Swept Up by Christmas

It is the last weekend of the season! I can’t believe it. I can’t believe I made it through Thanksgiving week of all things. I am doing this week’s movies a little out of order as well because there was a lot of stuff going on this past weekend. We had two birthdays and a slew of other craziness. So I am going to try and still stay on schedule this week.

Gwen is ONE CLIENT away from taking over this whole business that takes clients. That is the business of fancy auctions of wealthy estates. That’s a first…this year Gwen’s current client, Doris, helps herself to a cookie at their meeting. They talk about staging the famous Hawthorne house for Christmas because it’s going to be put up for sale. It used to be all decorated for Christmas and they would have a Christmas Eve party OF COURSE. So Gwen is going to be responsible for selling all Mrs. Hawthorne’s STUFF. Her eyes turn to dollar signs and she happily agrees. Doris lets Gwen know that Mr. Hawthorne is a little grumpy.

Our lead boy, Reed, has his hair combed back and takes a call as he walks into a military office- DIRT FORCE ONE. They are actually a cleaning company so that’s a fun little pun situation. Also, I think they have a real veteran in this movie so that is really cool. Reed left the Air Force and wanted to settle down…with Melissa. We don’t know what happened with that. Reed’s business partner, Mike, is getting them all organized and there is also going to be a Christmas party.

Later, Gwen stops by her parents’ house with cookies. Her dad is busy with Christmas lights. They are going to have a lovely tree decorating evening. As per usual, her parents have a list of eligible men for her to consider. Her lack of interest in these men has NOTHING TO DO WITH HER BEING LEFT AT THE ALTAR. Sure, Jan. They encourage her to be less picky.

Instead, Gwen has very good career news. She could buy the whole auction house where she works possibly! They are more concerned with her settling down. Silly Gwen. It’s more important to be married. How could you not know?

The next morning, Gwen heads into her friend’s cafe for an americano. Oh boy, these grown women who are very obviously in their 30s are planning to have a Christmas photo shoot that night. Girls, it’s time to let that tradition die for SURE.

Vanessa flirts with Mike when he stops in to the coffee shop. She even has a special drink she wants him to try. Then he asks her to cater their holiday party.

Then Gwen arrives at her meeting at the Hawthorne House. Gwen meets grouchy Mr. Hawthorne. But call him Alan. He wants to get rid of everything that has value. Gwen offers to help in anyway they can. So they ask if she would like to decorate the house for Christmas too. Sounds like a NIGHTMARE. Truly.

Then Reed shows up. Dirt Force One is a cleaning company and they will be cleaning the house to get it ready for sale. Gwen has worked with Reed already. It sounds like perhaps she thinks he is “inflexible.” Outside, Reed reminds her that she takes on TOO MUCH. Interesting. That’s what her parents said too. She doesn’t like how he schedules his cleaning crew. Notably, Reed insists on using military time and also his cleaning crew only works 7.5 hours. That would be a bit insufferable. However, I don’t really understand how what either of them are doing makes any difference to the other. But I guess we need these two crazy kids to but heads at first.

That night, Gwen and Vanessa meet up at a cute Christmas festival. Vanessa tells Gwen that she is catering Dirt Force One’s holiday party. Gwen is aghast at this information. Then Gwen complains about Reed and his rigid schedule.

Gwen gets a little face time with her boss the next day. Gwen wastes no time asking about taking over when poor old Graham retires. Graham looks to be in his…fifties or MAYBE earlier 60s. What in the world is he retiring for? Graham tells her a big company wants to buy the auction house. Gwen is worried it will just become a big chain. Gosh I hate those chain auction houses. No originality. Just the same old menu of stuff to bid on no matter where you are.

The next morning, Reed and his crew are cleaning East to West. She would have preferred West to East. But she got there late so that’s her fault.

Then Gwen gets all the Christmas decorations out. Reed brings by some antique linens for her to sort or something. Gwen is already clearly overwhelmed. So then Reed offers to help put up some garland. Reed gives her a good team pep talk. I really can’t believe Alan and Doris wanted thought Gwen could go through

Gwen brings a small box to her car. Then Reed reiterates that she is going to need their help. She is finally appreciative and accepts his help.

