Christmas by Starlight

So tonight, we have the Thanksgiving Christmas Movie night premiere! I was actually looking forward to this one because I know the lead actors co-wrote it. However, I heard Paul say on a podcast that they cut about 30 minutes of it so I really hope they didn’t cut all the jokes! We need more of these movies to be comedies! PLEASE! I need it. So let’s dive in.

The movie begins with Annie tells a couple that their adoption was approved. So, she must be a judge, then? And also, where is the kid? GUYS, HALLMARK, if you are going to feature so many adoption and foster care stories, can you take a few minutes to learn how it might actually happen? I will tell you-adoptions are a LEGAL proceeding. A JUDGE has to sign up. Anyway, she feels proud of herself.

That night, Annie looks at a snow globe at her house and wears some pretty intense snowman jams. Then she dances with her reluctant dog. Her parents (?) show up and startle her. They said they “heard the commotion.” They’re like, well you said you have a open door policy! GURLS. LADIES. She can’t possibly mean literally barge in at any time. I do think they all live in the same house though.

The next morning, Annie and her parents reminisce about her own adoption. And then more about Annie as a little difficult baby. Her parents own a diner, excuse me, a CAFE.

Some children work on gingerbread houses at a table in the cafe. What are Annie’s pants though! Wow. Are they pajamas? In the back office, Annie finds out her parents’ lease is being terminated. She is outraged. They feel like they’re stuck because the owner wants to tear the building down. OH REALLY. She is mad that her parents aren’t upset. They’ve had time to process it though.

Will shoots hoops in his office. He wants to go over the new bylaws from the city planning commission. He is just a big old goof. His dad shows up. Will’s dad is concerned he’s not paying enough attention to his job. Or, he’ll just sell this dang company instead of letting his son take over. WILL IS A STRAIGHT UP SILLY GOOSE. Did Paul get a spray tan though? Will’s dad wants someone from their legal team to basically watch Will so he won’t get up to any nonsense? So Will decides to high tail it out of there.

Then Annie shows up and Will thinks she is there to babysit him. So he is pretty snippy. She catches up to him and keeps trying to talk to him. He gives her two minutes. She gives her pitch about saving her parents’ café. He’s like, oh you’re not here for a job? Then his dad pops up out of nowhere and is like oh is this the lawyer though? So Will decides to try and hire Annie until Christmas as his pretend lawyer/babysitter. And in return for her basically taking a week of unpaid leave from her own job, he’ll save her parents’ café.

Annie returns to the café and tells her parents about the deal. They are like, WAIT WHAT. But everyone is on board with this VERY ODD SITUATION.

Annie arrives at Holt Enterprises the next day for her first day of “work”. Will greets her at reception. Annie meets Lyle, Will’s right hand man. Lyle is STRAIGHT SASS.

First up for the day is a meeting with the Historical Society. He is hoping to avoid a lawsuit over building a parking garage over some type of historical shrubbery. Annie is a little panicked that she’ll have to like, know historical preservation law. She plans to stay quiet. His strategy is “razzle dazzle.” At the meeting, Annie can’t help herself. She ropes him into hosting a fundraiser (next week) and then matching the donations. That seems to do the trick though! No one is talking about a lawsuit now!

Back at the office, Will tells his dad about the fundraiser. His dad is STOKED. Good press and no litigation. WIN WIN. Will is in charge of planning the fundraiser now as a senior VP of a massive real estate company WOULD. Annie offers up the Starlight Café (her parents’ café, KEEP UP) as the venue. Will is like, I manage $500 million in real estate so I can’t plan a party. YES, CORRECT. Annie is like, well I don’t know how to plan a party. ALSO, CORRECT. She agrees to plan the party if he’ll renew her parents’ lease. But didn’t he already agree to that? Oh did anyone mention that for some reason this fundraiser has to be in one week?

That night, Annie and her parents build MORE GINGERBREAD HOUSES. Why? She zones out thinking about the fundraiser. Her parents do more reminiscing about her child. GET A GRIP GUYS. Annie finally admits that she volunteered the Starlight as the venue for the fundraiser. They are actually stoked about that.

The next day, Will and Annie head to a tree lot to get a tree for the event. Annie doesn’t know anything about event planning, but she does know she needs a Christmas tree for a Christmas fundraiser. Annie gets a glimpse of Will’s childhood. His parents sound like busy business people so he doesn’t have warm Christmas memories. Will grabs a tree with all his might and falls into a pile of them.

Will walks and talks with a realtor along a street. He suggests a high end outdoor shopping experience in that particular location. Annie groans behind them. Then, Annie pops inside a store to get a Christmas-y dog costume. She says she named her dog Charles after Charles Dickens WHICH IS WHAT I WANTED TO DO but instead we have a “Gus.” Anyway, Will seems to like Charles Dickens too. She finally tells him why she thinks the outdoor mall is the bad idea. I DISAGREE. I love outdoor open air malls. And I hate “mom and pop shops.”

Then, they have lunch at VERY FANCY French restaurant. The investor they meet with, Ted, doesn’t like the idea of a shopping mall either. It’s been done to death in Chicago apparently. Annie takes a big old bite of foie gras without realizing what it is. BARF CITY. Also the whole menu is in French. She sneaks to her coat to eat a…candy bar? Ted follows her and asks for one. He doesn’t seem to like this place either. Back at the table, they bond over her dog. Then he invites Annie to his Christmas party. Annie decides to include Will too.

Back at the office, they talk about the party and stuff and then Will leaves for “drinks.”

The next day there is a ribbon cutting. Will gives some remarks. Annie wonders how many “mom and pop” shops he had to tear down for this new building. WHO CARES. Annie is a little judgy, frankly. Annie says she has a errand to run and Will offers to drive her. They head to a toy store. Will makes a GOOD POINT about the appropriate time to eat ice cream. Annie tells Will she was adopted at 4, right before Christmas. So she remembers her first visit to this big toy store. Will suggests Christmas Magic for the party theme. Then they decide to head to lunch.

She takes him to Eddy’s BBQ. Annie imagines him in high school. She says he was “captain of the whatever team” but there’s no way. I mean look at that guy. Then he shows her a picture of himself from high school which is somehow on his phone. He looks…different. Annie somehow has a picture of herself as a kid in a figure skating costume.

At the café, Annie remembers she needs food at the fundraiser. But, you don’t have to, right? It could be an afternoon thing with cookies and punch? Oh dear. Am I bad at planning fundraisers too? Also, who can just attend a 1,000/plate dinner with less than a week’s notice?

Will is nowhere to be found on Friday morning. He and his dad play squash on Fridays like they’re Frasier and Niles Crane. Lyle ropes in his husband to help talk about food. They remember an Italian restaurant Will might approve of. Lyle’s husband is very understanding of Will, so that’s nice of him. Annie is like best friends with both of them now. Will returns and is like, oh I can help with party stuff now. Annie is like, oh I did everything so BYE. Will says that the dress code for the Christmas party that night is “casual”. Annie interprets that to mean “wear a Christmas sweater from Christopher & Banks.” Will is mortified but he’s wearing a velvet suit jacket so what’s he talking about? GIGI, Ted’s wife has the EXACT same sweater as Annie. Gigi sweeps Annie away. Somehow, now everyone is wearing the host’s old Christmas sweaters. How did they have enough? It’s like Jesus feeding the 5,000. There is just always one more sweater and the bottom of their trunk. Annie tells the hosts about the Historical Society fundraiser. So then Ted ropes all his guests into attending. So now Annie is panicked because there are too many people attending.

Will finds Annie outside while she’s in the middle of her freak out. Annie gives Will a speech about how he doesn’t take anything seriously and how she will fix it since he doesn’t care about anything. She is not wrong.

The next morning, Will knocks over all of Annie’s garbage cans trying to…well, I’m not sure what he was doing. Annie’s speech kind of got through to him so he wants to help with party stuff. Her parents pop out from upstairs and invite Will to breakfast. They all eat waffles together. Annie’s mom has NO CHILL. Annie’s parents are all on team Will.

Will and Annie head to the Starlight for official party business. He sees a bunch of old photos of her on the wall. Annie suggests using the bookstore next door as overflow for the event. It’s vacant and connected to the café. It’s a huge mess for some reason. It should be empty, right?

Kids are STILL MAKING GINGERBREAD houses at the café. Will gives the kids construction tips. Then Gene, Annie’s dad invites him to a concert at the café that night. Annie says she has to head home to feed Charles. At Annie’s house, Charles runs right up to Will even though he normally doesn’t like new people. I’m calling him Charles but that’s obviously not what they call that dog, right? It’s definitely Charlie?

Will looks at a bunch of TERRIBLY PHOTOSHOPPED photos on her mantle. Then he sees the snow globe on her mantle. THE SNOW GLOBE. It used to have a key that made the dancer inside twirl but she lost it. They have a little mini moment.

It’s time for the little concert. Will asks what time he should come help get the bookstore cleaned up. They have another little moment.

The next morning, Annie wonders if Will is going to show up. He arrives just in time. They exchange some sass with each other. They have a whole crew there to clean up. Lyle shows up and sees Will sweeping. He is SHOCKED. Lyle is like, girl you better not screw this all up!! Then Annie says that the caterers cancelled. Lyle walks up with a to go box from Big Eddy’s. Eddy agrees to cater the event. FOOD TRUCK STYLE. Will is so mortified. Will, do you not know that’s in right now? Also, why can’t the café serve these people? Famous waffles? I mean what are we talking about?

Will wants to take Annie someplace. TRUST HIM ANNIE. He takes her to a skating rink that is just ALL DECORATED with so many trees and all kinds of stuff. And maybe he rented it just for them. Will pretends to fall as soon as he gets off the rug. He’s just goofing. Oh no. She wants him to lift her as they skate. It goes…better than I expect since they don’t fall flat on their bottoms. They do have a MOMENT though. But for real, does anyone really want to be lifted up?! I think NO THEY DON’T. Will drops Annie off at home but asks if she’s hungry. He makes them grilled cheese sandwiches at…the café? Will tells her she’s done a great job this week.

He asks if she always meant to do family law. She likes helping families with adoption. So that’s nice. Except she’s not doing it right since she’s decreeing adoptions herself with no legal authority to do so. Oh well. Good luck getting a new birth certificate for those kids!! Annie says she remembers her adoption day like it was yesterday. She was really happy to have been chosen and finally have a family. NO ONE CRIES ABOUT THAT.

Will talks to his dad about the Starlight situation at his house. His dad is like no we’ve invested too much money to change the project. Will finally comes clean about the whole situation with Annie. His dad is like, how can Annie work for us if her parents have a stake in the Starlight? His dad is very disappointed in the whole thing. But hello, why would Will do literally all the work to plan the fundraiser? Why would his dad even want him to do that? It’s so dumb. But also, Will does a TERRIBLE JOB of trying to change his dad’s mind. Take a page out of old Christmas Tree Lane boy’s book and come up with an alternative, Missy!

At the Starlight, Annie reads her texts out loud as she types, sends the text and immediately regrets it. At work, Will is worried that he can’t hold up his promise. Then he arrives at the Starlight. Annie tells him she saved a tree for him to help decorate so he could experience it. She is apparently not embarrassed any more about that text she sent. Then, she gives him a gift. His own snow globe ornament! Then they decorate the tree together. And now the week is over. Annie says it’s the best fake job she ever had. Will thanks her instead of admitting the truth.

It’s fundraiser time. Everyone is dressed so fancy. Annie arrives and Will is excited to see her. Will has an ugly sweater vest under his jacket so that’s nice. Will has a surprise for her. It’s stuff from the toy store I think!

Later, Will’s dad gives a toast. That same girl from the concert plays more Christmas songs. Will and Annie dance. Annie thanks him for all kinds of things. But mostly for….and then Lyle and his husband interrupt. Ted and Gigi loudly ask Will about the demolition plans slated for early January. So Annie is really upset. Will is like, but I kind of tried? But WILL YOU DIDN’T! You didn’t give your dad an alternative or anything.

That night Annie talks to her dad. He gives her a nice pep talk. He is not as concerned about the café getting torn down. They could just get a new lease somewhere else, right? Worst case?

The next day, Will types away in his office. Lyle brings him a gift that Annie left the other day. It’s their senior pictures framed together with a note that says “I’d have gone to prom with you.” SO THAT’S SWEET. Lyle gives Will a TALKING TO, which HE DESERVES. So Will decides to GET TO WORK. He starts by drawing on his tablet. He makes some phone calls. Will waltzes in to his dad’s office and says he can’t tear down the Starlight. He’s going to try and make it an historic site. And then he gives his dad a little speech about putting people FIRST. So then his dad asks what his pitch is. Also, no we’re not going to put people first. This is a place of business.

Will heads to the café. Helen, the waitress, is mad and announces who to the whole restaurant who Will is. Will gives a little speech about Annie, to the whole café, including her parents. Annie overhears. Annie comes out of hiding to ask if he meant all of that. And then they KISS.

Then later, the café is packed. I think Annie gives a gift to that new little girl who was adopted at the beginning of the movie (I hope anyway). Will’s dad shows everyone the plans for the street. And apparently now, Will is going to run the company. And then he makes Lyle COO! Now, get Will’s Dad some WAFFLES. Then, Will gives Annie a gift. It’s her snow globe with a key that goes with it! So now the little lady can dance around. And then they KISS AGAIN. So that’s that.

This was a fun one. There were lots of silly nonsensical things in this movie but it also made me laugh out loud a few times. I enjoyed watching it after three snoozers in a row. This one is definitely worth watching! Let’s see how it rates. Total score 6/20.

  1. Clumsy meet cute
  2. Christmas Gala (Fundraiser)
  3. Winter Athletics
  4. Tearing down a historic site
  5. Small shop in danger of going out of business
  6. A sassy and wise best friend

Good Morning Christmas

OH MY GOSH HOW MANY MORE MOVIES CAN I WATCH. For real. I just want to catch up on the Mandalorian but there’s NO TIME. So now I’ve got to tell you about this stupid movie. It was okay, alright? My husband decided to watch this with me and I felt bad because there are much better ones I could have forced him to sit through. Let’s just get on with it, shall we?

Brian and Melissa are talk show hosts. Their show is called “Bright and Merry” because that is their last names. So that worked out well for a daytime talk show name. We see their show. Melissa says she wishes for the perfect Christmas date. Is that right? Brian must have been a former NFL star. Brian says he wants to just be on a beach. Brian didn’t grow up with any Christmas traditions. The viewers also need to nominate their favorite town for…something. Brian went off the teleprompter for their show. Mel is quite huffy about that. But Brian says they’re better without it.

Their producer calls them into a closed door meeting. I NEVER learn her name. The network has decided to grant Brian’s request to be let out of his contract. They are constantly complaining about each other I guess. Though I’m not sure specifically why Brian wants out. Mel’s mad that Brian sprung that on her. Well, duh.

Mel calls to complain to her sister Kate. Brian overhears but kind of laughs it off. Brian’s girlfriend waits for him in the lobby. THEY TOTALLY WORK TOGETHER. FOR SURE.

Mel and her sister wrap presents at home. She complains about Brian AGAIN.

The next day, the producer tells them they’ll be in Mistletoe, Maine for an ENTIRE WEEK. They’re ending the week with a primetime show announcing that it’s the last show.

The whole town is there to greet them when they arrive. They are staying at a CUTE INN. Their car parks like three blocks away though. The mayor’s wife, Jenny, runs the Inn. I love the Inn. There’s a Christmas tree about every three feet. Their set is going to be in the barn. THEIR NAMES are on their doors. OMG they each have FULL Christmas trees and fireplaces in their rooms. So So jealous.

Melissa creeps in front of Brian’s door and he sneaks up behind her. The grudgingly agree to go to dinner together that night. They take pictures with fans in the restaurant. They talk about their different opinions about why their show is number one in the country. She does tons of prep and he essentially thinks they have good chemistry on screen and do well off script. Mel gets out her computer to watch tapes of potential cohosts right while they’re eating. That’s not rude. Mel’s sister sent her a funny video. Brian can’t get over the fact that Mel actually bakes! And also how rude she is being right now.

The next morning, it’s show time. They have to wear ugly sweaters and Brian is not happy about it. A young go getter named Tyler shows up with coffee for the producer. He is a huge fan and wants to be a producer. Apparently that is all it takes to get a job on this show so he’s HIRED.

The show starts. Brian decides to go OFF SCRIPT again. He takes the opportunity to joke complain about the ugly sweaters. They run through all the activities in Mistletoe and then Mel accidentally says they will be taping the very last show on Christmas Eve. Brian covers for her. Later, their producer tells them they have to participate in the gingerbread making contest instead of judging. Brian eats some of the gross candy. They work like a nice team. Allison was a baker last year, after all. Also, YOU CAN’T RACE GINGERBREAD CONSTRUCTION. The frosting has to set for a certain amount of time!!

