Synopsis (via Hallmark)
Lucy (played by Tatyana Ali) is about to receive an awesome promotion at her job, but a death in the family puts her work life on hold. When she gets back home, she finds out her older sister’s will states that Lucy needs to live in their childhood home for thirty days if she wants to inherit it.
Tatyana Ali has a job where she walks around with folders. Turns out she has little sister syndrome and is always overachieving and is promoted to Junior Partner. Her older sister, Alice, is coming to watch a production of The Nutcracker. Alice was in a car accident and has brain damage, so she won’t be partying it up—like Tatyana Ali’s white co-worker suggests.
Alice actually dies before she can make the trip to New York, so Tatyana Ali has to go back to Wisconsin and relive her memories with her sister. It is extremely sad. Alice has a heart valve problem and died suddenly. Alice used to be an amazing violinist and Tatyana Ali lived in her big sister’s shadow.
During a flashback, Tatyana Ali blows off her sister’s concert to hang out with Peter. Alice has something important she needs to tell her. Tatyana Ali tells Alice to pick her up at 10, I’m sure this is when the accident happened.
Tatyana Ali’s uncle is there to greet her and tell her that she is the next of kin and will have to settle the estate. (Their parents both have passed away.)
At the funeral, Tatyana Ali didn’t realize that Alice had so many people who were touched by her. Especially, the FOA (a group of girls who look like witches and were there for Alice day or night). Peter even shows up (this cues another flashback: Tatyana Ali is at Peter’s house and gets a call about her sister). Peter and Tatyana Ali talk outside of the church and she tells him that she is on the first flight out after the estate is settled. Turns out Peter is Alice’s lawyer. In the legal documents, Tatyana Ali has to stay in town for a month to get ownership of the house. She plans to sell it once that time is up. (She will be working remotely, don’t worry.)
The FOA’s are not too welcoming of Tatyana Ali or that she’s staying in town. They are, in fact, straight up mean. All because they feel that Tatyana Ali was not involved in her sister’s life and was too self-centered.
Tatyana Ali is getting settled in house. She is now looking after Alice’s cat (Mr. Freckles). She tries to win over the cat but Mr. Freckles is an asshole—like most cats. Peter helps put up the Christmas Tree and decorate while listening to Nat King Cole. Peter wants to know why Tatyana Ali avoided him after the accident. She says she avoided everyone after the accident. That is why she left for New York. Tatyana Ali wanted to bring Alice with her but Alice wanted to stay in their home. (Especially after their parents died.)
The FOA group invites themselves over to finish a friendship quilt. Tatyana Ali is not too excited to have them over but she isn’t really given a choice. They make plans to come over at 5pm.
Ice skating happens and Peter tells Tatyana Ali that she is stuck in the past or the past is stuck in her.
While attempting to bond with Mr. Freckles, Tatyana Ali finds a notebook of self portraits that Alice made. Maybe she didn’t know her sister as well as she thought.
The FOA girls show up to quilt and (of course) talk Tatyana Ali into helping them. Cue the quilt-making montage. They talk about Alice and what she was like before the accident. Tatyana Ali has a breakdown and realizes that she needed a night like Alice used to spend. While putting quilting things away, Tatyana Ali finds a bunch of quilts for “Mave.” Who is Mave? No one knows!
Peter might know who Mave is so Tatyana Ali goes to visit him while he is ice fishing. He says he can’t say who she is and then they get a fish and get distracted. Later, while at the Christmas Tree lighting Peter tells Tatyana Ali that he envisions his perfect woman—and it is her.
McHenry’s (a cafe in town) is being sold to build condos and a frozen yogurt shop. Tatyana Ali is fired up and vows to stop the sale. She decides to not sell Alice’s house and will fight to save the cafe. Tatyana Ali rounds up the FOAs and they find data to prove that the cafe is worth saving. She starts a petition and rallies everyone to join together to fight back.
Montage to save McHenry’s (which includes handing out lots flyers).
Peter invites Tatyana Ali to a party at his Mom’s house. FINALLY Patti LaBelle is in this movie. Everyone is wearing ugly Christmas sweaters. It can’t be all fun, because Peter shares a letter that came in the mail. Tatyana Ali reads the letter and it is from Mave. Mave is Alice’s daughter and Tatyana Ali’s niece. Alice didn’t want anyone to be disappointed in her and made Peter keep her secret for her.
Tatyana Ali can’t be in the town or with Peter thinking about Alice’s life that could have been. She blames herself for not being able to make it up to her. Peter tells Tatyana Ali to forgive herself and he arranges a meeting with Mave. Tatyana Ali refuses to meet her niece, it is just too hard. The FOA girls come over and talk her to her senses. They accept and love Tatyana Ali just like they did Alice. They finish the quilting club and Mr. Freckles accepts Tatyana Ali.
Tatyana Ali finds a legal loophole to save McHenry’s (remember that storyline?) and recruits Peter to help her save the cafe.
Mave shows up and wants to know what her mom was like. Tatyana Ali shows Mave videos of them when they were younger. Mave still has a lot of questions and Tatyana Ali gives her a gift from Alice. It is the quilt and it turns out Alice made one for every Christmas that they missed together.
Tatyana Ali takes Mave to McHenry’s and she meets the FOA girls who tell Mave all about her mom. The FOA girls decide to change the name of the group to FOL (Friend’s of Lucy….which kind of takes tokenism of black people to another level…) So I guess Tatyana Ali is staying in town.
Peter and Tatyana Ali kiss under the mistletoe while Nat King Cole plays.
This is a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, so you know they brought the tearjerker tropes.
🎄🎄🎄 (3 Christmas Trees)
🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required)
*Photo Credit: © 2018 Crown Media United States, LLC