Christmas Festival of Ice (2017 Hallmark Channel)


Christmas Festival of Ice

Listen to the Podcast Episode about this movie! 

Stars: Taylor Cole, (Christmas in HomesteadDamon Runyan, (TV Movie Vet) Wendy Crewson (From the Santa Clause!!!)

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

Big shot lawyer, Emma hurrys home from the “city” after discovering her beloved annual ice-sculpting contest has been cancelled. She enlist the town’s artisan, Nick (and a few corporate sponsors) to revive the tradition. Working together they might just have a shot at winning this hometown holiday competition and Emma discovers there’s more to life than legal briefs.


Emma Parker a lawyer in waiting! She delivers files, talks to the judge, and puts PostIt tabs on things. She works at her mom’s firm and is awaiting her bar exam results so she can become a partner, but she has a passion for ice sculptingjust like her Dad. (They competed together every year until she left for law school.)

While admiring an ice sculpture of of Santa Claus at the Christmas tree lot, Emma meets Nick Clayborn, the lot owner and candy cane fan. He mentions being a fan of ice sculpting, too, and that he watches the competition each year. Turns out his “brother” is the ice artist; Emma excitedly asks to meet the fine artist, and Nick awkwardly stutters something about his brother being unavailable.  

We then find out the town cancelled the Christmas ice-sculpting competition due to budget reasons. This sends Emma on a mopey, nostalgic journey back to her ice-sculpting roots. She looks at old pictures and sighs a lot. Her Dad even lets her use the old tools so she can relive childhood memories while chipping away at an ice block that he has just sitting in the garage.

Emma learns she has to raise $15,000 to revive the sculpting competition! So she hits the pavement, and goes to local businesses asking for donations. Each time, she exits the store with Christmas paraphernalia (a candy bar or a Nutcracker doll) but no cold, hard cash. Emma even asks her friend to help her make a Jump Funder, a Kickstarter knockoff (which initially raises a little over $1000).

Back at the Christmas tree lot, we see Nick Clayborn contemplating his relationship with the mysterious woman he has now bumped into twice. Should he date her? Is it too soon? He did just break up with his girlfriend last year at Christmas…

Emma has to kick things into high gear when her boss/mom asks her to go to the capital… of somewhere, which will take her out of town for two days. She goes directly to the source, Mayor Harvey and asks him to put the Jump Funder link on the town’s website. (Which reaches a lot of people?) He agrees…because he loves the tradition.

While out running errands with Sarah (the red headed friend who serves no purpose other than to talk about Nick Clayton and failing the Brechtel test), Emma starts following a trail of ice sculptures around the Christmas tree lot. (There is a tree ice sculpture, a nutcracker ice sculpture, and a reindeer ice sculpture.) They lead to a garage where Nick’s “brother” works. Emma quickly discovers that Nick doesn’t have a brother and she storms off. Nick offers this explanation:

“I’m sorry I told you about my fictitious brother, but it’s a reflex. It’s what I tell everybody. It’s a long and very predictable story. And having an antisocial brother, saves everyone a lot of time.”

Which literally doesn’t explain anything!!! Why is he lying? What is a long and predictable story? Why is this man so creepy and monotone?!?!?

After an anonymous donation of $10,000, the Christmas Festival of Ice is BACK! Emma rushes over to tell Nick that everything worked out. She has seven teams lined up and has room for one more! Nick declines the offer. Turns out his ex-girlfriend (Tara) was also an ice sculptor, but she broke up with him right before Christmas, thus ruining Christmas for him and his fake brother.

Later, Nick stalks Emma while she is working late at night, alone, at the Parker law firm. Nick agrees to enter the ice sculpting competition on the condition that Emma works with him. She can’t turn her back on her dad, but, little does she know, he overhears the whole thing. Her Dad tells her later that she needs to find a new partner to make this year’s ice sculpture “her own.” So Emma and Nick team up!  The two discuss the difference between power tools and hand tools and the ice sculpting rules, but are stumped for an idea of what to sculpt. They finally come up with the idea, but Emma has to go to the depositions with her Mom. In a turn of events, Emma doesn’t have to go and she is good to compete while still keeping what she is really doing from her boss/Mom.

A montage of chain saws, ice picks, and chisels happens. Emma receives a notification that she passed her bar exam. She should be thrilled, but she isn’t. She has to choose between her love of ice sculpting and disappointing her boss/mom or becoming a partner at the firm and making a living doing an actual job. After a very monotone speech from Nick, Emma gets the nerve to come clean with her boss/mom.

Emma brings her parents to the ice sculpting competition and tells her boss/Mom that she doesn’t want to be a lawyer and never really did. Emma’s dad backs her up; she doesn’t need to be a lawyer as long as she follows her passion.

“Sculpting ice, isn’t exactly a career,” boss/Mom insists.

Boss/Mom is right. It isn’t. But, that didn’t stop boss/Mom from donating the $10,000 as an anonymous donation. Boss/Mom wanted Emma to make the choice herself and have a nice Christmas. Turns out it was money well spent, because they WIN! (Although we never actually see the ice sculpture…WHAT?!?!)

If this had been my boss/mom I would have preferred the check made out directly to me so I could pursue my dream of drinking wine and watching Hallmark movies.

Side Note

Hallmark is going aggressively hard on the “Merry Christmases” this year. Anytime anyone hangs up the phone or leaves a room, it is “Merry Christmas” instead of Goodbye.

Taylor Cole is not believable as a normal person, she is too perfect. Daymon Runyon on the other hand? He has absolutely buried a body at some point in his real life, creep factor 110%

Wendy Crewson’s role was so poorly written! She did her best, but the material was so trite and obviously written by a man.

POC Alert: Just kidding! There wasn’t even an POC in the background.

Overall rating

🎄(1 Christmas Trees)

🍷🍷🍷🍷(4 glasses of wine required)

*Photo Credit: © 2017 Crown Media United States, LLC

Author: Patrick Serrano

Hi! I'm a Chicago based actor, who has a love/hate relationship with made for TV movies.

One thought on “Christmas Festival of Ice (2017 Hallmark Channel)”

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