Later, Mel asks if he has another show lined up. Mel thinks his life is SO EASY. Brian has seemingly done it all. Full ride football scholarship, 12 years in the NFL, the Bachelor and now this talk show. Apparently he got rejected on the Bachelor though so it wasn’t all fun and games. He asks Mel why she doesn’t have anyone special in her life. PRETTY PERSONAL PAL.

Later, Mel facetimes with her sister. She says she and Brian got along that day. But Mel doesn’t want to beg him to stay on the show. She is afraid of losing their ratings when he leaves and MAYBE MORE. Okay there are TWO trees in Mel’s room. Lexi from the diner stops by and brings her some food. She comes into her room and watches her eat. Also, she just MADE this for Mel…it’s not like from the diner. So none of this is creepy. Lexi hasn’t yet worked up the courage to talk to the diner owners about working in the kitchen. Mel is super nice to her. NICER THAN I WOULD BE, THAT’S FOR SURE.

The Deputy mayor/bell man from the Inn, Jake or James, offers to take Mel around town the next day. Then Mel and Brian take tons of photos with fans. Mel is kind of hurt he went and got food with out her last night. She’s like, you could have told me you didn’t want to eat dinner with me. I feel like what he did was better. Just not make a thing out of it? Does he have to tell her everything he’s doing? Was she waiting all night for him to tell her he was grabbing food to go? For heaven’s sake Mel. You don’t even like him. OR DO YOU?

Anyway, it’s show time. They read the teleprompter and learn they are participating in the three legged wreath race. ALL KINDS of surprises for these two.

So then they do the race. They are doing well but then inexplicably fall into a snowbank. Mel says his whole life is falling into soft snowbanks. But she doesn’t know his LYFE, okay?!

Later, Lexi brings Mel some cupcakes to sample. Brian shows up and asks to rehearse the next day’s show. Then Jake(James?) shows up to show Mel around the Christmas Fair. She already rehearsed SO BYE.

Mel and James chat and walk around the Christmas Fair. He tells her about the town tradition about hanging Christmas wishes on the tree. Brian watches them creepily and texts Mel that their producer is looking for her. She sees it and then has to go abruptly. Brian plays it off as a prank but she’s like, were you watching me with Jake, I mean James? So what is HE UP TO?

That night at the tree lighting, the producer tells them the ratings are BETTER THAN EVER because those stats come in like instantly every day. Also, Mel really needs to find a new cohost and look over the draft announcement. Mel and Brian get up on stage and say a few words before the tree is lit. It is…UNDERWHELMING. And TINY.

They practice the next show that night at the lodge because Brian is starting to take his job seriously. Mel accidentally admits that she watched his season of the Bachelor. Brian says he could have been more of a team player and she says she might be too bossy. YEP. Then she abruptly decides to decorate the lobby tree. Brian is like, you really love all this silly Christmas stuff. And Brian is afraid of putting ornaments in the wrong spot. They’re having a GREAT TIME. But what about Jake, I mean James! In a different movie, she would be dating James and staying in Mistletoe. Just wait James! In a town like Mistletoe, you’re bound to have your Hallmark movie love. They are all having a lovely time and then CHRISTY, Brian’s girlfriend, shows up. Mel basically BOLTS from the room.

Jenny and Mel chat later. Jenny says Christy is not staying there. Too much Christmas for ol Christy. Jenny says she has even MORE Christmas stuff in storage and invites Mel to look. She shows Mel an old carriage. Jenny wished to date Stan, her husband (and current mayor), and marry him and it worked. Mel says she’s always dreamed of the perfect Christmas DATE. Mel…that is just…so SAD. Right? I mean just a Christmas themed date? That’s what you want? Oh geez.

Brian overhears Stan and Jenny talking about the carriage. Brian wants to get it running again and use it. But SSSHHH. It’s a secret.

The next day, Mel is out skating ahead of their call time. Brian has NEVER ice skated in his life. For some reason I missed, they both have to wear ridiculous hats while they skate. Brian walks like a new baby bird on the ice. Despite needing to use every ounce of concentration on staying upright, Brian finds a moment to share some information about his childhood to explain why he doesn’t care much about Christmas. It’s unbearably sad. Mel is uncomfortable. WE ALL ARE. Anyway, now Brian just gets GIFT CARDS for his friends. The worst right? Jake/James stops by to tell them a pipe burst somewhere and all the kids’ Christmas presents are RUINED.

Christy shows up with coffee. Brian invites her to skate. She’s like, ew, no.

After the ice skating segment, the nameless producer says Mel needs to decide her top three co host choices ASAP. Choosing a new cohost falls squarely on Mel’s shoulders. I’m SURE that’s how it would be in real life. Lexi invites them to decorate stockings later. Mel gives Brian an out for the activity…kind of. Then Mel tells Brian she’s glad he told her some of his story. She says he should make some new memories for Christmas because it’s worth it. So then he decides to go to the stocking party.

That night everyone is at the stocking party. Lexi and Tyler have a MOMENT. I’ve never decorated a stocking. It sounds better than making gingerbread houses. Lexi and Mel talk about how the right person might be right in front of you and you don’t even know it. YOU DON’T SAY. Then Mel decides to help Brian with his stocking. Brian’s stocking is bad. Mel wants to bet that she can fix his stocking and win the prize. Wait, if Mel wins, Brian has to dance a “Christmas Carol” dance? What? How can he even agree to that? Brian says the one Christmas gift he got was a football so that is what’s on his stocking. But he just remembers loving to play catch with his dad. CHRISTY shows up. Brian is an hour late to meet her. Christy wants to talk privately. She has NEWS. She got them their OWN REALITY SHOW. Oh boy. I would love to watch that train wreck. Brian is more interested in realizing his stocking won the prize.

Outside, Christy tells Brian about the reality show. They are already talking about a SECOND SEASON before they’ve even filmed the first season. Christy just chatters away and Brian looks over and sees Mel laughing away with Jake/James.

Later, Brian and Stan work on the carriage. Brian tells Stan his perspective is changing.

The next day, Mel and Brian have to wear Hawaiian shirts. Then Brian admits the shirts are all his idea. UH OH. Problem. The teleprompters are down. Mel says she’s fine because she has her notes and Brian is like, I have Mel so I’m good! They open by saying they need gifts because all their charity gifts were damaged because of that burst pipe. Then Mel says he’s the best co host she’s ever worked with! But she won the bet last night so she didn’t have to say that. SHE WANTED TO OKAY?!

Later, Mel reads some stuff on the internet. Lexi stops by with muffins. Mel takes a picture of the muffins maybe to help her promote them? I’m not sure. I’m not paying attention to that story line. Lexi sees the slideshow of Mel and Brian ice skating. Lexi thinks they make a good couple.

In Brian’s room, Brian is singing Christmas carols. So he’s in a good mood.

The next morning, Mel is lounging downstairs in the lobby with a blanket. Just making herself at home in the common area of this hotel. Brian is wandering around in a Santa hat for some reason. Brian says Christy is busy closing a deal. Brian has a surprise for Mel. Brian gets them all set up to make cookies because she won’t get to make them with her sister this year. And he even made a baking playlist. Oh good, they’re going to hand mix the butter and the sugar. That’s the way to do it. Mel admits she’s struggling to find a cohost. Also, let’s talk about why she’s single. He doesn’t get it. Then Mel talks about how she got started with her job and why she prepares so much for each show. He says he is more impressed with her now than before. THIS IS A MOMENT.

Later, Mel talks to her sister and tells her what happened. Kate is like YOU LIKE HIM. Mel is like maybe I do, okay? Later, Brian says he was up all night last night making a list. It is a list of all the things he’d never done in his life before this week. It’s all Christmas stuff. SO THAT IS SAD. And now Brian wants to shop for actual Christmas presents instead of getting gift cards. I would LOVE A GIFT CARD OKAY. Then their producer approaches and says they have been doing a great job. Now Mel and Brian have to make a wish for the tree. The producer wishes that they don’t make a mistake they’ll regret for the rest of their life. Well that’s intense. Nothing for herself?

Later, Christy approaches Mel. She wants to make sure that Mel is okay since Brian is leaving Mel’s show to go do Christy’s reality show. She tells Mel what it will be about. Seriously CAN’T WAIT for that show. Later, Brian and Christy talk. Christy has the contracts for them to sign. She is like, maybe you don’t want this show? Brian is like, obviously not. This sounds ridiculous. She says she’s okay with him changing his mind. She has a back up plan. I didn’t see that coming. They were PERFECT FOR EACH OTHER.

Later, the next day? who knows; they do more of their show. Brian tells Mel he came by her room the night before but she didn’t answer. She doesn’t want to get coffee later either. SHE JUST NEEDS TO FOCUS on…STUFF okay? She does NOT want him to explain himself or anything.

Santa drives through town in an old fashioned red truck with all the donated toys. Silent night plays. Brian chases after Mel to talk to her. Mel already knows! MEL JUST SHUT UP. Brian keeps trying to explain but she doesn’t want to hear it. IDIOT. Mel talks to her sister and she’s like yeah I didn’t let Brian talk. Kate is like WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? Go like be an adult and actually have a conversation with him.

Later, Lexi tells Mel the diner is going to use her recipes. Cool. I don’t care. When Mel gets back to the Inn, she looks for Brian. But Jenny hands her a card. She is supposed to wait outside the Inn at 8pm. Oh no, James shows up. He wants to take her out to eat. She JUST misses Brian with flowers. THERE IS NOT ENOUGH TIME LEFT FOR THIS TO BE RESOLVED.

James and Mel walk and talk. Mel admits that Brian is leaving. Mel realizes that the note was from Brian not James. Mel runs back to is room and tries to knock on his door. No answer. THESE GUYS. Where did he go?

It’s Christmas Eve. Mel talks to her sister, Kate. She didn’t catch Brian the night before. Kate encourages her to try again. She should at least give him his present. Mel tries to run off to find Brian again. She knocks on his hotel door. No luck AGAIN. The producer asks the sound guy to turn on Mel and Brian’s microphones. So that is like a TOTAL INVASION OF PRIVACY.

Brian is out with the carriage. Brian asks how Stan knew Jenny was the one? Stan says Jenny has been driving him crazy since the day he met her. SO SWEET…? Stan suggests he tell Mel how he feels. The crew secretly films Mel and Brian. Not creepy. Not totally messed up in every way. All of a sudden Tyler is working on the show? They go live to Mel and sitting on the steps with her gift. Okay this is MESSED UP. Just filming these guys without their knowledge?

Then Brian shows up in a horse drawn carriage. They both apologize. What is he apologizing for though? Brian is like SHUT IT me first. He says there is no show and he regrets wanting to leave the show. Oh and he and Christy broke up, did you hear? They give their speeches to each other. Who cares. I don’t pay attention. But she couldn’t find another co host because they weren’t BRIAN. He very awkwardly picks her up and puts her in the carriage. I don’t like it. NO ONE SHOULD BE PICKING EACH OTHER UP. And then they kiss and they hear cheers. They are not absolutely ENRAGED like I would be. I guess that’s SHOWBIZ, BABY. Her gift to him is her wish? They both wish for Bright and Merry to continue. And they kiss again. And then they go on a carriage ride. And that’s it!

This one was fine. So far this week, these movies have just been forgettable Hallmark movies. So I am shruggy guy emoji on this week of movies so far. We are halfway through though, so that’s all I care about. Let’s rank it on the ol Checklist: Total score: 6/20.

  1. Workaholic (?) too busy for Christmas
  2. Christmas Festival
  3. Christmas Tree Lighting
  4. Christmas Baking
  5. Winter Athletics
  6. Nonsense drama

A Christmas Tree Grows in Colorado

This is quite the title. Sometimes, Hallmark movie titles just have me scratching my head. How do they come up with this stuff? Here, it kind of makes sense but it is still…I don’t know. Anyway, this is Tuesday night’s movie from Thanksgiving week. Like the one the night before, it is just fine. Kind of a twist on our traditional premise and another nice nod to adopting “older” (meaning not babies) children from foster care so it gets points for that. Let’s get to it.

The movie begins at a city council Secret Santa gift exchange. everyone bought each other candles. FUNNY BIT. Erin works for her dad, the Mayor. Erin gives a presentation about tourism? The Christmas tourism season? I’m not sure. Anyway, Brooklynites love Christmas and she wants to make Brooklyn a tourist destination. I must be hearing the name of the town wrong. Nope, it’s Brooklyn, Colorado. This year’s event will culminate in a massive tree lighting ceremony because of course it will. The city also just hired anew treasurer named Neil. Their poor intern found a tree but it’s no good. It has root disease. Are you really giving this job to an intern?

After the meeting, the Mayor suggests that Erin try date Neil. That isn’t a terrible idea. But at the moment, Erin has to go to Phoebe’s for a house warming party. She goes early to help set up. While at Phoebe’s, Erin notices a GIANT tree across the street that would be perfect for the tree lighting ceremony. The tree is on A SINGLE fireman’s property. Erin heads over to talk to him. Instead of asking Kevin, the fireman, about the tree, Erin leads with criticizing the snowman he is building with his daughter, Claire. WHAT IN THE WORLD?! Erin just like invites herself to make a snowman the right way. Again I ask, what in the world! Later, she posts like…part of the tree and Kevin and Claire on her Instagram. Apparently, this post makes the FRONT page news. Oh no. She posted it on the city Instagram page, not her personal account. So anyway, this is the TREE. So now she has to go get permission.

At the firehouse, the chief announces that their budget is being cut so everyone’s hours are being reduced. Erin arrives to talk to Kevin. Erin tells Kevin that his tree was “chosen” to be the tree in the town square. He’s not interested. Erin tries a different approach. She says it’s important to the mayor. He’s like, I don’t care. I HATE THE MAYOR. He wants to lay into the mayor but Erin interrupts and says he’s her dad. She says he would get paid. He’s like, so you can pay for a tree but you’re cutting the fire department’s budget? Erin is like, but the town! It’s so important! Honestly, she does a terrible job overall. Kevin, don’t give these dum dums your tree!

Back at work, Erin asks Neil about budget cuts at the fire department. They need that tourism revenue y’all!
One of Kevin’s pals ( who I learn is called Mitch at the VERY END of the movie) asks what he should get Claire for Christmas. Kevin is like, girl you tell me! I have no idea. Then tMitch wants to know who Erin is. She’s colluding with the enemy according to Kevin. It’s too bad because she’s SO CUTE says Mitch. Kevin didn’t notice. But she did leave her hat!

Later, Erin and Phoebe talk about Kevin while they shop. She doesn’t understand how he doesn’t understand how IMPORTANT THE TREE IS TO THEIR TOWN. The TOWN! TOURISM! CHRISMAS! KEVIN! Phoebe suggests spending more time with him.

Kevin drops by Erin’s office to drop off her hat. He lingers on the mock up for the Christmas display that’s pinned to her wall. Kevin identified at least 10 safety violations so far. He wishes her good luck on all this. Erin decides to “hire” Kevin as her safety consultant. He agrees to do it if he can get a meeting with the mayor to talk about their budget. And also she can’t ask him about his tree anymore. So that backfired.

The next morning they start with the layout of the space. She starts her bribing process with a Christmas cookie. I guess it’s 5 o’clock somewhere. Kevin is concerned about safety and she is concerned about seeing the tree in its full splendor. She wants festive ribbon. He says that won’t be up to code. She tells him they are really trying to drum up tourism with all this. He says he’s trying to find his holiday sea legs for Claire. Boy these two COULD NOT be any MORE different, am I right? She encourages him to go to some of the town’s events. Then she stitches some stockings at home.

The next day, Kevin brings Claire along to work. Erin is wearing a great sweater. Kevin says he’s meeting with the Parks and Rec people. Erin offers to take Claire to lunch or maybe the gingerbread house contest later? I’m not sure. Kevin tells Erin he didn’t meet Claire until she was five. He adopted her! And he was adopted when he was 8. He met her while he was volunteering. Oh well dang it. That is so lovely. So he’s just always been a single dad. He adopted her four years ago. Okay NO ONE IS CRYING. SO just stop. The mayor’s assistant is just WORKING IT for Erin also.

Then, Kevin and Erin make snow angels together without snow pants on like AMATEURS. The mayor comes out and wonders what they are up to. Kevin makes a plug for the fire department’s limited budget. He is SASSY to the mayor.

Later Kevin gets a call from his mom. His parents are coming for Christmas. Oh and they know the mayor from high school apparently.

That night is the annual gingerbread contest. You get a giant trophy for your trouble. AND IT IS ALOT OF TROUBLE OKAY?! Claire and Erin are on a team. Erin’s mom stops by and says hi and recognizes Claire from school since she’s the principal. Then Kevin shows up to help. Claire invites Erin to the station holiday party the following day. Little wingman in training! And of course, the gingerbread house collapses because they put NO frosting on the sides. And then it all has to set BASICALLY OVERNIGHT. IT’S SO DUMB. They’re decorating the roof before putting it on top? What is this, amateur hour?

Neil shows up for gingerbread house decorating and says the loser of the competition (as between he and Erin) buys dinner. Well, okay, Neil.

