Once Upon a Christmas Miracle (2018 Hallmark Movie and Mysteries)

Once Upon a Christmas Miracle  

Stars: Aimee Teegarden and Brett Dalton

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Synopsis (via Hallmark)
Told she would have less than a few months to live without a liver transplant, Heather Krueger’s time was running out when a kind stranger, Chris Dempsey, heard of her plight and discovered he was a perfect match. The two met and before long a friendship developed into romance. The movie follows Heather and Chris’ journey over three Christmases as his selfless gesture leads to a Christmas miracle for everyone involved. Based on a true story


Heather lives in the Chicago suburbs and is very organized and in grad school. She literally walks around with a clipboard. She has been exhausted lately from  studying to be a nurse. She is at a party and falls over from being so tired. Her mom takes her to the hospital and is super mean.

Chris is a soldier just out of the army., he works at a Christmas tree farm/hardware store. (Menards maybe?) He is very handsome and wants to make a difference in the world. He is living at home with him mom and she seems nice, but she is always trying to set him up with girls.

At a bar Chris and Heather meet while getting some eggnog. (Really) They make small talk and he makes a terrible joke. He can’t get a drink and she tells him “It’s all about the timing” They

At the doctors office (Which is a house with doctors in it.) They tell her that she has AIH when a body.attacks the liver and she has stage 4 liver disease. Heather will be put on the transplant list, but they advise her to find a living donor. Heather is on a mission to find her match, at Christmastime. (They start and email list, social media, and of course… flyers.) Only 5% of donation come from living donors and they are having a hard time finding anyone who is a match.

Back at Menards, Chris overhears Heathers sister talking about trying to find a donor. Could he be a match? He talks to his mom and tells her that he went to get screened. She is not happy about it., but eventually comes around because that is what his father would have done.

Heather wants this Christmas to be perfect and embraces all the family traditions. Decorating trees, gingerbread house making, ugly sweater parties, and Christmas dinner at the family cabin.

Chris invites Heather to lunch. They recognize each other from the bar. They order up some eggnog and are fast friends. They agree on so much and have the same outlook on things. Heather tries to talk to him about the transplant but it is awkward for them. Chris tells her that he is a match and Heather is shocked. They hug and it looks like it is going to happen. She introduces him to her family and they have a cookie party.

Back at the “doctor’s office” but really a house with doctors in it, Chris and Heather book the operation appointment and they do it in such a way that they will be out of the hospital in time for Christmas.

The day before the operation, Chris and Heather head up to the family cabin. They are going to trim the tree, if you know what I’m saying. They work on making wreaths and they are actually pretty. (Not like Brooke D’orsay.) They talk about being scared for the surgery but will help one another through it.

It is time for the operation. Chris tells Heather that everything is going to be fine and they hold hand before going into surgery. The surgery happens, maybe? Grey’s Anatomy this is not.

After the surgery Heather and Chris seem fine, except then they laugh. (They grab their sides.) Heather did go to nursing school and she flirtily checks his chart They also watch romcoms together. They text all the time.  I’m sorry, but nothing is going to make a hospital sexy.

A week later, Heather is at the ugly sweater party and it is like the surgery never happened. Chris and Heather haven’t event talked since they left the hospital. They both want to talk to each other but are trying to give the other space.

Eventually (or one scene) they make it for a downtown stroll and chit chat. Chris learns that Heather can’t go back to nursing school because her medical bills are so overwhelming. Chris being the saint that he is, plans a Christmas Eve fundraiser. (With the event only being a week away.) The family is on board and are keeping it a surprise for Heather.

Heather thinks she is not going to see Chris until after Christmas so she takes him shopping for Christmas ornaments. While they are out Chris gets a call from a charity organization, he got the job with Hands and Hearts Abroad.

At the fundraiser, Chris wows Heather with an extravagant gala. Heather is overwhelmed and appreciative. The families are bonded together and everyone is supportive of the cause, which is Heather! She thanks everyone for their love and generosity.

While dancing Chris tells Heather about the job. Straight forward and honestly. He tells her that he is considering staying for her and she cries and runs off?!??! Heather tells him to take the job and do something for himself and maybe they can talk again after Christmas. This man planned you a fundraiser and gave you a LIVER!!!

Heather has a change of heart and decides that she wants Chris to stay. She asks him to meet up with her on Christmas at the cabin. She tells him that she has realized that they are in love and he is her angel. They kiss! The end… but wait!

The next Christmas season In downtown Chicago, Chris proposes to Heather in the street with a horse drawn carriage.

Side Note

Haven’t seen Aimee Teegarden since Friday Night Lights. She is pretty much the same with more frown lines.

They used really weird font for the title cards in this movie. Like they made it using word or something.

Minority Report: One of the doctors, a nurse, and Heather friend Janette.

Based on the true story of Heather Krueger and Chris Dempsey.

Living-liver donation can help more than 14,000 people currently on the waiting list. Living donors can make a life-changing difference in many lives. UPMC’s liver transplant team is dedicated to helping living donors and ensuring that they receive the care and assistance they need during the process.

» Learn more about living-liver donation and find out how to become a living-liver donor.

» Download frequently asked questions and answers about living-donor liver transplant.

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Overall rating

🎄🎄🎄🎄 (4 Christmas Trees)

🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required)

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


  1. Too bad you didn’t get your facts straight before you went to press! He was in the Marines and from there your facts get worse. But then, of course, that’s Lifetime.

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