My Christmas Family Tree (2021 Hallmark)

My Christmas Family Tree (2021 Hallmark)

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Cast: Aimee Teegarden, Andrew W. Walker, James Tupper

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Synopsis (via Hallmark)

When Vanessa receives the results from her Family Tree DNA test, she discovers a family she didn’t know existed and travels to their home for Christmas.

Recap/Wine Thoughts

New Yorker, Vanessa Hall, is a do-gooder social worker who loves to surprise her co-workers with gifts and receives payment in smiles and kids’ drawings. The woman even has an adorable puppy and a beautiful apartment. The one thing she doesn’t have is a man. 

Her friend, Dee Dee, is quick to tell her friend to get back out there and open up a bottle of wine for gossip. They check out their DNA test results to see their heritage, and Vanessa sees a paternal match in the DNA system. His name is Richard Jendrick from Barrington, Connecticut. Dee Dee finds him on social media and encourages Vanessa to send him a message. 

Richard receives the message while he is on a ladder and falls off “comically.” He tells his wife Pauline about his long-lost daughter. They already have three kids and don’t know what to do. Pauline stands by her man and suggests that he call Vanessa. Richard does, and they have an awkward conversation and set up a meeting.

Vanessa meets Richard in his small town, and casually breeze over that Vanessa’s mother’s name was Patty, and Richard’s girlfriend at the time was named Trish. Vanessa shares that Patty (not Trish!) died when she was nine and how she grew up in the system. Richard shares the story of his relationship with Trish (Not Patty!) and how they lost touch. He invites Vanessa to spend Christmas with his family. 

 A handsome family friend, Kris, gives Julie a ride into town for Christmas. When they arrive in town, Tyler Haynes randomly plays their waiter and delivers them peppermint eggnog.

At the house, Vanessa gets a standoffish welcome from Richard’s children. She looks around the house and is surprised by the Christmasyness of it all. Kris helps her break the ice with the kids, and then they all share a meal, which includes wine, laughter, and prayer.

While roasting marshmallows, Richard’s kids ask him about Vanessa’s mom, and the facts don’t line up again. Then Vanessa gets an email from the DNA company asking her to call them, but they are closed for the holiday weekend. 

Kris and Vanessa spend time together picking out a Christmas tree, Christmas gift shopping, Gingerbread house making, and ice skating. He opens up about his parents dying in a car accident and his ineptitude in dating. The DNA people call Vanessa, and she ignores the call. Vanessa checks her voicemail late at night and learns that the DNA peeps mixed up her results with another Vanessa Hall. She calls DeeDee, and they agree that Vanessa shouldn’t tell the family until AFTER CHRISTMAS?!?!

Vanessa tries to come clean to Richard but is distracted, helping his children manage breakdowns. Cut to A deranged voice-over playing while Richard’s daughter sings in the school recital. 

The whole family comes over to meet Vanessa, and she still doesn’t tell them what she knows. They talk about Norway and then build snowpeople. A family snowball fight is quick to follow. They all watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” and then go caroling. (Yesh, it is bad) Vanessa tries to tell Richard a few times but chickens out. She doesn’t want to lose her newfound family and Kris. (Who asks her on a date for after Christmas.) 

When it is time for the family photo, Vanessa tries to pack her bags and leave but is roped into taking the photos. Mid-photo session, she tells Richard about the mix-up at the DNA place. Vanessa apologizes and runs off crying. Kris begs her to stay, but she tells him that she doesn’t belong. She says goodbye and heads back to New York. 

Kris chases after Vanessa and shows up at her apartment. Kris opens the Christmas gift that Vanessa got him, and it makes him laugh. He realizes that even if she is a liar and not related, they should be together. So does the whole family after they find a picture of PATRISHA. 

The family sings terribly outside, and Richard shows Vanessa the photo. They all hug. Kris shows up seconds later with a Christmas Tree and kisses her. 

Vanessa spends Christmas day with her family and they even get her stocking

Side Note

Minority Report: Shelby, DeeDee

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Christmas Trees represent the Christmas vibes. *** I’ve updated the rating system. Wine is my overall enjoyment (NOT a value judgment) on a 1-5 scale.

 I will use the following tags for those who want to know if they should watch or skip: Pour it Up (Would Recommend) or Put A Cork In It (Would Not Recommend). 

Overall rating

Christmas Feels

🎄 (1 Christmas Tree)

Enjoyment Level: 🍷 (1 glasses of wine.)

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*Photo Credit: © 2021 Hallmark Crown Media

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1 Comment

  1. Soooo what? Did the DNA place suddenly not make the mixup after all? This doesn’t make sense, so are they gonna be like “oops, no it is your dna, we didn’t mix it up.” This doesn’t make sense at all.

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