A Family Christmas Gift

A Family Christmas Gift premiered on December 22 on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

Holly calls someone and says she can’t make it some place. She comes in to work and tells the bellman she hasn’t had time to shop. She walks in to her offce and her assistant has coffee for her. What about lunch? No meetings so she’ll take that at her desk. She invites her assistant to hang out over Christmas but her boyfriend will be there.

Her boss tells her that next year will probably be an exciting year for her at the magazine where they work.

It’s the company Christmas party and the big boss gives a speech. He says he wants to single out of everyone but it’s not her. It’s some dude named Charlie. Wait, what was he talking about earlier then? What’s she got going for her next year if some young white dude is going to be the executive editor.

Later her boss catches her. He thought she was working over Christmas but she’s now decided to go home! To her very famous former singer aunt’s house in Colorado. He’s like sorry I picked that young dude over you. Are you mad?

A cute driver picks her up from the airport. He’s chatty. But her phone rings. Oh that town looks SO CUTE.

Allen drops her off and she tries to tip him. He’s like no I can’t take that. Her aunt, Dora comes out and is like, no Allen is my friend and he’s a musician too. He just did me a favor. Oh that’s awkward.

Kenny comes out! Kenny. He takes her bag up to her room. This is a great Inn. I keep feeling like I’ve seen this movie before…? Amber catches up with a bunch of people she knows and Dora shows her around. Amber doesn’t want to go see her old house. It’s too hard. Later, Dora wants to talk to her about a school fundraiser.

Wow, there is a plate of cookies in her room. And a picture of her parents. That makes her sad. Me too. Another friend comes in to say hi! Oh my gosh there is a Christmas tree in there. Leah is going to take her to the tree lighting ceremony. She might be too busy!! Leah talks her into going. More people she knows. Hey that guy’s been the mayor of a few towns now. The mayor announces of a bunch of items on our checklist. Yay! Ooooooh. Allen shows up. With his daughter Katie. Is this the pretty lady you were telling me about? Oh no that’s not what he said. He said “pretty bossy”. Excellent work, Katie.

Apparently, Dora signed Amber up to help Allen organize the school fundraiser. He is a music teacher there. Dora wants to help but is TOO busy. She goes to personally pick someone up at the train station. Okay but like how many people does Hallmark think regularly travels by train?

Later, Amber strolls through the Christmas market and heads to the school. Allen is conducting some children playing stringed instruments. Leah is there too and they reiminsce about high school. Amber is aghast at their fundraising abilities. They only made $800 last year. Allen is not really big on compromising though. He doesn’t want to change how they do things.

Amber pulls Allen aside to talk about the fundraiser. Allen says this is more like a showcase for the kids. They don’t actually need the money. Amber is like, this theatre is TOO plain. Allen is like, this allows the audience to focus on the kids. Allen pats her on the head and is like, no silly, I’m in charge. I don’t want to sell tickets. Amber has some truly great ideas. Allen sings “Tradition”from Fiddler on the Roof. Then he doubles down on being patronizing. He immediately regrets it but she walks off.

It’s Christmas Festival time and Amber and Leah are making the rounds. Allen’s daughter plays some kind of game. She complains about Allen. Leah share that it’s his first Christmas alone with Katie. Then Allen arrives and says he just got an email from the school board. They’re cutting their funding for the music program! What are they going to do!

The next morning, Allen and Katie get ready for school. Katie wants to look stylish like Amber. Oh they are divorced but they seem to have a strange custody arrangement for a school aged child.

At the Inn, Kenny remembers her drink order. Dora arrives and shares she’s bringing back the Christmas Eve caroling tradition. She tells Dora that the school board pulled the funding for the music program. Wait, but wasn’t it a grant? So wouldn’t that mean they just wouldn’t be able to apply for it for the next fiscal year? But maybe they know that.

She meets Allen at the festival. She is creating a vision for sets and costumes. Allen panics because they have zero money for that. Amber pats him on the head. She has a plan. The mayor shows up but she calls him reverend. I thought he was the mayor. Is he a pastor? Oh but a gambling pastor. Edgy. Amber gets a call from…her boss? But she says it’s the Inn and she leaves.

Back at the Inn, she calls Garret back. Charlie left for Florida for Christmas instead of starting his new job. But the board really likes her ideas and Garret wants to hear her pitch. She should make a power point!! She asks the magazine if they would be willing to sponsor. He agrees if she’ll interview Dora for the magazine. She hangs up without saying goodbye.

Amber plays piano in the lobby downstairs. Dora hears her. Amber shares that the magazine wants to interview her. Dora agrees.

Amber meets up with Allen again so now they have some money to burn. Katie and her friend shovel Christmas cookies in their mouths at a local restaurant, which seems a place Leah and her husband owns. Amber asks if they’d be willing to cater the fundraiser. Leah invites her and Allen over for dinner.

At a tree lot, Amber loads up on a bunch of wreaths and runs into Allen and Katie again. Katie and Allen are tree shopping. Amber apparently used to work at the tree lot in high school. Amber shares which tree is the best and which one is her favorite-the noble fir. Katie invites her to decorate the tree. Poor Allen tries to get the tree even. I love their tree stand. Katie says they make a great team. And now we have a Christmas tree decorating montage! And an interesting music choice. “I Saw Three Ships”? Really? They let Amber put up the star. It looks great guys. Leah’s daughter shows up. They must be neighbors?

The kids are doing some crafts or something in the living room. Amber takes it all in. Leah’s husband gets the food all ready for the catering tasting. They both lose their minds over the food. Leah makes a toast to Amber being back home. It’s very awkward for the men. Then Leah brings it back around.

