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!
- Single parent
- Clumsy re-meet cute
- Christmas Gala
- Christmas Baking
- CHRISTMAS PUNS
- Christmas montage