Well, here we are. At the end of another Hallmark movie weekend. This was a particularly low point in the season, in my opinion. I could have survived on 36 movies this year. I really could. I would take all the bad movies I’ve seen this year if it meant that these four were not made. They were too boring to be fun bad, as many of these movies are. They were just…bad. So, shall we dive in?
Holly (who’s name is not said for a full TWENTY MINUTES) works at a vintage clothing store in NYC run by her pregnant friend Megan. Holly gives Megan a pair of plain (but handmade) earrings as a baby gift and her friend is so elated. Oh! Ashley made them for her. Now she’s off to meet her dad for dinner.
Greg (who’s name I also don’t learn until shortly before I learn Holly’s) complains over time phone during work hours to customer service about cancelling their gift wrapping service. Then he pitches a journalism idea to his editor. She wants the readers to be inspired by Christmas so can he weave that in? Greg doesn’t want to do the Secret Santa but it seems mandatory at this place of business. I do sympathize with him not wanting to participate. Who wants to spend $20 on someone they barely know? You end up just swapping Starbucks gift cards. I’ll just buy myself a Starbucks gift card and be done with it.
At dinner with her dad Holly says she is going to work more at the Vintage store when her friend has the baby. Her dad wants her to quit this stable job and focus on her jewelry. Ashley’s dad doesn’t drive her home which I think is really weird.
Greg is trying to write a feel good story for his article but it doesn’t go well. Then Greg literally runs into Holly and she drops her dessert. Greg wonders how he is going to clean it up. Just…pick it up and put it in the trash? It’s a solid piece of cake. He offers to buy her a new one or take her on a date. Even though he doesn’t like labels. She declines. I probably would too but Holly, he’s cute!
Back at the Vintage store, Megan’s mom comes by. Oh dang, this woman is playing a grandma now? Holly goes through some stuff on a table and finds a charm bracelet that says “Baby’s first Christmas.” Megan astutely observes that the charm bracelet belonged to a woman….because it looks like it would go on a small wrist. Not that only women wear charm bracelets. They wonder how they can find the owner of the bracelet. Megan takes a terrible photo of it to get started.
Holly takes the charm bracelet to her dad. He seems to either own a pawn shop or a jewelry store. No wonder he wants her to make jewelry. Her dad gives her a lead on the charm bracelet.
Someone at Greg’s work plays Christmas music loudly at his cubicle. Holly somehow has a photo of herself as a child on her computer…and is able to zoom in on the photo. So it is not a scanned photo of her young self. It’s an actual digital photo. So that is so unlikely…unless she like under the age of 25. THINK ABOUT THAT.
The next day, Holly goes into the fancy jewelry store. Greg notices her in the window and goes inside. He asks her about the jewelry. The shop owner tells Holly that the charm on the bracelet from their store is worth like 3k. WHAT NOW. Is this for real? Do people spend $3,000 on one singular charm?!!! No way.
Holly is so passionate about charm bracelets. She gives a very impassioned speech to Greg about how much people love them. But do they, Holly? Is it really so serious? Greg followers her and wants to help. Guys we’re 18 minutes in and I still haven’t heard anyone call these people by their name. Holly rejects his help. Greg thinks this is the perfect Holiday Hero story for his article. Yes, the story of how a vintage store employee returns an expensive piece of jewelry to its wealthy and careless owner is the heartfelt holiday story we all need right now. Anyway, Greg pitches the idea to his boss. When he says it out loud it sounds even worse. But his boss loves it. I audibly shout WHAT at the screen at this point. She thinks it could be the cover. WHAT IS HAPPENING. This might be even more boring than that stupid ring mystery.
Anyway, super sleuth Greg figures out where Holly works. He shows up at the store. I finally hear that her name is Holly. And his name is Greg. So that’s that. Greg is inspired by the effort she is putting into it. She is truly a Holiday Hero. The coworkers talk her into accepting his help. My husband says, “she must have been hurt in her past.”
They go have a working lunch at that same German place Holly went with her dad. Greg begins a “formal interview.” Holly says she got her degree in in jewelry design. She describes her jewelry making style. She says “funky” but that is definitely not how I would describe it based on what I’ve seen so far. Also, she says her dad owns “an engagement ring store.” WHAT. Did she forget the word jewelry? Then her dad calls and has another lead for her.
Their investigation takes them to a Christmas market. Greg hates Christmas. HE’S NEVER BEEN TO THIS MARKET. He shops online for all the gift cards you guys. Holly is AGHAST. Holly even loves picking out the gift wrapping. Poor Merle, the man they’re there to see, has fallen on hard times. He once ran a successful jewelry store and now he’s a Christmas market Santa. Holly wants to get a gift for her dad while they’re at the market. Greg has a terrible idea for his gift. Greg’s dad is much different than Holly’s. Holly grabs a random teal journal for someone. EXCELLENT GIFT HOLLY. Then we get the do you have a boyfriend issue out of the way. Later, they fight over a plain cinnamon roll.