Amber walks around the property and does an informal interview with Dora. She asks her about her first musical memory. Dora talks about singing with her grandma.

Later we have a montage of set building for the fundraiser. Oh we’re going back and forth between the interview and the set decoration montage. Allen and Amber have a moment while doing the set decorations.

I just love Dora’s necklace and pink shirt/heels combo. Dora tells Amber how proud she is of Amber. Oh, she paid for Amber’s college. Dang girl. They have a bonding moment about whether Dora was there or not for Amber when her parents died.

Amber goes toLeah’’s house and sees what Leah’s done for the school website. Leah then has a terrible idea. The kids could be in charge of writing something for the web page! Sure, if you don’t want it to get done.

At the school, Katie plays the piano. Amber tells her the song she is playing is one of her favorites. Amber gives her some tips and then offers to help. She talks while she’s playing the piano which I don’t think is possible. Allen walks in and sees them together.

Allen invites her to make a gingerbread house for the contest. Amber and Leah talk about whether or not she liked Allen. She says Silver Springs feels like home though. Leah is like, please move back! They talk about what kind of gingerbread house they should build. Katie wants to build a skyscraper and Amber calls her an idiot. A skyscraper?! Out of gingerbread? Honestly, Katie I know you are a kid but get your head on straight. Amber is like, why don’t you just decorate this premade house instead? Oh no! The pipes burst in the auditorium. It looks like everything is ruined. Amber doesn’t want to cancel though.What are they going to do?

At the Inn, there is a butt load of pies for the guests, I think? Amber arrives and tells Dora what’s going on. Where in the world can they hold the fundraiser? Dora has an idea. What about the church? Dora suggests that she headline to draw in a bigger crowd.

Amber talks to the pastor about the plan. He finally agrees when he hears that Dora will headline. Amber arrives at the school to see that Leah is handing out fliers with a “cancelled” sticker across the front. Seems a bit dramatic, wouldn’t you say? Amber shows them her fliers that include Dora as the headliner at the church. They all freak out.

At the festival, the little girls sell hot chocolate.

Holly puts up fliers at the Inn for the fundraiser. Later she talks to her boss about her interview with Dora. Garrett freaks out about it. Amber enjoyed doing the work. Garret tells her that the Executive Editor job is open. Charlie got poached by a different magazine. She has an interview tomorrow!

At the church, Katie sits in the pews and looks grumpy or nervous or something. Amber gives her a pep talk. Is Amber limping? Allen is like, do you want to go to dinner? Katie is going to Leah’s. The pastor interupptsand asks about parking. Amber agrees to go! Oh this is exciting. At the Inn, Dora puts out more Christmas cookies.

Amber has her interview.

Allen arrives to pick her up. She is SO dressed up. Why do people get so dressed up! I wasn’t even that dressed up for my wedding. At dinner they talk about their college experience. They went to the same college! Weird. They talk about their past relationships too. It’s not that interesting. Later, they head over to the church to check out the sound. Then Allen shares some things they have in common as he walks closer to her. He says she has a great laugh. They are about to kiss when ol Kenny interrupts. Thanks Ken! Allen drives her home and walks her to the door. Ahh! Are they going to kiss now? They do! Wow did not see that coming.

When she gets inside, she gets a text from Garret telling her she got the promotion.

The next day, Leah is like hey everything is ready but how was your date! Amber does not tell her ANYTHING. I die for Leah because I know everything and she doesn’t.

Dora shows up for her big performance.

Allen gives the kids a nice pep talk. Amber gives Katie a pep talk. It’s time for the show to start!

Allen kicks off the show. He says they’ve already raised enough money to fund the program for the entire year! Katie kicks off the performances. She nails it. A group of five kids somehow sound like a full choir. So realistic. The string quartet goes next. It’s almost time for Dora. It’s been five years! Dora says she might need a little help.

Allen introduces Dora. Oh, I love her shoes. She gives a nice speech and then asks Amber to join her onstage. Oh, just let Patti sing for Heaven’s sake. Oh she’s just going to play the piano. The pastor loves it. I cannot believe this woman is 75 years old. She gets a standing ovation.

After the concert, Amber says Dora is going to perform every year from now on. Amber shares about her job interview from the day before. She says she got the job. Allen is like, oh I thought you were thinking about moving here. You should just move back here. You have so much here! So much more than a silly old job.

The next day Dora chats with some friends bout the concert from the day before. Amber didn’t sleep at al the night before. But she’ll still play the piano tonight. Dora gives her some advice about work/life balance. Amber decides to take a walk into town.

Allen has Leah and he husaband over for pancakes. Katie is sad that she didn’t get to say goodbye. Allen lets his daughter call Amber.

Amber walks around the Christmas festival sadly.

Allen and Leah’s husband wash dishes and the husband gives him some advice. He tells Allen to fight for Amber. He tries to call her but her battery is dead. He decides to go to the carol event after all. Allen showsup just as Amber is leaving to look for him. Allen apologizes and so does she. Allen decides to tell her how he feels. Amber tells him she turned down the job. Then he’s like, wait you have to take the job you silly goose. Oh brother, she decides to be a freelance journalist. Then they kiss. Dora is so stoked. And that’s it. Let’s see how we did.

  • Workaholic who is too busy for Christmas
  • Single parent
  • Clumsy meet cute
  • Christmas Pageant
  • Christmas Festival
  • Christmas Tree Lighting
  • A sassy and wise best friend
  • Christmas montage

Total score: 8/20

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