Kevin and his fireman buddy (Mitch) walk down the street with bags that are allegedly full of snacks. In reality they are full of nothing based on how they’re carrying them.

Erin literally runs into Neil on her way out of the office. He asks for an invoice for the tree. Yes, Erin definitely has that all taken care of. Don’t worry about that invoice, Neil! Neil suggests having a local show him around. They basically do schedule a date but she doesn’t seem to realize it until after. Then Erin looks at trees on her computer and must get an idea.

Later, Erin shows up to the Firehouse Christmas party. The fire chief says she and her husband are excited about the town Christmas events. So not everyone at the fire station are grinches like KEVIN. Most of the kids at the party are from the local Children’s Home. Kevin asks Erin to volunteer there too. Erin ells Kevin she kind of wanted to be a teacher but her dad wants her to run for mayor some day so she has to probably just do that. Then Erin has a phone call she has to take.

The woman on the phone may be interested in giving the town their tree! So that’s a relief for everyone. Then Erin runs runs into Claire. Claire says she used to live with those kids. Ugh. In my state, I’m very certain that young children don’t live in group homes. I think some teens might but not young children. If that is the case in other states, that is heartbreaking. Anyway, now it’s time for the three-legged race. Claire and Erin are on the same team. There are random piles of snow scattered around the parking lot. Then Kevin lets Erin sit in the fire engine’s driver’s seat. She has to wear a helmet though. Then he honks the horn. It’s a little startling for all of us. She asks his permission to post some photos on social media of the firemen’s party.

Later, Erin stops by to try and convince Kevin to part with the tree. She notices a heart shaped knot in the trunk. Kevin is still a NO. He suggests they decorate their indoor tree instead. Erin made them their own stockings with their names on it. That is very sweet. Erin and Claire chit chat. Then Erin suggests they go see Santa. What time is it? What DAY is it?

Claire is very excited to see Santa. Kevin tells Erin she is really good with Claire. He tells Erin that Claire was really serious and quiet when he first met her. He knows what she felt like, being too afraid to get her hopes up to have a family. And I know a little boy who used to be like that but NO. NO ONE CRIES. Erin says she’s so glad they found each other.

Later, Erin and her mom work on an exhibit of Brooklyn’s history. Erin admits to her mom that she still doesn’t have THE tree.

Kevin and Mitch chat at work. He shows him a picture of Kevin and Claire on the city’s social media page. Kevin is so mad. He didn’t think he gave her permission to post it on the city’s social media. He thought she was posting on her personal page. But no, it’s a giant picture of him and his minor daughter on the city social media page. He storms down to her office and she was like, you said it was okay? Even though I didn’t have you sign a release for me to show your child’s photo on this official town social media page. What are you whining about? Then they have a little shouting match in their office. And then they KISS. So that made me chuckle quietly to myself. Then poor Neil shows up and wants to make sure they’re on for dinner. Kevin decides to leave.

That night, Neil and Erin are out on their working dinner or date or whatever. Erin says she hasn’t been on a date in a while. Neil is like, what? He’s gay. So yeah, this probably wouldn’t work. Everyone seems more at ease now.

The next day, Erin talks to her dad and his assistant about Neil and Kevin and the tree. The mayor still doesn’t know about the tree. Erin finally decides to confess that she doesn’t have the tree secured. THIS IS DISAPPOINTING TO SAY THE LEAST.

Erin and her mom talk at the Christmas market or festival or whatever it is later that night. Kevin and Claire approach. So Erin’s mom finally meets Kevin. Erin wants to take Kevin and Claire to look at another tree tomorrow. But she makes them drive themselves! WHY.

The next day, Kevin, Claire and Erin walk around the farm. The town tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity. Claire likes that. Kevin apologizes about the tree. He didn’t feel like donating based on his views of how the city is run and their budget. And I think he like hates the mayor for personal reasons as well. Then they talk about their kiss and how that was SUCH A MISTAKE. They’re both SO BUSY. WE’RE ALL ON THE SAME PAGE NOW.

Kevin and his friend WHO NEVER INTRODUCES HIMSELF BY NAME (But later turns out to be Mitch) and Neil seem to hit it off later at the town square. Well isn’t that something? Kevin, Erin and the Mayor all talk about some of the plans for permanent vendor booths and what not. Not important to the story. Erin leaves the Mayor alone with Kevin for a moment. They have a stare down.

Later, Erin gives a presentation to Claire’s elementary school class. Now the kids are going to decorate ornaments for the town tree. Erin’s mom says she’s a natural with kids. Maybe she is in the wrong line of work! Now we have a kid ornament decorating montage.

Kevin and the Mayor are talking about cost saving measures and stuff. When Erin returns, the mayor and Kevin are basically best friends. They show Erin the half heart best friend necklaces they purchased. Erin asks to buy Kevin a drink! OKAY. Kevin says he and the other firefighters used to do trivia at this place they’re at. Back in his day, he used to always go see concerts all the time. She did too! Erin says she feels like she has to follow her dad’s footsteps. Kevin thinks her dad would be supportive if she changed careers.

The next day, there is a bad article about the mayor. IT IS ABSURD. No one in that town would care even a little bit nor would they blame the mayor for not getting a tree. Right? That’s very silly.

So now everyone is VERY STRESSED about the tree and the event. There is apparently even buzz from DENVER GUYS. Erin and Kevin run into each other while Christmas shopping. Erin knows EXACTLY what to get Claire for Christmas. She directs Kevin to magician’s kits. Erin blabs to her friend that they kissed! Kevin returns with the perfect magic kit. Later, Kevin wants to focus a little on his personal life. He is planning to go out with the firehouse boyz and Erin offers to babysit for him.

Erin and Clare have a fun little cookie baking montage that night while Kevin bros out with his bros. When Kevin returns, he gets a notice that the city is basically taking his tree via…what, eminent domain? Erin is shocked they would use this “local eminent domain” law for the tree. Kevin thinks Erin is behind this. Erin is like, GIRL are you for real right now? And Kevin is just straight sass. KEVIN. Also, no none of that would really happen so that’s where we are.

Later, we learned that somehow the INTERN and the city counsel’s office has taken this eminent domain action behind the mayor’s back. So he didn’t know either. But the mayor is like…well I’m not that mad. I wanted that dang tree.

Later, Erin somberly looks at pictures of Kevin and Claire on her phone. Kevin does the same at his house. Even more somberly, he looks at Clare’s handstitched stocking.

The next morning, Erin angrily drops off presents for her parents. The mayor can’t do anything to stop the plans for cutting down Kevin’s tree. Her mom is like, he’s just doing what’s best! It’s just the government casually violating someone’s private property rights! What’s the big deal? The government is just doing what they think is best! Trust them!

Kevin’s parents arrive for Christmas. Kevin tells them their tree is going to be lit. His parents are STOKED. What an honor, they say.

At work Erin has to review some rezoning plans. Or does she?

The tree cutting crews show up to cut down Kevin’s tree. He decides against chaining himself to it. SAD. So, the article Erin was supposed to be reviewing is about “heritage protection laws” which the nice assistant thought might interest her. As they’re literally about to start cutting, the crew chief gets a call and he stops everything. The mayor’s office called and tells them they learned the land is eligible for “heritage protection.” Nice work Erin.

Erin shows up to the city center and see’s Kevin’s tree standing up there. She is very confused.

At Kevin’s house, the news is talking about the most spectacular tree lighting in the state’s history. In this town. So, yeah. Erin and her dad talk. Then Erin decides to quit the mayor’s office. She doesn’t like how all of this went down. She wants to be a teacher. The mayor says he just wants her to be happy. Oh and she thinks she missed her chance with Kevin. She probably did.

Later, the mayor goes to Kevin’s house. The mayor tells Kevin that Erin didn’t know about the tree business. He also promises to reinstitute the fire department’s budget. Wait, why is Kevin still being such a bumble bee about the tree if he allowed them to cut it down.

Mitch shows up and Kevin asks him to take his family to the tree lighting. He thinks Erin is dating Neil. Mitch is like, um…she’s definitely NOT dating him. Kevin is like, how do you know. Mitch is like.. I KNOW OKAY. Anyway, Kevin still watches from home.

Erin gives that same old Hallmark speech at the tree lighting. Kevin remembers all their times together over the last two weeks. At the tree lighting, people all hang ornaments. Then Clare approaches Erin and gives her a hug. Erin is bummed that Kevin isn’t there. BUT THEN he shows up. They apologize to each other. BUT REALLY KEVIN NEEDS TO. He didn’t come to see the tree. WHO CARES ABOUT THAT DANG TREE. It’s cut down now. Let’s move on. They light the tree. Everyone claps. Erin and Kevin hold hands. And then THEY KISS. Mitch and Neil hold hands at the tree lighting too. And that’s the end!

So, this was a perfectly fine middle of the road Hallmark movie. It was a kind of different story but you know, ultimately it’s the same old thing, right? So it was fine. Let’s see how it ranks. Total score 7/20.

  1. Single parent
  2. Christmas Festival
  3. Christmas Tree lighting
  4. Christmas baking
  5. Tearing down a historic landmark (kind of)
  6. Someone not working in their dream job
  7. Christmas montage

Heart of the Holidays

I was not optimistic about this one. I was sure it was going to just be a dud. Or just a filler. The preview made it seem like just your cookie cutter Hallmark movie. And spoiler alert: IT IS. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Our lead, Sam, is on her blue tooth earpiece trying to slay deals while changing her clothes. She works while she works out. She works, works, works. She is starting a new job tomorrow and taking all her clients with her. Is that legal? I’m not sure it is. She passes out on her yoga mat after she exercises. Then, her boyfriend shows up. She forgot about their date because she was just slinging deals 24/7. This poor guy. Guess what, HE’S A BUSY BUSINESSMAN TOO. He places a ring box on the counter and she kind of panics. But his phone keeps buzzing. He’s like, trying to propose and then takes a work call. WHAT. Okay I’m not rooting for him anymore. And NOW, he’s leaving for an urgent work meeting. But she should open the ring box first. Nope, not a ring. It’s a necklace from Germany. So there we go. Yikes, okay their date is postponed until tomorrow.

The next day, Sam heads to her new job. Her mom calls and asks if she’s coming home for Christmas. She is TOO BUSY FOR CHRISTMAS. This is a HUGE OPPORTUNITY TO CLIMB THE LADDER, MOM. She gets distracted by a homeless man across the street. No matter, it’s busy business person time.

She walks in and sees a bunch of people leaving with like, their personal effects. A BUNCH OF PEOPLE. She knocks on the CEO’s door. He’s busy hanging himself. Oh, wait no, her boyfriend Will is there. You know that deal Alec was working on? It was an acquisition. He had no idea until after he left her house last night. And they IMMEDIATELY made cuts. Like, fired a bunch of people with no notice. Also Will is her new boss now. But Will is like, who cares what anyone thinks. We can still date and no one will think you kept your brand new job because of me. She is super bummed. She says she needs time to think AWAY from Will. It’s JUST BUSINESS SAM!

At home, she stares at the necklace still in it’s box. Dude, I’ll take it if you don’t want it. I don’t care that it’s from Will. She decides to head home for Christmas. We get to see another beautiful scenic drive. Is that the same shot from the last 19 movies?

SURPRISE, MOM! She is so happy. Of course. Sam is not honest with her mom about her job circumstances. Sam immediately gets roped into baking cookies the following day. But FIRST, it’s tree time. They need Santa hats and hot chocolate for this excursion.

It’s dark by the time they actually head out to get their tree. A young guy, Noah, brings an older guy a sandwich at the tree lot. But he can’t eat it because his wife is making brisket for their anniversary. How sweet.

Sam and her mom head to the tree lot in their Santa hats. The mom asks Sam about Will. He is welcome to join them! He’s too busy. Sam says things are complicated with Will. Then Sam’s mom reveals they are heading to “Noah’s Café” for a tree. Sam is kind of panicked. Her mom is like, you should probably talk to Noah sometime. It’s been 8 years for heaven’s sake.

At the Tree Lot, Sam suddenly doesn’t want to wear her hat. GIRL SAME. Bob has no chill and calls Noah right over to say hi. He just stands there kind of frozen for a moment. Sam is like totally melting down inside. He says “Welcome Back” to her. It is SO UNBEARABLY awkward I want to die. But Noah does remember that Sam hates cranberries, so that’s nice. The olds leave Noah and Sam to catch up. Everyone is so uncomfortable. He tells her to enjoy her hot chocolate and she says YOU TOO. BUT HE DOESN’T HAVE ANY. OH Sam, but you just got here. I’m so sorry you have to leave and change your name and start a new life now.

The next morning, Sam’s mom is waiting at the bottom of the stairs with hot chocolate. That’s NOT creepy. Sam says she was going to wait until after she goes running. Her mom is like, no you’re not doing that. Let’s decorate the tree instead. Her mom still has ornaments from 1995. Well duh. My mom still has some from (cough)… earlier than that. Her mom is like, boy that was unbearably awkward last night right? But she’s optimistic they can get over that. It sounds like Sam’s dad died. Her mom says he was always so busy…Sam reflects on that and then learns NO LESSONS because she says she has to respond to some emails. Isn’t she out of work though? What emails?

At the Cafe, Bob’s wife, Val, is PLAYING WINGMAN HARD for Noah. Any available woman in town. Marina, the bookstore owner, asks Noah on a coffee date. Oh, poor Marina. She would be perfectly lovely for him at any other time. He asks if he can let her know! OUCH. Oh my heart hurts for Marina.

At home, Sam reads her emails out loud as she types them. Sam’s mom comes in with a fabulous Christmas sweater and tells her they’re already late for the Bake A Thon…at NOAH’S CAFE. Will he be too busy for coffee with Sam? The theme for this baking event is ugly Christmas sweater. Sam’s mom has her covered. Will calls. Sam ignores it. And then she kind of runs into Noah. Noah literally tossed a bag of flour at her to carry into the cafe.

Sam runs into a very pregnant Tessa. Tessa is not finding out what this third baby is. Two boys so far.

Val puts her foot in her mouth as they reminisce when they all last saw Sam. Then she meets Marina. Noah offers to take her coat. Wait why doesn’t Noah or Marina have an ugly sweater on? Sam is very self conscious about her sweater. Noah isn’t wearing a sweater because he is not going to stay and help them bake I guess. Sam definitely feels out of place.

Outside, Noah chats with Tessa’s husband. Their boys are animals. I get it. He talks to Noah about Sam. She looks like such a New Yorker! She is outside making phone calls trying to get a new job. It doesn’t seem to be panning out. Tessa finds her and asks if she loves New York. Sam says she does sometimes. But she does miss home too. But she’d never consider moving back. She doesn’t think she fits here anymore. Also New York has the best “take out.” Like, what? ALL of it? Like all the food that is available to take out? Tessa says she’s always been content to live in their hometown. But does your hometown have “TAKE OUT”, Tessa?

Back inside, they are already decorating the cookies. Sam continues to not help. But also, like no one would want me decorating cookies either. Tessa asks her to just do the base layer. TESSA! EVEN THAT is hard, okay? Can’t we just be okay with them tasting good? Marina makes a PERFECT one. Sam wonders if she and Noah are…no they’re just friends. Tessa just eats all the cookies and helps Sam salvage her big mess up.

Noah walks in to see Sam at the sink. Boy I am SO UNCOMFORTABLE. Noah tries to break the ice. They reminisce about her difficulties with boxed mac and cheese. She says, Noah we have to talk about “it.” But he says no and tries to bolt. He found out she moved to New York from VAL. But she had to move?! She knew if she told him face to face she wouldn’t be able to go. So that’s still not great. He says it’s water under the bridge but it is so CLEARLY NOT. Marina comes in and ruins everything by forgetting her scarf.

At home, Noah looks through an old recipe book. He has an ornament on his tree that says N&S so maybe it’s not all water under the bridge.

Sam checks her email. No new messages. No one wants to hire her apparently. She is wearing a CUTE sweater though so that’s something. Her mom is working on a wreath. Something is bothering Miss Sammie Sam. She’s just thinking about…everything she says. ALOT of MEMORIES MOM. No luck so far patching things up with Noah. He doesn’t really care says Sam. Sam’s mom says she should offer to help him deliver the baked goods. Her mom will be home rolling Phyllo dough…but she pronounces it “FEEL-O.” Is that right? I say “FILE-O.” Embarrassing.

Sam heads to the café. She runs into Val, Bob and Noah carrying a GIANT gingerbread house. Sam steps in and gets right in Noah’s face trying to save it from dropping. She tries to give him a wreath as a peace offering. Then, she offers to help him do deliveries but he doesn’t want her to help. She doesn’t give up. She admits that she doesn’t have a job right now. It’s a long story. He relents and lets her help him. As they load up the truck, she gives Noah the story of what happened with her new job. Noah says it sounds like she did the right thing. But no one is returning her calls or emails so did she, really?

Noah tells her that people were hit hard in their hometown. The “plant” closed down and a lot businesses went under so a lot of people in town need the food bank. They head to the food bank and there is a FOR RENT sign in the window next door.

