Disclaimer: I absolutely love Hallmark Christmas movies. Everything I say is out of this undying, appreciative, in awe type of love. Yes, I make fun of them, but my husband and I make fun of each other all of the time, and we are annoyingly in love.
Meet Darcy (Ali Liebert). She lives in Philadelphia, works at Chaucer’s Bookstore, loves books, books, and books (but not rival bookstore Books Books Books). To her friends, she is known to be quite cautious, and likes to live her adventures only while reading. She actually wears a helmet when she rides her bike, maybe even safety goggles when she reads, and definitely floaties when it rains.
Meet Bailey. He is a sweet ole’ dog who you know @dog_rates would give at least a 12/10. He likes to peep at Darcy through the window of Chaucer’s Bookstore.
(Hey, @dog_rates, this is my formal request for an official score of Bailey.)
Meet Bailey’s owner (Peter Porte). We don’t know his name yet. We, technically, also don’t know Bailey’s name yet, but heck with that. Pretty soon, Bailey’s name is all this handsome-hoodie-window guy will know.
Chaucer’s Bookstore’s annual Christmas Eve party is only 8 days away, and Darcy keeps getting hit with bad news!
- Their rival, Books Books Books, is throwing their own Christmas Eve party
- She’s fresh out of her fave rubber page turners (how will she avoid the dangers of paper cuts?!)
- Her boss and the owner of Chaucer’s, Terrance, is leaving Philadelphia and heading to Florida
Instead of shutting the operation down, Terrance is going to search for a new general manager to run the store. Everyone looks to Darcy, but she is oblivious.
When Darcy gets home to her apartment, she runs into Christmas decor queen, and landlady, Mrs. Henley (Tina Lifford). Mrs. Henley is awesome. The End. Thanks for reading, byyyyeeeee!
The next day, Darcy zooms through the streets of Philadelphia to work. Things get out of hand very quickly.
We also see that John Win-doe’s (omg hahahaha) phone and wallet are washed away into the sewer drain, where Pennywise the Dancing Clown will 100% steal his identity. As he is carted into an ambulance in a coma, Darcy is left to take care of Bailey, his mail, and keys.
Because no one knows who this guy is, and because the hospital won’t let her visit him, Darcy and her friend must do some Nancy Drew sleuthing. Except, did Nancy Drew ever
- put a man in a coma
- get his address from the return labels on Christmas cards he had dropped
- use his keys to break into his house and find out things about him
- poke about and swoon over his apparent love of books by Anthony Cleaver Parks?
They find a business card that suggests he is William A. Anderson, an apparently wildly successful public relations consultant to the literary stars. They also find a framed picture of a woman, so they assume he has a luvah.
She goes back to the hospital because, thankfully, Nurse Nancy (Brandi Alexander) was allowed to bend the rules to let Bailey inside, and for Darcy to see her victim. He is awake and is so excited to see Bailey! John Win-doe remembers the name Aiden, so everyone just accepts that the “A” in William A. Anderson is that. He decides he wants to go by Aiden instead of William. He also decides that if I ever call him John Win-doe again he will hit me with a bicycle.
Sorry, Aiden, I was just really proud of that one.
Darcy confesses to him that sorry, she ain’t his
but is the reason he is playing a game of Memory in a hospital gown. She also adds that she snooped around his place. He is veeeeerrrrrry understanding about it. Maybe his amnesia also made him forgot to get mad at strangers who hit you with their bicycle and then creep around your house???? Maybe he is just super d-duper nice? Maybe he should be everyone’s role model?
Can I be the intern that made this holiday Memory game?
Also, can I just mention how this is the most festive hospital of all time?
- Nurses in holiday scrubs
- Garland and holly galore
- Thrower of pretty ⚡️ragin’⚡️ Christmas parties!
Do most hospitals do this? Have I only gone to really crappy hospitals or something?
Aiden asks Darcy to go back to his house to gather up some things that could possibly help bring some memories back.
