Director: Paul Lynch
Writer: Ronald Peterson, Joe Goodman, Albert Xhaferri
Stars: Natasha Henstridge, Brian Krause, Cedric Smith, Krista Bridges, George Buza
Eddie Bennett is a fast-talking, Three-card Monte dealer who has hustled the streets of New York City for the last 15 years. Eddie along with his friends, has mastered every scam there is until one day he is visited by a mysterious man who offers him an unusual proposition. He will give Eddie the chance to achieve eternal redemption for all the bad deeds he has done. The price is simple: he must transfer his spirit to a different body for three weeks. This way an aging, ailing Santa Claus, Sam, can use Eddie’s body to play St. Nick for one more Christmas. Eddie thinks the man is nuts and beside, redemption is a sucker’s bet. If he were to go through with the deal, he’d want a million dollars in cash. That’s the pay off. The mysterious man snaps his fingers and a million dollars appears before a dumbfounded Eddie. “The choice is yours,” says the man. “You can have the money or the pearly gates. That’s up to you. All we want is your body for a few weeks.” For one second Eddie hesitates and actually considers eternal redemption. He then comes to his senses. He takes the money of course. The terms are agreed upon and, at the stroke of midnight, Eddie finds himself in Sam’s body and Sam in Eddie’s. The next three weeks finds Sam bringing good cheer to kids throughout the city. Eddie, stuck in Sam’s body, counts his time in bed just waiting to get paid. However, when Eddie follows Sam one day to a department store, he sees Sam, in his body, giving presents and cheer to the children. Eddie could never imagine himself doing that. But there he is, in the flesh, bringing joy to these children and their parents. Eddie starts to question the meaning of Christmas. Maybe it’s not what he thinks it is: “Get what you can, when you can.” Maybe there is something to this redemption thing. Moreover, Eddie meets Sam’s daughter, Susan, and finds himself falling in love. Complications arise when Eddie’s friends find out about the million dollar pay off and want part of the action. Eddie must overcome his greedy friends and allow Sam his final night on Christmas Eve. Through Eddie’s wit and guile, he gives Sam that last night and finally finds the real meaning of Christmas the gambler’s way.