Greg and Holly talk about what they know about the bracelet. Santa takes a look on his break over a big old bowl of chili. He tells them some of the charms were made in Germany.
The next day, they hit a dead end in their search for German jewelers. I pause typing to eat some Dot’s pretzels. Oh, you’ve never tried Dot’s pretzels? I feel SO SAD FOR YOU. Greg used to be an investigative journalist. He changed careers because he messed up BIG TIME. He wrote a story that pretty much ruined a doctor’s career because his two assistant’s lied to him. Then Greg’s mom calls. She needs his help. He has to go home and help load some massive gingerbread displays into a truck. Holly agrees to come help.
So Greg and Holly are at his mom’s church I think? Anyway, I thought they just had to load the houses up. They have to construct them. WHAT IS THAT GINGERBREAD VILLAGE. Greg claims the frosting sets really quickly. NO IT DOESN’T GREG. Greg’s mom tries to tell old family stories to Holly. Greg loved Christmas as a kid but it’s too much work as an adult he says. After they’re done, Holly hands Greg a gingerbread cookie. Holly says you can’t have a gingerbread cookie without milk. But I disagree. You can have hot chocolate, coffee…anything really. Then Holly reluctantly says goodnight to Greg in the middle of the day.
Holly does some internet searching on that popular search engine “reacher.” Then someone comes in and says she thinks Holly found her bracelet. The girl tells Holly she loves the bracelet and spent so much money on the charms. Holly wises up and asks her to describe one of the charms. But Holly, this woman is your age…she obviously DID NOT HAVE A CHILD IN 1984. HOLLY.
Later, Holly puts together a beautiful hot chocolate charcueterie board. Then she and Greg realize they need to find people who buy charms to find the person instead of asking jewelers. Later, Greg eats a cookie in the privacy of his own home. He tries that crazy idea Holly had about dipping a cookie in milk. I’m surprised he even knew how to do it.
Holly is wearing a fabulous sweater. She seems to be just sketching alone on the couch. Does nobody watch TV anymore?
The next day, Greg asks his boss if she knows anyone who collects charms. Holly is back at Greg’s house working. She talks him into decorating his apartment so he can put his little train under his tree. He seems to act like he doesn’t know how to decorate his tree. Greg invites her to his holiday party. She agrees. UH OH. She’s letting her guard down. My husband is WORRIED for Holly’s emotional safety.
Greg picks Holly up and sees a beautiful sketch of the gingerbread house his mom made. Then Greg remembers he needs a gift for his editor, Shayla. Holly asks him about her taste in jewelry. Her questions are SO particular and I’m absolutely certain no one would know this much about their boss’s jewelry preferences. I’m not even sure my husband would know. Anyway, Holly picks a necklace out for him to give to Shayla. I was busy pounding more pretzels.
At the party, Holly and Greg talk to Shayla’s friend, the charm enthusiast. The charm she recognizes is a Russian Christmas one. She thinks the German nutcracker is actually painted to be Russian. They think they have something to go on but I…don’t. They really think this person was in the ballet. I personally think that is quite a leap. So someone who likes nutcracker charms MUST have been in “The Nutcracker” ballet? Is that how it works? Greg is going to check the “ballet records.” So GOOD LUCK WITH THAT GREG.
It’s time for the Secret Santa. Shayla goes first. She is very moved by Greg’s gift instead of feeling extremely uncomfortable like I would be. Greg and Holly walk home together. She says she is too scared to sell her jewelry.
Greg tests out his own “reacher” skills and searches for trains. He discovers the Long Island Christmas train.
Holly goes over party plans with Megan’s mom. Greg stops by Holly’s work to take her to the Christmas train. They have to dress up like they’re in the 1930s. OKAY THIS FOR REAL SOUNDS FUN. They arrive at the train station and they are looking for an old boy named Buddy. They decide to dance while they wait. Then they find Buddy. OMG. They are hoping he would recognize the bracelet?! Or the scratching on the inside of one of the charms?!!! YOU GUYS. No. Buddy is not going to remember the face or jewelry of someone from 35 years ago. For real this was Greg’s whole plan? But from 6 feet away he can see the tiny inscription is an infinity symbol. So, great job Buddy.
The next day, they just go through records upon records of Russian names. They are like super sleuths figuring out the vantage point of a charm of New York city. On the charm, they can make out the Hudson river and can tell that it was in midtown. They head to the building where the charm must have been purchased. I think Greg was going to kissed her but the moment ends. So that was a bust all across the board.
