Dear Christmas (2020 Lifetime)
Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Natalie Morgan (Melissa Joan Hart) is the host of a popular podcast, Holiday Love, which shares true stories of a holiday romance with its listeners. While the outside world and her listeners everywhere see Natalie is an expert on romance, she’s never truly experienced a romance of her own. As Natalie prepares to embark on a promotional tour for her new book, she stops back home to spend Christmas with her family, where she unexpectedly begins to experience her own holiday romance as sparks ignite with a local firefighter, Chris (Jason Priestley).
Natalie is the host of a successful holiday podcast. The number one podcast in the country, in fact. Natalie is going home to Lake Tahoe and talks with her friend/poss Penny about love before leaving Chicago. On her way, Natalie’s car gets a flat tire, and a hunky hunk with a truck that says “Mr. Christmas” helps her fix it.
When Natalie arrives home, she is greeted by her sister Emma and her bookstore owner parents. They drink wine and talk about all the Christmas decorations. Natalie is recording episodes of her podcast while she is home. Natalie finds her old childhood diary and stays up all night reading it and going through old boxes. The next morning the hunk is outside her window hanging Christmas lights. The hunk turns out to be an old classmate named Chris.
Mr. Chrismas hosts a sing-along at the bookstore and runs into Natalie at the store. He even admits to listening to her podcast. They get drinks and Chris shares that he moved back to town when his brother died. He has been helping his sister-in-law raise her kids., who are not teenagers. They realize that they have a lot of life milestones in common and have missed crossing paths multiple times.
They find a tree in the woods together and chop it down. Natalie gives Mr. Christmas’s niece some dating advice while he chops down the tree. The tree comes home, and Emma sees that Mr. Christmas is a hottie. Natalie brushes it off the comment and works on her podcast by watching Hilarie Burton and Antwon Tanner on a zoom call???? I thought these two were really in the movie.
Car repairman, singer, handyman, ax wielder, and now fireman?!?! Are they going down the list of hunk attributes?
Chris shows up with food for the family at an unseen family party. (To avoid crowds.) This is one of the most noticeably affected by COVID films of the 2020 line up so far. I’m glad the production was safe, but over at Hallmark, you seriously wouldn’t notice a difference at all. Take what you will from that, just an observation.
Chris and Natalie make heart-shaped ornaments together in a wild glass blowing sequence. While holding molten hot lava, Chris invites her to the fireman’s ball. (Romantic?) Natalie gets ready for the ball and almost leaves her VERY pregnant sister home. Just as she steps out of the house, Emma goes into Labor, causing Natalie to blow off Chris. Well, Emma forces her sister to meet Mr. Christmas, who is waiting for Natalie alone at the ball. Not a soul in sight. They dance to some generic Christmas music.
Natalie thinks that it is too early to be falling in love with Chris. She, much like Mariah Carey, thinks “loves takes time.” Chris almost proposes but is discouraged by Natalie’s sensible outlook on love. Natalie’s dad gifts her an 8th-grade diary in which she writes about Chris from school. She has loved him for a long time; she just didn’t remember?
Natalie broad cast a “live podcast” that she broadcasts from her dad’s office. (This is not a thing.) She starts rambling and then does some Lamaze breathing to calm herself down. Emma texts her sister to tell the story of Chris. Natalie tells her listeners that love found her this holiday season. She tells Chris that she loves him.
Mr. Christmas shows up and kisses Natalie while she is in her PJ’s and he is wearing a Santa costume. Sure why not! They kiss and are excited for their future. This movie ran five mins over, and that is five too many. The end!
Minority Report: Penny, Zoom Caller,
🎄🎄🎄(3 Christmas Trees)
🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required.)
*Photo Credit: © 2020 Lifetime