Noah offers to fix the the fridge at the food bank venue. SHOULD BE EASY. The woman from the food bank, Carol Ann? tells Sam that Noah’s Café almost went under and now he’s become a cornerstone of the community. Then she thinks that the two cookies Sam decorated melted. GREAT.

Noah and Sam look around and find a circuit breaker. The fridge is on it’s own circuit…and there are only two others. Noah can’t get the fridge circuit to reset. Sam tells Noah she started out in New York at a nonprofit but it went under and had to find a job so she ended up taking a job in finance. So did she just move there with no plan? Did she really like get a job all lined up and then not tell her long term boyfriend? Just straight up ghosted him? And we really expect him to like…. RECOVER? No.

Then Sam comes up with a great idea for the food bank to give people a good Christmas experience when they are getting things they need. At home, Sam gets to work. She just has a second wind of energy. Sam’s mom comes up with a great name for the event… hey, wait. That’s the name of the movie. Everyone is excited to help out. Bob is going to be Santa and donate trees. Tessa and her husband are in, even though Tessa is two days overdue. Tessa is in a group chat with moms from FOUR COUNTIES? HARD PASS. The notifications must never end? Can’t that be a Facebook group? Anyway, Tessa is in charge of the toy drive.

Sam wears another great sweater. Marina shows up at the café with a bunch of books! Marina offers to help more. Oh, sweet Marina. Can’t we find her a guy? Why can’t she be annoying and aggressive? Noah asks to get something to eat with Sam. They walk through a door to his house since he lives right on the other side of the café. Sam asks him if he’s dated anyone and she wonders if he wants to date Marina. He deflects. Then she notices the ornament on his tree that says N&S. She hasn’t ever seen it because HE NEVER HAD A CHANCE TO GIVE IT TO HER. But he kept it and put it on his tree every year so that’s not weird. HE LIED ABOUT BEING WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE. Sam feels a little happy about this information.

Will annoyingly clicks his pen in his office and wears suspenders. He googles how long it would take to drive to Sam’s town. Meanwhile, Sam and Co are decorating the event space. Tessa is an AMAZING painter. An anonymous donor donated A BUNCH of food. Was it Sam? I honestly am not sure. And now we have an unpacking and decorating montage. Then Bob shows up dressed as Santa.

The woman from…City Hall, Carol Ann? gives the attendees instructions for the event. Sam takes in all the activity. I think she is quite pleased with herself. She and Noah smile at each other. The woman from City Hall tells her she needs someone like Sam working at the food bank full time. OH, DOES SHE?! Then Sam and Noah have a moment. But WILL shows up. How did he know? Will is like STRAIGHT SASS. Dude she said he wanted space. He had to come talk to Sam about the whole “work fiasco.” Will has a job opportunity for her. It would be the PERFECT FIT for her. But there’s an interview TOMORROW. Wait, isn’t that Christmas Eve though? No one is EVER interviewing people for new jobs on Christmas Eve! Sam talks to Noah briefly. He tells her he wants her to stay but he says she has to see what the job is about first. I mean, she should at least take the meeting, right?

At home, Sam’s mom stares at the photos on their mantle. Then Sam comes downstairs with her bags packed. She says she’s so sorry about all of this. Now Sam is really leaving her mom alone on Christmas Eve. She does have to go see what the job is all about and obviously the interview has to be on Christmas Eve. Her mom says her dad was a busy business boy but it came at a cost. No one is learning any lessons.

At Noah’s house, he looks longingly at that ornament.

Back in NYC, Sam waits for her interview. In the interview, she says this would kind of be her dream job. She gives a little speech. Later, she sits at her house and Will arrives. He got them dinner reservations. But she says the person she was before is not the real her. She wants to go home. She gives him the necklace back. And everyone spend Christmas Eve alone I guess.

The next morning, Christmas Day, Val and Bob arrive to Sam’s house. Val just chatters away. OH!! Marina and Jeremy were chatting at the bus stop! Okay good. And then Sam shows up! She is moving home. Her mom is like, oh…here? Are you going to look for your own place though? Soon? Sam never wants to miss another Christmas either. But we can just play all of this living at my house by ear, okay Sam? Then Tessa calls Val to tell her she had a girl. Okay that’s great but now she’s going to have to have another girl. Because you can’t have just ONE!! Alright so now Sam has to go get Noah back. Val and Sam’s mom cheer and Bob is like, go get who back?

Sam literally sprints all the way to the food bank. She runs into Carol Ann and they kind of work out that she will work there. Where the double H is Noah! Oh he is dropping off all the wreaths and a gift at her parents’ house. How is it night already? And then Sam shows up! She tells him it’s not going to work out in New York. I think she is asking him to move in with her? She talks about her memories or something and blah blah blah they KISS. All the olds open the door at that moment and then think better of it. THEY LOVE EACH OTHER. And that’s it.

So yeah this is your standard fare Hallmark movie. It was fine. Everyone was likeable I guess. But it really is your stereotypical Hallmark movie. So if that is what you came here for well, then this is for you. Let’s check it against the checklist though! Alright so 8/20! Pretty high score!

  1. Small town person who loves the small town and hates the big city
  2. Workaholic too busy for Christmas
  3. Christmas festival
  4. Christmas baking
  5. Christmas puns
  6. Someone working in a corporate job and FORGETTING their dream, right?
  7. A sassy and wise best friend
  8. A Christmas montage

A Godwink Christmas: Second Chance, First Love

Okay, so tonight is the third (?) in Hallmark’s “Godwink Christmas” series. I suppose it’s a nice idea to turn real life stories into Christmas movies…but, I don’t know. Whatever It’s fine. I am going to give this movie a couple extra undeserved bonus points for taking place in a state and town close to my heart though!

We begin the movie with an ABSOLUTELY necessary explanation of what a “Godwink” is. I was raised in Christian culture and the first I ever heard of this word or expression was through Hallmark movies. So there’s that. TKathie Lee doesn’t read the explanation this year though. Brooke does!

Our lead, Margie, is a busy business woman. But she’s nice so it’s okay. She gets a phone call from her assistant. Margie can’t help herself from stopping at one of her company’s cute little stores on her way to work. The assistant is busy decorating her office for her.

Meanwhile, Pat and his two sons have just arrived to the Boise Airport from Hawaii. They are moving back and are planning to stay with Pat’s mom.

Margie looks for her earrings at her house. Her earrings are constantly falling off her ears…Girl, get some better earring backs!! She gets to her office and her assistant finds her earrings. And there’s a Cally?!! I can’t deal. I swear she says Cally here, but later it’s clearly “Kelly.” It’s fine. The boys head to their grandma’s house. The oldest boy gives his grandma an obligatory hug. It takes the little boy, PJ, the promise of Santa shaped pancakes to go inside. Kids, am I right?

Margie heads to her manager’s meeting at C.Co. Her boss has a side job for her with Scott. Scott has been doing a great job in the field with sales. But he hasn’t been at HQ. Margie has to give Scott the lay of the land. Scott gets to stay in Boise so he won’t have to drive an hour and a half back and forth. They both seem elated about this news for some reason.

Back at grandma’s, the little boys don’t know what earmuffs are. Actually, my boys probably wouldn’t either. The dad thinks maybe they should go shopping the next day for…what? winter clothes? And they are going to get a tree as well. They shipped all their special ornaments and stuff. And Santa pancakes and whipped cream isn’t every day right? Right, winks the grandma.

Margie and Scott talk outside about this new pairing. Oh, they’re dating. Yikes, Hallmark. They are very excited that they get to work together. OKAY. VERY BELIEVABLE, THESE TWO.

Pat has a heart to heart with his mom about moving from Hawaii back to Boise. He sold his company in Hawaii but apparently still needs to work or immediately find a job. The boys’ mom lives in San Francisco. So, this move makes no sense if the goal was to get the boys closer to their mom as well. Why didn’t they move closer to her? They’re basically just as far away as they were in Hawaii! And Pat has the boys full time. Interesting. Anyway, the dad has to go get fancy toothbrushes. Pat’s mom lets him borrow her very fancy old car with a wreath on it. What is happening.

In the car, he sees a photo booth reel from his seemingly his teenage years.

Back at C.Co, Scott asks Margie why she goes to all the stores so often. She started working at one of their locations in high school and college and worked her way up. They are trying SO HARD to seem like they would want to date each other. Instead of going out to lunch together, Margie offers to go get a very disgusting sounding salad for them for lunch. I would be so bummed out about a lunch like that.

Pat slammed on his breaks and then finds a tree charm on the floor of his car. He says, oh Margie, I found your Christmas tree charm. He flashes back to maybe a holiday dance where she is wearing it on a bracelet.

Margie is driving behind him and yells at him because she recognizes his car. They pull into the Boise Christmas Market. I WISH. They kind of catch up very briefly. Pat says his company got bought out and she is surprised. He gives her the Christmas Tree ornament. Wait, she dropped it during prom? Why would she have a Christmas Tree charm on? Pat is right that she is a fancy business person. She is a regional vice president. He reveals he’s a dad. He is the primary parent because his ex-wife travels so much for work. He asks if she wants to get coffee sometime.

Back at home, Pat tells his mom about the encounter. It was so weird, right? To run into Margie on the very day he comes back to town?

At the office, Margie reminisces about prom too. Apparently, Pat went to Hawaii right after high school. Margie thought he should go to college. Margie heads back to the Oak Street store. She talks to the manager there, Carmen, about Scott. The manager is like, you don’t even like Scott do you? NO, obviously not. Then Margie is like, also Pat Godfrey is in town! The manager is like, girl! Get it.

The boys do some Christmas baking with their grandma. Pat sneaks 3 plain cookies. WHAT A WASTE.

Pat asks if he can go out for a little bit after the boys go to bed. He wanders the Christmas market alone and RUNS INTO MARGIE again. Margie buys Christmas lights at this market. Why doesn’t she go to Lowes? Sheesh. He offers to help her put up lights.

At Margie’s house, Pat tells Margie he loved Hawaii but a lot of things changed over the years. He got a divorce, his dad died and he sold his business. After they get the lights on, she invites him in for hot chocolate. She has a Christmas record playing. He recognizes his candy cane ornament on her tree. Margie doesn’t spend Christmas with her parents because they are in Arizona…that doesn’t add up. She finally tells him she has a boyfriend. So he’s like, okay I better go. Then they hug for a long time.

In the morning, Pat is in a good mood. His boys are up and the grandma got them working on a little ornament assignment. He fills his mom in on his evening with Margie.

Margie fills Carmen in on her evening too. Then the boys facetime with their mom. Pat’s mom suggests he call someone she knows who works for the Seattle Parks Dept. Where do they think Boise is?

Then, Margie hears from her assistant that they are grooming Scott for a job in the Midwest! Uh oh. He might move then. Scott is like, what do you think? Are we good at long distance or is there anything here? There is probably NOTHING there.

Pat and the gang head to the tree lot. The boys run around and Pat talks to his mom about his job prospects. Nothing is panning out in the one day he’s been there. He considers working at the printing shop where his dad worked. Everyone seems oddly bummed about that. Margie runs into Pat again! She meets his boys. She was buying vegetables there? What? Then they embarrass EVERYONE by doing the electric slide. The sweet little boys invite her to join them. Their special ornaments are stuck in shipping though.

Margie runs into the office frazzled about gift baskets for clients. She talks to her boss about how Scott is doing at work. Her boss wonders if she has a pattern in her dating history. She never lets people get too close. We all agree Scott isn’t the one.

That night, Margie has dinner with Scott. She shares that her parents are kind of distant and cold. So THAT makes way more sense. C.Co is more of her family than her parents. She says she would love to work with the company but she could probably leave Boise. He interprets that to mean she might move with him.

The next day Margie gets a phone call from Eddie, who she got the gift basket for. She is very excited. Oh, Eddie works for a shipping company. She got their ornaments I bet! Oh and she lost an earring AGAIN. And somehow, she even had time to wrap the shipping boxes.

The boys are all outside making snowmen. Pat seemingly coaches everyone instead of helping and poor Margie is stuck rolling the base. And now we have a snowball fight. Pat has to finish making the snowmen while the rest of them all have cookies and hot chocolate.

Inside, she lets the boys open the gifts. What do you know, they’re their ornaments. Now it feels like Christmas to PJ. Then they all decorate the tree. Afterwards, Margie catches up with Louise, Pat’s mom. Margie says she adopted a lot of their family traditions for herself since she didn’t have any of her own growing up.

Pat tells them there might be a job at his dad’s old printing shop. Margie is like, no you shouldn’t take the printing shop job! You should do adventure tours. Then the boys’ mom calls and Margie kind of panics. She’s like, I feel like I’m intruding. Margie and Pat chat a little outside. She says it feels like no time has passed. But she doesn’t really want to get in the middle of his whole life. So BYE FOREVER!

Later, she chats with Carmen about all this. She is like, I guess I could just keep trying with Scott…Oh Margie, let’s just end that whole charade. And then Margie and Pat both separately reflect on if they had stayed together.

At work, Margie looks at old photos of her and Pat. They seemed to have only taken pictures at that one prom. So then Scott tells Margie that they aren’t grooming him for the Midwest. They wonder if maybe they are grooming him for her job. Margie gets kind of stressed out thinking that must mean she’s getting fired. Because of course a company would fire you with no warning after you’ve worked there for like 15 years.

At a coffee shop, Pat preps for an interview. He reaches for his coffee order when they call out an order for “Pat” but another guy reaches for it too! It’s the Pat that works for the Parks Dept. in Seattle! They decide to chat.

Back at work, Margie kind of just quietly melts down. She’s certain she’s getting fired. But Margie, that makes no sense.

Pat tells his mom that he did get offered a job…but it’s in Seattle. He just uprooted the boys to Boise! His mom seems to think all of this is a Godwink. And then she explains all of that.

Then Jon comes down and says their mom is coming for Christmas. Oh boy. They need to go shopping because they didn’t get her a present. They head to the Oak Street C.Co store. Margie suggests a $12 card for their grandma. The boys invite Margie to join them at the Christmas market for snowball cookies. I’m in!

Pat picks out a gift from the market while the boys dominate Margie at the beanbag toss. Margie picks out a gift for Pat too. PJ tells his dad he likes Margie. Margie is emboldened by their fun evening and says she’s not going anywhere.

The boys arrive home to find their mom. She drove straight through to see them. She tucks them in. Does everyone feel as awkward as I do right now?

Pat and Casey wrap presents downstairs. She asks about Margie and points out how hard they worked to get along. Okay. That’s good. Casey met someone and wants to introduce him to the boys. Casey thinks he’s the one. After Casey leaves, he finds Margie’s earring in the driveway.

Margie shows up at their house the next day with the boys’ gifts. Pat walks out in his jammies. Pat wants to go on a drive with her. I also think he should change out of his jammies. They go on a little hike and sit and look at the view. They both wonder what would have happened if they had decided to be in the same place after high school.

Margie says she first learned about family from his family. They almost kiss…but wait! She has a boyfriend.

She and Scott talk outside. He says he is going to look for another job. He doesn’t want to take her job. She says she has loved spending time with him…but have they actually spent any time together? Anyway, he’s pretty understanding. Probably because they like don’t work together at all?! But he reiterates that he would not steal her job.

The two Pats chat in Louis’s kitchen. Pat says there really is a job offer in Seattle…Hmmm.

Margie has a meeting with her boss. Her boss loves all her ideas. And she tells Margie to trust her. Margie tries to talk it out with Carmen.

Pat talks it over with the boys. What do they think about Seattle? The boys are fine with it too. Wherever Pat is, is home to them.

Margie and Carmen head to the Christmas Market and so do the Godfreys! Pat says the job is in Seattle and he accepted it. Margie is bummed. She says she is really happy for him though. He says he knows what they had was in the past. Then Margie brings up Godwinks. She wonders if just being in Seattle and the job and stuff is the Godwink. But then he gives her the earring she left in the driveway. She tears up a little and says Merry Christmas.

At home, the boys ask if Grandma can move with them. Well I KNEW IT. She’s on board.

Willa, Margie’s boss, calls Scott and Margie in to her office the next day. Willa says they were training him to take over Margie’s job. But that’s just because they’re promoting her to Senior VP of the whole company! They are both so excited! And oh, guess what? That job is in SEATTLE. Unless she wants to stay in Boise? NO WAY, actually. She tells her assistant she is getting a big raise too.

Then Margie heads to the Godfrey’s house. She has big news for Pat! He comes outside. She tells him about the promotion that will take her to Seattle! She doesn’t want to spend another day apart! And she’s wearing her little charm bracelet. They KISS. Then they all spend Christmas together including with Casey. FUN. Then Pat and Margie exchange gifts. They get each other the same thing again! A snowman charm and a snowman ornament. And that’s that.

Okay so this movie was fine. I read a little about the original story. It’s all just fine. It will probably be a middle of the pack or bottom half. Just standard Hallmark fare. Let’s see how we did on the Checklist. 5/20! Not too bad.