Later, Gwen does some work at Vanessa’s coffee shop. Now Vanessa is hosing the Dirt Force One party at the coffee shop. Vanessa and Mike definitely seem to like each other.

Mike and Reed catch up at work. Mike casually mentions Vanessa again so Reed is like, YOU TOTALLY HAVE A CRUSH ON HER.

At the Hawthorne House, Gwen wears a very…interesting sweater. Gwen puts a record on of Mr. Hawthorne’s daughter, Isla, singing. She must be a professional singer now. Mr. Hawthorne says she’s not coming home for Christmas. He seems sad and lonely.

Gwen mentions to Reed that it’s strange that Mr. Hawthorne’s daughter isn’t coming back for Christmas. Reed is like, maybe it’s their OWN PRIVATE BUSINESS GWEN! Don’t be SO NOSY.

Vanessa and Mike get together to talk about the dessert menu for the party. They bond over food. They seem to have a lot in common. Mike shares what happened to him in Afghanistan too.

Gwen does some work in an uncomfortable chair near her Christmas tree later that night. She seems to notice something about the Christmas tree topper.

Gwen throws a wrench into Reed’s schedule the following morning. They need CHRISTMAS TREES. And his truck. Gwen has a very specific vision for the trees. But Reed doesn’t know anything about trees. Then Reed opens up about his childhood. It was just him and his dad growing up. And he also apologized for being such a stickler at the first job they worked together. They are having a MOMENT. Then Gwen finds the perfect trees.

Back at the house, Gwen and Reed decorate the trees. Gwen uses that beautiful tree topper on one of the trees. Reed shares that he would find it hard to get rid of family heirlooms. She is surprised he is such a sentimental person. Then they talk about his watch. It was passed down to him from his grandpa to his dad and now to him.

They have ANOTHER MOMENT looking at finished tree. Reed brings a box in from somewhere and finds Gwen passed out on the couch. Reed suggests they start later the following day. I’ve decided I like Gwen’s sweater today. Then Reed says Douglas Fir was his dad’s favorite tree. I don’t think my parents have a favorite Evergreen tree. And my favorite is…whatever one we finally decide on after hiking around in the mountains all day.

Gwen finds a cookbook in a box of stuff. Doris is so happy to see it. Gwen asks about Isla and why she’s not coming home. Doris tells her that Isla and her dad haven’t really spoken in two years. They grieved quite differently. Doris fills Gwen in on all the family drama.

Gwen spills the tea on Reed to her parents. They are like OMG YOU LIKE HIM.

Gwen has another great sweater the following day. Gwen tells Reed that she wants to own her own company to be as independent as possible. Again, this has NOTHING TO DO WITH BEING LEFT AT THE ALTAR. Why would you even ask?! Then Gwen’s coworker calls with some intel. He is cozying up to a potential buyer.

Later, Gwen stops by to see Mr. Hawthorne. Gwen asks him about the tree topper. I thought she put it on the tree? Gwen tells him that it’s very valuable because only 30 were ever made. She wonders if maybe he’d like to keep it. He tells her he bought it for his wife on their honeymoon but he doesn’t want it because it will make him too sad.

Gwen finds a little note on her car when she leaves. It’s an invite to the DIRT FORCE ONE holiday party.

Gwen stops by the office and sees the receptionist. They chat about I don’t know…who cares. Then they decide to go to the holiday party. Reed is happy to see her. It looks like a really lovely event. Mike and Vanessa are having a great time together! Mike is wearing a fantastic holiday tie. Then Vanessa puts MISTLETOE OVER THEIR HEADS and kisses him on the cheek.

Gwen discovers that Reed has hardly done any of the Christmas events in town. Tucker puts his foot in his mouth in front of Reed and Gwen. So “Melissa” is not dead. They just broke up. Reed fills her in on what happened with Melissa. They were both in the military and seemingly wanted to start a family. But Melissa changed her mind. Then Vanessa pulls Gwen away. REED IS GLAD GWEN CAME.

The next morning, Reed and Gwen arrive at the house at the same time. One brought pastries and the other brought coffee. That’s cute. It’s their last day working on the house. Alan stops by and thanks Gwen for all her hard work. Alan tells Gwen that Carol would have loved how the house looks. She shows him a box that she’d like him to go through before it goes up for auction.

