This post is dedicated to our very NOT GOOD GIRL, Emma who was born in Sidney, Montana in the summer of 2005. She was sassy and sweet and will be sorely missed. Christmas in Montana premiered on Saturday, December 14 on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries.
We begin at a Christmas party. Our lead, Sarah, is wearing a great dress. She didn’t bake her own stuff for the Christmas party! Someone, her boss? Approaches her about a ranch in Montana. Apparently the ranch owner is really stubborn about a loan or something. They want her to go out there and meet with them in person. Usually only VPs go! She could be up for that position! It’s not even a junior VP. But a real actual Vice President job. But she needs to leave TOMORROW. But her daughter Chloe’s break starts tomorrow. He says bring her with her! Her boss seems understanding but also no nonsense.
Chloe doesn’t want to go. Montana is THE WILDERNESS. What if there isn’t any WIFI?! Or other TEEN JARGONS! They arrive in Bigfork. It looks like they are staying in an super cute Inn. They are not dressed warm enough for Montana though. This is a straight up B&B I think. Oh! They are in for a treat. Homemade cider and FRUITCAKE. Dang. Chloe has never had it but is in to it. UH OH. No WIFI. Just kidding. They do have it. I’m SO relieved. The Inn owner gives Chloe some ideas to pass the time instead of being on her phone the whole time. This teen sure is obsessed with that gol darn phone of hers. TEENS.
They walk into a super cute Christmas shop and meet a grade A 50 something hunk. He seems to own the place. Chloe tells her mom she doesn’t want a new charm for her charm bracelet. The store owner oh, no he isn’t. He’s just filling in for a friend. They take turns out dadding each other with Christmas puns. It’s tough for Chloe and I to witness.
Next they head to a GORGEOUS lodge or something. Oh here he comes. The curmudgeon Ranch owner. He’s the dad. Sarah is looking for his son. He must run the place. Oh dear. Mr. Carson asks them to call him “Pops”. I’m not going to do that. He gets them hot chocolate. Pops sets Chloe up with another teen working with the horses. Even the barn is obscenely decorated. Chloe comments on it. THANK YOU. Apparently, the horses like Christmas too. Chloe has never even pet a horse before.
Uh oh. Outside is that silly store manager who didn’t really work at the store. It’s Pops’ son, Travis, Jr. Surprise, surprise. She helps him hang more garland. Oh, apparently their meeting starts now. Sarah really wants them to get that loan approved. He said they are not cutting labor. I have an idea! How about 50% less Christmas decorations. How about they downsize that ski lodge of a house they’re living in? Oh well, they’ll chat tomorrow.
Lexi and Chloe bond over the horses. Chloe is happy to see Travis. Travis tells them that his horse likes Christmas music so he gets Chloe to sing Christmas music to the horse. Then, Travis jokes that they better get back to the hotel before rush hour!! Jokes.
Back at the Inn, Chloe “Guesses” she had fun. She definitely wants to go back to the ranch tomorrow. Oh! I have another idea. How about 75% less Christmas lights to cut costs?
The next day, they are setting out MORE CHRISTMAS decor outside. What is happening. Travis’s dad tries to talk to him about the business. They really need that loan. The dad is the more practical of the two, surprisingly. Oh, Travis was a lawyer before he moved back to run the ranch. Was he in a different Hallmark movie then? One where he decides to stay and run the ranch? Pops is like, you have to figure something out because this ranch is not making any money. I like this ol boy. Travis is truly terrible at this job.
Outside, a car honks. The girls are still not dressed appropriately. Chloe gets to help with chickens today! Yuck. Pops said he talked some sense into Travis for Sarah. This has got to be the MOST obscenely decorated house in all of the Hallmark movies this year. Travis says they can’t get straight to business. But Sarah is like, okay well I had an appointment so why did you tell me to be here at a specific time. Uh oh. Sarah is a vegetarian. That is not going to work well here.Then they get right into a super deep convo. Travis shares that he never had any kids. But he wanted to. And then Sarah shares more about her life. They are connecting RIGHT AWAY. She can’t dig into last year’s cash flow until she finishes her hot chocolate. So she guzzles it. That’s great.
They head outside so Travis can stall some more. He wants to give her a tour of the property. He shows her a big empty barn. They host a big Christmas potluck every year in it. That sounds fun. Sarah is like, well that sounds expensive. She suggests he rent this place out for weddings or special events. Not interested. He shows her EVEN MORE Christmas decorations. HOW MANY BINS DO THEY HAVE!!! Travis pushes back on all her ideas and stalls some more.
