“A Very Merry Mix-Up” Recap & Review

Forget Christmas in July being the only acceptable warm month to celebrate Christmas! I have decided we need a little dose of the fuzzies to add to the warmth of September, just so I can recap and review one of my favorites: A Very Merry Mix-Up!

Meet Alice Chapman (Alicia Witt). She has

  • the warmth of a fireplace burning in her heart
  • a brain overstocked with knowledge of antiques and the legends behind them
  • blood that runs for the sole purpose of keeping her late father’s antique store alive.

Alice loves Christmas traditions and loves sharing them with everyone she meets. Unfortunately, she also loves her boob of a boyfriend.

but wait until i tell you about this clock!

Meet Will Mitchum (Scott Gibson), Alice’s boob of a boyfriend. He likes cell phones. He likes real estate. He likes money. He likes talking on his cell phone about real estate and money.

You know what Will doesn’t like? Traditions and clocks and antiques, and hearing about traditions and clocks and antiques. And you know what? He probably doesn’t even like Christmas! Gasp.

Will wants Alice to sell her father’s store, but Alice is like no thx, but do you want to hear about The Burncastle Christmas Clock!?

please stop talking about clocks

The Legend of The Burncastle Christmas Clock

Once upon a time a clockmaker fell in love with a peasant girl whose parents had already promised her to another man (promised?! how awful, how weird!). The clockmaker decided that if he could make the most beautiful clock in the land, the parents would be like: woah! this guy is GREAT! forget the other guy! The girl’s suitor finds out about the clockmaker’s plan and ships her far, far away because he is afraid to lose her (i’m sorry but who is changing their mind because of a clock). On Christmas Eve, the girl receives the clock. On her wedding day, she cries and prays for a miracle, and while walking down the aisle, the clock stops, freezing everyone around her. She rushes out of the church to the clockmaker who is waiting for her. They run off and live happily ever after, and no one ever sees them again (uh, are they frozen inside of the clock, are they okay?).

Ah, romance. Ah, clocks.

Remarkably, these insanely different people have been together long enough that it is socially acceptable for Alice to visit Will’s parents over the holidays.

Even more remarkably, Will proposes even though they only seem to find each other tolerable.

A waiter delivers a plate to Alice with a black box surrounded by 2 carrots. Will leaps to his feet and rambles about marshmallow jelly beans, wildly declares “Love is crazy, baby!”, drops to one knee, and opens the black box to reveal a 2 karat ring.

At first, Alice reluctantly accepts the proposal, and we see her convincing herself that she’s sure and excited!

i never imagined my proposal would include a mention of jelly beans

The next day, the two ship off to Will’s parents’ home in Barrisford for Christmas. But, Will reveals that he is close to making a deal (A DEAL!), and that she has to go without him, and he’ll meet her there. Oh, and that his mom is macrobiotic, so don’t be rude.

*record scratch*

Huh?!?!?!?! Why wouldn’t she just wait to go when he could?! Could you imagine meeting your soon-to-be in-laws without your significant other? Especially when the mom is macrobiotic? Which is apparently a thing?!

But, I am not Alice, because Alice is confused and anxious for about 2 seconds, then happily rides off to go meet these strangers. I wish I were that flexible.

is butter macrobiotic??????

Meet Matt Mitchum (Mark Wiebe). He is nice and probably has never considered real estate or money or cell phones.

He sees Alice at the airport, and time stands still. Matt emits a loaded


He must quickly shake off that woah, however, because the airline misplaced his luggage! It’s a homemade present for his grandfather, and he’s as upset as a nice guy is allowed to be.


Because Alice’s luggage was also misplaced, she must fill out paperwork. She sits near Matt, and he nervously attempts conversation and stares at her a lot.


As they are leaving, Matt runs into Alice and spills coffee all over her, ruining her phone. The problem (other than coffee stained clothes)? The address to Will’s parents’ house was in the phone! She doesn’t know where to go! She tries to call Will on another phone, but he’s off business-ing so he doesn’t answer. Alice signs off the voicemail as The Future Mrs. Mitchum, and this life-changing conversation happens:

Woah. Wait! I’m a Mitchum!

My fiancé is Will Mitchum!

