Synopsis (via Hallmark)
Claire is a cookbook author, crafting expert, and television personality whose name is synonymous with perfection. As she contemplates retirement, her daughter Candace (Jodie Sweetin) is poised to become the new face of the Livingston brand. The only trouble is, she can’t cook. Or sew. Or do any of the signature things her mother is known for. When a young girl posts a video online requesting Claire help welcome her deployed father home for Christmas, Candace is sent in her place in an effort to prove herself a worthy successor to the board of directors and win the job. As Candace does her best to make a good impression, she gets more than she bargained for.
Well, It was bound to happen sometime. I missed the first hour of this movie, so I am jumping in halfway through and breaking it down for you, dear reader.
Candace and a handsome man are sharing their feelings on a park bench (His brother Steve is coming home?), he tells her that he is surprised they have anything in common because he didn’t think they would. She is easy to talk to and much shorter in person. (She is a TV person?) They walk to the Christmas festival and get heart shaped Christmas cookies.
Candace thanks the handsome man’s family for a lovely day, tells a little girl she will help her plan a party, and makes plans to go out with the handsome man. (But not on a date, she isn’t food at dating because she is “Candace Livingstone”) They are going to a surprise location and Claire doesn’t have any luggage, so I guess she is stranded. .
Social media is blowing up and Candace’s plan to win over the board is working. Her POC friend tells her not to fall for the local reporter, who is the handsome man she is going on a date with.
On the date, things are off the record and Candace admits to being nervous that she is taking over for her mother. She is only doing because it is important to her mom. She hasn’t figured out what is important to her, could it be… THE HANDSOME MAN! They don’t actually go on a date, they go to the Christmas Tree lighting on main street. (He is too busy being a reporter to stop and appreciate his town, but now with Candace he finally can enjoy them.) They almost kiss but Mrs. deevers pops up out of a chair and stops them. (WHO IS MRS DEEVERS?)
The Handsome Man has some dirt on Candace (she can’t sew and was fake scarf making) his boss yells at him and tells him to get the story, or else!
The family wants Candace to cook Christmas dinner for the welcome back party for Steve. Candace agrees even though she can not cook. She goes to Mrs. Deevers to use her kitchen to “test out” some new recipes. She goes grocery shopping and her mom is everywhere in the store. (Magazines, Posters, and Cake Boxes?) Handsome man tries to give her an out by saying she is a guest and doesn’t have to cook for the town. He even offers to help! She says no thanks.
Cooking fail montage! (Mixing empty bowls, trying to turn on the over, and then eventually burning everything.) Candace admits to Mrs. Deevers that she can’t cook and she cries because she let her mother down. Mrs. Deevers tells her to stop trying to be her mom and just be herself. She also promises to keep her secret.
What Candace is really passionate about is photography! She makes a plan and goes downstairs. Her mom is there and nitpicks her menu and all the ideas. This mom is terrifying!!!
The family freaks out when they see Claire Livingstone is in their house. Claire super stuck up and have a very boney neck. They prepare or the party which is pretty low key and Claire keeps trying to make it fancy. I mean it is at someones house. Relax Claire!
Candace overhears her mom singing her praises. She is so good at business and connecting with people. She wants to be more like her daughter. Candace is touched.
Mr. Carlile (Candace’s boss from the city?) shows up and tells Candace he is impressed with her event and social media engagement is way up. He feels confident with her taking over the brand.
The family is so pleased with everything Candace has done. When John (THAT is the handsome man’s name in this movie) is running late with a work, Candace volunteers to go down and get him. She gets all dressed up and goes to his office. He is working on a story and gets called into his bosses office. Candace sees some post its and realizes that he is working on a story about HER BEING A FRAUD! (She storms off, and I would too.)
While sulking outside of the family house, Candace sees Steve.(Who is in the army?!?!) She tells him to wait and they do the whole surprise thing. He really likes Claire Livingstone’s gingersnaps and everyone laughs… IDK. Candace thanks everyone for making her feel like she is part of the family. She makes a speech and admits to not being crafty or a good cook. She isn’t perfect like her mother. The family is like No1Curr. Mr. Carlile doesn’t care either and will vote for her at the board meeting!
Candace goes to leave but John stops her. He gives her his story and he tells her that he wrote about her, the REAL her. Candace was pretending to be who she wasn’t but he saw that she loves Gingerbread cookies and helps a little girl she doesn’t even know. She tells him she isn’t perfect and he tells her she is perfect for him. They kiss as the family watches on… very weird.
Minority Report: Anna (Candace’s BFF or Maybe Co-Worker?)
🎄 🎄🎄(3 Christmas Trees)
🍷🍷🍷🍷(4 glasses of wine required)
*Photo Credit: © 2018 Crown Media United States, LLC