Movie Details

The bane of the existence of city attorney Elizabeth Gates (Shelley Long) is the jovial, widowed former barber (Bruce Kirby) who has chosen to be a year-round Santa Claus, transforming his house into a permanent "North Pole" village and giving away free presents to needy children. Unfortunately, "Santa" is operating out of a residential zone, and thus is technically running an illegal commercial business. Elizabeth's problem is to evict the would-be Kris Kringle without endangering her mayoral campaign -- and to hide from her impressionable son Tommy (Nathan Lawrence) the real reason behind her dislike for "Santa." Meanwhile, a cynical big-city reporter (Barry Bostwick) follows the case with interest (his interest is mainly in Elizabeth, of course), and a local land developer goes into "Scrooge" mode as he schemes to tear down a landmark train station. Based on an actual 1989 court case, A Different Kind of Christmas was made for cable, airing originally over the Lifetime network on December 9, 1996. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi