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.
Stephanie (Ellen Hollman) works at her parents’ store, The Christmas Shop. The Christmas Shop is a year-round Christmas shop where people Christmas shop.
So glad it wasn’t called The Christmas Shoppe.
Stephanie’s parents (Pamela Roylance and David Starzyk) are leaving her in charge of The Christmas Shop, packing up and retiring to Long Island. The last time I was in Long Island, a guy jumped out of his car at a stoplight, whipped out a crowbar, and started yelling and threatening to smash up some other guy’s car. But, sure, let’s retire to Long Island.
(P.S. I actually really loved living on Long Island. You can run into a weirdo crowbar guy anywhere in the world.)
Michael (Bobby Campo) is the nicest, least uptight, New York City real estate guy that has ever been in a Hallmark movie. His only problem is that he lacks Christmas spirit. And a girlfriend–which is only a problem if you want one.
Michael’s boss, Helen MacLaine (Cynthia Gibb) of MacLaine Properties, is also super nice??????? I’m so freaked out by this! There are two nice real estate people in this movie???????????? What is this, The Property Brothers?! Someone pinch me (but don’t).
Helen assigned Michael to develop Broadway Towers, and it’s gonna be big!
Her first day as boss, Stephanie gets a letter. And it’s not a sweet Christmas letter from her dear Aunt Sally (please excuse her), but an eviction notice. The building has been sold, and no leases will be renewed. They must be out by December 31st. Bluuughh.
Stephanie transforms into a Nor’easter of frustration and disappointment. There has to be something she can do to save her store!
But, what she doesn’t do is tell her parents about her misfortune.
That night, in search of some sort of Christmas spirit as instructed by his brother and sister-in-law, Michael wanders into The Christmas Shop.
- finds a down on her luck Stephanie
- decides to help her! He’s in real estate, after all!
- finds a new BFF.
Stephanie’s spirits are lifted, not only because she has someone to help her, but because her helper is a hawtie!
Meanwhile, Michael researches how he can help Stephanie, but Helen interrupts him to go look at Trolley Square, the place they are turning into Broadway Towers.
I bet you know how this is going to turn out…
Michael is actually Stephanie’s biggest problem. He’s the one who is kicking her out.
I’m just going to tell you that Stephanie does not take this well. At all. Even though Michael immediately confesses this to her. Even though he is freakishly nice about it. Even though he still wants to help her save the store.
(I AM STILL FREAKED OUT! I guess I am scarred by the jerk realtor boyfriend in A Very Merry Mix-Up.)
The next day, Michael pops back by Trolley Square, and buys Stephanie a cupcake as a peace offering. It kind of works, because he is suddenly at the store all of the time. Like there is a whole montage of
- calendar pages flying off
- Michael working
- Stephanie working
- Michael and Stephanie grinning at each other.
Stephanie gets an idea about how to draw some publicity to her cause. She calls a reporter from The Sentinel, who learned how to title newspaper articles from Leslie Knope.
And, it actually works! She is even on TV. She’s getting more foot traffic in her store than ever, but poor Helen is labeled a Scrooge. It’s actually really sad, because Helen turns into Charlie Brown trying to direct the Christmas play and says, “I’m just trying to do my job.” Aren’t we all?
Okay, okay, okay, ok, OK. Let’s take a break, because we need to talk about Stephanie’s Dad, Dan.
He has these sad why won’t my wife just let me live my life and be happy puppy dog eyes, and they’re great. He’s just great, ok?!
Also, he tries to secretly steal used bacon off of someone else’s table at a restaurant. So disgusting, but ✨true movie magic.✨
Stephanie and Michael decide to go on a not-date. If you have to say it’s a not-date, then it’s a date. And if you go to a sexy saxy (lol) jazz club to see Dave Koz tooting away, then it’s a date. Also, his saxophone had a microphone (which is probably normal), and that made me super happy.
After the concert, they go to a record shop and bond over music. It’s pretty sweet. They really do have good chemistry.
Michael is in deep. He is always talking to his snowman figurine. He helps a customer pick out a cookie cutter. He basically works at The Christmas Shop now. Is he even doing any real estate developing? Helen sees Michael being Mr. Christmas, and looks touched yet concerned.
Now, this is where I missed about 5-10 minutes of the movie (No, I don’t have DVR. Someone get me DVR.). There was a big thud against the front of my house, so obviously I freaked, and my husband had to go search the place to make sure there wasn’t a guy outside with a crowbar.
When I tuned back in, Stephanie’s parents were arguing over the eligibility of frankincense in their game of Scrabble while Stephanie cried about how she will most likely lose The Christmas Shop. Her mom is very understanding, and her parents decide they are super duper bored of Long Island life, and want to move back to the big city.
Enter Mr. Cranston (David McKnight). For as long as Stephanie can remember, he has requested a handmade Christmas ornament each year as a Christmas present for his wife. He always gives them a theme, and this year’s is him and his wife’s first date.
- is completely smitten with this ornament thing
- (probably because his new BFF is a snowman figurine)
- helps Stephanie make it
- joins in on the delivery to the Cranstons.
Michael decides that he is going to save The Christmas Shop at whatever cost. And, I’m just gonna tell you…he up and quits because Helen won’t help him.
So, this means that neither Michael nor Stephanie will have a job 😬👍🏻
Michael tells Stephanie that he did everything he could to save her store, but because he wasn’t able to, he quit. Stephanie is like, oh, probably shouldn’t have done that. Also, don’t want to date right now, sry but bye.
At the block party, a lot happens
- Michael swoops in with an overlooked document!
- Regarding The Christmas Shop, the document says “In the event the building is sold, the lessee is given the opportunity to buy the building at a fair market value.”
- So, Stephanie and her parents can buy the building and ruin Helen’s life!
- But who has 40 billion dollars?
- Michael’s dad, their surprise investor!
JUSTICE FOR HELEN. She didn’t do anything wrong. She was just doing her job, and wasn’t maniacal or rude or a huge old turd about it. This is most likely the moment she turns into the evil real estate troll-witch that we will see as a villain in a #CountdowntoChristmas movie next year.
But, don’t worry about Helen, because Stephanie and Michael kiss and have a happily ever after! One year later, the store is thriving and everything is perfect for them! The End!
I rate Sharing Christmas Actual Ryan Gosling talking about Jazz which is a 3.25/5 on my scale of Jazz.
- People who say they love Jazz, but only have a Starbucks compilation album
- Elevator Jazz
- Ryan Gosling’s character in La La Land talking about Jazz
- John Stockton from The Utah Jazz
- Vince Guaraldi Trio’s A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack
THE DAD. He was written so well, and Dave Starzyk acted him so well. His disappointed and mischievous facial expressions were prefect. And I always love Bobby Campo! He and Ellen Hollman had a cute, believable chemistry.
I enjoyed the fresh elements of this movie–the real estate agents weren’t heartless scummy people, the bits of jazz, the really sweet handmade ornaments. I want someone to make me personalized ornaments each year now!