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

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