Today I played the two CD-i Christmas games again, and spent a lot more time with Christmas Country than I had last year. A few new thoughts:
1. I agree with you that this is a "second-rate Mario clone", although I still like it more than Christmas Crisis. By CD-i standards, it's not too bad. The only big advantage that I think Crisis has over this game is the in-game music.
2. By the review, it sounds like you stopped around level 4, but I think you might like some of the levels that come after it. There is a Level Select cheat, if you check on GameFAQs.com, which will allow you to select any level you want. There's 16 total.
3. There's also some decent bonus levels in the game, including one right after level 4. You fly horizontally across the screen while throwing presents in chimneys for bonus points. Surprisingly, it even has music playing during the bonus stages. Here's a photo I took of the bonus level:
VideoGameCritic wrote:Also added it to the Christmas special.
I agree that the lack of music in the game is a real downer, but overall I think it could be worth more than 1 candy cane for its Christmas cheer. Lots of Christmas settings and characters. It even has a lame Christmas backstory, about retrieving Santa's list of good kids from an evil elf. And you even get to climb on Santa and jump on his head....