A Christmas for the Books (2018 Hallmark Movies and Mysteries)

A Christmas for the Books

Stars: Chelsea Kane, Drew Seeley, Chad Connell

Listen to the Lifetime Uncorked Podcast here!

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

Set to host a prestigious holiday gala and stuck in a love triangle, a lifestyle guru must prove she’s a romance expert.


Joanna is a very skinny book writer and relationship expert, she was recently broken up with and filming a TV segment. Later she is checking out a man who is a producer at the TV station while he is getting broken up with too. She is a best selling author who may be up to get her own TV show if her Christmas seminar goes well, she plans the Christmas gala on Christmas Eve, and bring her boyfriend…. Why is this a requirement?!?

Ted introduces himself to Joanna and they go to get hot cocoa. His girlfriend broke up with him because of Joanna’s book. (Which told his ex-girlfriend to break up with him because of some points system/checklist. It is extremely confusing.) She come up with a proposal. Joanna asks him to pretend to be her boyfriend so she can get her TV show and in exchange she will give him dating lessons. (Including things like, “a love napkin” and a copy of her book “The Love Audit”) He agrees and calls her his little cabbage. “A pet name shows a partner that you know them and understand them and want them.” (Great writing Joanna….)

Check one on the list to get her own TV show. Joanna nails her seminar where she literally advises people to change the ones the love so they become who they want them to be. Everyone loves it (including George who is hosting the gala) and it is a huge success. Joanna and Ted share backstory

George invites Joanna and Ted to his house to plan the gala. George has a handsome son named Del. Del is handsome AF and Joanna should totally date him instead of Ted. Ted doesn’t trust Del and they talk about him. Joanna thinks Ted is jealous and thinks it is funny that Ted is so invested in this fake relationship. They all plan the gala over dinner, turns out Del’s mother died and that is why they need Joanna to help them pull it together.

We get a planning decorating montage, which is knew. Joanna literally draws pictures of what she is envisioning with arrows of where ornaments go.

A random guy and girl are plotting against Joanna for unknown motives. (Which seems like more of a Lifetime trope.) Turns out the rando is Val, Ted’s ex and she shows up at the gala venue. She could blow the lid off the whole thing. Joanna does some quick thinking and says Val is her assistant. For some reason, Val goes with it. Joanna cues Val in on what is really going on and I wish we would have seen that conversation for some clarity. This movie is infuriating!

Cookie decorating happens, cutting down a Christmas tree, and of course decorating all happen. All this happens while keeping up the rouse for Dell.

Joanna finally follows through on her end of the bargain. She does a couples session with Val and Ted. It feels more like a date for Joanna and Ted , Val totally is oblivious as to what is happening. Seriously though, why is she still there?

Tec and Joanna break up their fake relationship. He tells her to pursue the perfect boyfriend and that is Dell. Joanna should be all about Dell but she can’t stop thinking about Todd. She breaks down to George, which is totally unprofessional, and he tells her to take a chance on love. (Or Todd and not his son.)

Dell offers Joanna the show and she comes clean about her deception. He loves that she is single and asks her out on a date. Joanna turns him down because she is looking for the spark and not a match made on paper. He still offers her the TV show, which will make their working relationship weird, especially in the #MeToo era.

It is finally time fo the gala, George makes a speech about his wife, Ted and Joanna get together.

Side Note

Minority Report: News Reporter, Barbera super fan,

First time Christmas movie writer, Thommy Hutson should probably stick to horror.  

Hallmark usually puts the duds at the end of the holiday season, this is no exception.

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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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