Christmas at Grand Valley (2018 Hallmark Movies and Mysteries)

Christmas at Grand Valley

Stars: Danica McKellar and Brennan Elliott.

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Synopsis (via Hallmark)

Burned out from the hubbub of the Chicago gallery world, artist Kelly returns home to the picturesque Grand Valley just in time for Christmas. Maybe her favorite town’s shining season will reinvigorate her love of art and guide her down her next path. Leo, businessman and all-star dad to his children, struggles to balance his time this holiday season. When he is assigned to review a hotel in Grand Valley for its value, he sees this as the perfect opportunity for a Christmas family vacation. It isn’t long until Kelly and Leo’s worlds collide. As Kelly re-experiences her favorite Grand Valley traditions with Leo and his children, she begins to find her way back to her passion for art.


Chicago canned shots kick off the movie! Danica is an artist, she is up for her own art show in the big city. (She calls her dad, Dan Laurie who wants her to come home for Christmas.) He has a drawing of Santa that she did when she was little. Danica doesn’t get the job because she has painters block and stares at a blank canvas.

Danica goes home to Grand Valley, Wyoming. Her dad and cousin Mike are there. Mike got promoted at Grand Valley Lodge but the lodge won’t be around for long because of Businessman Leo. He is taking a paid vacation (but he will be working to shut down the lodge.) and brings his two young kids. (Their mom died and his sister is helping him raise them, it will come back, I’m sure.)

Cousin Mike hires Danica to help with the Christmas Camp at the lodge. She plans all the Christmas things for the kids to do and even meets Leo’s kids at the lodge and then runs into them on the street with Leo. Danica invites them to join her to the tree lighting ceremony. Danica’s dad is the unofficial mayor and lights the tree. We are getting through these tropes FAST.

Thing are going great until Danica realizes that Leo is the guy who is shutting down the lodge. Leo is now a bad guy and Danica is pissed. She then tries to convince him that the town is magical but gets caught up on her word, because she is more visual… she is an artist.

Snowmen building happens and Danica is inspired to draw the kids playing with them. Leo comes check out her art and talk extremely close. Could they be falling in love? Yes, the answer is yes.

Lucy (the cafe waitress) might also be finding love too? She used to date cousin Mike in highschool and they could still be into each other. They are also an interracial couple, which is unheard of in Hallmark. If it pays off it will be a HUGE deal for the network. The last interracial relationship they’ve heard of Richard and Mildred Loving. (But from the 2017 Movie, not history.)

Leo and his family invite Danica to help them decorate and things get emotional. The little girl shows Danica and ornament with a picture of her mom. Danica overhears Leo taking a call and hears that he will be turning the lodge into a SHOPPING CENTER. Danica also gets a call from the art dealer in Chicago, she wants to know how the art is going and Danica says she sketched a snowman… impressive!?

Ice Skating happens, with helmets!

Leo tells Danica that he is looking for the right buyer to keep the lodge intact. He is a numbers guy and the numbers are just not adding up! Danica is back to liking Leo now, he encourages her art and even inspires most of what she is painting. Turns out that Leo’s dream is hotel management, seriously? He asks Danica if they can meet up when they are back in Chicago. She tells him that she isn’t sure that she will be going back. She is inspired in Grand Valley and wants to teach art to kids.

Danica and Leo go out to dinner at a fancy restaurant and are all dressed up. They both acknowledge that they are on a date. They stroll around town and kiss before the movie is even over. I love the chemistry of these two actors.  (Mike and Laura babysit the kids and take them to see White Christmas. Could they be on a date too? They feel the same way and are in love too!)

Leo sees the magic of the town and can’t find a way to show his boss the magic too. He realizes that Danica’s art maybe the answer and puts her paintings online ASAP. Because paintings or a lodge get people to stay there apparently. (NOT Pictures.) His bosses don’t understand what Leo is taking about and tell him that they’ve already decided to sell and have an interested buyer. Leo has to break the news to Danica and Cousin Mike. They know he tried their best. Sylvia, the art dealer on the other hand sees the value in Danica’s art.

Leo has BIG news! He just bought the lodge and will be staying in Grand Valley. Everyone is ecstatic, except for Danica. She has just been offered her own art show in Chicago. She would have to move back to Chicago for the show to happen? Like why can’t she just do the show and then comeback. Don’t make her choose a man over her art, Hallmark.

Danica realizes that she can commute for the art show… duh. She tells Leo that she wants to stay in Grand Valley where she her heart is and so is Leo’s they kiss and hug by a BIG fireplace.

Lucy and Mike even get a kiss in the town square. A KISS?!?! Yas, Hallmark. About freaking time. Welcome to 2018.

Side Note

Three people wrote this movie, two of which were women!

Minority Report: Art Dealer, business presenter, Lucy (Kelly’s friend)

Brennan Elliott’s sweater game in this movie is strong. I need the costume designer to send me all of them ASAP.

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Overall rating

🎄🎄🎄🎄 (4 Christmas Trees)

🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required)

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


  1. I look forward to watching the Hallmark Christmas movies every year. However, I was very disappointed with the interracial relationship in “Christmas at Grand Valley”. I don’t mind having black and white actors but I don’t like the romantic relationships between them. Makes me want to drop my Heartland package from Dish network. I thought these were wholesome movies for the family. Before you know it, Hallmark will cave to the pressure of the public and have gay and lesbian couples. Whenare they going to stand on their principles and where are they going to draw the line?

  2. Kind of a bunch of hooey in this article
    ,Much Ado about nothing. I graduatedf rom high school in 1965 got my BA in 1972 and completed an internship in 1973. Biracial??? Boy that’s at such a novel a New concept let’s see I had biracial friends in high school college and internship so why the big deal now?are we looking at another millennial or such who hasn’t bothered to even check history before writing? Geez blind typing here. My phone doesn’t like the formatting for editing.

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