Travis hangs more garland and Sarah takes notes. She says he’s wasting perfectly nice garland hanging it in the rafters. She suggests making a zig zag Christmas tree with it. I love that. I NEED MORE GARLAND. She says she decorated that way once but it was a really long time ago.They keep Christmas pretty low key since her husband passed. Then she gets super in to decorating. They admire their work. It looks great! Sarah is like, cool now we can do some work. Travis is like no I want to put up more Christmas decorations. Travis should NOT be running this ranch.
Inside, Chloe looks like she’s…knitting? Travis describes the magic of Christmas snow. He’s right. Why does Pops have the best Christmas sweater in the room? Pops invites the girls to stay for lunch. But they can’t talk business at lunch, you guys. Sarah and Travis decide to have a quick chat before lunch then. Travis pauses their meeting to turn on a toy train. I think his diploma on his wall says “Law University.” Oh, that is a great school. He shares about his experience as a lawyer in New York. It turns out you can only be a lawyer in big cities. Either run the ranch or be a lawyer in a big city apparently.
They are having a big old fashioned lunch. A plate of corn on the cob, rolls, and like a lot of vegetables. They trade jokes about their misconceptions about their eating habits. They share their favorite Christmas moments. Then Travis invites them to their annual Christmas bonfire. They realize they are not prepared for the cold. So Travis offers to drive them into town to get warm gear. That snow sure is coming down! They drive to an outdoor market? Oh no they go to a regular store. Sarah points to a random employee and says to him, we’ll take these. That’s not how stores work, Sarah. Then they decide to shop for hats and gloves at the outdoor market. They find GREAT Christmas tree hats. I love them. Little by little they are getting bundled appropriately. The last thing they need is boots.
It’s time for the big bonfire. Chloe is hanging out with Lexie. Sarah suggests he start charging for this event. And Travis is like, no way Jose. Travis introduces them to a restaurant owner in town. The owner gives Travis a LOOK. If you told me Travis spent six figures on exterior lighting, I would believe you. They sing carols. Look, this is REALLY LOVELY. I want in.
Back at the Inn, Sarah tries to do some work in the cute kitchen. Kay tells her to go to bed. She can only get inspired at the ranch.
The next morning, Kay shows up with Sarah and Chloe. Kay invites the girls to help make eggnog. Pops CRUSHES yet again with his sweater. Lexie surprises Chloe by going to the chicken coop for eggs instead of the kitchen. Sarah tours the property and takes notes. She passes two kids with hockey sticks and skates. What? Lexie’s dad is helping Travis decorate the barn. The items for the Christmas potluck are packed SO ridiculously. In open milk crates? Come on guys. They have another heart to heart. But then Sarah says he’ll make a wonderful father someday. What? He’s in his fifties. I mean, obviously he could still be a dad to a baby but like, honestly. Lexie’s dad comes back in covered in snow. She says she realizes that Peter’s suggestions aren’t going to work. Good thing she came out there! Kay rings the bell to make them take an eggnog break. Pass. Chloe says she put the cinnamon stick in her eggnog like her dad used to.
Sarah gets a call from her boss. They argue a little bit about whether she should be pushing him to lay people off. Travis walks in and suggests they go horsebackriding. She suggests that he give riding lessons at the ranch. This place is literally brimming with money making opportunities. COME ON TRAVIS. Also, I don’t see any cattle. What kind of ranching do they do exactly? Ugh. He also basically has a Christmas Tree farm on his property. Okay, Travis, you need to be fired IMMEDIATELY. You suck at running a business. Chloe finds them a great tree and then Travis makes Sarah cut it down. FUN. And why is that area of the ranch covered in lights?
Inside, they all decorate the tree. Then Pops gives Kay a special new ornament. Everyone gets an ornament. Oh! He made one for Sarah and Chloe. Kay is like, I’ve been coming around here for years and this is my first year getting an ornament. These city slickers show up two days ago and they already have one?
Later, Sarah apparently has no place to be so she sits out on the porch in the 20 degree weather. Travis is like it’s freezing out here. Do you want to go inside? She’s like no, even though I’m massively underdressed for this weather, I like it! Then they see a shooting star! I’m surprised they can see the stars with all the light pollution this ranch is emitting. They see a meteor shower! She runs inside to get Chloe. What a nice little trip for them.
Back inside, poor Chloe is passed out on the couch. Sarah can’t get her up. Travis suggests they just stay the night! You’re telling me in that big house, they only have two tiny couches for them to sleep on? And then Sarah has to sleep in her jeans? Whoa. Travis looks like he’s going to kiss her and then kisses her on the cheek. This looks miserable. She can’t even stretch out on that couch! That house has got to be 3000 square feet and it’s only got 2 bedrooms? No way.