Billy! That’s my brother!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaand that was enough for Alice to get in the car with Matt to take her to her future in-laws’ house!

thank goodness the coffee didn’t get on my lost luggage bingo! card

On the way to the Mitchum House, they get into a wreck (???!?!?!!), ending up in the hospital with concussions.


  • compliments her fingers nails
  • talks at length about powder blue leisure suits
  • shares why such a nice guy like him is single.

He broke up with his fiancée because she refused to drop him off at the door before a big speech, because she didn’t want to have to walk through the rain. Matt lowers his voice, gets super serious, and says:

“She wouldn’t even walk through the rain for me. Where I come from love walks through the rain.”

My husband and I have quoted that at least once a month since this movie premiered in 2013. We will never stop. Do not try to make us.

But, what if Matt’s ex-fiancée just got a perm and knew that the first cardinal rule of perm maintenance is that you’re forbidden to wet your hair at least 24 hours after at the risk of deactivating the immonium thygocolate? Had you considered that, Matt?! Haven’t you ever seen Legally Blonde!

my fingernails are kinda amazing aren’t they

The Mitchums arrive to a concussed Matt and Alice–who must think they’ve gone a little mad because they do not know that Billy is engaged, and have never heard of an Alice being in his life. Alice shares that it was supposed to be a surprise!

Soooooooo they just accept that and take her home without checking with Billy first to see if she’s some weird stalker. They must know that they live on the Hallmark Channel, so it’s not scary to get stuck in the elevator with a stranger, or to share a cottage with a stranger, or to ride cross country in the only rental car left with a stranger. Why not bring home your son’s fiancée that you had never heard of that you met in a hospital room with your other son????????

Like…A Very Merry Mix-Up could’ve SO EASILY been a Lifetime movie entitled A Very Merry Murder Cover-Up.

See! Matt’s suspicious!

Meanwhile, back in the city, Will Mitchum is trying to strike up a deal to sell Alice’s store! Boooooooo!!!! He IS a boob!

In Barrisford, the Concussion Twins aren’t allowed sleep so they

  • make cookies in the dark and are super loud about it, and SHHHHHHH! as loud as a scream and wake everyone up
  • look at photo albums and talk about how much of a foxy hottie Matt’s grandma used to be
  • fall asleep.

I guess I should also mention that the moment Grandpa saw Foxy Grandma, he felt like time stopped and said


and then looked at the clock and remembered that time forever.

(I’m also going to mention that the woahs should not be read in the Joey Lawrence Blossom voice.)

nothing to see here

The next day, Grandpa comes by to decorate the Christmas tree with the family. They also play a note game! They write down something nice about each person. They, then, read compliments about themselves in front of each other. This is an adorable idea, but it turns weird.

Matt writes that Alice “is kind of amazing” which………

is super inappropriate. Matt obviously doesn’t care about his brother. Who says that their brother’s fiancée “is kind of amazing”???????? Like, is Matt actually the good guy they’re trying to convince us he is? Let’s examine:


4/5 ain’t bad. Matt is an 80% good guy.

Except, I think the one that went unchecked may have a little more weight?????????????

Ah, we’ll let this one slide. He’s had a concussion half of the time!

kind of amazing? i’m full on amazing.

They hear someone walk through the door. Billy Willy is home! Alice slings her arms around him and yells WILL MITCHUM!


Billy Willy ain’t Will at all. He’s just straight up Billy.

Billy Mitchum is like…who are you? Why are you touching me? And, in my second favorite line of the movie, Grandpa says:

“This is weird.”

Yes, Grandpa. It is.

She finally gets ahold of the real Will.i.am. He picks Alice up from the Mitchums to take her to Mitchum Manor.

He’s like, oh man you’re so dumb! can’t believe you thought i grew up in a house like this. wow, i’m not poor. When the parents of Matt come out, Will has the audacity to compliment their house. WOW. True villain, that Will. True villain.

Side note: Sorry, but nothing about that house is poor. Did you see how cute that kitchen was? If that is a house for poor people then he must think I live in a trash can.

Before Alice leaves, she runs inside to give Matt the piece of paper she wrote about him in the note game. It is revealed that she wrote: “Makes me laugh.” She kisses him on the cheek, which is not confusing at all.