The next day, Greg calls the gift shop for the building. They’ve never sold charms like that. Greg considers a back up plan for his story. He calls Holly and says he’s going to head to the Hamptons for the day. They agree to get dinner later. Holly seems bummed. Holly stops at her dad’s shop to help make a necklace for Greg’s mom. Holly is bummed that Greg isn’t helping her today because it’s more fun with him. He makes dinner for her later! So that’s cute. He has a pretty nice apartment. He is making ham? Greg. Friend. Ham? Wait, and gravy? Greg, what are you doing? Holly sets the charm on the table for him. Then Greg’s phone reads his text message out loud (doesn’t everyone do this?), which reveals his plan B. So Holly thinks he’s bailing on the search and stuff. So she decides to leave. So I would categorize that as an extreme overreaction.
Back at home, Holly somberly looks at a photo of her and Greg on her phone. At Greg’s house, he notices the pendant/charm Holly made for his mom. It’s kind of big for my taste, personally.
The next day, Shayla is upset about the much better article Greg wrote for her. So Shayla extends his deadline. She still wants him to write the story. And she’s wearing her cute new necklace.
Finally it’s time for the gender reveal party. Megan has to give a speech. Her poor husband just stands there uncomfortably. We all know he didn’t want to have this party. He just wanted to find out at the doctor’s office. Wait WHAT?!!!! NO. NO NO NO NO NO. She did not just learn AT HER OWN GENDER REVEAL PARTY that she is having twins. At 20 weeks gestation. NO. YOU GUYS. NO. This is not the ditzy bio mom of Chandler and Monica’s children on Friends. She would have been told right away!!!! And HOLLY KNOWS? But no one else? The doctor is like, this high risk pregnancy is just going to our fun little secret Holly. Wink Wink. FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE. I should just turn this movie off. I’m going to need more pretzels. THIS IS SO DUMB. That’s why she got earrings, eh? Because they’re a pair?! NO. FOR GOODNESS SAKE.
Meanwhile, Greg listens to his interview with Holly in the dark like a real creep.
The next day Megan’s mom wonders why Greg didn’t come to a gender reveal/child reveal party for people he doesn’t know. Then Holly gets an idea from where one of the charms came from-A charity that uses a creep elf on its logo. They are having a gala TONIGHT! Maybe that person still goes. This is quite a long shot, I must say.
Greg keeps trying to work out the clues too. He uses “reacher” again like a real pro. He figures it out too.
Holly tries to get in to the Gala. She does not have a solid plan. There is just no way she is getting in. Greg approaches with press passes. She very obviously covers up Shayla’s face as she shows him the badge. Holly and Greg make up when Holly tells Greg “don’t do it again.” DO WHAT AGAIN! A woman overhears what they’re saying to all the donors. She thinks they’re running a scam but then she gets curious about the bracelet. She doesn’t recognize the bracelet but there are photos of every gala on a wall! So you could definitely see a bracelet in there. So they find the people on the wall because Holly recognizes the SWEATER that was donated. But Holly says John and Ylena Davis 1998 but the placard says 2008. So what’s up?
The next day they arrive at John and Ylena’s house. Ylena says John will be so happy to see them. Will he though? Oh good. John has stories for all the charms. So then John tells them their love story. Everyone agrees their story is magical. Except me. I don’t agree.
Shayla thinks Greg’s article on this “adventure” is the most inspiring thing he ever wrote. Honestly we should all be a little bummed out for Greg. And also she found him a new job where he would be a better fit. She’s still wearing the necklace she got him.
That night, Holly spends Christmas with Greg’s family. Oh they are all spending it together. Holly is going to open a jewelry store right next to Megan’s. But why doesn’t she just sell her jewelry at Megan’s store or at her dad’s? Seems a lot better than having to pay rent. Then Greg gives her a charm bracelet with a piece of cake on it. I’M HERE FOR CAKE THEMED JEWELRY. And then they kiss. And that was one of the dumbest movies I’ve watched this year.
Guys this movie was so bad. It might be the worst movie of the entire year. I would watch Christmas Tree Lane 5 more times if it meant my memory of this movie would be erased. Can we be done with the Christmas jewelry mysteries? They are not interesting. They are not mysterious. And the big reveal is always incredibly underwhelming. Remember that movie where the nurse finds out that her supervisor actually delivered her when she was born? That was actually a lovely little twist ending. So anyway, this movie was terrible. I cannot get over the fact that they thought it would be okay to include a scene where a woman surprised her friend at 20+ weeks pregnant with the news that she was carrying twins. NO ONE, literally NO ONE stopped this scene from playing out the way it did. I just cannot. Okay, that’s enough of this. Let’s rate it I guess. Total score: 6/20
- Workaholic too busy for Christmas
- Clumsy meet cute
- Christmas Gala
- Christmas puns
- Nonsense drama
- Someone not chasing their dream