After Gwen and Reed finish at the house, Gwen awkwardly invites him to the fire pits in town. So they agree to go. It’s so cute. So many cute Christmas lights. And smores…PEOPLE…which begs the age old question, ARE SMORES CHRISTMAS FOOD, YES OR NO? I say no. I say they are a summer food. But honestly, I don’t know what they’re doing here. Gwen is talking about filling up a tray of candy to make a smore person. I really don’t know what they are making. Gwen opens up about her past life. She had a fancy job in London with a fancy fiancé. THEY KIND OF SAY THEY LIKE EACH OTHER. Okay so they’re not eating that thing they’re making right? Those marshmallows are insane. What are they going to do with them? I don’t get it. The marshmallows they are using aren’t even toasted. So what are they doing with the toasted ones? WHAT IS HAPPENING.

The next morning, Mike and Reed gab about the ladies in their lives. Mike is working up the courage to ask Vanessa out. Then the San Diego office finally wants to schedule a meeting about expanding Dirt Force One there. Now Reed is unsure about all that.

Then it’s auction time. The big auction company is there too. Wow, and Gwen’s parents are there too. Vanessa is wearing SOMETHING CRAZY. It’s like half a blanket draped around her front. I truly have no idea what it is. And I HATE IT. Okay shush. It’s auction time. First up, a haunted Christmas violin. The final item is the beautiful tree topper from the Hawthorne House. Vanessa prattles on to Gwen about who knows what. Meanwhile, the bidding gets up to $20,000 before Gwen pulls it from the auction. Does she even have the authority to do that? Then her boss pulls her aside. He tells her she didn’t behave very professionally but the auction was a success anyway. Graham tells her that she would likely not be able to buy him out. The other company is simply willing to pay too much.

Reed approaches her after the auction. She kind of tells him what happened with Graham. VERY VAGUELY. He tells Gwen that he may have to move to San Diego on THE FIRST. They don’t get back to him forever and all of a sudden he needs to move next week? She congratulates him but he tells her he’s more attached to “this town” than he thought. Reed does not seem pleased by her reaction. Then he apologizes again. I’m not sure for what.

Gwen goes back to the Hawthorne house the next day. Alan asks if she was going to buy out the business and she tells him it isn’t going to work out. Then she gives him the tree topper. She tells him his daughter might like to have it. Then Gwen gives him some weird advice. Anyway, I hope the result is that he calls his daughter. We will see I suppose!

Then Alan sits down and writes a letter to Isla. On Christmas Eve, Mike gives Reed some cookies that he made with Vanessa. Well, I would have liked to see that montage. Then Reed realizes he forgot to wind his watch!! IDIOT.

Later, Alan listens to his daughter’s records I think. Then he hears the door open. He thinks it’s Doris. It’s ISLA! Well she got that package fast! Well, this reunion doesn’t make me tear up at all. Nope. This isn’t sad or emotional at all. Nobody is crying here.

Meanwhile, in a very lovely emerald dress, Gwen debates calling Reed. Then she takes a family photo with her parents. Then Doris calls. ALAN NEEDS TO TALK TO HER. So she heads to their house.

Alan is wearing a lovely Christmas sweater. And Isla is wearing a coordinating sweater. She meets Isla. Then wait, all these people show up out of nowhere. It is a surprise Christmas Eve party at the Hawthorne house. But it’s just a surprise for Gwen. So that is super weird. Then Alan tells Gwen that he bought the auction house and wants her to run it. He is going to move closer to Isla. Well that’s pretty nice. Then Alan gives a toast. Instead of rushing into the dining room for gingerbread, Gwen stares at the tree. Then she and Reed talk. He planned the party because he knew it would make her happy. Then Gwen decides to tell him how she feels. Oh wait, Reed isn’t moving. So Mike is going. And Vanessa too because she’s always wanted to travel! They have a weird annoying special moment and then they KISS!

So I didn’t hate this movie. It was a cute, different story line. I liked the two leads. I think their jobs were both a little silly but yeah, this one worked for ol Cal! Let’s rate it on the Checklist. I think there was literally only 1/20! That’s crazy! I need to add “pick out a Christmas tree” to the list though.

  1. A sassy and wise best friend.

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