Check Inn to Christmas premiered on Tuesday, November 26 on the Hallmark Channel. You guys. This has been just a marathon. But I think I can see the finish line. I also realize this is only Tuesday’s post. But my dumb sister wrote this post and it took her all week to get through this movie. She’s a doctor though so just CHILL okay? Let’s get it done.
We open with our leading lady walking into her insanely decorated office building. IN-SANE. I’ve watched a lot of these movies now, and this is where I draw the line. This is the most unrealistic part of the movie and I’m not sure I can get over it.
Our gal rushes into a basically empty conference room afraid she is late. Her coworker is already there AND brought donuts. We find out that these two women are up for the promotion to senior associate at their law firm. They have a nice moment supporting each other. Women helping women, I’ll drink to that. But the other girl brought donuts so I’m rooting for her. Also, later in the movie she says she’s worked for that firm for ten years…and she’s only just up for senior associate?! YOU GUYS. Let her be up for partner for heaven’s sake. At least it’s not “junior partner”. Oh, another lovely surprise, they both get time off for the holidays and they are super appreciative. This is unheard of in the Hallmark corporate world. They still gotta meet that annual billable hours requirement though y’all! Dang millennials and their ludicrous desire for work/life balance. Back in my day… wait, nevermind. Moving on.
Our gal, Julie, tells her coworker that she plans to go to Colorado to spend Christmas with her family. But it won’t be relaxing, her dad is going to put her to work at the Inn; plus the town does a big Christmas celebration throughout the entire month of December and she always participates.
Oh wait, the other gal says she is not taking any time off and she will be working through the holidays—too much paperwork to do! I fear there is something sinister afoot with this gal. And let’s not forget the donuts.
Finally, the boss shows up to the meeting and he’s ready to give the update on the coveted senior associate position. Unfortunately, Thompson is tied up so they can’t make that decision until after the holidays. So much work to do. I don’t even know what Thompson does back there. She offers to cancel her trip to Colorado, but he insists she go, she’s earned it after all. Has she? This feels like a trap.
An old timey train rolls up and Julia disembarks. She obviously spent the last month on Pinterest searching ‘cute traveling outfit.’ She sees a very cartoony map with like 4 things on it and touches the spot marked Crawley Inn. A young gentleman approaches and says “oh, look the map is right. It say’s you are here and you are here.” Eye roll. He’s just returning her laptop she forgot on the train. The case looks like is straight out of the North Pole.
Her sister runs up to greet her and asks why she would be talking to Ryan Mason. She hadn’t recognized him. Her sister is running for some Christmas office against Ryan Mason’s brother. This happened in high school as well apparently and this is a heated rivalry. Oh, I see. Their family owns an inn as well. Well, this is going to be very innnnnn teresting. Oh, please don’t stop reading.
They are going ALL OUT for decorations this year. It’s the centennial, after all. There is even a bake-off this year. Oh, and A HUGE dance where they will announce winner of grand marshall- sounds suspicially like prom.
AL BORLAND IS HER DAD and she is not sure about his exterior décor. He wants her to move back. She brings up the promotion and they are so proud. Her dad is WAY more excited about Christmas festivities than any dad would ever be. No one wants to help him finish putting up Christmas lights. But… duh.
Yikes, Frank Mason is literally handing out buttons to campaign for Christmas Grand Marshall. Edgestone Resorts is the real threat, Mason fam, not the Crawleys. Get that through your thick skulls. Oh Ryan is not pleased that his dad turned down an offer to buy their inn last year. He is the manager of the inn, he should have been consulted! Mr. Mason wants to run this inn the same way his dad and his granddad did, not offer amenities and publicity like big resorts. Also, he seems much more into winning the Christmas contests then like running a profitable business.
The Mason family is ordering their “usuals” at Jaimie’s Diner for dinner tonight. Ryan runs into Julia at the diner. They talk about high school. Now we find out she took a TRAIN from NYC to a small town in Colorado. This seems very inefficient. I wonder if she will explain why she chose a train which probably took 5 days. Oh their dads always order the same thing- what to you know, they have things in common! She also seems to know ALOT about him despite being two years apart and in different circles.
Julia wanders down the street of the Christmas celebration literally saying hello to everyone. She hugs the salvation army Santa, and throws a toy to a child. What is happening?
She runs into Ryan. They have some banter and keep bringing up hot chocolate. Excuse me while I pause this and get some hot chocolate.
There is a snowball competition. There must be teams of 4. Oh the winner gets spa day passes to the new Edgestone Hotel in the neighboring town. Ryan is not happy. The owner of Edgestone, who looks like Eric Trump, is sponsoring the prize and he’s only here to buy another family run inn, obviously. And by the way, the entire town seems stoked about the spa at Edgestone. I am too.
Ryan leaves to go stretch to prep for the snowball toss competition. The 2 families face-off and the competition ends in a tie. They need one representative from each family. Ryan and Julia are up for the challenge. Ryan asks if she will have dinenr with him if he misses. She says she’d like to win fair and square. He said okay, can we have dinner if I make it? And she laughs it off. He’s like.. but seriously, why wouldn’t you want dinner? Then he throws his snowball and wins. But where did we land on dinner?
Ryan Mason’s brother talks to Julia’s sister about his campaign buttons and how it means he obviously has the most Christmas spirit—more like most free time, Ryan Mason’s brother.
Back at the Crawley Inn, Julia is doing her job and her dad can’t get over how good she is doing at answer one single customer’s question. She’s like, Dad, I use legal jargon in every day life okay? I object.
Her sister comes running in and said they have to go see the Mason Inn because the decorations are really good. They seem concerned. We HAVE to do SOMETHING! The dad gets really serious and says “Oh, we’ll do something.” I believe he starts plotting the Mason Family murder.
Ryan said he helped his dad who wanted to cover every square inch of the inn in lights—Christmas vacation style. Ryan added a bunch of Christmas trees in a self-proclaimed act of genius. He does have an MBA from “Chicago” after all.
We get a little history on this long-standing family feud. And Ryan gets a lecture on telling his dad the truth about what he wants in life.
Julia gets a rude-awakening by her overly-cheery dad to hustle outside to decorate the outside of their inn. Uh oh, tonight is the deadline for decorations.
She realized that she failed the test at work by taking her vacation because. You should be working on cases remotely, you silly goose!
Julia says she is over the family feud. Her sister thinks that is just because she has a crush on Ryan. The sisters put Christmas bows all over each other, as sisters are wont to do.
Julia finds a letter from Edgestone resorts wanting to buy the inn. Her dad also passed on the offer.
Julia and Ryan sneak away to talk about the letters their dads each got from Edgestone. They would be mutually affected by Edgestone moving in. Edgestone offers gyms, spas, retail clothing stores, and restaurants—honestly, sounds nice. I would love to go to a conference at this resort.
Ryan is intrigued by Julia’s interest in this. She’s like, bro this is my family. And then he insults her for being a lawyer and she insults him for staying in town. He insults her for not caring about their hometown. Boy these two crazy kids are just SO DIFFERENT, aren’t they? She leaves.
The Masons are training for Christmas. Dad wants to quiz them on Christmas triva, brother has to get gift baskets for the troops for his charity event. Ryan suggests he invite Lexi. He’s like, that’s my competition. Ryans like.. it’s for charity idiot.
Julia gets home and hears something at the window. Ryan is throwing snowballs at the window. She goes outside to talk to him. They apologize for their insulting each other back and forth. They go and get hot chocolate at Eddie’s Pub. It’s very festive. They apologize again.
He says he got an MBA and worked at a start-up in Chicago. Then he moved back home. He likes working with people face to face. She can relate. She doesn’t interact with humans yet, despite working at her law firm for TEN YEARS.
They scheme to get their families together over building baskets for the troops. Julia tries to sneak back inside but her grandma is sitting in the dark living room like a creep and questions her. They have some peppermint tea and talk about their great aunt Elizabeth who snuck around with John…wait for it… MASON. He broke her heart by chosing his family over her. Grandma warns her to be careful. She says- look I’m trying to be a lawyer in NYC. I’m fine.
Julia suggests they all go help the troops at the Mason Inn. Her dad says they need to practice for Christmas trivia ALL DAY. They reluctantly agree to make gift baskets FOR THE TROOPS.
Ryan cannot believe how Julia got her family to come to the Mason Inn. The dads are working together and bickering. Lexi and brother and working together. I sense love might be in the air here too.
Mr. Crawley fills Mr. Mason in on a hint he overheard at the library about the categories for trivia.
Here we are at the Christmas Triva night. I’d like to play this. PubMaster Eddie on the 1’s and 2’s. The game is underway. The Crawleys and masons are murdering everyone else in town. Its neck and neck. The Crestridge Christmas history category comes up and they give each other a knowing nod. The Crawleys win! Eddie just announced this was his last trivia night. He is retiring. He says he sold his place to Edgestone resort. BUZZ KILL. No one except the other Inn owners are devastated. They can’t wait for spa days and exercising.
Julia and Ryan scheme again. The Mason’s are not competing in the bake off because they are scared of the Crawley grandma. But Julia has an idea.
Julia’s family is busy prepping for the bake-off. She blows the breaker and is super happy about it.
It’s the entire inn! They are supposed to host the bake-off. The grandma is concerned about her buche de noel and CANNOT just make it tomorrow. Julia asks if they should just use someone else’s kitchen. She causually mentions the Mason’s kitchen. Papa Crawley humbles himself and makes the call. They are welcomed with open arms to the Mason Inn. Literally everyone is so friendly and that seems surprising.
The dads discuss buche de noel aka yule log and then skip away to play billiards together. The sibling love story continues to unfold as they do some baking together. The dads share some eggnog and talk about Edgestone. They both don’t understand the appeal of big nice resorts when you can have a family-run inn with “character” and no amenities. Everyone knows “character” is a nice way of saying “needs updating”.
Julia and Ryan mosey through the bake-off sampling everything. Sounds like a dream. They find out that Eddie hasn’t actually SOLD his pub yet, he just received the offer.
I just realized Julie and Ryan is awfully similar to Juliette and Romeo. Nice one, Hallmark. Except Romeo and Juliette is like the worst Shakespeare story…okay maybe second to Titus Andronicus.
A lady excuses herself to get after those “reindeer tarts”, and I can’t imagine what that could be. But now she is FULL and is about to announce the winner! The first place winner is the CRAWLEY FAMILY Buche de noel! Grammie Crawley renames it the Crawley-Mason Family Buche de Noel.
After the bake-off, Julia literally falls into Ryan’s arms as they giggle about being a good team. Oh no, they kiss and her sister SEES THEM. I’m literally hiding under the covers embarrassed for them. Julia has HELL TO PAY for kissing Ryan. Now, Julia takes a call from her coworker Melissa saying that Thompson is back and just called her about the partnership. Julia seems unphased.
The next morning. Julia and Ryan are back up to their old tricks. They all sit down to make wreaths together. Papa Crawley says he MAJORED in wreath making. He loves a good garland. Ryan asks Julia to the Christmas prom. She would LOVE to go. She requests to be picked up in a one-horse open sleigh. But now, the families are fighting again. They think only one inn will survive once Edgestone moves in. They fight about which family gets to leave the wreath table first.
Julia and Ryan wonder if their love can survive this deep rift between their families. She says maybe she will just meet him at the dance instead.
Back home, Julia’s dad wraps his head around the idea of losing the inn. He says its not Julia’s problem because she lives in NYC. She assures him that this will always be her home. Later, she has several books propped open and is typing furiously. Oh, she has an idea. She hustles over to the Mason Inn. She is now on first-name basis with Papa Mason, Bill. She talks to Ryan about a legal loop-hole to save Eddie’s Pub. She wants both families to buy it together and make it into an upscale resort.
She wants to make an amendment to the town’s zoning laws. This will block corporations from just moving into any little town and closing their local businesses. She’s going to draft up the contract tonight and they will bring it up at the prom. Perfect. So, I actually like this whole idea. The market has demonstrated a need for an upscale resort with fancy amenities. These local inn owners are able to out compete the big resort and provide the amenities themselves. I am sort of Lukewarm about local businesses being able to keep out other businesses but if they amend the city zoning laws, I would hope the public would have an opportunity to comment. If they’re fine with it, then so am I.
Julia’s boss calls with good news. They want to offer her the senior associate position. They love her work and think she would be an asset to the team. They are going to hit the ground running on Jan 2 so she needs to get back right after Christmas. She says that will be no problem.
She shows up to the prom in a beautiful red dress. Her dad sees her looking longingly at Ryan Mason. He knows she likes him. Dads just know sometimes. But, do they?
Our announcer of every event welcomes everyone to the dance. It’s time to announce the Christmas Grand marshal. The winner is… Lexi Crawley! Brother Mason seems genuinely happy for her. Julia and Ryan decide to talk to their families now. The next scene shows Ryan and Julia on the other side of the dance floor, watching the families discuss the idea. Why they had to remove themselves from the discussion is beyond me.
Julia tells Ryan that she got the promotion and she has to leave the day after Christmas. He says he is happy for her. I appreciate that he doesn’t become a whiny baby about her leaving after the beautiful week they’ve had.
Let it be known that the run time of this movie says 2 hours, but I’m convinced that one hour of it is commercials.
Ok, Papa Mason tells Ryan that the families have decided to go forward with the deal! Those business plans were on point. Ryan would like the opportunity to run the joint inn. He is up for the task! His dad says he already told Papa Crawley that Ryan would be the best person for the job. They both cry and hug. The century-old feud is over. Huzzah!
Gam-Gam Crawley and Julia talk about Ryan again. Julia is sad to be leaving Crestridge. Grammie is so proud of Julia for bringing the families together but says nothing of use for poor Julia’s broken heart.
The Masons show up for the Crawley’s holiday breakfast. Ms Announcer tells them the bakery won the exterior décor contest. Brother mason and The Grand Marshal chat over breakfast. Julia’s dad hands Ryan a note that just says “meet me at the bar tonight.” No specific time.
Somehow they still manage to figure out those logistics. Julia meets Ryan and says she wanted to meet in this specific spot because its where he got her thinking about what makes life meaningful. In a shocking twist, we learn that she turned down the promotion and she decided to stay in Crestridge and open up her own law firm! Fast-track to making partner. Good luck to her! Glad she has free rent at her family’s inn!
She says there is something about this town that makes her want to stay. He says oh you can’t put it into words? She says oh I can… my family, a job I can be proud of, and you. Barf. They kiss.
Let’s see how we stacked up.
- Small town person
- Workaholic who WAS too busy for Christmas
- Christmas Contests all over the place
- Christmas Gala (dance)
- Christmas baking
- Snowball fight
- Christmas puns
- Sassy and wise best friend
Total score: 8/20