  1. Single parent
  2. Christmas baking
  3. Snowball fight
  4. a sassy and wise best friend
  5. Christmas montage

The Angel Tree

Our lead, Rebecca, narrates at the beginning and explains the angel tree. It is a longstanding tradition in the town of Pine River. Everyone puts their wishes/needs on the tree and an anonymous person takes care of all of them.

Then there is a flashback to young Rebecca and Matthew where they make their own wishes. Rebecca wishes not to move. Matt wishes to save his dad’s diner. The wish ended up working for ol Matt! But NOT for Rebecca. I wonder why an anonymous benefactor couldn’t prevent a family from MOVING AWAY.

Flash forward to Rebecca’s editor reading her story. The Angel Tree did not grant her wish not to move. Her editor loves the concept of the Angel Tree and wants more. She tells Rebecca it might be JUST the thing for their new Christmas app. The editor wants her to go back to Pine River to discover who the angel is. She hasn’t been back there in 20 years. It will be a FRONT PAGE story…on their app. Also, her own column about whatever she wants.

Okay that scenery on Rebecca’s drive!!! Rebecca and her daughter head to Pine River. Rebecca’s daughter is a chatterbox. They are staying with her aunt for the holidays. Also, are we really bringing white washed jeans back? How am I supposed to know about all of this? In her conversation with her Aunt Mimi, Rebecca appears to be a cynic about the tree because it didn’t stop her from moving away.

Matt is still works at the old diner. Matt gives a mute boy some instructions. Mimi takes Rebecca and Cassie to the diner to introduce her to all her pals. Cassie a tween, uses SLANG. Rebecca offers to take their coffee pot up to the counter for a refill. Then, Matt walks by and she spits a straw wrapper at him on accident. The boy, Owen, laughs so hard at this, he decides the coffee is free. They briefly catch up but we also learn Matthew roasts coffee.

Mimi approaches and plays wingman. Mimi says Matt knows who the Angel is apparently. Matt gets random instructions and does what he’s told. Matt says maybe she’ll see for herself. IT IS SO ON, says Rebecca. So, it seems like the people in the town are given instructions to help grant a wish if necessary.

Cassie literally jumps on her mom in the morning to wake her up to go see the angel tree. People are up and at it. Cassie continues to be a CHATTER BOX and uses SO MUCH SLANG. This tree thing is LEGIT, says Cassie.

Matt remains committed to keeping Rebecca from finding out who the Angel is. Rebecca and Cassie head to a tree lot to see if she can figure out how the angel acquires the tree and gets it set up. Rebecca approaches Claud from the diner who runs the tree lot. Claud tells her how the angel buys the tree each year. He pays with a prepaid credit card and asks Claud and his pals to set it up. Matt shows up to get a tree too.

Cassie invites Matt and Owen to come over to decorate their Christmas tree. Cassie and Owen just chat it up. Cassie shares that her dad died when she was a baby. They hang up a special ornament of her dad’s on the tree. Did they bring those with them? Where is Aunt Mimi? Also, Owen’s mom is deployed and his dad is not around. Mimi arrives with lots of hot chocolate. Owen sides with Rebecca and Cassie about knowing who the Angel is. Then Matt gets a phone call. Rebecca thinks its the Angel so she goes to spy. Instead, she knocks into a tree and gets stuck. It’s great.

At this point, my husband, who has watched about two minutes of this movie, says he knows who the angel is. So WE’LL JUST SEE ABOUT THAT.

Cassie and Owen help Rebecca. They are going to start talking to people who have been helped by the angel. Matt names all his coffee blends after puns. I love them. Cool beans, Espresso yourself. Pure nonsense. Some of the wishes are called “Gala” wishes, which are big wishes. These are announced at the big Christmas Eve Gala, of course.

Rebecca interviews people about their experience with the Angel Tree. The women all seem to be wearing variations of the same sweater. One of the women explains to Rebecca what talking and chit chat is. None of them have any idea who he is. Also, they all tell her that even if they did know, Matthew asked them not to be helpful. They all want the person to be anonymous. Then a little girl pipes up and says she thinks the angel is Santa.

Cassie and Rebecca creep behind the grocery store and watch the grocery store owners, who are part of Mimi’s little friend group, loading boxes into a truck. Cassie thinks they are the angels. They were asked to help fulfill some wishes.

Matt tells Rebecca that he wanted to expand the coffee side of the diner but it hasn’t been the right time because of Owen and all that. They walk in on Owen video chatting with his mom, Zoe. She is not going to be able to come home for Christmas. Owen leaves the video chat but doesn’t hang up. Matt steps in to chat with Zoe. She tells him he doesn’t feel any feelings.

Owen tries to walk out alone because he’s sad. But Matt, Rebecca and Cassie all go with him to the Angel tree. Rebecca is pretty forward with Matt. She walks with her hand through his arm. Matt says he reads all her articles. They they say they miss each other. Rebecca said they actually ended up moving around a lot after they left Pine River.

Matt says that the Angel usually grants about 50 wishes but this year there are like WAY more. Because of her dang article!! Come on Rebecca!

They head to the diner and have hot chocolate. Rebecca feels bad that so many people are coming to make wishes. She is really hung up on the fact that she had to move and the anonymous benefactor didn’t stop them. Then she and Matt decide to figure out how to help get the extra wishes all granted.

They hold a mini town meeting about how to grant the wises. Rebecca is in charge. Why is Claud always wearing that hat though? Cassie picks out a wish. Someone wishes to bring joy to the senior or community center? Community Center. They make cookies and hand them out there. Matt says they sleighed it. SO GREAT. Now they have to find homes for all the dogs at the shelter. They host an adoption event.

Rebecca is wearing a great sweater. There are too many wishes and presents the kids in town want! They brainstorm with Owen and Cassie. The kids suggest everyone comes to the tree and opens their gifts together. Oh good. There’s caroling. Owen brings Matthew a guitar to kick off the caroling. Matt sings a song about the Angel Tree…so nobody seems to understand what caroling is.

Rebecca and Matt decompress over Peppermint Lattes. I am not sure about her sweater. Matt remains committed to Christmas puns. I feel like this is the first movie with so many! So I’m really pleased about that. Rebecca tells him his dad would be proud of him. Matt also shares that the angel handles THE gala wish. THEY ALMOST kiss. But then the door opens and stops them. There is a note from Angel. Also, what is happening with that sweater and white washed flare jeans? Where have I been? Oh no. The wish is from Owen to bring his mom home for Christmas. So…is the angel telling Matt to make it happen? Matt is like, obviously this wish is impossible. He is so worried that when the wish isn’t granted, Owen will just close up.

Rebecca tells him he should expand his coffee stuff. He’s like, no I’m too busy raising this teen. He’s like, no you don’t know my life. It’s too much. Rebecca reminds him that she still has to find out who the angel is. Matt is like, so you still want to do that even though it would like ruin this community? WHICH IS SO TRUE. Matt is like, do you just want to ask him why your wish wasn’t granted? But obviously as an adult she should know why her particular wish wouldn’t have been granted! How could someone stop them from moving?! Like, find her dad a job? What if they wanted to move? For heaven’s sake. That weird Angel tree song Matt was singing earlier plays in the background.

Cassie says the Angel granted her wish which was to have a real Pine River Christmas. COME ONE CASSIE. That wish is WAY TOO ABSTRACT.

Rebecca and Mimi have a little chat about her article. Mimi gives her some advice about it. Mimi tells Rebecca that Zoe is stationed in South Korea. That seems like a weird place to be deployed but I don’t know much about deployment. Anyway, Rebecca seems to think she can do something about this.

The next day, Owen is back to non responses. He is packaging up the pies for the gala. Matt tries this whole opening up thing all these women folk have been talking to him about. Matt tells Owen he was scared to take care of him while Zoe was deployed. Owen thinks he’s ruining Matt’s life because he’s not doing the coffee business. Owen, unsurprisingly, is on board for the coffee expansion. DUH MATT.

So it is now time for the Christmas Eve Gala! It is very fancy! How do all these small towns have such fancy Christmas Eve events? Cassie and Rebecca chit chat with the townsfolk. These people seemingly come by one by one to pay their respects. The Irish woman tells them she’s been nibbling on a casserole Rebecca sent her all week. For heaven’s sake! Can’t they get that woman some more food so she doesn’t have to make a casserole stretch the whole week? Then Matt and Owen arrive. Owen got Cassie a CORSAGE. Then Owen asks her to dance. That would never happen ever so, sorry.

Matt asks Rebecca to dance. Owen and Cassie dance like middle schoolers so that’s fine. Matt tells Rebecca that Owen is okay with the coffee business stuff. Rebecca is excited for him. Matt says she has to promise to pick up her own coffee orders herself. Rebecca says he was right that she wanted answers for her wish that year. Matt is like, remember how adults kind of like, can understand stuff better? And obviously an anonymous benefactor couldn’t have prevented your family from moving. So there is your answer REBECCA. He asks if she still wants to find out who the angel is. She does. They don’t know what the big gala wish is….and then Zoe walks in! With her uniform on and all her stuff. Owen is so happy. She tells Matt that Rebecca was the one that got her home. Rebecca explains that she knew someone from an article she wrote and THAT WAS ENOUGH APPARENTLY. So then, what was the ACTUAL big gala wish? WE NEVER FIND OUT.

That night, Cassie and Rebecca sit outside and talk about her article. Cassie tells her it was the best Christmas ever for her and a lot of people. Also, what was the big gala wish?! If the angel was working on that on his own then it would be different than the soldier homecoming. But maybe the angel already knew Rebecca could pull the strings and then the angel could take all the credit?!! Sounds about right.

Then, Rebecca talks to her editor. The editor is like I WANT ANGEL OKAY? And now I wonder why she cares so much about this tiny town’s tradition of community helping community. Rebecca sees someone affixing something to the Angel Tree. It is a note for her to go to the diner. IT’S THE BRIDGE CLUB. I knew it. Oh Matt is one of the angels. And MIMI is the one who started it! I KNEW IT. Mimi tells her it started small. And she started it because she wanted to pull the town together again. Mimi recruited Matt. Mimi tells Rebecca that she’s earned a spot on the Angel squad. Mimi asks her to keep their secret and not share their identity with the world. Also, I must interject that my husband was kind of right. He thought it was just…everyone in town committed to doing good things for each other, which is also true.

Matt asks her what she’s going to do. WE DON’T KNOW. Her article is due tomorrow.

The next morning, Owen and Zoe are opening presents. Zoe asks Owen to brew some coffee so she can talk to Matt. Zoe asks what’s going on with Rebecca. She tells him about the article Rebecca wrote. Rebecca did not reveal Angel’s identity. Then we hear Rebecca’s voiceover of the article she wrote. It’s a nice article. Zoe is like GO AFTER HER DUMMY.

He heads to the Angel Tree. Rebecca is there already. He thought she might be there. Rebecca tells Matt she will get to do her weekly column. But she can live anywhere!! He says his wish came true. He wished for her. Apparently he kept her old wish from way back when. And what do you know, her wish finally came true. And then they kiss! That’s it.

So this one was a cute concept. Overall, I liked it. I found Rebecca’s grudge against the Angel to be QUITE silly. I also didn’t like how they just referred to THE angel as “Angel.” I don’t know why. It bugged me. But in general, this was a cute one with lots of good Hallmark Christmas feels because of all the community outreach. Let’s score it on the Checklist: 6/20. Not bad!

  1. Single parent
  2. Clumsy re-meet cute
  3. Christmas Gala
  4. Christmas Baking
  6. Christmas montage

The Christmas House

Alright this was probably the most anticipated movie of the weekend. I was really looking forward to it. I really enjoyed it so I don’t think I’m going to have a ton of snarky commentary so I apologize in advance if this recap is boring.

A lawyer in a very Christmasy court room is questioning a witness. Our lead, Mike, is obviously an actor. DEEP CUT. Oh WOW. The show is called HANDSOME JUSTICE. WOW. I love it. The crew all chat after the finale. Mike gets up and makes a nice little speech about the team and the show. His boss, Catherine(?) pulls him aside and wonders if they actually will get another season. We’re not sure even though the ratings are amazing.

Mike takes a call from his parents. He tells them everything is SUPER GOOD. The parents tell Mike that they have a REALLY BIG project to do. It sounds like maybe they do a big Christmas light show. His brother and his husband are coming to help tomorrow so Mike needs to get his butt home. After twenty years, they’re bringing the tradition back! Mike decides to head there the next day.

The boys head off their plane. Brandon and his husband, Jake talk about their adoption plans. Brandon doesn’t want to tell their family yet because he doesn’t want to get their hopes up. They run into Mike at baggage claim. Mike is trying to sweet talk an airline worker into finding his bag by revealing his celebrity status. Nobody cares that Mike is on a TV show. Jake and Brandon pretend to be super fans. I love it. Jake doesn’t seem to understand the work involved in the Christmas House.

Then the brothers race to be the one to drive the rental car. Mike wins because Brandon runs into a luggage cart. Again, I love these brothers. It’s so perfect.

At home, their mom looks through an old photo album. The boys all arrive. Doesn’t anyone pick anyone up at the airport? Especially one where you walk off the plane to the airport building?

In his room, Mike looks at an old photo of himself doing a magic act. The girl in the photo is back in town…ever since the divorce. Then the mom blows a whistle to get the boys all organized to do Christmas House prep. Jake starts to suck up to the mom. He says he is thrilled and honored to participate. He just doesn’t know any better yet!! Their dad took a power point class at the library to prepare this presentation. Oh fantastic. He leads the boys through a power point presentation. They have a whole digital plan for the interior decorations. They move all their furniture out of the house…TO WHAT END?! Do they charge? Why would anyone do this? Oh good. For some reason there is a photo of young Mike with one eyebrow in the mix. They also have 12 dozen of every baked good for guests. Brandon asks if “majestic Mike” will be performing. What is this rated? In general, the boys are all good sports about this whole business.

In the morning, Mike is wearing a…woman’s shirt? And tight joggers. Oh, that’s right, the airline lost his luggage. Luckily, his old girlfriend, Andy is there chatting away with his mom so she sees him dressed that way. Mike does end up finding better clothes later. His mom blows her whistle again. Someone take that away from her.

Mike and his dad head into town to get some supplies. Mike asks why they suddenly wanted to do the Christmas House again this year. And then his dad asks why he didn’t stay in touch with Andy. Then the boys decide to race to unload the boxes for $20. But Mike gets waylaid by coffee. Andy, though, decided to hire movers. SMART. Uh oh. Andy spills that the parents are selling the house! Mike asks why they didn’t mention that yet?! TOO BUSY. Andy tells Mike not to be too hard on them.

Mike asks his brother why he thinks they’re selling the house. Brandon is not as obsessed with the house as Mike is. A dorky kid approaches Mike and says he’s seen his show. Noah has NO CHILL. Andy tries to do damage control but it’s too late.

Brandon sees his mom baking and he remembers baking with her as a kid. Oh! She’s making rosettes! Brandon has his own bakery now which is lovely. She asks if she can come visit Brandon and Jake in Denver sometime. Brandon is like, yeah we’d love to have you guys. And she’s like, it would just be me. So SOMETHING IS UP.

The mom gives more instructions and makes a kind of snide comment to Bill. I NOTICE. Mike, Andy and Noah head to the tree lot. Noah helps them pick out trees. Andy opens up a teensy bit about her life. Noah’s dad lives overseas. That’s new. And she wants to hear about LA. He says it’s not very glamorous. Mike gives Noah some tips about picking out a tree.

Mike’s boss calls and tells him that Handsome Justice is cancelled. How could that be? It looked like SUCH A GOOD SHOW.

At home, the mom puts up decorations alone and reminisces about opening a new special ornament from Bill while the boys are little. It has all their names on it. Mike brings in another tree. Phyllis lets Mike hang the first ornament even though she always does it. Each tree in her house has a theme. She puts Mike and Andy on garland fluffing duty. I learn a good tip about fluffing garland. Mike offers to watch Noah while Andy goes and shows a house. They all say “fluffing garland” about 50 more times each.

Bill, Mike and Noah set up a Christmas village or train set situation. They tell Noah about the magic shows Mike used to do in the yard with Andy. Noah wants to learn magic from Mike. NOT THAT KIND OF MAGIC, MIKE!

Outside, Jake asks Brandon about all the twinkle lights. Jake wonders if they will be decorating as a family of three the next year. Brandon is very worried their adoption won’t go through. They have a nice moment being glad they’re there with Brandon’s family.

Inside, Bill hands Phyllis a teapot. He misremembers when they got it. She seems to get a little weird as they reminisce about it.

The next day, Mike stops by to see Andy. Andy says that Noah wants to ask a girl to be his magic partner. Andy says she is trying to compete with someone who is used to being the only game in town. He offers to post something on his social media account. He apparently as 1.2 million followers. Then he gets a request to do a new ad.

