Hallmark Christmas Movie Review: Welcome to Christmas

Hallmark Christmas Movies: Welcome to Christmas 
Starring: Eric Mabius and Jennifer Finnigan

You’re looking at the main guy and wondering where he’s from, aren’t you? 

Never fear. The mystery has been solved. My roommate Lara used a tool as powerful as, dare I say, The Google, to Sherlock her way into working out this enigma. All hail the Internet Movie Database.  

I convinced myself that he was just “rugged handsome guy” and continued swooning at the TV. When Lara walked into the room, she was absolutely certain that we knew Gage McBride from somewhere important. But where?

After concluding that yes, Gage McBride is one of the coolest dude names from all Hallmark Christmas movies, I began to jog our memories with a game I like to call, “Who’s That Guy?” Eighty-five percent of the time, we do not have to consult IMDB because eighty-five percent of the time the actor is from The West Wing. This show is always the foundation from which we start our journey.

Lara took a moment to scrutinize the screen and quickly confirmed that our adorable Sheriff McBride had never roamed the halls of the White House following President Bartlett around updating him on affairs of the world. 

We typically hit up our mental Friends concordance. Nothing there. Then we move on to Gilmore Girls. Nothing there, either. Because we live in the day and age of instant gratification, patience runs thin and this is when Lara picks up her iPhone and within seconds learns that hottie Gage McBride is none other than Daniel Meade from Ugly Betty!


Another parley into the bowels of IMDB and we learn that he is a series regular on a string of TV movies called Signed, Sealed, Delivered. There are a dozen of them. But in those movies, his hair isn’t so severely waxed to his head. 

If we’re ranking 2018 Hallmark Christmas Movies, Welcome to Christmas would be near the top. And that’s because the main leads are so darn charming. You can tell they’ve been on television and know how to make the tiny moments count. Jennifer Finnigan is a delight. I can totally see how Gage falls in love with her at minute 90 and then kisses her at minute 120. 

Now let’s talk about that kiss. That horrible peck that can’t even be labeled a kiss because it was so lame. I know I’m putting the cart before the horse by jumping to the end of the movie, but I can’t wrap my head around why these jokers can’t practice the kiss in front of fellow co-workers? We know the producers don’t play hard and fast with kissing rules because, ONCE AGAIN, I give you Liam from It’s Christmas, Eve.

Now that’s a kiss. You must go record it now on your DVR, watch it, and let me know what you think. Just the kiss. Not the movie. I have severe thoughts about the movie

In a nutshell, if I take this movie and tack on Liam’s kissing game and the snark of Chad Michael Murray in Road to Christmas, we would be in business with the perfect medley of yuletide cheer. 

Where was I?

Right. Welcome to Christmas. It’s a good one. All you have to know is that one or both parents of every character is dead. Gabe is raising his two freakishly cute daughters with his aunt (who raised him) and is pleasantly surprised when Big City Madison comes to Christmas to vet the town as a potential location for her company’s new ski resort.

It’s all hands on deck. Gage’s aunt, who is very bossy, makes the townsfolk turn Christmas into a winter wonderland like the days of yore. They  have to show Madison that they deserve to be considered for the future resort, even though they technically know Madison has already chosen a bigger town over the mountain range out yonder. 

Christmas citizens ban together to execute an impromptu tree lighting ceremony where Madison gets to punch the ceremonial button. Hallmark takes a sharp right turn away from their normal tree lighting ceremonies, which traditionally take place in the town square, and place this one in the middle of a forest. Strange.

There’s also cookie decorating, stocking stuffing, an ornament hunt, singing carols with your own family in front of the rest of the town (where’s the couch cushion?), and something to do with an old sleigh. 

As the days pass, Gage softens and his smile sneaks out when he thinks we aren’t looking. I remember Daniel doing that, too. It’s all in the smile, people. That grin can forgive all sorts of hair maladies. 


  • When I see an officer of the law is in uniform, my insides melt a bit.
  • When that same officer of the law is later in a long-sleeve t-shirt with a vest, working in his wood shop, my insides melt a lot.
  • If you are unexpectedly trapped in Christmas, Colorado, you can purchase an entire fabulous wardrobe, complete with darling coat, at the local general store. 
  • Do you want to know how to flirt without really admitting you’re flirting? Eat a gingerbread cookie and smile. Say nothing. 
  • Unless you are the Family von Trapp, do not grab your kids, aunt, and new girlfriend to stand in front of the entire town and sing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” 
  • Never, ever, ever, ever tuck in your sweater to the front of your jeans. I know this is from Christmas Comma Eve and I sound like a broken record, but I feel it’s important to really drive this takeaway home.

IHGB Grade:
Welcome to Christmas = B+

Photo By: Hallmark Channel


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Kristin Recent comment authors
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This is funny. I like your take-aways. Did you say you can buy a darling outfit at Dollar General?? Ha-just kidding!