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Mandie and the Forgotten Christmas is the third installment in the popular series of Mandie movies. Based on the books by Lois Gladys Leppard, these films feature delightful characters and stories. Join Mandie, a blonde and bright eyed young girl who has a spirit for adventure. This film finds her starting boarding school at Miss Heathwood’s Boarding School for Girls. Miss Heathwood, the headmistress, is stern and proper and desires for all of the girls at her school to behave exactly like young ladies should. Mandie has a free spirit that doesn’t quite know what to do with all the new rules and regulations she is learning. She has a very hard time grasping and putting into practice the finer points of high society, which is what Miss Heathwood is all about. This causes her to constantly be in trouble, putting her at odds with most everyone else at the boarding school. One day, Mandie decides to go on an adventure and explore the attic. Entrance into this attic is strictly forbidden, but she is craving excitement, so she goes anyway. There, she stumbles upon an incredible mystery. However, she is warned by someone to flee, or something terrible may happen. Mandie feels that she must seek the truth, but in doing this, she must lie. If she seeks the truth and solves the mystery, she just might find the key to a long forgotten Christmas. Mandie and the Forgotten Christmas is an exciting journey that follows Mandie’s search for the answers to the forgotten Christmas.
Before being made into movies, the Mandie stories were a series of books. Written by Lois Gladys Leppard, they chronicle the life of young Amanda Shaw, known as Mandie. Set in North Carolina, the stories begin roughly in the year 1900, when Mandie is just eleven years old.
For the first part of her life, she grows up in a log cabin in North Carolina with her father Jim and her step mother Etta. Unfortunately, her father dies and she is sent to live with family friends, where she helps them care for their infant son, Andrew. After this situation doesn’t work out, she is sent back to live with her stepmother. This woman treats Mandie cruelly and does not take care of her like a mother should.
After hearing how the young girl is being treated, Mandie’s father’s best friend comes and takes her away from Etta. This man, Ned Sweetwater, is a Cherokee man. He takes Mandie to the Cherokee people, where she is later reunited with her mother. It turns out that Mandie’s maternal grandmother is actually a Cherokee woman. Here, Mandie makes many friends among the Cherokee people and sets out many adventures. Her spirit is free and she enjoys her exciting quests there. Though she is thriving on the Cherokee reservation, she is sent away to boarding school. This is where Mandie and the Forgotten Christmas takes place.
The books continue to chronicle her adventures throughout life and eventually end with her much older and attending a ladies college. The author intended to write more stories about Mandie’s days in college, but died before she was able to do so. Each of these stories follows the bright-eyed girl as she embarks on new adventures and discovers new friends. Her spirit is resilient and brave, and her courage and spark for life is admirable and entertaining.
The Mandie books and movies are Christian in theme. Throughout Mandie and the Forgotten Christmas, the young girl is often shown praying when she experiences trouble. She thanks God for the life he has given her and often asks him for help. Christianity is never explicitly stated or shown, but prayer and people who seem to be Christians pop up occasionally throughout this film.
Perhaps the most obvious theme running throughout the movie is the theme of virtue. Though she is a free spirit and does not always succeed at following authority, Mandie strives to be good. She wants to be honest and kind, compassionate and caring. She does her best to make everyone feel loved and genuinely enjoys making others happy. She is placed in many different situations and encounters quite a wide variety of different and unique people. The people that make up her group of friends are diverse, which shows how kind she is. Mandie’s heart is open and accepting, ready to make friends with whoever comes her way. One of her close friends suffers of mental retardation, but that does not stop Mandie. Though some of the other kids make fun of her mental disabilities, Mandie steps up to defend the young girl and reprimand those who were bullying her. This shows her courageous spirit and her kind heart, which is a wonderful combination.
Mandie is also proud of the fact that she is a Cherokee. She does not shy away from her heritage, but embraces it. Though her life has been hard because she has been placed in so many different situations, Mandie makes the best of it and always manages to keep a smile on her face. She adapts well and takes new challenges in stride, never letting anything stop her. Her love for life and zeal for adventure gives her character a unique depth and causes readers and viewers to be drawn to her. Mandie has a magnetic and vibrant personality unlike any other and this brings her stories to life in an unusual way.
Mandie and the Forgotten Christmas is a wonderful film that showcases the young girl’s adventurous spirit and desire to do what is right. This film is wholesome and teaches viewers lessons about life, being friends with others, and positivity.
Mandie and the Forgotten Christmas is rated G by the Motion Picture Association of America. It is considered suitable for all audiences. However, it is always recommended that parents preview all content to determine what is appropriate for their children.
Join Mandie and her friends again as they travel to Misses Healthwood's School for Girls.