Return to Christmas Creek (2018 Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)

Return to Christmas Creek

Stars:  Tori Anderson, Steven Weber, Kari Matchett and Stephen Huszar

Listen to the Lifetime Uncorked Podcast episode about this movie!

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

After being rejected and told that the new idea for her holiday app lacked the spirit of Christmas, young dot com CEO Amelia (Anderson) decides to return home to her Family Inn she grew up at in Christmas Creek. She is just in time for the anniversary of the Fly By Santa event that her family arranges. Her uncle (Weber) is a charter pilot who flies over the town dressed as Santa each Christmas Eve to deliver presents to under-served children in neighboring communities. Amelia was his co-pilot until her family moved away after her father and uncle had a quarrel that split the family apart. Years later, Amelia agrees to revisit the Family Inn where she heals old wounds and reconnects with the family, life and love she left behind in this festive holiday town

Thoughts

Chicago, again?!

Amelia goes to Turks and Caicos for Christmas, works at as a app designer, and has a boyfriend named Brad. She has a big proposal and her app Christmas Assist is rejected by the Financers because Amelia doesn’t really get the true meaning of Christmas. Maybe she should Return to Christmas Creek? (Her hometown.)

Both of Amelia’s parents are alive and live in Chicago. While they are cooking dinner for Brad, Amelia and her family are invited to the 34th annual  Fly by Santa in Christmas Creek by her uncle Harry. (But really it is a general mailing.) Brad shows up and wonders why Amelia wont go with him to spend Christmas with his family. He brings her job into conversation and she says “Please don’t pull my app into this.” Then Brad breaks up with her, he gives her a kiss on the cheek, puts his coat on and walks out the door. She says nothing and starts to pack for her trip, but then decides to RETURN TO CHRISTMAS CREEK (After seeing her picture with her uncle on the Fly by Santa invite.) She hops in her car and drives to the small town.

Amelia’s phone GPS stops working and she gets lost. A Handsome Old fashioned Hollywood style.) stops and offers to help her out. The handsome man is search and rescue brings Amelia to her uncle Harry’s lodge. Uncle Harry doesn’t recognize her and neither did the handsome stranger, Mike Ruggles. Once that is all cleared up, Uncle Harry gets Amelia her childhood room in the cabin, it is exactly as she remembers… it’s a little girls room. (and exactly the same as Lacey Chabert in My Secret Valentine.)

Amelia goes around town and it lives up it it’s name. It is very Christmasy and there is a creek. She meets a girl named Scout (She is obsessed with Amelia Earhart and her dad is in the military.), her Uncle Harry’s Ex-Girlfriend; Pamela, and Ruggles! (Who has since replaced her as her uncle’s co-pilot for the Fly by Santa.)

Amelia and Uncle Harry talk about their past and what happened with Pamela. (He forgot her birthday.) and Uncle Harry takes Amelia on a flight in her place, like the old days. Uncle Harry is inspired by Amelia to reconnect with Pamela and he ALMOST tells her that he still likes her but she gets distracted with work and he chickens out.

Turns out scout is Ruggie’s niece. Scout wants to enter the Gingerbread contest and recruits Mike and Amelia to help her. Amelia and Mike also go out to buy a Christmas Tree, decorate the lodge together, and dinner at the Mistletoe Restaurant. (Where Pamela works, of course!!! As a waitress or a lounge singer? It is unclear.) Amelia learns that Mike was a air pilot in the air force traveled the world but came back to Christmas Creek when his dad died and he has been taking care of his niece and sister ever since.   

They next look at the starts and have a snow fight, which leads to making snow angels. Amelia and Mike should have kissed her, but it is Hallmark… so, no dice.

Turns out Uncle Harry and Amelia’s dad got into a fight because her dad got a job away from Christmas Creek. They family hasn’t been together since. Amelia hasn’t told her parents that she is there.

While literally roasting chestnuts on an open fire, Amelia and Mike talk and are about to kiss when they are rudely interrupted! What is not interrupted is Uncle Harry and Pamela’s date! They drink wine in VERY big glasses and sing “Old Lang Syne” with harmonies! They are meant to be together, even more so than Mike and Amelia.

 Not to be outdone (It really feels like rival couples!) Mike and Amelia make toys for the Fly by Santa event and then go to the restaurant for a fancy lunch with wine. Mike asks Amelia to be his date to the Christmas tree lighting. Amelia left her phone at the lodge and the innkeeper finds it because it is ringing. He answers it and gives the phone to Uncle Harry who gets hung up on, because it is Amelia’s parents! They know she has RETURNED TO CHRISTMAS CREEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Uncle Harry and Pamela get back together and kiss under the mistletoe. He invites her to the Christmas Tree lighting too.

At the Christmas Tree lighting (Which is also conveniently for everyone) is also where the Gingerbread Contest is! Scout wins and nepotism is alive and well.

Amelia’s parents arrive and have a tense sit down in the lounge of the lodge, followed by a tense holiday dinner as a family. The brothers fight over how they handled the family business. Amelia and her parents back up their stuff and are heading back to Chicago.

Amelia gets inspired for her app, she switches her idea from gifts to donation focused. It is a slam dunk and the financer is willing to take a meeting after the holidays. Before she can jet back to Chicago, Pamela tells Amelia to not let Mike slip by, like she did for so long with Uncle Harry.

Amelia rounds up her family and sits them down. She gives a teary speech about the spirit of Christmas. She tells them that not everyone has the opportunity to be together at Christmas. The brothers agree to bury the hatchet and hug it out. Uncle Harry hires Amelia’s dad back at the lodge. Now that her family is back together, Amelia ditches them to be with Mike.

Amelia goes to find mike in the town square and she tells him she loves him. They kiss and he tells her he has been waiting 17 years to do that and he loves her too. They pack up the toys for Fly by Santa together.

THEN, scout’s dad shows up on leave from the military and another family is reunited for Christmas.

Before they gets on the plane for Fly by Santa. Mike gives Amelia a Christmas angel and they kiss some more. They get on to the plane and fly the Christmas toys while the town signs “We Wish you a Merry Christmas.) Then Mike and Amelia kiss again on the plane as it flies into a full winter moon.

Side Note

Minority Report: POC co-worker, check in at the lodge,

Tori Anderson has amazing hair.

So much wine drinking in this movie. I had to open two bottles from the power of suggestion.

Is there anything Steven Weber can’t do? Sign, act, chop wood, still be sexy?

Amelia’s family is Danish? IDK why.

Overall rating

🎄🎄🎄(2 Christmas Trees)

🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required)

*Photo Credit: © 2018 Crown Media United States, LLC

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