Toying With the Holidays (2021 Lifetime)

Toying With the Holidays (2021 Lifetime)

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Cast: Chad Michael Murray, Cindy Busby

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Workaholic designer Danielle (Busby) returns to her hometown of Holly Pines for the holidays with her young son, Paul, with hopes to introduce him to some beloved holiday traditions, in particular the town’s North Pole Express train. Once home, she discovers that the North Pole Express has been sidelined. Determined to help, Danielle reconnects with her former high school classmate Kevin (Murray), now a hobbyist and model train enthusiast himself. Together, Danielle and Kevin attempt to pull off a Christmas miracle that would get the old North Pole Express running — and quite possibly give Danielle many reasons, one of them romantic, to consider staying in Holly Pines for good. (2021)

Recap/Wine Thoughts

Danielle is going back home for Christmas with her son, Paul. She hasn’t been home to Holly Pines in over five years. Danielle promises that it will be a Christmas to remember. (Even though she will have to work on a BIG work project to be considered for a promotion.)

Danielle and her son pick out the perfect tree at a Christmas tree lot, and then it is stolen by Chad Michael Murray. That isn’t the first mishap; The Christmas traditions, Danielle remembers, have been discontinued. To give Paul a proper Christmas, she finds an old train set that belonged to her dad, but it’s broken. 

When Paul and Danielle take the train set to the local hobby shop, they run into the owner, who is (of course) Chad Michael Murray. He is an old classmate of “Dani’s” and knew her father, who has passed away. 

Chad Michael Murray fixes the train set and helps them install it under their Christmas tree. Dani and Chad Michael Murray plan on restoring an old town tradition of a Christmas train AND the Christmas festival, which is rebranded as The Festival of Trains. 

They find Dani’s father’s old plans for the town square and secret stash of Train things. Then they make a pitch to the city council, who are in favor. Dani works on the website that won’t just reach the city; it will be available NATIONWIDE!!! (Dani explains websites like no one has heard of them before.) 

Dani and Chad Michael Murray spend more and more time together and are starting to vibe. The only problem is that Chad Michael Murray continues to string alone a redheaded woman, Jackie, he is ambivalent about. (Oh, also Dani is offered a promotion that would take her to L.A.) He asks Dani out on a date after letting Jackie off the hook. Then he stands her up.

The Festival of Trains goes off without a hitch and even includes a special train that kids can ride around the square. Dani decides to stay in town and take her promotion remotely. She rides on the train with CMM after learning he stood her up to get a special part for the train. He also made the generous donation at the auction. They kiss as the train leaves the station for the North Pole Express.

Side Note

Minority Report: Mr. Logan, Dylan, 

Also known as: The Holiday Train. (Which is a better title for this movie TBH!)

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Christmas Trees represent the Christmas vibes. *** I’ve updated the rating system. Wine is 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

🎄🎄 (2 Christmas Trees)

Enjoyment Level: 🍷🍷 (2 glasses of wine.)

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*Photo Credit: © 2021 Lifetime

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