It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (2019 Hallmark)

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (2019 Hallmark)

Cast: Tricia HelferApril TelekEric Mabius

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Synopsis (via Hallmark)

When a New England Christmas decorating competition searches for the town with the most Christmas spirit, the mayors of East and West Riverton go all out to get their towns to the top of the holiday heap.


Mayor Liam is from West Riverton and is in a crosstown rivalry with East Riverton Mayor Sarah for the best Christmas decorations around. Ten New Hampshire towns will be competing. The winner could win some additional land for their side in the city, cash prize, and a youth center. Their assistants Kendall and Yale keep bringing them together in hopes Sara and Liam will start to get along. They meet at a coffee shop between the two towns; it is Switzerland of Riverton.

Sarah and Liam have been rivals for a long time. They competed for class president, scholarships, and even a Christmas spelling bee. Sarah asks Liam for a meeting and asks him to leave her son Justin out of their competition. They make a side bet to have the losing mayor host a party for the losing town. Then they debate about taxation, budget meetings, and zoning laws. It is tedious.

Sarah spends so much time working on the competition. She neglects her son and leaves him with Liam to help decorate his town. Justin, her son, even begs his mother to watch a Christmas movie. (Which she reluctantly does.)

John and the judges evaluate the towns. Sarah’s house is decorated with white, a blue theme. She also has a warm apple cider available. Liam has a red theme going on and glowy snowmen. Both the towns move on to the next round, and they bicker more and more. It isn’t very pleasant. Then they get locked in a storage closet at the coffee shop and have to hash things out. (They are left in there all night.) 

The assistants and coffee shop owner tell Sarah and Liam that they are alike and would do well to work together. Which, they do. They bake cookies together and talk about Justin’s dad Frank and why it didn’t work out. Liam also broke up with his girlfriend. Sarah and Liam are both single and too busy to date because they are MAYORS.  

Both towns make it to the final round. Sarah and Liam brainstorm about what they are going to do, even though they are competing. They find the sessions helpful and also include their assistants over wine. They decide to go small and have a Christmas potluck together!!!!

The dinner happens, and both actors clean up well! They invite both towns in for the event, and Liam asks Sarah if she will ignore him after the winner is announced. (Which we all know will not happen.) After the event, Sarah and Liam sit at the coffee shop and compare notes with the other town, Doverlake. (Who had reindeer shaped fireworks.)

The event is tied, and it comes down to John’s decision. Liam and Sarah appeal to John and ask him to vote for the other town. He decides that Riverton is the winner of the Christmas Spirits competition, and the youth center will be in both towns. Sarah and Liam choose to join the town and become just Riverton. Then they fight about who should be mayor until they realize this is a democracy and the people have to vote. They say Merry Christmas and kiss. Then the townsfolk crowd around them, and it is an awkward final 45 seconds.   

Side Note

Minority Report: Kendall, Yale, John

The lead character was named Sarah Reed, who is my BFF, so I added an extra tree. 

Eric Mabius is an executive producer on the film, which may explain why he was looking so tired. Poor thing!

I wish this town rivalry were more like Pawnee and Eagleton from Parks and Rec.

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Overall rating

🎄🎄🎄 (3 Christmas Trees)

🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required)

*Photo Credit: © 2019 Crown Media United States, LLC

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