And aside from the ending (which will leave even the most jaded viewer saying "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus") that's about it for the story. The rest of the movie is comprised of flashbacks, dreams, and visions (or are they?) There are only five actors in the movie and they all do yeoman's work, but I'd be remiss if I didn't point out the contributions of Hope Bikle, in the role of the mother. All of the actors are outstanding, but the mother has the most screen time and the biggest emotional gamut to traverse. Many of the scenes are just an examination of her face, sometimes behind a gas mask (!), trying to work out what to do in an impossible situation, putting on a brave face for her son, and almost always screaming soundlessly inside. Not once did I find her wanting. Not once was I bored or anything less than riveted. A stunning achievement for a film made for $10,000.
Perhaps most interesting to me is I don't think baby Jesus, Bethlehem, "the reason for the season," or a single religious icon was ever mentioned or shown. This is as purely secular as a Christmas movie can be, which is certainly a deliberate decision. This film is a Hiroshima bombing which ends "The War on Christmas" with an unquestionable victory for commercialism; a feature-length answer of "Never" to the question "When are we going to put Christ back in Christmas?"
"I'm Dreaming of a White Doomsday" is a bleak, suffocating throat-punch of a movie, destined to become a new holiday staple. (How about playing this motherfucker on repeat for 24 hours instead of Ralphie, TNT?)