“A Boy Called Christmas,” based on Matt Haig’s novel, reimagines the English folklore featuring Father Christmas. The film unfolds from the point of view of a children’s aunt who recites the story of a boy named Christmas to preach the significance of Christmas trees, gifts, and chocolates.
The children’s film is an adventurous tale filled with love, courage, and hope directed by Gil Kenan.
‘A Boy Called Christmas’ Plot Summary
The night before Christmas, Matt, a widowed father of three children, is called to the office to attend to some urgent business. He leaves the kids with their Aunt Ruth, who narrates a folktale to entertain them.
Aunt Ruth tells the story of an ordinary boy, Nikolas, who lives with his widowed father, Joel, a humble woodcutter. They live inside a small cabin in the forest of Finland while trying to make ends meet. Joel’s wife, Lumi, died two years ago, but he still remembers her magical tales of a mythical land, Elfhelm.
One day, the King of the Lands summons all his subjects and requests that they explore the edges of the kingdom. He wants them to bring something magical that will eventually bring hope to the dull kingdom.
Joel decides to find Elfhelm to win King’s reward. He believes that money will improve their lives. Nikolas tries to stop him, but Joel heads north with Andres and a band of hunters. He leaves behind Nikolas with Aunt Carlotta.
Before leaving, Joel hands over a red cap sewn by Lumi. One day, Carlotta mischievously tries to burn Lumi’s cap. Nikolas rubs the cap on the ice to save it and finds a hidden map to Elfhelm stitched inside. Instantly, Nikolas embarks on a journey to the North to inform his father about the magical lands.
Did Nikolas rescue Little Kip?
Nikolas found the magical elfland, Elfhelm, but as soon as he entered the territory, the Elf Queen, Mother Dimelza Vodal, captured him. He learned that some humans, along with his father, abducted an elf kid, Little Kip. Hence, Nikolas promised his elf friends and The Truth Pixie to find Little Kip and bring him back to Elfhelm.
Nikolas, who was called Christmas, got special powers from Father Topo. He almost died in the wild snow, but Father Topo used a little magic called drimwick to revive Nikolas and fill him with hope. With the help of the hope spell, Nikolas was able to make the reindeer run in the air, just like in fairy tales. Nikolas, Miika the Mouse, and the reindeer found Little Kip in the woods, locked inside a cage. Nikolas couldn’t believe that Joel and his band of hunters kidnapped Kip.
In an emotional state, Nikolas told his father that being good is better than being rich. Later that night, Joel had a change of heart and liberated Nikolas and Little Kip. Nikolas escaped with Little Kip, but Joel lost his life. A pain that Nikolas would remember forever.
How did Nikolas become Father Christmas?
Nikolas brought Little Kip back to Elfhelm before Christmas. The elves merrily celebrated his return and decided to decorate the town for the event. Little Kip’s parents gifted their best tops (toys) to Nikolas as a gesture of appreciation. As soon as Nikolas saw the toys, he outlined that he had only had one toy in his childhood, and it was a turnip doll made by Lumi. The elves had lots of gifts, which made them happy, but the human world didn’t have any. Nikolas thought that the toys would bring hope, joy, and happiness to the dull kingdom and thus requested the elves to pack the toys in a sack.
On Christmas night, Nikolas rode his magical reindeer and brought the toy sack to the King’s room. The King was quite skeptical about the toys and the chocolates, as he failed to foresee how the trivial things would bring hope to his lands. However, Nikolas showed him that it wasn’t the presents but the intention behind them. Christmas presents are a symbol of care. It brings joy and happiness to people. And with a little belief, it soon turns into enchanting hope. By reaching one house at a time, the King and Nikolas brighten the whole town.
Nikolas’ mother, Lumi, shared a special bond with the elf community. When Lumi came to their town, Mother Vodal became her best friend. After leaving Elfhelm, Lumi named Nikolas after the elves’ grand festival, Christmas. When Nikolas left to distribute gifts and chocolates to the human kids, Little Noosh called him Father Christmas because he didn’t just bring peace to Elfhelm but also brought new hope to the human kingdom. As such, Father Christmas became a bridge between humans and the magical lands.
‘A Boy Called Christmas’ Ending, Explained
Mother Vodal, the new ruler of Elfhelm, felt betrayed when Nikolas’ mother, Lumi, left the lands without a word. She probably missed Lumi, and soon the wait turned into hatred. But Nikolas told Vodal that his mother remembered the magical land and cherished the bonds she made. She kept Vodal’s necklace close to her heart until her death, and it was proof that Lumi loved Vodal more than enough.
After peace returned to the Elf lands, it was time for Nikolas to brighten up the human kingdom. He teamed up with the King himself and distributed gifts and chocolates that brought new hope to the lands. King cherished Nikola’s act and thus appointed the boy to distribute gifts every year on the same day. The King named the day after Nikolas’ name given to him by Lumi, and it became Christmas Day. In the end, Nikolas gave some chocolates to his aunt Carlotta because she constantly desired to taste the chocolates that Lumi brought from the Elf lands. In short, Father Christmas fulfilled the wish of each wanderer that night. Nikolas believed that even the darkest nights have an end, only if one believes in magic.
Who was Aunt Ruth?
The kids were already grieving the demise of their mother, and their father had to leave them with their Aunt Ruth during Christmas. But she didn’t only come to look after kids. She wanted to fill them with hope so that they could overcome their grief of losing a loved one, just like Nikolas.
When Aunt Ruth came to the house, the family didn’t even decorate a Christmas tree, but when she left, the hall room was decorated with presents, chocolates, and a beautiful Christmas Tree. On the branches, the camera captured a necklace worn by Lumi and Mother Vodal in the fairy tale. As she recited the story, she constantly used the phrase, “You see, I never lie” for herself. The dialogue and her mysterious demeanor suggested that Aunt Ruth was The Truth Pixie from Elfhelm. She came to meet Matt’s children to fill them with hope so that they could endure the pain of their mother’s loss.
As soon as she left the house, Ruth burst a cracker in the sky, just like the Truth Pixie did in the fairy tale to help Nikolas escape. There is infinite magic in the world, and those who believe in it will eventually find it.
A Boy Called Christmas is a 2021 Fantasy Adventure film directed by Matt Haig. It is streaming on Netflix.