Donation Essentials Blog

Last Christmas: A Review Through a Donate Life Lens

“Very emotional for me, but I feel like it’s a movie worth seeing as a donor family member,” said Laurie.

Laurie is a donor’s wife and an Advocate for Life from Casper, Wyoming who helped us review the 2019 romantic holiday comedy, Last Christmas, through a Donate Life lens.

last-christmas-movie-reviewWhile Laurie’s connection to donation and transplantation was formed through the tragic loss of her husband, Sam, it has since grown into feelings of hope and gratitude as his legacy lives on through donation and transplantation.

Those same feelings were represented as themes throughout the movie.

*Warning: if you haven’t seen the movie, this review may contain spoilers, so please feel free to go watch the movie and then come back to hear our take on its message.*

About the Movie, Last Christmas:

The holiday movie quickly introduces us to a negative, ‘bad’ girl named Kate who regularly engages in some questionable behaviors. She is disconnected from her family and since a recent heart transplant, she doesn’t quite feel like herself.

Through many meaningful moments with Tom, a young man she met at her work, Kate becomes more positive and embraces the good within herself. Her eyes are opened to her blessings and her second chance at life made possible through the amazing gift of life she received from her heroic heart donor.

Local Reaction:

“Of course, I thought about my situation and my husband’s donations. I wrote letters to my husband’s recipients, telling them about Sam, so they could get to know who he was. Knowing your donor, I thought, could help them honor the gift they received.”

Laurie added, “I think Last Christmas tries through Hollywood’s sensational ways to explain that connection between a donor and a recipient. I think the ending was sweet and, yes, very emotional for me, but I feel like it’s a movie worth seeing as a donor family member.”

While watching movies with a ‘Donate Life’ theme, it’s important to know the facts about organ, eye and tissue donation as they can guide you through sensationalized storylines. Getting the story right means a lot to those closely connected to the experience; like donor families, transplant recipients, living donors and wait list candidates.

Get Involved, Donate Life Holiday Initiatives:parade-of-lights-gift-box-station

Whether you’ve already watched Last Christmas or plan to, we want to know what YOU think. Leave a comment or send a message on the Donate Life Colorado Facebook page or Donate Life Wyoming Facebook page. Beyond the movie, there are even more ways you can get into the Donate Life giving spirit during the 2020 holiday season.

  • Share your #GiftofLife story: Have you been touched by organ, eye and tissue donation? Share your #GiftofLife story with us for the 2020 9News Parade of Lights event in downtown Denver. Your stories will be on display inside Donate Life Colorado’s #GiftofLife gift box station through New Year’s Eve. *Deadline to submit is 12/26*
  • #GiveThanks for the gift of life: give-thanks-camille-shivelyJoin Donate Life Wyoming in embracing gratitude as a way of giving back. Share your gratitude story and your #GiveThanks photo in honor of the special people in your community who are connected to donation and transplantation. Your submission enters you in a drawing to win some Donate Life swag!
  • Tune in to the Rose Parade: On New Year’s Day as part of the reimagined 2021 Tournament of Roses event, the Donate Life community will prepare a tribute with a floral sculpture that honors donors and healthcare professionals. Laurie’s husband, Sam will be honored on the sculpture, as will Jake Thompson, a heroic donor from Colorado. The amazing floragraphs were finished by each donor’s family and will be on display for all to see in a TV special airing on January 1, 2021.

The giving spirit can travel well beyond the holiday movies and initiatives. You can show your support for the gift of life year-round by signing up to be an organ, eye and tissue donor at or

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