A teenage boy and his sister try to get their about to be divorced parents back together by Christmas. Ethan is an older brother to his idealistic and precocious little sister Hallie who wants nothing but to have their mom and dad reunited by Christmas. On a trip to the mall, Hallie falls in line to give Santa her wish, firmly believing in her heart that by some miracle, her request will come true. Ethan wanting to please his little sister, helps her.
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Their mom is dating a new guy Tony, and on a trip to the ballet with Hallie, she tries to annoy him and push his buttons. The kids will be spending Christmas Eve with their dad who now owns a diner which is his lifelong dream. The diner idea seems something that Catherine, the kids' mom doesn't really approve of, thinking that it's just one futile and childish endeavor for her soon to be ex-husband.
With the help of Stephanie, Ethan's crush, the older kids trick Tony into riding into an ice cream truck, he gets stuck there and is driven way out of the city, sabotaging Tony and Catherine's dinner plans slated for the night.
The kids, now at their dad's, have Hallie pretend that she's sick to trick their mom into coming over. Catherine sees the diner for the first time, and realizes that it wasn't such a bad idea after all. She warms up to her ex, and the kids are ecstatic.
At the family dinner to be held at Catherine and her mother's house, all seems well when Tony suddenly shows up furious and explains how horrible and rotten Catherine's brats are, thus showing what he really thinks of the kids and turning off Catherine entirely. Santa from the mall also shows up and brings back Hallie's precious pet mouse which she lost earlier in the morning. The family is back together, thanks to Hallie's wish to Santa, who apparently is the real deal.
Best part of story, including ending:
It's a simple family story of a little child who can have anything in the world but only wants her parents reconciled.
Best scene in story:
When Hallie sings Baby It's Cold Outside with grandma.
Opinion about the main character:
Ethan is a good older brother who feels it his duty to make his sister happy this Christmas.