Hope at Christmas (2018 Hallmark Movies and Mysteries)

Hope at Christmas

Stars: Ryan Paevey & Scottie Thompson

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Read the book this movie was based on here!

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

Recently divorced, Sydney (Thompson) decides to spend Christmas in a house she inherited with her daughter. As Sydney begins to spend more time at the local bookstore, she meets a teacher, Mac (Paevey), who also fills in for the town Santa. Mac tries to make Christmas wishes come true, and this year Sydney is at the top of his ‘nice’ list. As a new opportunity with the bookstore unfolds, Mac helps Sydney open herself up to life, love and believing in the spirit of Christmas again


Sydney is applying for a job at a NYC Ad Agency after being a stay at home mom. Her daughter is very tech focused, so Sidney takes her daughter to a small town books store. While at The Book Bee, Bea’s Bookstore, Sidney sees a book thief. She confronts him and turns out he isn’t a criminal he is Mac, the elementary school teacher. Bea tries to set them up because Sidney is recently divorce and NO ONE CAN MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS.

Sidney inherited a house from her Grandma, but the neighbors do up keep on it. Sidney is looking to sell and doesn’t want to decorate for Christmas. Turns out her daughter will be spending part of the holidays with her and the rest with her ex husband in Hawaii. (A Divorcee for Hallmark, even movies and mysteries is very not on brand.)

Bea set up Sidney and Mac at the Christmas Tree lighting. It doesn’t go well and Sidney isn’t a fan of Mac. She literally runs away from him, dragging her daughter with her and drops her scarf. Mac picks it up and follows them, lucky for them because their car broke down. Mac gives them a ride and they realize that Sidney’s nice neighbors are Mac’s relatives. While he is over Mac looks a the furnace and we are treading on horror movie territory. Instead of murder or installing nanny cams, they talk about the joys of being single over hot cocoa.

Mac is writing a book and having some trouble, until he starts transcribing their conversation, which is, again, creepy AF! More creepy? When Mac tries to kill Sidney with a Christmas Tree at a Christmas tree farm. (I screamed, I was so afraid!)

Mac’s co-worker, Kenny, injures himself while being Santa at the mall. Mac agrees to replace him until he gets better. Sidney’s daughter gets in line and Mac/Santa and spills her guts to him. She tells him that all she wants is for her mom to be happy, she has been so sad since the divorce. Seems like Rayanne is very concerned about her mom, and it is cute. She should be worried though, Mac is cannot be trusted and knows her secrets.

Mac puts his knowledge to use and brings over a Christmas tree and decorations. Cue the decorating montage! Mac then invites them to a gingerbread competition and then goes home to write more on his laptop, using real life stories a la Carrie Bradshaw.  

Mac/Santa seems to be a hit with the kids in town. Rayanne goes back to tell Mac/Santa some more things that he can do to make her mom happy, like take her to Paris! Mac, again uses this knowledge to his advantage and takes Sidney on a date to a french restaurant. Sidney is weirded out that he knew that she wanted to go to Paris at Christmas Time, and it it weird Sidney. Run.  

Sidney gets the job she applied to at the beginning of the movie and she also learns that the bookstore will be sold.

Someone (Mac?) vandalizes the bookstore. Sidney come up with the idea to use books as a Christmas tree. It goes over well! What doesn’t go over well is Mac being Santa and getting all the intel on Sidney from her daughter. Sidney is rightfully pissed, but she realizes the book she has been enjoying was Mac’s book and she forgives him. Sidney buys Bea’s bookstore and is staying in town. No kiss at the end of this one…. You know, because Mac is a phycopath and out to get Sidney and her daughter.

Side Note

Minority Report: Ad firm agent in NYC, Kenny Mac’s co-worker, home appraiser. Non in roles that have any development Character wise.

Sidney and Mac are not really stalker and prey as I’ve indicated here, but they just seem like a total mismatch to me.

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Overall rating

🎄 (1 Christmas Trees)

🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷 (5 glasses of wine required)

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

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