Kay arrives in the morning with cute cinnamon rolls with candy canes in them. Sarah can’t wait to get out of there. But Chloe wants to stop at the Christmas market. Can’t they take a shower first! Chloe wants more yarn. Chloe asks if Sarah wants to learn how to knit. Sarah is like can I PLEASE take a shower or at least brush my teeth first? Why do you have to teach me to knit on this park bench? Then Chloe tells her this is the best Christmas they’ve had since her dad died. She wants to stay through Christmas. Sarah says they can’t just invite themselves to someone else’s Christmas.
Travis is crunching some numbers. Reality seems to set in for the first time.
Sarah and Chloe are back in their hotel. Chloe shovels fruitcake in her mouth. Sarah gets them super cute matching Christmas sweaters. Sarah’s boss calls. Peter is concerned about her methodology. His daughter follows Chloe on social media. And he sees ALOT OF MERRIMENT. She can’t possibly be getting work done that way. He says needs her report by noon tomorrow. I think Sarah has an idea. Chloe’s generation Z need to post her entire life on social media may have saved the ranch.
I think Sarah worked all night. What kind of jeans does she have that she can sleep in them and work all night in them?
Kay and Sarah have a nice conversation that morning. She learns that Travis was engaged once. And Sarah shares her big idea with Kay. Kay loves it. She hopes Travis will too.
Sarah comes to the ranch. Travis is like, I’m going to sell 2000 acres. Sarah is like, no you’re an idiot. I know you don’t want to charge your family and friends but what about dumb city slickers like me? She puts together a web presentation for him. He asks if there’s even a market for basically turning the ranch into a B&B lodge type thing but maybe only for Christmas? She shows him what they charge per week. He’s like, who would run it? Well, they’d need a manager. Hmmm. What does he think? How about running more cattle? Or what is this ranch even DOING!!! But he’s stoked about this new idea.
Later, they are all antsy waiting to hear back from Peter. Kay comes in with gingerbread house making items. Oy. Here we go. Chloe blurts out wanting to stay for Christmas. Pops and Travis are like, yeah doy. Sarah says they can stay. Finally Sarah gets a call. They can do the Carson Christmas Lodge thing! They got the loan. They decide to go to that restaurant in town to celebrate. But Chloe can’t go. She’s going caroling. Oh, well just Sarah and Travis are going to go then.
That night, Sarah is wearing a super cute dress. How did she know to pack that? They chat as they walk to the restaurant and then while they eat. And then he asks her to dance. Oh brother. Okay good other people are dancing. I have NEVER been to a restaurant where people are dancing. Do they actually exist? After dinner, he asks if she wants to go for a stroll. He thinks she’s finally on Montana time because she’s slowed her walking pace. OH! He takes her hand and tells her he’s fallen head over heels for her! She feels the same way! But maybe that’s why they shouldn’t stay for Christmas. How would it even work!! Travis is like let’s figure it out. Sarah is like, no I can’t. I have my whole life in LA and I can’t give that up. She leaves abruptly. Dang.
In the hotel, they are packing up. Chloe wants to stay. She’s like we’re both better here. Christmas is better here. They both say they didn’t want to talk about Chloe’s dad to protect the other one. Then Sarah says she has a gift for Chloe. It’s a charm for her charm bracelet. Chloe says she always has it with her. She just didn’t want to wear it.
Back at the barn, the Carson boys are putting up even MORE decorations. Travis gives himself the lecture he thought his dad was about to give. Travis thinks it’s too late. Well we’ve only got like 3 minutes left so it might be! Nobody seems concerned about airline cancellation and change fees. Travis runs to the Inn to catch the girls before they leave. Are they leaving ON Christmas Eve? That’s terrible. Travis arrives. She wonders if there is some sort of business issue.
He says there’s EVERYTHING WRONG with her leaving. She’s like if I spend one Christmas there, she’ll never want to leave. She has to protect Chloe! Well, it seems like Chloe wants to stay here, girlfriend. Sarah tears up. Travis is like, no you can’t leave I won’t permit it. OH Now he mentions he needs someone to run the Christmas ranch. He’s like, do you know anyone? And then Chloe barges in. What’s going on? She wonders. Chloe is stoked about staying for Christmas. Oh he hugs both of them. That’s cute.
They walk in to the super cute Christmas Eve potluck. I love this idea and the obscene decorations. Travis tells Sarah she’s home. Then, THEY KISS! In front of EVERYONE. And then they eat. Let’s see how we did.
- Small town person
- Big City person
- Single parent
- Snowball fight
- Christmas puns
- Small (ranch) in danger of going out of business
Total score: 7/20