Upon arrival at Mitchum Manor, we meet Will’s mother: Macrobiotic Mom. The house is sparsely decorated with weird sculptures, barely noticeable classy Christmas decorations, and the warmth of a refrigerator.

She has

  • fungus smoothies
  • a shaman
  • chakras
  • chunky turquoise jewelry
  • fermented bran.

Her husband is a workaholic, and she is so bored that she’s just doing stuff. It’s super sad, really. Wonder what her interests were before this one took over? Longaberger baskets? Hermès scarves? Studying to be a pet psychic?

don’t be silly, dear, longaberger baskets muddy up chakras

Will’s dad, Roy, enters screeching out my 3rd favorite line in the movie:


He is a boob and a businessman. Like…he’s just a boob. The only other person I have ever referred to as a boob is Will, and I don’t know if I’ll ever stop.

Alice sees that Will and his dad are just alike

  • pacing around on phone calls
  • talking on the phone
  • phone talking
  • being a bunch of boobs.

Oh geez, such boobs!

*cluck cluck cluck equity cluck cluck cluck profit margin cluck cluck cluck*

Turns out going from the warmest family in the world to the most business and stifled family in the world is harder for Alice to swallow than the green smoothie she was forced to drink.

After moodily staring at her reflection in the mirror, Alice sees a light display in the park outside of Will’s bathroom window. She asks Will to walk with her, but he’s like…no? why? what’s a park? He then tells her that she isn’t a business woman and is just a collector.

That makes her moodily stare again over a banister. Then at a ceiling.

*if there’s nothing missing in my life then whhhhhyyy doooo these tears come at night?*

Matt flashlights Alice through the bedroom window because he can’t sleep due to their sleep schedule being messed up by their concussions. They decide to walk to the park she wanted to with Will.

Matt is like “do I really make you laugh?” 😉

Alice is like “so I’m kind of amazing, huh?” 😉

This makes Matt scrape his feet in the snow like a bull about to charge because he is going to finally speak his mind. He tells her she will be making a huge mistake if she marries Will.

Alice tells him that he’s an amazing guy, which makes Matt’s face turn red and yell Don’t throw the word amazing around loosely! Don’t treat this like an episode of The Bachelor! This isn’t just any old amazing journey! This IS REAL ALICE!!!!!!!

It doesn’t end well.

i am kind of amazing aren’t i

Matt reacts by building something teeny tiny in what appears to be a closet. Or in some underground craft bunker.

Oh, Matt, what are you up to?

This will either turn out super creepy or super sweet.

Alice forces the uptight Mitchums to play the note game. She sternly says Guys!!!! Its Christmas Eve, it’s time for us to love and share and give!!!!!!!!!!! They reluctantly abide.

Here, we learn that

  • Will’s parents hate each other
  • Roy can’t spell maintenance
  • Alice is a multimillionaire?????

It turns out that a developer wants to …develop… the block where Alice’s father’s store is. If she would sell the store, she could be worth 3.5 MILLION DOLLARS.

This, of course, upsets Alice. She doesn’t care about money, and can’t believe that Will doesn’t understand that about her.

who needs money when you have antiques

Grandpa Mitchum visits Mitchum Manor. Alice asks his advice about her problems with love and timing.

Will pops out of the house like ……..hello? alice? remember me? Alice shoos him, her fiancé, away to have a deep conversation about love with this old man she met only yesterday.

He leaves her with a small wrapped box and a simple quote: “Life is about timing and timing is everything in love and loss.”

…k guess i’ll just go back inside…

Once Alice is back inside Mitchum Manor, Will says that he wants to give her a present. He apologizes for presenting the offer in front of his parents, and that he understands her. He presents her with the present, and it’s…

A lease for a store 3 blocks away!!!!!!! And it will be a REAL STORE. She can even have a diner (why??????) in it!

Aaaaaand that’s the end of their relationship. Will just doesn’t understand Alice at all. He only thinks in dollars.

