Christmas in Tennessee (2018 Lifetime)

Christmas in Tennessee

Stars: Rachel Boston, Andrew Walker, and Caroline Rhea

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Allison Bennet (Rachel Boston), along with her daughter Olivia and mother Martha (Patricia Richardson), run a bakery in the small mountain town of White Pines, Tennessee. When Matthew (Andrew Walker), a charming real estate developer, tries to buy the town for a corporate ski resort, Allison and the townspeople must work together to prevent that from happening. And just when the Bennet ladies seem out of luck, an unexpected visitor—with a well-known sweet tooth for cookies and milk—comes to the bakery and may in fact be the key to solving everything.


Allison owns a bakery with her mom (Patricia Richardson) and she has a young daughter named Olivia. Olivia’s teacher shows Allison a Christmas wish letter that her daughter wrote about how her mom has no money and wishes for her failing business to be successful. While she is walking the letter blows away and maybe goes to Santa.

Allison’s dad got sick and died, which caused her to move home and help take care of the business. (She is a french trained pastry chef.) Allison doesn’t regret moving home and is happy to have her daughter growing up in great town.

Matthew (Andrew Walker, my favorite TV movie hunk.) and his business partner Rebekah are in town and both gluten free and not eating sugar. Matthew is up for the VP job and is looking but by a property for development.

Caroline Rhea shows up dressed like Mrs.Claus and comes to the bakery for her husband who has quite a sweet tooth. She taste the cookies and freaks out, she buys all of the cookies to go… maybe back to the North Pole? She then sends a follow up for a cookie tasting and a group order for a party.

Matthew and Allison meet at an antique shop and she helps him pick out a present for his mom. Maybe they will see each other around? They do, when Matthew and Rachel show up from the realtor development firm. They want to turn her bakery into a resort. Allison is like, this is my business and I live upstairs. I’m not selling my home. Matthew tracks her down and invites her to dinner. He is so damn charming, how could she say no?

A Christmas Eve service is happening and Patricia Richardson is the musical director. Allison wants her mom to sing the solo, like she did before her father died. Patricia Richardson isn’t sure she could even sing anymore.

Caroline Rhea shows up with her husband, Chris (Who is obviously, Santa) they order a whole bunch of cookies and Olivia looks and sees him and makes another secret Christmas wish. The Christmas newsletter comes out and turns out Olivia spilled the beans about Mrs.Claus and Santa coming to the bakery. It is basically a plea for people come to the bakery and spend money because a celebrity was there.

The other shop owners on the block realize that only one of them has to sign for the deal to go through. Clive is the first to crack and he decides to sell. Alison tries to talk sense into Clive, who just wants to be with his family. He agrees to sell his business to her for half of what they offered with a ten percent deposit.

At a Christmas recital, Matthew shows up and stop kids from bullying Olivia. They call her poor and a baby for believing in Santa. Matthew tells her that they are on the naughty list and to not worry about what they think. Plus, he believes in Santa so what do they know! (Allison sees the whole thing.) Matthew and Allison get trapped in the dressing of the room and debate the difference between mistletoe and holly and of course whether she should sell her business. She thanks him for taking care of Olivia and thinks he might have a heart after all.

A dance happens after this children’s recital and Patricia Richardson dances with mailman but gets too emotional and has to excuse herself. She misses her husband and still wears her wedding ring. She is afraid to move on from him. Very well acted by Patricia Richardson.

Oliva invites Matthew over for dinner. Allison agrees to it. At dinner, Olivia learns that Matthew has a passion for furniture making and he used to work on that with his brother back in Florida. He has been too busy. Olivia keeps prying and finds out that Matthew’s fiance died suddenly four years ago. Allison apologizes and he changes the subject and they laugh about Santa and Mrs Claus coming to the bakery. Olivia watches from the stairs, Olivia is creeping me out.

A reporter has also caught wind of story about Mrs. Claus and Santa loving Allison’s bakery. The story has gone viral and business is picking up. We get a successful business montage, line out the door, money changing hands, and of course… cookies! This ends with a dance party with Matthew, Allison, and Oliva. (Andrew Walker dancing may be the cutest thing I have ever seen.) Allison thinks he is cute too and invites him to stay and help bake cookies.

Cue baking montage.

Allison brings up a valid question. Why is he trying to sell her business but then helping her become successful and encouraging her and her daughter. It is kind of mixed messages. He tells her that work replaced his fiance when she died and decides he is going to break up with work. Then he breaks a chair by sitting on it. They open up to one another and almost kiss, but the timer goes off. UGH! Just kiss so I can live vicariously through you, Rachel Boston!!!!

Rebekah forges someone’s signature and closes the deal. Matthew is forced to go back to work and he begs the inn owner to tell Allison he will fix everything. He tries to call her but she is not picking up the phone, because she just found out that the cookies for Santa can’t be delivered due to a crazy storm that is rolling into town. Allison gets more bad news when she finds out Clyde signed the papers and they only have two months to get out the building. She also thinks Matthew just up and left town and her. She cries, it is sad.

Matthew makes it home to his mom’s for the holidays. He looks over the contract and makes a funny face.

On Christmas Eve, the soloist for the Christmas Eve service is snowed in and Patricia Richardson has to sing the solo, she is also going to try to make it work with the post office man. When she sings, Patricia Richardson does a nice job and Allison and Olivia love seeing her singing. Montage of Christmas Eve things. Like reading stories, gifts, and longing glances out windows.

Mrs. Claus and Santa show up on Christmas morning and deliver good news. Matthew send a Christmas angel and a option to terminate a contract. They load up the cookies into a horse drawn carriage. Matthew is outside and he explains what Rebekah’s trick was but she was a dummy and spelled Allison’s name wrong. Matthew buys Clyde’s shop to start his furniture making business. He is inspired by Allison and the town. He wants to build something with her. They kiss, just before he can say that Santa is real. Everyone says Merry Christmas and waves. The end!  

Side Note

Minority Report: Lindsey the school teacher, a reporter,

Happy to see Rachel Boston outside of a Hallmark movie. When she was on Hallmark she was over the top and ridiculous. Here on Lifetime she is much more grounded and likeable, but still cute.

Overall rating

🎄🎄🎄 (3 Christmas Trees)

🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required)

*Photo Credit: © 2018 Lifetime

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