One Magic Christmas (film) Her husband and kids try to cheer up a young mother, Ginnie Grainger, who has lost the spirit of Christmas. Gideon, a Christmas angel, appears to help and causes a number of seeming tragedies in the family’s life. He then takes the daughter on a visit to Santa Claus to retrieve a letter the mother had written years before. The letter helps the mother regain her Christmas spirit, and Gideon turns back the clock to negate the tragic events. Released on November 22, 1985. Directed by Phillip Borsos. 89 min. Stars Mary Steenburgen (Ginny Grainger), Harry Dean Stanton (Gideon), Arthur Hill (Caleb Grainger), Elizabeth Harnois (Abbie), Gary Basaraba (Jack), Robbie Magwood (Cal). Walt Disney Pictures agreed to co-finance this film with the participation of Silver Screen Partners II and Telefilm Canada. Filming took place in Toronto. The Christmas spirit prevailed during the early stages of principal photography at a Toronto shopping center when more than 300 extras turned out for a Sunday shoot. At the location, 50 shopkeepers took down their current Valentine’s Day decorations and replaced them with Christmas decor. The shopping center also offered a Santa Claus Village complete with Santa, a 20-piece brass band and an all-girl choir singing Christmas carols. In the Toronto suburb of Scarborough, all the residents in a three-block radius also joined in the true spirit of Christmas and happily bedecked their houses with seasonal decorations for the six days of filming in their area. Throughout the filming, as the production moved to the towns of Owen Sound and Meaford, the inconsistent weather nearly made filming impossible, as the crew faced rain, fog, sleet, blizzard, winds gusting up to 50 mph, mud, 15-foot snow drifts denying access to country locations and, often, zero visibility. Production designer Bill Brodie constructed three major sets: the Grainger house, the grandfather’s home, and Santa’s workshop and cottage, which was filled with real rare toys, insured for $1 million prior to filming, and 20,000 actual letters to Santa from the Toronto main post office. Released on video in 1986.