Brandon cooks that night. Mike tells everyone that he gave his magic kit to Noah. Brandon says that Andy broke Mike’s heart in high school. Mike shares that his show got cancelled. The parents exchange a LOOK.

Mike takes Noah to a magic shop. The owner is just as weird as you would imagine a magic shop owner to be. After the magic shop, Noah and Mike work on an ad for Andy. He posts it on his social media without telling her. It’s FANTASTIC. But you can totally see her kid’s face so I would not be cool with that. Noah heads to their house and does magic for them. It makes Bill and Phyllis flash back to encouraging Mike to make Andy his magic partner. Noah gets the job performing at the party.

So while they are fluffing garland, Mike asks if Andy liked the video. She does not find it as amusing as I did.

Bill tells Mike they aren’t looking for a house until the New Year. That seems WEIRD, right?

Mike asks Brandon if he thinks their parents are acting weird. Brandon thinks he’s deflecting because of Andy. Brandon apparently does not NOTICE ANYTHING. Mike says he can’t even think about trying to get together with Andy right now. Then they throw decorations at each other.

Inside they decorate gingerbread houses. IT’S NOT FUN YOU GUYS. I just tried it again to be sure. And I was right. And they DON’T LOOK LIKE THAT. Phyllis heads outside and cries. Mike follows her. Something to do with this Christmas mouse. Phyllis says it’s hard to be retired. She kind of opens up to Mike and admits she and Bill are going to separate after the holidays. And then they seemingly blow a fuse and everything in their house starts catching on fire. A little girl screams for no reason.

The next day, Mike and Brandon wonder if they should cancel the whole event. But, Jake fixed it! Mike starts to take charge of the rest of the planning. Phyllis hands him the whistle.

Andy tells the boys it’s tamale night. That sounds good. Brandon really wants the recipe. Phyllis and Bill talk about how they used to talk about everything. Phyllis says they’re not in sync anymore. It sounds like Phyllis is just struggling with being retired. Bill has been retired for a little long and is quite content. He’s found all kinds of things to fill his time.

Everyone heads to Andy’s family’s house for dinner that night. Andy’s mom says the kids still seem like kids to her. Bill makes a dad joke to Noah. It’s great. Phyllis is REALLY going through something though.

Later, Mike and Andy reminisce about their old magic show. Then Andy gets an email from GAIL her nemesis. She wants to know how Andy knows the Handsome Justice. Then Mike remembers having a necklace prepared to give to Andy via magic trick. Okay, they have THIRTY YEAR OLDS playing these high schoolers. The magic trick doesn’t work and he turns around and Andy gets swept away by another full sized grown up.

Andy tells Bill and Phyllis they have a potential buyer. Noah tells Mike he is so lucky to get to live here.

Mike vents to Brandon about everything he’s thinking. He says he doesn’t even want to go back to LA. And he asks why Brandon is so calm. Brandon shares that they’ve had three adoptions fall through. They are waiting to hear about one more but just can’t get their hopes up. He gives Mike some nice advice.

Bill and Phyllis talk about someone wanting to come see the house. Phyllis complains about all the stuff Bill is so busy with. She has to do everything around the house because Bill is always gone doing his retirement activities. Apparently for her to get those same things…they have to sell the house and end their marriage. That makes sense.

The weird magic shop owner is the potential buyer. Mike follows behind he and Andy on the house tour and suggests there are all kinds of things wrong with the house. Andy assures Mike she won’t steer his parents wrong on the house. Then, Andy and Mike go have a drink. While they’re out, Mike tells her about the gift he was planning to give her but then she got swept away by a different guy and they started dating. Then Andy says she’s seen every episode of his show.

Bill and Phyllis talk to Andy about the magician’s offer. It expires on Christmas Eve for some reason. Bill says he thinks they should list the house and probably accept the magician’s offer? I think that’s where we landed. Impossible to know though, because Bill just abruptly stands up and walks out.

Then Mike’s boss calls and says he needs to participate in a meeting in New York to fight for the show. ON CHRISTMAS EVE.

Then Mike asks Andy to help Noah with the magic show.

Bill and Phyllis talk inside. Phyllis says Bill surprised him today when he said he wanted to list the house. He tells her that he just wants to do whatever makes him happy. She seems impacted by that.

Noah practices a magic trick with Mike. He does a good job. Andy overhears Mike give Noah some good advice. Andy tells Mike that Noah’s been happier the last two weeks than he’s been in a long time.

Mike walks home and offers to help Bill with the lights. Mike realizes that Bill must have spent hours learning magic so he could teach Mike. Mike admits he knows they are separating. Bill admits he lost sight of what’s important. He forgot to take care of his wife.

Andy has a flashback after looking at a picture in her room. It’s the same one Andy keeps looking up at the mistletoe and back at Mike. He turns around to fix it and for some reason Andy just walks away when another guy approaches.

The next day, the stage is all set up. There is a really cool sign and stuff. Mike then realizes his meeting is in the afternoon. ON CHRISTMAS EVE DAY! These show business people.

Jake thinks a Christmas Eve open house party to list the house is a great idea. It’s actually not though, right? Oh! They found a fixer upper house that they can work on together. A project they can share. So they are not going to separate. Then Jake gets some NEWS. Their adoption finalized today! I’m very excited for them! But that’s not how it works! Perhaps they mean the biological parents relinquished their rights. But let’s not worry about that right now. They are going to be parents!

Andy and Noah talk about the magic show that night at bedtime. Noah says that Mike told him he used to have so much fun performing with Andy.

The next day, Mike plans to head to his meeting. They wait an HOUR to go in. The New York executive tells them they aren’t cancelled. But they need to freshen the show up. Catherine and the nameless studio exec want to just chat away all afternoon about new ideas for the show. Mike zones out and thinks about Andy. Mike is finally like, I have to go! Catherine is like, GIRL for real?! Mike gives a little speech about family and why he needs to be with them. Can you BELIEVE THAT GUY? ON CHRISTMAS EVE DAY?! HE must not be committed to the show.

The Christmas House is PACKED. It looks so so amazing. What a waste though, to only do it for one night, right? You’d want it up for at least a few weeks?

The weird magic shop owner approaches Andy and is like, I want to make an ALL cash offer RIGHT NOW. Dude how good is business at the magic shop? Andy tells the family. Mike is basically still missing the whole thing. Then, e makes it back just in time for Noah’s magic show. Mike’s CAPE is nuts. Now it’s magic show time. Then it’s time for the grand finale. The assistants go in the box and SANTA comes out! And it snows!

Back in the house, Mike has one last trick. Andy tells Mike she doesn’t want him to move back to LA. His magic trick works! And he gives her the necklace. He also says he’s not going back to LA. They flash back to their weird “younger” versions of themselves. And then THEY KISS.

Phyllis and Bill talk. Bill gives Phyllis a snow globe with their house in it. Then THEY KISS.

Brandon and Jake have a snowball fight. Everyone is on track!

It must be Christmas morning. Brandon makes cinnamon rolls. Marvelous Jim had a change of heart and no other offers. Probably because he doesn’t actually make any money. Then Mike reveals HE wants to buy the house. Also, he can do a spin off show in NEW YORK! So that all worked out nicely. Then Mike and Andy kiss again! And we get to see Jake and Brandon with their new baby! And Bill and Phyllis out hiking together. And the next year, they’re all celebrating Christmas together. Mike, Andy and Noah even wear magic jammies. We end with an amazing commercial by Mike.

Well DANG IT THAT WAS CUTE. For real this is probably going to be my favorite movie of the year. It was such a fun idea for a Hallmark movie. I loved the brothers’ relationship. Their silly competitiveness was so hilarious. And all of Mike’s OVER THE TOP acting in EVERYTHING. It was all so great. I also liked that all three couples were kind of going through something different. And of course that everything worked out at the end. So yes, loved this one. You should all definitely watch. Let’s see how we scored: 6/20 Not to bad!

  1. Single Parent
  2. Christmas Baking
  3. Snowball fight
  4. Christmas puns
  5. Nonsense drama
  6. Christmas montage

A Nashville Christmas Carol

I was looking forward to watching this one. I was sure it was going to just be wild! And it was. But it was also better than I thought it would be so there you go. Let’s dive in.

We begin at rehearsal for a television program called “Country Christmas Live” which, ironically is pre-taped with no audience. One of the performers, Belinda does her Christmas song. I have no idea if this is a real Christmas song or not. But I’ve never heard it. Vivian, our lead tells her it was a great recording but then gives her sister and…assistant Georgia? notes on some of it. It is very clear that Vivian has a vision and needs it to be executed exactly so. Georgia thinks they should start the show with a “Classic” Christmas song but Vivian wants the show to be memorable because every song has a memory.

Gavin shows up. He is Belinda’s manager. Let’s pause for a moment here. So nothing against anyone named Belinda but that is not a name for a country music star, right? Also, there was a Belinda in a movie last year! Is it even a common name? Anyway, Gavin chats with her after the rehearsal. Apparently this is the only person Gavin manages. Is that enough to sustain a whole career?

Vivian approaches Alexis, another country performer in make up. Neither of these performers have country names. Alexis should be the sister’s character and Georgia should be one of the performers. Is that so difficult you guys? Even if it’s just a stage name? Anyway, Alexis is a new star and is so dang NERVOUS to practice. Vivian gives her some help.

Pretty house! They talk to their dad on facetime. Their dad is like ARE YOU WORKING still girl?! But where is their dad? Vivian tells Georgia she is up for a new job that would take her to LA. Georgia, even though she is moving, is like, you can’t leave! MEMORIES.

Upstairs, Vivian goes through a box of her old stuff. She finds an old camcorder and pictures of her family. OH. A pic of her and that guy.

Back at work, Vivian watches a video about Marilyn Jinway. She died. It sounds like maybe she was Vivian’s mentor. Gavin approaches her and says she looks different. She’s very sassy to him. He tells her Belinda needs a dog in her opening number. He is also concerned about a big sign in the background.

Vivian tells Gavin she’ll ask about the dog, but she won’t change the billboard for them. A member of her crew with lines suggest they get off early today. She’s like no we need to just WORK! Then, she notices a music box on her chair. What is it for? Who is it from? It is playing “O Come All Ye Faithful” but only Vivian can hear it!! Georgia asks how it was talking to Gavin for the first time in a DECADE.

Then they meet the head of the network. Afterwards, Vivian has a little freak out on the stage about props and stuff.

Gavin takes a phone call from his mother outside. Are those people old enough to be his parents? Gavin calls Henry, the boss, to ask about the dog situation as well.

After Vivian’s freak out about the set, she wanders down the empty hall and that song from the music box is playing. Wait, is this a horror movie? She walks into the prop room and it loos like an old bar all DECKED OUT for Christmas. She tries to leave and the door seemingly takes her outside.

Then Marilyn shows up. Vivian has a a panic attack. Marilyn is like…be calm for heaven’s sake. I’m only your dead mentor in a bar you thought was the prop room. Marilyn wants to prevent Vivian from turning out like her. She’s recruited a few of her friends to help. The spirit of Christmas past arrives. Kix… I mean, Christmas Past, or Pat is ready to roll. Annoyingly, Vivian is still not cool about all of this. Pat takes her to a memory in her past. Vivian have you not read A Christmas Carol?

Vivian sees herself and Gavin making videos with her brand new camcorder. And Georgia’s there too. Georgia is wearing the cutest sweater. He and Vivian were best friends as kids. Pat, the buzzkill, says that was their last Christmas together as a family. Her mom left?! Vivian STILL doesn’t understand how “A Christmas Carol” works. She keeps trying to talk to the kids. Also, Vivian…even if they could see you, don’t you think you would like TOTALLY FREAK YOURSELF OUT if you talked to your 10 year old self? Come on, girl. She runs into the door to see the following year’s Christmas. She and her dad worked to make sure Georgia had a good gift. Vivian got a bracelet. I guess her dad enlisted her to focus all their energy on giving Georgia nice Christmases after that. After that, the prop room goes back to normal. Vivian heads back to the stage.

She smiles at Gavin. Henry approaches Vivian and said he loves the idea of the dog in the opening number. Vivian is like OH. So now she needs to talk to Gavin. She doesn’t like that Gavin went around her to ask about it. She asks him to come to her first…but like, he did? And she didn’t do anything about it? So anyway, I am Team Gavin so far. He walks with Vivian to the “wrap party” meeting. He says the room looks familiar. CHET SOMEBODY’S CHRISTMAS PARTY?! Oh, right. Anyway, so Gavin offers to plan the wrap party for her. He asks her why Belinda got the opening number? Vivian says it’s because she’s the best. Gavin leaves his scarf behind.

And NOW she’s in another flashback. In the past, she and Gavin joke about meeting at a Christmas party. She teases him about it being a date and he gets uncomfortable.

Then, they are at…the filming of perhaps the first commercial she directed. She asks Pat why this is all happening? She didn’t get paid for the Ms. Majorie’s cookie ad. But I guess it all worked out for her so that was a good thing for her to do. After the shoot, Marjorie wants to set Vivian up with her grandson but Vivian thinks she has a boyfriend. Then they cut to Vivian and Gavin walking through a Christmas market talking about him possibly managing Belinda. They play a weird version of bean bag toss and Gavin somehow wins a GIANT plush snowman. She tries to encourage him about the interview with Belinda. Vivian asks about possibly directing Belinda’s music videos. Gavin is like, duh you can direct the music videos. AND THEN…no they don’t kiss. She stops a random person and asks her to take their picture instead. Oh, it’s the pic she saw in her memory box. Also, what’s peppermint brittle? I’ve never heard of that. And now she’s out of the flashback. Gavin shows back up for his scarf. Then Pat pops back in to remind her what happened after that.

Vivian talks to Georgia on the phone outside a big Christmas party. Gavin shows up and she feels underdressed. She kind of IS. Chet Somebody approaches them and introduces himself. Chet thinks Vivian is wearing an ugly Christmas sweater. He gives Gavin the good news that his record company is going to sign Belinda. While Gavin talks to Belinda about how they got signed, Chet is a huge jerk to Vivian. I guess he’s just supposed to be a slick jerk kind of record company person. Vivian tries to tell him about all her music video ideas and he’s like, no you can’t direct her music videos. Instead of recognizing that Gavin probably couldn’t make those kind of commitments to her, she storms over to Gavin and demands an explanation. Chet kind of lingers and is like, no I just want someone with more experience for the first one. Gavin is like, yeah that makes sense. So then… Vivian kind of like way overreacts I think. And Gavin is like, everything always works out for you…can’t you just be happy for me? Obviously he couldn’t make those kind of commitments! And this is like a huge opportunity for him and she just storms off. So, I’m still on Team Gavin over here. Then past Vivian meets Marilyn for the first time. They talk about the past Country Christmas Live shows. Marilyn saw the Marjorie cookie ad. Marilyn decides then and there to take Vivian under her wing. She takes her to the Country Christmas Live stage. Marilyn says that Gavin is looking out for himself. She should too.

In the real world, Vivian and Georgia and her dad rehash that whole situation. And her dad and Georgia are like…so you’re kind of bossy and uncompromising. Here, practice by not following a baking recipe correctly. Where is their dad?

Belinda and Alexis talk about the show briefly. It seems like Belinda wants to kind of, take Alexis under her wing. Georgia is trying to get Vivian to go to some Christmas party. At the party, Vivian just wants to talk about work. Georgia isn’t paying any attention, even when Vivian admits she’s in a Christmas Carol situation. Georgia was actually waiting for Gavin. I thought maybe she was waiting for that cute crew member. Georgia bolts. Vivian tries to just leave. Then Gavin asks her about the good old days. WHAT IS PEPPERMINT BRITTLE. Then they reminisce. They send their dad on vacation every December apparently because the month is so busy. What in the world? So he’s just in Tahiti by himself? Isn’t that a huge bummer? Also, HOW MUCH MONEY IS SHE MAKING that she can do that? She asks him how he’s been. He starts to apologize but obviously a Christmas party wouldn’t be the appropriate place for that.

Pat plays the guitar on the street and Vivian doubles back to talk to him. He takes her back to the party again. She overhears Belinda encourage Gavin to tell Vivian how he feels. But she just cares about the video directing business. She overhears Chet being like… hello, you shouldn’t have made commitments like that. But anyway, Gavin did stand up for her. Now Vivian feels like a REAL dumb dumb.

Vivian decides to take a day off tomorrow…with only a few days before the thing her whole job is about.

The next day, she and Gavin walk around the market. They do some wreath making. They look at ornaments. His dad still wants him to work construction even though Gavin is nearly 40. Wait! Vivian doesn’t have a Christmas Tree. Oh no. Some kids do some acapella caroling. It was okay.

They drive back to her house. WHAT IS PEPPERMINT BRITTLE THOUGH. Do they mean Peppermint Bark? And Now Kimberly Williams Paisley arrives. And she’s southern so okay. They go to see Georgia and that crew member!! Georgia and Parker have a weird Ghost present wrapping experience. Turns out they’ve been dating for 6 months. Vivian is mad. Kimberly keeps throwing stuff at her.

