Hallmark Christmas Movie Review: Christmas in Evergreen: Letters to Santa
Hallmark Christmas Movie: Christmas in Evergreen: Letters to Santa
Starring: Mark Deklin, Jill Wagner, and Holly Robinson Peete
I’m officially deeming the Hallmark Christmas Movie Christmas in Evergreen: Letters to Santa as one to watch in 2018. Did I see the original which launched the colon-worthy sequel? At first I convinced myself that I had not seen it, then quickly reminded myself that they are all essentially the same movie and if it was anything resembling mediocre, I could have seen it and just not remembered.
Things I do remember:
- Country musicians trying to act.
- Guys who tuck their sweaters into their jeans.
- Anything having to do with a royal romance.
- Anything starring the Hallmark Christmas Movie trifecta: Candice, Lacey, and Winnie Cooper.
But when our main female lead Lisa, with her plain non-Christmasy name, rolls up on our main male lead Kevin, it all clicked.
I remembered the red truck with the whimsical garland adorning its hood.
Who could forget that ride? Evergreen is live version of a snow globe village, complete with the hot cocoa stand in the middle of town square, which is surrounded by the local hardware store, the bakery, the church, and Daisy’s country store.
Lisa is glad to be back in her hometown, but she’s upset to learn that Daisy’s is closing because Daisy passed away earlier in the year. Great. Not only do we have dead parents nowadays, but we are moving on to superfluous deceased characters who make appearances in our feel-good Hallmark storylines. Merry Christmas, everyone!
The good news is that Lisa just so happens to be one part of an amazing decorating duo and is excited to transform Daisy’s into a winter wonderland to prove to the big shots back in her fancy city that she can be trusted with windows and shops in grander metropolitans. Daisy’s is the blank canvas with which to work.
But it does need a little TLC and there’s only one carpenter in town (who doesn’t own a truck but is totally cool with borrowing his friend’s aforementioned red one) with the whimsical garland around the hood. It’s as if this was meant to be!
For reasons I can’t remember and have no interest in researching, there’s some sort of “letters to Santa” plot with which the entire movie revolves. Lisa finds a missing letter from decades ago. The mysterious “K.M.” just wants Christmas to be liked it used to be.
And Lisa is going to make that happen once she puts two and two together that KM is her very own carpenter Kevin Miller. Since everyone in Evergreen has always lived in Evergreen, it’s easy to poll locals to make a to-do list of what needs to happen in that arena, while she continues to revamp Daisy’s on the side. Plus, everyone loves Kev and wants to make Young Kevin’s wish come true.
Anyone can arrange for a candlelight processional and a tree lighting ceremony and a quaint outdoor ice skating venue and a fabulous gospel choir to be on-call in the town gazebo 24/7. The real issue is those darn Christmas bells that haven’t worked since Kevin’s mom died. No one knows how to fix them and it’s essential that they ring on Christmas Eve.
But there’s another twist, too. You see, there’s this key and it’s frustrating the crap out of Lisa. She found it in an antique shop. WHAT DOES THE KEY OPEN? With all the yuletide planning, Lisa doesn’t have time to wander around Evergreen poking old timey keys in locked doors. So she enlists the adorable son of Holly Robinson Peete and his sister(?)/cousin(?) to solve the puzzle.
Note: He is adorable, but can’t act worth a flip. His smile gives him a ton of grace.
Lots of things happen with the store and there’s a lost in translation moment when Kevin thinks Lisa’s business partner is more than a business partner. But in the end, the town comes together to pull off Christmas in Evergreen from days of yore. And in the quintessential moment when HRP’s kid figures out that his key works the church bells, we hear the gong, gong, gong marking Christmas Eve.
Jack Frost makes it snow at the exact same time and Kevin leans in for the Christmas kiss. Although not as good as Liam in It’s Christmas Comma Eve, he comes in a close second.
- Just because the initials match a name you know (KM = Kevin Miller), doesn’t mean that that are no other people in the world, or in Evergreen for that matter, who do not also have the initials KM.
- Do you live in a town that doesn’t snow? No problem! Stuff cotton onto the branches of your outdoor Christmas tree. It’s practically the same as snow.
- When you only have two days to fill a gift shop with wares, do not panic. You live in a snow globe. That means at least half the town has some sort of trade or hobby that involves whittling, knitting, baking, painting, glass blowing, and making those reindeer out of close pins. Ask them to help. They will come out in droves since they have all the spare time in the world.
- Finding a random key in a random box in a random antique store gives you all authority to try and find the lock that matches that key. Just go with it.
- Never, ever, ever, ever tuck in your sweater to the front of your jeans. I know this is from another movie, but I feel it’s important to really drive this takeaway home.
Christmas at Graceland = B+