With Love, Christmas (2017 Hallmark Channel)


With Love, Christmas

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Stars: Emilie Ullerup, Aaron O’Connell

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

Advertising execs Melanie Welsh and Donovan Goodwin disagree on a cellphone Christmas commercial they’re pitching. He says his sleek design will win over the client but she knows it lacks holiday spirit. Christmas is definitely in Melanie’s wheelhouse, but when she draws Donovan’s name for Secret Santa, she’s at a loss. He’s even more minimalist than his advertising style. Determined to give Donovan and their commercial holiday joy, Melanie tries to get to know him via a Secret Santa email. She also takes him to a Christmas tree farm for a crash course in holiday cheer. As they work together, Donovan slowly opens up to Melanie, and she begins to fall for him. What she doesn’t know is he’s her Secret Santa too! As they create the perfect commercial, they also realize they might be perfect partners as well.


At the ad agency, Melanie lost the big account to Donovan Goodwinbecause she is too nice. She accept blind dates when she isn’t really interested in dating, and she lets her co-workers slide when they miss deadlines.

After a MANDATORY Secret Santa (which is probably illegal, right?) Melanie draws Donovan’s name, and she has three weeks to find something for him. Melanie goes shopping with her sister, who comes up with the genius (not really) idea to “ask secretly.” Mel sets up a dummy email account and just shoots Donovan an email stating

“What are some of your favorite things”

His response

“I have to go to work. You can get me a tie.”

This is not acceptable to Mel; it is too impersonal. She will try to think of something else.

Then they are teamed up together on the big ad account for “The Evergreen Phone.” He is too cold with his ad design and she wants more holiday warmth and cheer. They can’t see eye to eye, so Donovan suggests they work independently and then turn in their pitch (like every group project I’ve ever been a part of).

To get into the correct mindset to sell the Evergreen Phone at Christmastime, they head to the town’s Christmas festival. Santa is there, lots of trees, and give their customers the cherished holiday memories. Too bad, Donovan NEVER had that. (He also doesn’t eat sugar, and when he does it’s just OK.)  

While Chillin with her car, Mel goes back to her secret email for some flirty (But really annoying) banter:

M: We are fresh out of ties here at the north pole, are you a sports fan? Do you like to read?

D: Why is it important that you get me the right gift?

M: It’s my job. I’m your Secret Santa. You know, I’m starting to think that what you really need is some good old-fashioned holiday cheer.

D: Bah humbug.

Mel is getting pretty aggressive with her spreading Christmas cheer. She gets Donovan an office Christmas tree for his “Secret Santa,” and he asks her point blank if she is his. Then he gets an email from his secret santa while he is with Mel, so it couldn’t possibly be her!

Things get tense when Mel and Donovan are up for the same promotion, which will be revealed at work holiday party. While ice skating during a work outing. Mel and Donovan (who is out of his suit and tie) give it a go and have a nice time together.

Back on flirty email exchanges things get REAL.

M: Is there a reason you don’t like Christmas?

D: Ok, I’ll play along. My mom passed away when I was really young. My dad, he was never much for holidays. He was a lawyer, very successful. I can’t remember a Christmas where he wasn’t in the office. We actually don’t talk much. He was disappointed when I turned down law school. You know, I don’t think I ever shared that with anyone before. I’m really glad I emailed you. I didn’t realize I needed someone to talk.

Donovan starts smiling a lot more and even donates money to a Santa outside of the store! Mel and Donovan run into each other at the town Christmas festival and they take her nephew to see Santa. Interesting fact: Reindeer are the only mammals who can see ultraviolet light (True!)!

Despite all this time together, Mel is still struggling to come up with a gift idea! The pitch however is ready. In the big meeting, Mel and Donovan make the worst pitch ever. The partner pulls it off.

Donovan asks out the brown haired co-worker because he thinks that she is his secret Santa. Mel is (of course) around the corner and discouraged that he likes the brown-haired coworker instead of her. The brown-haired co-workers says it wasn’t her and maybe he has feelings for someone else.

At the office party, everything falls into place! Mel gets her promotion and Donovan gets the tie he asked for (and basketball tickets!) When Mel is left off the of Secret Santas line up, she says it is totally finebecause she is too nice. Then everyone is called outside to see the amazing sleigh that Donovan got Mel! They fall in love the end.

Side Note

Minority Alert: Some co-workers have brown hair? I think there may have been a Latina named Ashley and The retired guy? Do better than this Hallmark!!!

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Overall rating

🎄🎄🎄(3 Christmas Trees)

🍷🍷🍷(3 glasses of wine required)

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

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