That night, Vivian and Georgia make a popcorn string. Vivian asks Georgia how her day off was. All Georgia says is that she doesn’t want to go to law school. But also, don’t go to law school Georgia. Anyway, then Vivian blabs that she knows about Parker. And then they spend the night vacuuming the whole living room!

At work, Henry says he’s changing the order of the show. Alexis is going first.

Gavin shows up with a bunch of Christmas decorations. Vivian finally blabs that Henry bumped her. He doesn’t overreact like…a normal person would.

Gavin decides maybe now it’s time for a heart to heart with his dad. He gives his dad a big speech about how it’s his life and he should accept it. But if his dad can’t accept it, Gavin will accept it on his behalf. I think. Anyway, now it’s time for a party.

I’m not stoked about Vivian’s dress. Gavin tells her that he talked to his dad about being his own man…now that’s nearly 40. Vivian runs to her bag to grab her old camcorder. She runs into Belinda. She accidentally blabs that she was replaced by Alexis. Vivian does not seem to realize that Belinda didn’t know. Then Georgia tells Vivian that Alexis is missing!

Kimberly is back! Still southern. We head to the…party maybe? Vivian tries to rush through the learning portion. She hears Georgia and Parker kind of complaining about Vivian. She works too much, she’s too stubborn. Georgia tells them how Vivian is her hero. Oh! Her lesson is…how wonderful she is? My dad interjects-I don’t think that’s the lesson. I DON’T THINK SO EITHER.

Then Belinda runs into Alexis at the market. Belinda is really really nice to her. She gets her a cider. And then they ask the DJ to play a song for them to sing. Then Marilyn returns. THERE IS NO CHRISTMAS FUTURE.

Gavin finds Vivian watching Belinda and Alexis singing together. They sure sound good together. That might be a good idea. Belinda is just so understanding. Belinda tells Gavin he should sign other artists. And I tend to agree! Managing one person can’t be a whole job right?

Now we see the final performance? Maybe? Or another practice? Anyway, Belinda and Alexis are singing together. And a dog is there. I hate the song. Are they just singing every song together? Then Vivian tells Georgia she’s fine with not borrowing 100k for her to go to law school. Then Gavin’s dad shows up and is like, I’m fine with you working in the music business. You’re too old to do construction work now anyway. And now they’re done filming.

Then Henry offers her that other big job. Vivian says she can’t move to LA. But he is going to let her commute to LA instead! Then Gavin and Vivian have a moment. Then they KISS. And that’s it.

Okay so this movie was on the sillier side for sure. But it wasn’t as bad as I expected. There were some cute moments. I liked the idea of them doing some flashbacks to tell the story of Vivian and Gavin’s friendship. But the country themed Christmas Carol component was obviously quite silly. But it’s very hard to get that right. I find it hard to believe that despite Vivian landing an even better job the very night Gavin does, that she would still be angry about not directing his client’s music videos as well. Like, everything worked out for both of them? Let’s not hold a grudge for a decade? So, yeah. Also, WHAT IS PEPPERMINT BRITTLE. Let’s see how we did today.

  1. Workaholic too busy for Christmas
  2. Is Winona Judd secretly Santa Claus?
  3. Nonsense drama

Was it really only 3/20? And just barely…I feel like I’m forgetting something but I’m not sure. Tell me what I missed!

The Christmas Doctor

Alright, we did it you guys. The last movie of the weekend.

At Newark Hospital, “Doctor Zoe” and a bunch of other staff sing Christmas Carols and pass out stuffed animals to kids. Zoey has completed her rotation here. She did 8 days there. She is a visiting doctor and is used to moving around. She carries a flimsy takeout box into her apartment. Her…sister, Deborah, FaceTimes her and shames her for WORKING SO DANG MUCH. Deborah is wearing a very lovely Christopher and Banks sweater. She demands that Zoe spend Christmas with them. SHE IS ALWAYS WORKING!

Meanwhile, an older doctor, Dr. Ray, looks at a list of doctors to fill in for him while he has surgery. His office manager, Gabby, hopes he picks someone she can boss around. He sees Zoey’s name and seems very interested.

Zoey is out for a jog and sees people playing chess. She flashes back to being overseas playing with a soldier. She asks for a rematch the next day.

She gets a call about working at Willowbrook. She wants something in a bigger city but she decides to take the job.

Then she heads to her sister’s to break the news to her. The doctor she’s subbing for is having surgery. Why doesn’t he just close the practice? It is way upstate in a tiny town. So she is trying to quickly celebrate Christmas with her sister before she leaves.

In Willowbrook, Zoey wanders around the super cute downtown and then heads into the office. It is VERY CHRISTMASY. She rings a bell at the front desk and startles someone. He calls her a “Rent a Doc.” He’s Luke Barnes and he does IT type stuff. He is helping a friend update all the computers in the office. So it is a clinic…maybe they do a quick care type service. Probably can’t close it down while ol Dr. Ray is out.

Gabby walks in with lots of coffee and said she found a different house for her to live in because the other rental fell through. Also she got her a monogrammed white coat for the office. Zoe is touched. Then Dr. Ray arrives. He says don’t call me Dr. Johnson…call me…Dr. Ray. THAT’S DIFFERENT.

Zoe talks to Ray about his rotator cuff surgery while he shows her around the clinic. They do a few surgeries in the Willowbrook clinic but you have to go to Buffalo for the major stuff. He asks why she left the military. She is vague and just says it was time.

Francis, a hypochondriac, or maybe just a disgruntled pet owner, needs some advice for a cat scratch. Sounds like MY KIDS every time they get a little scrape. She only wants Dr. Ray to look at it.

That night, Zoe knocks on the door of the house she’s staying at. I believe the manager told her it was empty? Anyway, she startles Luke AGAIN. This is his mom’s house. She asks what year it is…he says “1985”. She’s like, WHAT? He’s like, girl, look around. HE’S NOT WRONG. Zoe reveals she knows about plumbing. There are family pics all over.

Zoe promises not to bother him any more. He tells her he is going to be so busy anyway. His daughter is coming home from college for Christmas! As he leaves, the door handle pops right off.

The next morning, Gabby fills Zoe in on LUKE. She didn’t WASTE A MINUTE. She’s like he’s single. His ex wife just abandoned them. And also, he’s single. Did she mention that yet?

No one at the clinic wants to see Zoe. They want to wait until Dr. Ray is back. Then, a woman kind of collapses in the office. Zoe tells her she’ll take a quick look. The patient kind of fills her in on her history. They’ve run every test and chocked it up so far to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Luke’s daughter arrives to his work. She’s home for the holidays! He surprises her with the tree lighting presentation? He tells her he is going to hire an intern for her to manage next summer. She seems…unsure about that. He has all kinds of plans for her tonight…but she wants to see her friends! Luke asks her about coding class while they are out to dinner. She is like…yes…coding…I definitely enjoy that.

Gabby strolls along the street and fills Zoe in on the town. They stop by the diner…but it seems like it’s a Mexican restaurant? They see Luke and his daughter eating inside. Anyway, Gabby suddenly has to BOLT.

Luke’s daughter meets Zoe inside the diner. Zoe tells her she’s seen the pictures of her when she was little. NOT WEIRD. Lilly invites her to stay but Zoe says she has stuff to do. Lilly LIKES HER. Pay attention, Lukie!

Zoe fills her sister in on LUKE and the house. LUKE LOOKS OKAY. She says.

Meanwhile, Luke looks at the meteor shower alone on his back deck. So does Zoe.

In the morning, Zoe stops by Dr. Ray’s with flowers for his wife for putting up with him. Dr. Ray has her look at his binoculars at a cardinal in their yard. Zoe fills Dr. Ray in on the patients. She talks about Emma-The girl with chronic fatigue. Dr. Ray says she should look in on her. Zoe is like, I don’t do house calls. She does NOT want to connect with patients. Dr. Ray is like, get over it! Serene, his wife, gives her a basket of Christmas decorations for her mantle.

At the clinic, Lily is Zoe’s first patient. Lily went to the same college as Zoe! Lily is there for a flu shot. Lily tells Zoe she is studying computer engineering…reluctantly. Then she asks when Zoe knew she wanted to be a doctor? Zoe tells her a story of her friend getting injured on the ice skating rink at college and how Zoe tried to help deal with her injury until paramedics arrived. That friend is lucky it was Zoe there and not me because I would have been passed out right next to her! After the shot, Lily decides she’s not too cool for a candy cane or two as a reward for being a good patient. Then, Zoe sees a chess set inexplicably in the cupboard. This makes her flash back again to her deployment.

In the flashback, Zoe fills a nurse in on the condition of her little chess playing friend. He’s all ready to play again. He tells her this is his first Christmas away from home. He asks to finish it later because he’s very tired. What is wrong with him though? He doesn’t seem to have any injuries or anything…

Gabby asks if she plays chess? She says no, why would you ask? Can’t a guy just stare vacantly at a chess set in a cupboard? Zoe gets Emma’s bloodwork back and reluctantly makes a house call. Emma is making a big old turkey. For WHO? Oh, she is a caterer. She talks about how low energy she is lately.

Zoe does some work thinking about Emma. And then the power goes out! She calls Luke but he has no idea where the circuit breakers are. They go to his room. She basically accuses him of being a huge dork. SHE’S NOT WRONG. They both like to look at the stars! He finds his old light saber in the closet. EMBARRASSING. He asks if she lives in the city. He says he lived in the city until he got married. Zoe says she heard he’s a good dad. And he admits he is a snowplow parent. Zoe tells him she was divorced too. And then they finally find the circuit breaker. She correctly guesses his age because she says she can guess ages by people’s wall paper. That’s funny. Then Luke realizes the house isn’t decorated for Christmas!

The next morning, Zoe is out for a run and sees what she thinks is a cardinal but it’s a winter finch. She sees Ashley and Lily making a snowman…woman. Zoe sympathizes with Lily a little having a tough time visiting home. Lily admits she is not sure she wants to work for her dad after college.

Zoey is back at Emma’s helping her chop vegetables. Emma offers to help teach her to cook. Then Emma gets a call from “Kevin.” She ignores it. She says she’s been avoiding him because she doesn’t want to see anyone right now. Zoe tries to give her some encouragement.

She gets home to discover that Luke has decorated the whole exterior of the house. She invites him to eat dinner with her. Zoe tells Luke she actually really likes the house. She doesn’t have any “stuff.” at her house because she’s never home. Luke says he doesn’t know what to do with all of his mom’s stuff. They both talk about how nerdy they are. He tells her he enjoys living in a small town. She says she keeps track of each day in a new place. Zoe shares that every doctor has one patient that sticks with them. For her, it was one patient in the Army she couldn’t save. She left the Army after that and has been moving from job to job since. She gets kind of emotional so Luke has an idea.

They head to the tree lot. The owner says he needs to come see her about his knee. All of a sudden everyone starts looking at them. They are standing under the mistletoe. He looks like he’s actually going to kiss her. But she gets a call. She has a baby deliver!! He offers to find her a tree while she’s gone.

Zoe wakes up the next day to find a tree in her house. Then, she heads to Dr. Ray’s to show him a picture of the new baby. He talks about how fun it is to deliver a baby and watch it grow up. Dr. Ray says he thinks she could use a family this Christmas. Dr. Ray’s wife and Zoe just banter back and forth. Serene says there is something special about her. What is so special about her she wonders. Dr. Ray wonders if he should say something.

Zoe gets a call about her next job. It starts on the 27th. Francis is there and gives her a fruitcake from the new baby’s grandma. And Francis finally lets her look at her elbow. Zoe sees Luke and Lily across the street. Lily asks when he’s going to ask Zoe out.

At Luke’s work, Lily finally admits that she doesn’t want to work here next summer. She doesn’t want to do computer engineering. She is currently undeclared because she doesn’t like it. She say she didn’t want to hurt his feelings. Well what is he paying for, anyway! Undeclared? SHE NEEDS TO LIVE HER OWN LIFE, OKAY DAD?

Zoe is back at Emma’s learning to make green bean casserole. Emma talks about candied yams which causes Zoe to flashback again. She brings candied yams to that sad little solider in the hospital. She tears up a little as she talks to him. What is wrong with him? Then Emma’s hand starts shaking when she handles the green beans.

Zoe wraps a Santa’s wrist at the clinic. Zoe promises him that she’ll be at the tree lighting. Zoe goes outside and sees a wreath on her car from the tree lot owner. Everyone is so grateful for her in town. They see Ray and Serene downtown. Serene hugs Zoe! Then Zoe realizes she has to find a gift to put on the town Christmas Tree. she and Luke buy Christmas cookies at the market and chat a little.

It’s Christmas Tree Lighting time. Isn’t that guy a mayor of another Hallmark town?

Zoe stops by Dr. Ray’s again with coffee. He gives her binoculars as a Christmas gift so she can bird watch. He starts making a little bit of a speech. Then Zoe shifts to talking about Emma. Zoe just says they’re missing something.

Meanwhile, over at Luke’s house, he makes pancakes to apologize to Lily for being upset that he’s paying for college while she fritters about not knowing what to study. Lily says she will just stay with computer programming. Luke says, no do what you want to do! Just as long as it’s not something unmarketable like…International Studies.

Luke comes by to see Zoe. Gabby is like…oh what’s wrong! Nothing. Gabby tells him where to find her. He struggles with getting the words out. Finally he works up the courage to ask her out. They decide to go to the diner. EVERYONE IS WATCHING THEM. Katie the waitress loves to guess people’s orders. It turns out they just go with whatever she says. That’s cute. Her leftovers are in tinfoil shaped like a reindeer!!! Wow. They decide to decorate her tree. Zoe gets them all set up with cookies and hot chocolate.

They talk about a meteor show on New Year’s Eve. They plan to watch it alone. Then Zoe has a realization about Emma after seeing a stainless steel label on an ornament. They awkwardly both admit they are enjoying their time together. Then Zoe calls Dr. Ray.

Zoe calls Emma in. She thinks Emma might be allergic to nickel!! Good find Zoe! Emma hugs Zoe she’s so happy. Also, Gabby sure looks cute today! Then Gabby tells Zoe that Dr. Ray insisted on picking Zoe. Gabby guesses what Zoe got for the town Christmas Tree. She is SPOT ON. And then she admits her cousin tells her what everyone buys for the big tree. Everyone says hi to Zoe as she walks around town.

Back at her house, Zoe counts down. Two more days. I love her dress. And then she hears carolers outside her door. She heads outside to join them. IN HEELS. Luke is with them. Zoe says this has been her favorite place she’s worked. MORE MISTLETOE. They are about to kiss when the Santa drives by and honks at her. He asks about a rash under his beard. Even with all that rash talk, they STILL KISS. Tonight is the award night for Dr. Ray.

That night, Luke is the emcee for the award ceremony. Luke tells a personal story about his experience with Dr. Ray. He is very touched and surprised. Ray walks up and gives a nice little acceptance speech. He asks Zoe to join him on the stage. He thinks the award should go to all the doctors, nurses and front line workers everywhere. Now it’s time for a slide show of Dr. Ray.

Little Lucy gives Zoe a candy cane and misses the picture of Dr. Ray and his SON. Her little Army patient. I KNEW IT.

The next day, Zoe successfully makes green bean casserole with a subtle shout out to Campbells soup. Her sister calls. They showed up at her house! Deborah says they are going to just always go wherever Zoe is from now on. Her sister and brother in law say she looks happy. Zoe is HOSTING. Emma drops off some turkey on her way to see her family. Then Gabby stops by with a vegetable tray. Gabby knows everything about Deborah and Ty. Dr. Ray and Serene come over. And then LUKE arrives. She introduces Luke to Deborah. Deborah has THE LEAST AMOUNT OF CHILL OF ANYONE SO FAR THIS YEAR. Deborah knows about Lily too. Luke offers to help do dishes later. They have a lovely dinner. Why is Zoe wearing HEELS. INSIDE HER HOUSE.

Dr. Ray approaches Zoe. Dr. Ray says he plans to start working less. He wants to take on a partner at the clinic. He wants her to do it! Luke overhears. She says she already has another assignment. Luke is bummed. Lily notices. Deborah and Ty leave Luke and Zoe to do the dishes. She asks what he wanted to talk about. He says nothing. Zoe says she’d like to stay in touch. He says she can call anytime. Zoe has a gift for him. A TOOL BOX. Perfect. He says he has something for her too. A snow globe. So she can have some stuff! They both say they won’t miss each other and they hug.

We are OUT OF TIME! There is too much left unresolved.

The next morning, Deborah, Ty and Zoe all wear matching sweaters in the morning. It’s cute. Deborah and Ty head home. Zoe wanders around the house and picks up the light saber. Then she finishes packing. As she gets her coat on, the doorbell rings. It’s Dr. Ray. He has something on his mind. They head outside to talk. He struggles to say what he came here to say. Then he tells her he brought her here on purpose. He wrote her a letter on the base but she had left already and never got it. It was returned to him unopened. While she reads the letter, he tells her how much his son appreciated her and how much they appreciated her because they knew his son was not alone. NOBODY CRIES. He and Serene are so grateful they got to spend time with her. They have a long hug. As she goes to her car, she notices a hand made sign that says the town will miss her.

