Christmas Bells are Ringing (2018 Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)

Christmas Bells are Ringing

Stars: Emilie Ullerup and Josh Kelly.

Listen to the Lifetime Uncorked Podcast here!

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

Freelance photographer Sam grew up spending summers at her family’s vacation home on Cape Cod, where she and Mike, a local boy, became inseparable friends. The untimely death of Sam’s mother brought those summers to an end for Sam, who couldn’t bear the thought of returning. Thirteen years later, they meet again when she returns to Cape Cod for her father’s Christmas Eve wedding. Their feelings for one another are still strong but their stars may not align: Sam is close to landing a staff position at a Boston newspaper and Mike is on track for a new job in London.


Sam is a photographer and is in the running for the Christmas spread! She has a red headed Canadian best friend, which is a neglected trope this year. They work together and the red headed Canadian best friend wants to set Sam up with her neighbor. Sam’s mom was a photographer too and died of cancer. Sam is on her way to her summer home in Cape Cod for Christmas and her father’s wedding. She hasn’t been home in 13 years.

Mike works at his family real estate firm and has just been through a divorce. He is interviewing for a job in London. A leak has sprung at one of the properties he is selling and he heads to the house and almost gets in an accident with Sam. They are apparently go WAY back, like childhood.

Sam’s dad and his bride to be are starting their first Christmas together. They are all sharing family traditions and talking about the wedding preparations. I will say it again, it is so rude and EXTRA to have a Christmas Eve wedding. People need to be going to going to church to celebrate baby Jesus.

Sam gets assigned a final project to win her dream job. She has to take photos of something they haven’t seen before? She recruits Mike because he knows all the spots in town and will be her tour guide. They go to an old lighthouse, a Christmas party on the Cape, a wrapping challenge, and then after the surface level things we get some real talk. Mike tells her that he could be moving and Sam tells him that he wasn’t there for her when her mom died. Mike apologizes and tells her he will be there for her now.

There is a side story where Mike moves a snowman around like Elf on a Shelf but it is huge and goes around the town. Not the house.

The tour continues. Mike and Sam go to walk on an ice rink, walk around town, and talk about past relationships. They apparently never dated and were just friends. There was a kiss in the dog days of summer. Later they go skating and almost kiss again but she stops him because the “timing is off” but she does wish they had dated before.

The wedding is still happening, remember that? The step mom asks Sam to be her maid of honor and they both cry tears of joy.

Sam stops at the art gallery. The owner was a friend of Sam’s mom and even displays some of her photography. She tells Sam that she is a great artist herself, like her mother. She even offers to display some of Sam’s work.

Mike gets the job and decides that he doesn’t want to move for the opportunity. He loves the town, his family, and of course… SAM!

Sam and her father also decide they don’t want to leave Cape Cod either and decide not to sell the house.

Mike asks Sam to be her date to the wedding and she accepts.

The wedding happens! Sam walks down the aisle with her father and the step mom walks down the in a tasteful short sleeved wedding dress. They literally just say “I do” to each other and kiss. Shortest wedding ever, haha.

At the reception Sam and Mike dance and talk about how perfect the wedding was. Mike’s parents tell Sam that they are do happy that she has gotten Mike to stay in town. She doesn’t like the pressure or want to feel like she is holding him back. She tells him to take the job in London.

Sam gets the house for Christmas, but will she get love? Or her Job? She gets the job and realizes that she doesn’t want it. She wants Mike, but she is scared. He tells her that he loves her and they kiss. Their timing is improving, it is about time.

There is one more stop on the tour of the town. It is people in white gloves ringing bells. Christmas bells are ringing and Sam can make a Christmas wish. They kiss again. Glad we got that last scene so the title would make sense.

Side Note

Minority Report: Co-worker, coffee shop owner, Art gala owner, Mike’s friend Josh (Who is married to a white woman. Two Hallmark movies in a row featuring interracial relationships! Racists viewers can cancel their subscription now. Bye, Felicia.)

Josh Kelly is so THICK and goofy. He would have totally bullied me in middle school. I hate it, but also love it? He can get it.

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Overall rating

🎄🎄🎄 (3 Christmas Trees)

🍷🍷🍷🍷(3 glasses of wine required)

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


  1. What actress played Rachael in Christmas Bells are Ringing? The Rachael character was not even listed in IMDB record of Christmas Bells are Ringing?

  2. Hallmark needs to feature main characters in interracial relationships. White female/Black male and Black female/White male to begin with. Those with other minorities such as Hispanic, Asian, and Arab are difficult because their cultures are considered too foreign for the network and the viewers, especially when they are depicted as having bossy families. Indigenous Native Americans are not bad to begin with, either because they are fully assimilated into American culture.

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