Christmas with the Darlings (2020 Hallmark)

Credit: ©2020 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Bettina Strauss

Christmas with the Darlings (2020 Hallmark)

Cast: Katrina LawCarlo MarksIslie Hirvonen

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Synopsis (via Hallmark)

When an assistant gives her final notice, she is drawn into helping the charming, younger brother of her wealthy boss as he looks after his orphaned nieces and nephew through Christmas.


Jess is an assistant for a wealthy family. She puts the final touches on a Christmas party and decorations and works overtime and weekends for Charles. This will be her last holiday with the family, and when Charles shares that his brother Max will be coming with his nephews and nieces who recently lost their father. (Another one of Charles’s brother in Australia.) He asks Jess to help take the kids to boarding school with Max as her final duty.

Jess would hate to see the kids in boarding school and volunteers to watch the kids until Christmas in the manor. Max volunteers to stay to help. He wants to wing it, taking care of the kids. Jess makes a plan. 

Ummm, there is some LGBTQ B-storyline with Zoe (Jess’s friend.) and Kate. Zoe is a shy surgeon, and Jess encourages her to go on a Christmas date with bartender Kate. It is sweet. 

The kids arrive, and Max shows them to their rooms. In the middle of the night, Jess finds the kids huddled in their father’s old room. They want to be together and feel closer to their father, who has passed. Jess asks them to make a list of Christmas activities that they would like to do during the holidays.

The list includes

  • Tree shopping
  • Cookie baking (They debate about raisins in cookies. I’m a no on that.)
  • Carriage ride
  • Tree decorating and lighting

That happens within the first 30 minutes. 

As Jess and Max entertain the kids through the holiday season, growing closer as they do. Jess encourages Max to pursue his business dreams; maybe he isn’t such a wild party boy as everyone thinks. Jess starts catching feelings for Max.

Charles returns from his business trip and ruins their Christmas magic. He can’t help but see Max as a silly kid brother and doesn’t take him seriously. An important business executive, Mr. Lee, comes to the Christmas event that Jess planned and is impressed with Max, Jess, and the kids. Mr. Lee tells Charles that he has a good thing going to make Charles reassess Max’s involvement in the company. Max is assigned to run the office in Taiwan immediately. (Meaning Max will have to leave Jess and the kids.)

Max and Jess break the news to the kids about him missing Christmas with the family. They are heartbroken and watch him ride off to the airport. In the airport, Max has the missing piece of a puzzle. As he waits for his flight, he makes a “Stay” or “Go” list. He decides to stay because he is in love with Jess. She is in love with him. They kiss. 

The family celebrates together, Charles is the worst, but I’ll let it slide. They are one big happy family. (Except for Charles.) 

Side Note

Minority Report: Max’s ski friends, Kate, Zoe, Mr. Lee, 

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Overall rating

🎄🎄🎄 (3 Christmas Trees)

🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required.)

*Photo Credit: © 2020 Hallmark Crown Media

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