital component of the movie’s emotional resonance. The score was composed by Michel Legrand, who was renowned for his ability to create music that captured the essence of a story.

The music he created for The Christmas Tree added depth and warmth to the story, and it helped to amplify the movie’s emotional impact. One of the main elements of the soundtrack is the use of the song “The First Noel.” The song serves as a poignant reminder of the religious significance of Christmas.

It’s a classic carol that has been used in many Christmas movies, but the way it was used in The Christmas Tree was particularly effective. The song was used at several crucial points in the movie, including the final scene, where it underscored the movie’s themes of love, family, and hope.

The score also contained several other catchy and memorable tunes that captured the spirit of Christmas. The piano score, in particular, was evocative and reflective, underscoring the close bond between Julie and her son David.

The score also employed subtle strings, such as the harp and the violin, which added to the warmth of the production and conveyed the emotional depth of the story. The soundtrack of The Christmas Tree was released as an album on Warner Bros.

Records in 1972. The album contained 11 tracks, including instrumental versions of “The First Noel” and other songs from the score.

The album cover featured a picture of David and Julie, further emphasizing the emotional resonance of the movie. The album was a hit and became a Christmas classic in its own right.

It was praised for its diversity and eclectic mix of classic Christmas songs and original score material, which added to its appeal. It became popular in households across the world, and it’s a soundtrack that people still listen to today.

In addition to the original album release, the soundtrack has been re-released several times. The soundtrack was reissued on CD in 1999 as part of the Rhino Movie Music label.

The reissue included several bonus tracks, such as Michel Legrand’s score to the movie’s trailer. More recently, the soundtrack was re-released as a limited edition vinyl LP by Modern Harmonic in 2019.

In conclusion, the soundtrack of The Christmas Tree was an essential component of the movie’s emotional resonance. Michel Legrand’s score captured the essence of the story and amplified the movie’s impact on the audience.

The soundtrack’s use of classic Christmas songs and original material made it a diverse and eclectic mix that resonated with people worldwide. The album became a classic in its own right and is still listened to today by people of all ages.

The enduring popularity of the soundtrack is a testament to its ability to capture the spirit of Christmas and evoke strong emotions in its listeners. In conclusion, The Christmas Tree is a timeless classic that continues to resonate with audiences worldwide.

Its themes of love, family, hope, and resilience have made it a holiday favorite for generations. The movie’s success can be attributed to its excellent production values, outstanding performances, and a soundtrack that captures the essence of the story.

Whether you’re watching it for the first time or revisiting an old favorite, The Christmas Tree is guaranteed to fill you with the spirit of the season. FAQs:

Q: Who directed The Christmas Tree?

A: The Christmas Tree was directed by Sally Field. Q: When was The Christmas Tree released?

A: The Christmas Tree was first released on December 16, 1969. Q: What is the movie about?

A: The movie is about a mother and her son who venture out into the woods to find a Christmas tree and face challenges that test their resilience and strengthen their bond. Q: Who stars in The Christmas Tree?

A: Julie Harris and Andrew McFarlane star in The Christmas Tree. Q: Is The Christmas Tree based on a book?

A: No, The Christmas Tree is not based on a book. Q: What is the significance of the Christmas Tree in the movie?

A: The Christmas Tree symbolizes resilience, hope, and renewal. Q: What is the soundtrack of The Christmas Tree like?

A: The soundtrack of The Christmas Tree is evocative, warm, and captures the essence of the story. Q: Is The Christmas Tree a classic?

A: Yes, The Christmas Tree is a classic holiday movie that has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide.

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