Hallmark holiday movie draws and quotes from Bible, 'organically' tells true meaning of Christmas

by Vanessa Rodriguez, |

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (Christian Examiner) -- Crown Media Family Networks has released the first movie in the Hallmark movie franchise "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" created by executive producer and Christian writer Martha Williamson of "Touched By An Angel" fame.

"Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas" debuted Sunday, Nov. 23, and is the first of four, two-hour original films. The remaining three movies are slated for 2015.

The movie series is a spin-off of the Hallmark Channel's now concluded "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" television series. The television series premiered in April 2014 and will transition from a regular weekly series on the Hallmark Channel to a movie series on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. The feature-length dramas will continue to center around four postal workers who track down the recipients of undeliverable mail that sometimes changes the course of lives.

The Christmas feature "unapologetically rejoices in the true meaning of Christmas," Williamson said in an interview with the Christian Post. "In this episode there's no question that it begins and ends at the cross."

Williamson noted that her intention with the movie was to help people get past the commercialization of the holiday and to help them remember it's a celebration of Jesus' birth. "When you celebrate Christmas it would be a good thing to remember that that's what Christmas is actually about."

But the nature of her presentation is organic and not in your face, she says.

"The love that we are celebrating is the free gift that we were given. That hardly ever gets discussed anymore," she said. "But we are quite forthright about it without being preachy. We have fun with it."

Even though she wrote it and has seen it many times, Williamson said the comedic drama still tugs at her emotions. "It's a little embarrassing to admit since I wrote it, I still choke up when I see (actor) Erick Mabius quoting the Bible and talking about perfect love casts out all fear...... It comes from the depths of what he believes and that is very moving to me — that we are once again in a position where we can not just quote the Bible, but we can draw from it to not just be entertained but to exhort and to encourage."

Cast members in the television series that can also be found in the movie include Eric Mabius as Oliver O'Toole, Kristin Booth as Shane McInerney, Crystal Lowe as Rita Haywith and Geoff Gustafson as Norman Dorman. The movie also features guest stars Marion Ross and Rob Estes.

Martha Williamson is best known as writer and executive producer of the long-running hit CBS television series "Touched by an Angel." She has won numerous awards and became the first woman to solely produce two network television dramas (Touched by an Angel and Promised Land) simultaneously.