Christmas 9 to 5 (2019 Lifetime)

Christmas 9 to 5 (2019 Lifetime)

Cast: Tiya SircarGeorge WendtJoe Dinicol

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Jennifer (Sircar) is a tough crime beat reporter who gets the assignment of her life: to find the true meaning of Christmas. When she goes undercover in a department store as a 9 to 5 sales clerk from Black Friday to Christmas Eve, she finds her true calling and meets the man of her dreams. It’s a Christmas she will never forget,


Jennifer is a Chicago reporter who is going undercover as a seasonal worker at Desmond’s department store. She loves Christmas and is excited about the opportunity. Her department store boss is named Rose and maybe a little racist. The department store is going under and is stuck in the past. Jennifer lives with her parents and tells them about the assignment. They encourage her to write the truth.  

Black Friday happens, and Jennifer works the doorbuster sale. It is chaos in the store, and she almost gets trampled but is saved by Norm from Cheers. He is the elevator operator and has been working at the store since he was 16. Rose reassigns Jennifer to Santa’s Villiage. When a grumpy customer is upset that the store doesn’t have a Tickle me Tina Doll, Jennifer goes above and beyond to find him one in Oak Park at another department store. The disgruntled customer is the owner of Desmond’s, and he is pissed that she tried to “Miricle on 34st Street” him. Jennifer is brought in to HR, and they tell her about her fo pas. The HR rep is Jack Desmond; he is the son of the owner and agrees to give her a second chance. 

Rose assigns Jennifer to the basement to fold sweaters that are in a huge pile. Jack is impressed with Jennifer’s tenacity; she folds all the sweaters. She writes her first column, and it depicts the department store in a flattering light. Jack sees the article and thinks it is a bad thing; he vows to find out who wrote the article. 

Next, Jennifer is assigned to the test kitchen. She is a flop in this area, and her mom is there to make fun of her, hug her, and then help make gingerbread houses. After work, Jennifer’s mom wants to see the Desmond Tea room, but it is closed. Jack continues to be impressed with Jennifer and compliments her hard work and initiative. Jennifer has trouble lying to him and feels guilty. She appeals to her parents for advice, and they tell her not to kick the can down the road forever. Whatever that means.

A snowstorm hits, and staffing is short in the department store. Instead of helping with sales, Jennifer makes candy canes with Jack. After the store closes, they dance around and check out the tea room. Jack recalls the times he used to go to the tea room with his grandmother. Then they go to a window display and slow dance as the snowfalls. They start grabbing whiskey drinks after work and playing ring toss on reindeer antlers. The two begin to get to know each other. Jack’s upbringing was very ridged and scheduled. He offers to walk her home, and she agrees. Jennifer comes clean about being an undercover reporter, and Jack feels betrayed. 

The next day Jennifer gets called to HR. Jack doesn’t fire her because she wrote a favorable write up in the paper. Later, Jennifer overhears a conversation Jack and his sister are having about Walerton Investment Firm. They want to turn it into a parking lot. She confronts Jack, and he tells her off the record that it is true. When she talks with her newspaper boss, he tells her to write the story, or he will take her off the story. 

Jennifer writes the story, and it doesn’t go over well. Jack and his sister confirm that the offer is on the table, and they may close the store. The employees are not trusting of Jennifer anymore. Jennifer starts a blog featuring the employees of the store, and patrons start mobbing them. They all want to save Desmonds. The store has the best sales day ever.

At the bar, Jennifer and Jack find common ground. He is getting offers from Macy’s in New York. Jennifer asks him not to go and give up on them. Jack tells her that they are on different roads and leaves before getting his glass of chardonnay.   

Norm has been saving all the old Christmas decorations and shows Jennifer his stash. She gets an idea and decides to renovate the tea room with all the old ornaments, down to the china and snowmachine. Jack is impressed and agrees to reopen on Christmas Eve. Cue all the workers coming together and decorating the store in a montage. 

The nostalgia works momentarily, but the offer on the property is well above what they previously offered. There is no way Jack’s father is not going to sell. Norm invested in IBM and Apple for a rainy day fund and offered to buy Desmonds. Once the father sees the completed tea room, he has a change of heart and agrees to sell the store to Norm. Everyone cheers. The fake snowfalls as Jack and Jessica kiss. 

Side Note

Minority Report: Jennifer, her mother, make up counter girl, various customers.

Desmond’s is based on Marshall Field’s which became a Macy’s in 2006

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Overall rating

🎄🎄🎄 (3 Christmas Trees)

🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required)

*Photo Credit: © 2019 Lifetime


  1. Chrustmas 9 to 5 brought back memories to me of Wanamakers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the tearoom that my great aunt took me to several times a year. I sure miss it.

  2. Tiya Sircar who plays Jennifer is of Indian descent yet the women that plays her mom seems to be of African American descent, would have been nice to see them hire another Indian actress.

  3. @Becca I was pondering the same thing. How come that combination was deemed acceptable, with no explanation /suggestion that she was adopted? Not ok lifetime!

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