At Aiden’s house, they find tickets to the Nutcracker, and a very nicely wrapped Christmas present. Mrs. Henley, because she’s great, purposely drops the box so the lid’ll pop off, and is like
- oh no
- how clumsy am I!
- teheehee 😉
And guess what! It’s a huge hunk of diamond!
Back at the hospital, Darcy spreads some of Aiden’s belongings on his bed, including the framed photograph of the woman from his room. The first thing that sparks a memory in him is a very generic OHIO sweatshirt. He gets excited and exclaims that he is an alum of THE Ohio State University. He, however, doesn’t recognize the woman in the photograph. Totally an Ohio State move to remember his school over his girl (coughBoilerUpcough).
He seems to recognize the ring, gets very quiet, and asks if Darcy will go on a walk with him. They go outside and walk through a Christmas festival. Or is it part of the hospital’s party? I wouldn’t be surprised. Einstein Hospital is the best.
Aiden confides in Darcy that when he saw the wedding ring, he was reminded that his mother passed away when he was in college. The wedding ring was hers, and had been lost since he was a kid. The fact that there is a woman he can’t remember, but wants to give that ring to really upsets him. 😦
After their walk (and because they are both genuinely sweet and awesome people), they craft paper snowflakes for the kids in the hospital. Just look at them!
The next day, Mrs. Henley and Darcy chill and snoop back at Aiden’s pad. It’s a really nice house, so I don’t blame them. For the first time, Darcy shows Mrs. Henley the woman in the picture.
- Because she used to dance, Mrs. Henley notices that she is a dancer
- The picture was taken at a theater in NYC
- Darcy cradles the picture of the woman like she’s about to sing Girl Crush.
Nurse Nancy and Aiden go on a walk to Chaucer’s Bookstore. Darcy, however, isn’t there because she is becoming hella bold. She purchased a train ticket to Manhattan so she can try to find Aiden’s girlfriend. Once she gets to the theater, she gently harasses the receptionist, and finds out that the woman in the picture is Melanie Porter. Darcy calls her and word vomits all over her voicemail.
hey, melanieeee, you don’t know me but
your bf was in an accident and he has a
tiny case of amnesia
don’t worry though, don’t worry
he just has no idea who he is
or who you are
thnx bye, call me!
While adventuring with Nurse Nancy, Aiden learns that after searching the serial number of his mom’s ring, he found it at an antique shop in Philadelphia. Both, Darcy and Aiden, find it odd that after all these years it pops up just 6 blocks away from his house.
Although Aiden still remembers very little of his life, he is released from Einstein Hospital. Because Darcy has all but moved in, she takes him home. As he wanders around his house, he recognizes nothing, and is disgusted that he has zero Christmas decorations. Twinkle lights pop above Darcy’s head. She has an idea.
Cut to Mrs. Henley at the door with approximately $5,000 worth of Christmas decorations in tow.
HOW does she have so many decorations? Is she stocking up at Dollar Tree? Does she set aside a yearly budget just for garland and tinsel? Am I overestimating how much all of this stuff costs? Is she gouging her tenants?
After decorating, things get ❤ romantic ❤
- They flirt
- Aiden remembers stuff
- He asks her to slow dance
- They are about to kissssss, but……….
The doorknob moves. Bailey barks. The door opens! In walks in
the real William A. Anderson (Vincent Dangerfield).
It’s William’s house, and Melanie is his girlfriend (who was a little freaked by that voicemail, btw).
Aiden remembers who he is. He is Aiden Harris: art teacher from Akron, Ohio. He found out that his mother’s ring was in Philadelphia, so he came to pick it up. Although his college friend, William, was out of town, he insisted that Aiden crash at his place. Mystery solved!
The last 15 minutes goes a’ sumthin’ lika this
- Darcy reveals to Mrs. Henley that she has feelings for Aiden.
- She realizes caring for him made her live life less cautiously.
- Mrs. Henley says this gem: “Caring for others reveals the best versions of ourselves.”
