Miracle in Bethlehem, PA. (2023)

80% – Critics
80% – Audience

Miracle in Bethlehem, PA. Storyline

Successful and fiercely independent, Mary Ann Brubeck adopts a baby girl to raise on her own just before Christmas. Due to weather, she and the baby get stuck in Bethlehem, PA for the holidays. When there is no room at the inn, her only option is to stay with the innkeeper’s brother Joe, a quintessential bachelor who lives in a house that he treats like a barn. As Mary Ann learns the value of community by spending time with Joe’s family and participating in the local church’s Christmas events, Joe starts getting his act together with new motivation…and the two begin to see each other in a new light.

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Miracle in Bethlehem, PA. Movie Reviews

Looks Like Hallmark Got The Message

OK, OK, the storyline might be a bit hoaky: Mary, Gabriel, Natalie, Joe, Shepherd, Donkey…but it is an incredibly original/clever storyline. The acting/timing/cinemetography is Hallmark top-notch, despite this being a second-string Hallmark Movies/Mysteries production. My wife and I were saying this one should have been elevated to regular/premier Hallmark Channel status. Problem for Hallmark: this movie mentions prayer, faith, Christian religion with even the image of, gasp, a Cross! But it wasn’t In-Your-Face stuff. It was CHRISTMAS themed. Imagine that. A Christian-themed Christmas movie. Apparently, Hallmark got the message when a number of its actors and a lot of its audience bolted for Great American Channel and its well-produced/directed movies.

Delightful movie!

This was a delightful story of healing and courage and faith. We truly enjoyed it.

A nice surprise from Hallmark. Reminiscent of early years HM movies when faith was part of the story.

Loved the family support, grace in healing of relationships, and the loving way the adoption process was handled.

If your Christmas includes Christ and His birth, you will enjoy this movie.

It also addresses single parenting challenges, and forgiving past hurts.

We highly recommend this movie. It was a nice change from the cookie cutter storylines; a sweet, tender love story.

Thank you, Hallmark, for airing this one!

Now that Abbott is gone, Hallmark is free to bring back God and Jesus.

There has been a lot of revisionist Hallmark history going on and this movie highlights it. This movie is basically an allegory about the traditional story of the birth of Jesus, complete with The Bethlehem Star Inn, Mary (Ann), Joe, Goldie, Frankie, and Grandma Myrtle, an old barn, and even a Wise Man, a guy named Shephard and a dog named Donkey. The story is about a new adoptive mother (told the good news that her baby is ready for pick-up by a woman named Gabriella) who is caught in a snowstorm and has to bunk in with Joe because all of the hotel rooms are filled. In short, it is a very Christian religion-centric movie where the leads actually talk about their faith and God, and quote the bible.

Some seem to think that Bill Abbott and his GAF network somehow scared Hallmark back to faith-based programming when actually the opposite is true. It was under Abbott’s leadership that Hallmark got away from more faith-based programming. Here is a quote from him about Hallmark in 2019:

“…we don’t look at Christmas from a religious point of view, it’s more a seasonal celebration. Once you start to slice it more finely within individual religions it’s a little bit tougher to necessarily tell that story in a way that doesn’t involve religion and we always want to stay clear of religion or controversy.”

It was under *his* guidance that Hallmark started to lean towards the more secular. To the point that there were no more Christmas Carols that sung about God or Jesus. What forced him out of Hallmark was the incorporation of gay and lesbian couples and more racial diversity, not that he wanted to put on “family and Faith-based programming.” At Hallmark, he was all about keeping movies secular with no God or Jesus involved in Christmas movies. Needless to say, he has now changed his tune.

Now that Abbott is gone, Hallmark is returning to its faith-based roots with some of its movies and outdoing GAF at its own game. This movie, and many other movies since he left exemplify that in large ways and small (religious Christmas Carols are finally back.)