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'Santa Switch' a Hallmark movie about Christmas spirit

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"Santa Switch" is a Hallmark Original Movie that premiered on Dec.7, 2013 as part of Hallmark's Countdown to Christmas programming. The holiday movie stars Ethan Erickson, Sean Astin, Anne Dudek, Annie Thurman and Griffin Cleveland.

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Christmas is approaching and Dan Ryebeck (Erickson) has recently had to close his travel agency and is struggling with feelings of failure. He remembers his childhood disapointment when he parents gave him handmade gifts for Christmas and has always wanted to provide a more prosperous Christmas for his family. Unfortunately, he is down on his luck and applies for a mall Santa job, which he feels overqualified to fill. He gets the job but does not have the proper Christmas spirit so he is promptly fired.

Dan has always chased his dreams, but as much as he strived, success has been out of his grasp. Now, he is in danger of losing his family, as he is separated from his wife, Linda (Dudek), who has filed divorce papers. He thinks that he can impress his two kids, Sally (Thurman) and Joe (Cleveland), with lots of presents, but is short of cash due to unemployment.

Threatened by Linda’s handsome and successful young boss, Trevor (Steve Valentine), Dan knows he is running out of time to win back his family.

Dan blames the holidays for his troubles, which brings him to the attention of the real Kris Kringle (Donovan Scott) who visits from the North Pole. Santa decides to take a vacation and leave Dan in charge, along with Santa's trusty executive assistant elf Eddie (Astin).

Dan enjoys his magic powers but does not really want to do the work of planning for gift giving around the world. He uses his Santa powers to impress his family while flubbing his greatest gig ever.

Will Dan learn the meaning of Christmas spirit in time to save the Christmas holiday for the family and for families around the world?

"Santa Switch" stars Ethan Erickson (“Fashion House”), Academy Award Nominee Sean Astin (“The Lord of the Rings”), Anne Dudek (“Covert Affairs”), Annie Thurman (“The Hunger Games”), Griffin Cleveland (“The Seven Year Hitch”), Donovan Scott ("Matchmaker Santa") and Steve Valentine ("Crossing Jordan").

“Santa Switch” is a Mediapool Production in association with Larry Levinson Productions. Larry Levinson is the executive producer. Co-executive producer is Amanda Phillips Atkins and Lincoln Lageson is the producer. David S. Cass, Sr. directed from a teleplay by Rod Spence and Brian Sawyer & Gregg Rossen. Story by Rod Spence.

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