- Darcy gets the confidence to go after the general manager position of Chaucer’s Bookstore.
- She gets the job!!
William drives Aiden home to Ohio so he can see his family. When he gets to his house, he immediately remembers them.
…but…what kind of family are they? Sister and niece? Wife and daughter?!
Chaucer’s Bookstore’s Christmas Eve party is finally here! Although Darcy is missing Aiden, she is full on boss mode (which is cool of her, because I’m sure I’d be a mess, crying in the stock room while eating my 4th individually packaged chocolate pudding). Also, because she had helped Aiden, William set her up with Anthony Cleaver Parks to be the special guest at the party. Whoop, whoop!
ACP isn’t the only special guest, though!
Enter Bailey and Aiden!
And a woman and a little girl………
Wheeeeeee! Then they kiss! Aiden is going to move to Philadelphia, and Darcy gets to keep her dream job! Heck yes!
I rate “A Gift to Remember” The Christmas Santa left you everything you wanted which is a 4.5/5 on my scale of Christmas Memories.
- The Christmas your Uncle asked you why you went to college when you’re now “only” a stay at home mom
- The Christmas you noticed that the letter Santa left for you was in your Dad’s handwriting
- The Christmas you started getting only practical presents, but were like…eh, that’s fine, I actually needed that
- The Christmas where you ate 10,000 calories and didn’t even bloat (this could never be a real memory, but I can dream)
- The Christmas where Santa left you everything you wanted and it snowed!
“A Gift to Remember” was delightful. Ali Liebert was schwonderful. Peter Porte was charming. Tina Lifford? C’mon! What did we do to deserve her? I thought Darcy was so relatable, and was legitimately inspired by her character’s progression from cautious and scared to bold and fearless. I loved it and will rewatch and rewatch and rewatch!
P.S. Odd thing to mention, but I was impressed by the bike wreck scene? I figured all we’d hear was a crash and see papers and wheels being tossed in the air. But, no, we got full on destruction! ✔️
12 thoughts on ““A Gift to Remember” Recap & Review”
What a ding dong uncle not to realize that raising a child is just as valuable a career even more valuable than a salaried job!!
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The only thing I liked about this movie was the dog. Didn’t like the stars, thought she looked like the kids from ET racing on her bike & who goes to a bookstore on Christmas Eve??? I gave it a 😦
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You’re going to make me cry! I just love A Gift to Remember so much 😂 Is a 😦 the lowest rating on your emoji scale?
No 🤮is. 😻
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Oh yeah & when she searched the internet for William Anderson-just because she added the Aiden she couldn’t find any info-come on.
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A Gift to Remember didn’t have as many plot holes as so many of the movies on Hallmark do.
Darcy was the best heroine ever! Nothing about her annoyed me.
This movie is a keeper.
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I too really liked this one. Darcy, the guy, the dog, the landlady – I liked all the characters. Kudos for working a Pennywise the Clown reference into a Hallmark review! I’m wondering if that pic on the Memory game card is of the same gingerbread merry-go-round that has made an appearance in at least two other movies I’ve seen…? Is this like one of those hidden-Mickey things that Disney does? Is there really a gingerbread merry-go-round in *every* movie? Thanks for another great review – I’m reading these slowly, saving them for when I need a good laugh.
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Betting that a gingerbread merry-go-round will appear in at least 88 of the 175 new Countdown to Christmas movies next year.
Just found your site when I looked up the author in this movie. This is one of my favorite Christmas movies of all from Hallmark. Love the guy. He is charming with just a sprinkling of goofy. Darcy is great. Not one of the too-pretty-to -be-human actresses that are hard to warm up to. I loved everything about this movie. And by the way, not concerned with reality or plot holes or predictability when I watch Hallmark. Just looking for all the feels!
There is really an Einstein Hospital in Philadelphia, I work there, and no, it’s not that festive, lol! Never saw a room or floor like that and that kind of decor would probably violate several safety codes, lol! Oh, and it’s a Jewish hospital !
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