Zoe finishes her time in Philly and is going to stay in for New Year’s Eve and watch the meteor shower alone. She picks up her snow globe and FINALLY GETS SOME SENSE!

At Luke’s house, Lily and her dad talk about her leaving to get back in time for New Year’s at the dorm. Because dorms are definitely open on New Year’s Eve. He is going to watch the meteor shower alone too. ZOE IS IN HER CAR. She is back in Willow Brook. Zoe startles Luke AGAIN while he’s fixing a swing out front of his mom’s house. She says she wants to watch the meteor shower with him. Oh and also she wants to MOVE THERE! THEY KISS.

It ends with her starting her first day at her NEW PERMANENT JOB. With her own parking space. And that’s it!

I put this movie off until last because I thought it was going to be the worst one. Boy was I wrong. I think it might be my favorite from the weekend! I just really enjoyed it. It was a fun premise with a great little connection twist at the end…even though I figured it out MUCH EARLIER OKAY? But, I was really hoping Gabby and that lonely guy in the waiting room would get together. Anyone else? Also, I am probably always going to be partial to the movies that take place in a cute little Christmas town. So, let’s score this movie against our Checklist. Only 5/20!

  1. Workaholic too busy for Christmas
  2. Single Parent
  3. Clumsy Meet Cute
  4. Christmas Tree Lighting
  5. A sassy and wise best friend

A Timeless Christmas

Alright so tonight, we’ve got a classic Christmas Time Travel Story. I have just been anxiously awaiting this one.

The movie begins at an auction in 1903. Our lead, Charles, places the winning bid on an antique clock. He is planning to give the clock to his fiancé for Christmas. His rival, Harold Moran, congratulates him on the winning bid. He seems nice, but Charles does not like him AT ALL. Sounds like he’s trying to steal his lady! (And maybe more?)

Charles rides home in his carriage. His butler welcomes him home. Charles has ALOT of work to do. No time for staff Christmas parties. Eliza, his fiancé, sits like a creep in the living room. She asks him to reconsider attending her family’s Christmas party. HE IS TOO BUSY OKAY! He has to think about all kind of planning for his company. Eliza is pretty upset. Eliza is like, but what about LIVING IN THE PRESENT WITH ME! Stop doing business planning! That means attending the party. Eliza is suddenly NOT in the mood for hot chocolate. Things must be even worse than we thought.

Charles is like, okay bye! Upstairs, Charles opens up a floor board in his office and hides his journal. I’m not sure why he hides it in there as he doesn’t seem to be terribly paranoid or distrusting of anyone in his house. His maid, Rosie, comes in and admires the clock. Charles tells her it’s broken. She reads the inscription on the clock. That’s nice, she says. I’m surprised she can read! Rosie finally admits that she thinks he and Eliza are not a good match. But Charles’ biological clock is ticking so he has to marry SOMEONE.

Charles keeps working on the clock. He must have got it working. It starts ticking. Then the clock starts freaking out! It must be spinning forward! It makes Charles pass out.

Flash forward to present day, Erin Cahill, Megan, is giving tours of the house. She is dressed as Rosie, the maid. She gives a little bit of backstory on Charles rise through the company and then says that he mysteriously vanished in 1903!

Charles wakes up on the floor of his office. Everything in his office is encased in glass. He says “What the deuce?” Is that a real expression from the 1900s? All the museum staff are playing characters as they do the tours. They have the butler as of 1903, Eliza, and Rosie.

Charles wanders through the house asking for Rosie. The staff/actors pretend Charles is away on business. And then THE Charles marches down the stairs demanding to know why all these people are in his house. The guests just eat it up. Megan tries to play along. He’s like YOU’RE NOT ROSIE! The staff is like, he looks a lot the real Charles. One of the guests wants a SELFIE. The staff acts quickly to get these poor folks out of there.

Charles walks by the portrait of himself. When did this picture get here? Megan is like dude, you should chill out. You’re way too intense for the guests. The manager shows up. They are all like, hey so happy you’re the new actor. He’s like WHAT IS HAPPENING. Charles continues to freak out about ALL THE THINGS. The cars! The airplanes! He reaffirms that he is Charles Whitley…Whitby?

The staff scrambles to figure out what is going on. In the staff room, Charles is fascinated by the Christmas lights. The microwave beeps. Charles is FASCINATED. TECHNOLOGY. Megan approaches Charles and nicely asks him to leave. Amber, who plays Eliza and Dan, who plays the butler, are married. Megan tells Kenny to call the Sheriff because Charles refuses to leave. Megan tells Charles that she is the real Rosie’s great great granddaughter. Then he asks what year it is. They ask what year HE thinks it is.

Charles heads to his study. Megan follows him. She’s like, do you think you’re from the past? He’s like, I know I am! Oh boy, Megan wrote her Ph.D dissertation ON HIM. Is that enough? To write a dissertation?

Charles fills her in on what happened last night…for HIM. Then the Sheriff shows up. Charles suddenly becomes very cooperative. Megan gives him a coat so he can head to the station with the sheriff. He tells Megan about his little secret storage spot in his study to prove he’s the real Charles.

Back inside, Amber is like, so that crazy guy sure is cute, right? Megan is like, I’m not ready to date again. Amber, are you really thinking Megan should consider dating a guy who thinks he’s from the past just because he’s cute? GIRL. BE A FRIEND.

Megan heads upstairs to find the hiding spot. SURE ENOUGH. Also, everyone else changed into their regular clothes and she’s still in her little maid costume. She finds his notebook! And sure enough, the last entry is DECEMBER 18, 1903!

At the station, Charles is…honest with the sheriff. The sheriff calls him “cooperative” because he answers the questions. Megan arrives to help Charles out. She tries to come up with a story to get Charles out of there. The Sheriff is not buying it. ALSO WHY DIDN’T HE ASK TO SEE SOME ID for heaven’s sake.

Outside, Megan is like, I know it’s you because you have a horse shoe scar on your hand. Also, this notebook is pretty compelling. She takes him to get pizza. HE LOVES IT. Well, DOY. He tells her the pizza place used to be a blacksmith. Also, he is OUTRAGED at the cost of pizza. I’m shocked too. It only cost $23 for both of them to eat pizza? They’re not eating enough.

Megan tells him she applied for a job at the University. He wonders if she’s just doing that to make her parents happy? Probably. Then, Megan tells him that all the lights on the street are solar powered. YEAH RIGHT.

Charles starts telling Megan about his last conversation with Eliza. He asks what happened to Eliza after he disappeared. She says she doesn’t know. Again, YEAH RIGHT. Then Charles says he recognizes the street. He starts to freak out because his building is gone. Since he had no heirs, the building and the company all closed and got torn down. Well that’s a huge bummer. His life’s work just like…meaningless? Except for that random museum?

Back at the Whitley Mansion, Megan attempts to show him around the room they rent out to guests sometimes? That’s convenient. Charles is like, I CAN’T BE IN HERE WITH A LADY UNCHAPERONED. She decides against respecting his privacy and instead shows him the TV and encourages him not to use the toothpaste he found in the display case downstairs. He says she can call him Charles. She is touched by this.

Megan leaves and he sits on the remote and the TV turns on. He is not interested and turns it off.

The next day, Kenny is busy working on the big Christmas party. Charles wanders down in his bathrobe. Kenny is like WTF? Megan tells Kenny that Charles is actually from the agency and she is letting him stay at the museum for FREE. Kenny is strangely cool with all of this and tells him to be ready for the show at 10:45.

They wander in the kitchen and Charles is like, I’m way to busy to play myself.

Later, Megan leads a tour. She takes them to see Charles in his office. Charles seems…like nervous? Or quiet? ALTOGETHER UNHELPFUL. As they are about to leave, he says, don’t believe a word she says. He starts talking about how she says she has to help him with everything and she kind of banters right back. The guests EAT IT UP.

They do a Q&A with the guests. One of the guests asks about Moran. HIS NEMESIS. Charles kind of loses it. The guest starts to ask how he felt when Moran married….and then Megan cuts him off and directs the guests to the gift shop.

The guests really like Charles. Then, Amber runs into him and all her purse contents, including a book about acting. She tells him about how she always wanted to be an actor. It’s not really her dream but it’s something! Charles gives her some encouragement, after insulting her choice of profession.

Charles finds Megan working on a COMPUTER. Megan is wearing a great sweater. She uses a bunch of MODERN words like “EMAIL BLAST.” Charles says people used to keep his Christmas invites as souvenirs. Then Kenny walks in and says they are getting rave reviews on the WEBSITE. They even call Charles a HUNK. Of what? He wonders. Charles gets his cut of tips. And he offers to take her to PIZZA. YES CHARLES. Then Megan takes him shopping. He looks great but he thinks it might be too casual.

They stand in line to get hot chocolate. She asks how he liked playing himself. Wait, what did they get? It looks like a cinnamon roll with gummy bears on it? Am I blind? What are they eating? As they walk along, Charles tells Megan he didn’t really love Eliza. He just had to marry her. He also talks about losing his parents. Finally, Charles asks about Megan. Does she have a “suitor?” She tells him about her last boyfriend. Megan eyes a very cute snowflake necklace. I NEED IT. He tells her what Rosie used to say about love. I don’t remember.

Then apparently, it’s Christmas Tree lighting time. An adult elf passes out candy canes. Charles doesn’t know “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” but it seems like he DOES.

They have a nice chat after the tree lighting as they walk along the sidewalk. UH OH. Mistletoe. Megan is like, oh dang we have to go. She tells him he’s going Christmas shopping with her tomorrow.

The next morning, they leave a store LOADED UP with bags. Megan takes a SELFIE on her phone with him. He asks her about the internet. She does a terrible job explaining it. Then, they run into her parents. They are JUST LIKE SO AGGRESSIVE. Dude, Megan’s mom needs to take a GIANT CHILL PILL. She’s about ready to kill her husband and keep Charles for herself. They all get hot chocolate and Megan’s dad is suspicious about Charles. They ask about her job interview. They are like, our family is a family of professors. She has to spread her wings and take this great job. Then Megan talks about the Christmas party. Her mom says there is going to be a Christmas moon on Christmas Eve. Charles is like, what now? A Christmas moon? JUST LIKE THE INSCRIPTION ON HIS CLOCK.

Charles freaks. He is pretty sure he needs to fix the clock to go back in time on the Christmas moon! Wasn’t that kind of like, always supposed to be the plan? Use that clock? Or did he not know what sent him forward in time? So anyway, he wants to book it back to the house. They start to look for the clock. Megan falls off a chair and he catches her. They have a moment. Kenny arrives and wonders if he can help. He looks online…maybe on the museum’s database? He says he spent a year cataloging the items in the mansion. There is no sign of it. Sounds like that clock is History! It probably got sold!! So now there’s just no way to find it I guess.

Megan comes to get Charles for the tour. He is in his room reading in his new casual wear. He is back to being a BUSY BUSINESS MAN. He is reading fictional books on time travel to see if that will help. Megan is like, well what if you stayed? Charles is like, well dude, I have to go back obviously? Megan is like, you don’t sound like the Charles I studied! Also, I like having you around. Why is she all mad that he wants to go back to 1903…like he’s been saying this whole movie? Obviously he would want to go back? She’s like, we couldn’t find that clock so why are you still so obsessed with it!! She huffily drops off a printed invitation to show him. GUYS it is not souvenir worthy. But bless your heart, Megan.

Megan covers for Charles but apparently, he gets his attitude in check and does the performance. Later, Charles wanders around the mansion again and overhears Dan and Amber arguing a little.

Charles finds Megan in the kitchen going over the menu for the party. He says he LOVES the gravy. He admits he never went to his Christmas party so he’s never tried this gravy. He essentially admits he’s an introvert and also doesn’t know his own Christmas traditions. Since Charles doesn’t understand Christmas traditions, Megan decides to take him to one of her family’s Christmas gatherings. Charles gives Megan’s mom a bottle of wine from the 1800s a hostess gift. So here, they all bid on getting a chance to put the topper on the outdoor tree. Whoever succeeds gets to pick the charity the money goes to.

Megan’s mom is like SO DO YOU LIKE HIM OR WHAT GF? Charles succeeds in getting the tree topper on He picks Megan up and spins her around. He apologizes. But she was cool with it. Inside, Megan reads the Night Before Christmas to her uninterested nieces and nephews. One of them wanders up to Charles and gives him a cookie. Don’t eat it, Charles! She probably licked it. Then Megan’s dad tells Charles that he’s always welcome in their home. For some reason, they go through a Christmas slideshow. A random photo pops up of Rosie. And then Charles learns that Eliza married his NEMESIS.

Charles leaves their house in a huff. Megan runs after him. He is mad that she didn’t tell him about Eliza earlier WHEN HE ASKED. So Megan finally fills him in on Eliza. She’s like, you need to chill. She looked for you for a long time and then FINALLY FOUND LOVE. Since YOU NEVER SHOWED UP EVER. And She tells him that Eliza basically lived happily ever after. And he should be glad about that. She is RIGHT. Charles still needs to take a walk.

Charles walks alone downtown. He approaches a man decorating a tree on the street. The guy tells Charles he worked for Moran steel. Charles is like, dude didn’t he suck so bad? The guy tells Charles that he did ALOT of good for the town. They even donated money for a park. So he shouldn’t be so snippy about him. Then Charlies looks longingly into the pizza parlor. I GET IT. He runs into Dan, who is eating alone.

Dan says he and Amber have been trying to be actors for a long time. And they’ve got impressive backgrounds. But he thinks it might be time to give up on it. Charles says as long as they’re together, they will be okay.

The next day, Megan has an interview at MORAN University. She sits in the waiting room and sees a bunch of stuff on display. OMG. The CLOCK IS ON DISPLAY. She asks one of the assistants about the clock. She asks the assistant for a favor.

Charles practices apologizing in the mirror. Kenny tells him the tour starts in ten…no nine minutes. The clock is waiting in his study when he gets there. Megan saunters in. Is that the one? She asks. They both apologize to each other. And they both feel sad that he might be leaving tonight. Then Kenny yells that it’s TIME TO START THE DANG TOUR.

It’s Christmas Party time. ALOT of people have given up their Christmas Eve for this. Charles finally arrives for his speech. Megan looks so cute. He smiles at her. Amber looks fondly at them as Megan adjusts his tie.

Kenny welcomes the guests to the Christmas Party. This is their biggest fundraising event of the year and they broke last year’s fundraising record! For real though, do people hold fundraising events on Christmas Eve? I have never heard of anything actually being held on Christmas Eve. So Kenny introduces Charles to give a speech. Isn’t it a lot to ask these actors to do this? Maybe not. Charles gives a real speech. Because he is Charles Whitley, remember. Also, if Eliza ends up married to Harold, why is she one of the actors at Whitley mansion? Isn’t that a weird thing for the town? And for the Moran family? Everywhere else in this town, it’s Harold and Eliza Moran on every building but at Whitley mansion, they’re still engaged? Anyway, it is tradition that they dance together so they do.

Amber and Megan chat a little but then Megan cuts to the chase. WHERE THE HECK IS CHARLES? Then Dan gives Amber a compliment and says she’s his favorite leading lady. Amber gets a phone call. Megan casually wanders around looking for Charles. Then her parents arrive. They look very lovely. They ask her about the job at the university. She said she turned it town! She loves the museum too much. They tell her they are just happy that she’s happy. Well, what was all the pressure from before? Oh these guys.

Megan bolts upstairs and knocks on his bedroom door. No one answers. She walks into the office and sees the clock. He arrives. He says he decided to stay. He snips the cord inside so it won’t transport him home! And then he gives her that giant snowflake necklace. She’s like, thank you, but I wish you had given it to me earlier so I could wear it longer. He says going back wouldn’t be fair to Eliza. It sounds like she had a great life without him. That’s a fair point, actually. THEY KISS.

Amber tells Megan that she and Dan got a great opportunity in a traveling theatre company in the spring. Then Megan and Charles dance. He’s like, what kind of job should I have? Also, I’ll need a social security card, a driver’s license… you know. All that stuff. For now, he just wants to take her out a week from now, on New Year’s Eve. They KISS AGAIN. And that’s it.

I enjoyed this movie. It was fun. I anticipated a lot of silliness, but I must say, this is probably Hallmark’s best time travelling Christmas movie. I liked the two leads together. I do find it hard to believe that anyone would be interested in this museum but maybe the mystery of his disappearance was enough to keep it in business? I GUESS. Okay let’s rank this puppy. 4.5/20. Lower than I thought!

  1. Workaholic too busy for Christmas
  2. Clumsy Meet Cute
  3. Christmas Gala
  4. Christmas Tree Lighting
  5. We actually had the reverse of someone working a nondescript corporate job! Megan was already working at her dream job and being pressured to leave. So I give that half a point.