Woah. Wait. Does anyone think that the only reason he proposes to her is so he can share her 3.5 million dollar payday? Is he that big of a villain? Or is he just a boob? I don’t know–after ragging on the nice Mitchum’s house then saying it’s lovely– he might be both a villain and a boob.

but like stop calling me a boob, ok

Alice, yet again, looks in the mirror. This time she opens the gift that Grandpa delivered to her. It is a clock–a very teeny tiny clock that looks like it was made in an underground craft bunker! This is what we’ve been seeing Matt’s hands working on.

She cries as Grandpa’s voice hovers in the bathroom

“Life is about timing and timing is everything in love and loss.”

She cries as the clock ticks away until–

It stops ticking it’s tock altogether.

She rushes out to tell Will she has to go, but she finds everyone is frozen:

  • Will shocked in devastation
  • Macrobiotic Mom mediating peacefully
  • Roy reading the stocks in the paper
but i can’t read analog clocks

Alice runs to the park, passing terrifying snow sculpture after terrifying snow sculpture that I can only assume are actual people just spray foamed.

There, Matt is waiting for her. They immediately kiss and we get my personal favorite Hallmark twinkle light background of all time! They are huge! They are amazing!

The clock Matt made for Alice stopped at exactly 11:58, which is the time they had met in the airport. They relish in the fact that they are the modern lovers from The Burncastle Christmas Clock.

all i’ve ever wanted is to have the same love story as an antique clock!

Fast forward! Thankfully they are not trapped in a clock, but are happily working at her father’s store.

They kiss yet again, because these two are super duper in love!

Yay! The End!

I rate A Very Merry Mix-Up Thinking it’s Thursday when it’s actually Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! which is a 5/5 on my scale of Mix-Ups!

The Scale

  1. People on the internet who think correcting grammar makes them better than the ones making grammar mistakes
  2. Baking soda and baking powder
  3. But/butt <—- this one is welcome because lol
  4. Thinking it’s Wednesday when it’s actually Thursday
  5. Thinking it’s Thursday when it’s actually Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A Very Merry Mix-Up is one of my all-time favorites. Honestly, I hated this movie the first time I watched it, but it was the most fun I have ever had watching a Hallmark movie. The nostalgia of us reenacting scenes and cracking up may add to the perfect score, but rewatching it each Christmas since then, the uniqueness and sincerity of the movie could probably get a 5/5 without the help of my fond memories of it.

(This was during a time I hate-watched Hallmark, but I have obviously recovered from that hollow way of living. I legitimately LOVE these movies.)

I love the story within the story, and how Alice foreshadows the ending by telling Will the legend of the Burncastle Christmas Clock. How that shapes the love story of Alice and Matt is one of Hallmark’s most unique ways they’ve told a story. I love seeing the scenes on the antique clock play out in the movie. The theme of time and Matt’s Grandpa’s love story are impressively weaved with the legend, and somehow the story isn’t confusing and doesn’t seem forced. The relationship between Alice and Matt is sweet, and I will never not walk through the rain for my husband again.

I think my favorite part of this movie just might be the extremely strained relationship between Will’s parents. In Hallmark movies, we often don’t have well established parents who talk in sentences that aren’t cliches, and I am always impressed by these two. His dad is such a boob (yes, I said it again), and his mom is grasping at any hobby to try to fill her empty life. It is a very small part of the movie, but it is so well established and brilliantly told in a single tense conversation during the note game. I understand that’s a super weird favorite part of a Christmas movie, but just let me like the things I like.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you thought of A Very Merry Mix-Up!

6 thoughts on ““A Very Merry Mix-Up” Recap & Review

  1. Great funny review! This is my favourite Hallmark movie of the 103 I have watched. Shades of while you were sleeping, of course. Disrespecting brothers and being a carpenter. Lead man was carried by Alicia a bit and the families carried the movie too, but that’s as it should be. Mitchum house and mum was adorable. Thanks for writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your recaps and hope many will be added this season. But I have made my personal mission to explain that it’s “whoa,” not “woah.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I’m working on them! AND just the other day I realized I have been spelling that incorrectly my whole life and I am so very upset about it.


  3. I’ve watched this movie for sure st least 20 times or more! Everyone in my home knows it’s one of my favorite Christmas movies by Hallmark. Wish I had a mini clock like Matt made Alice!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My very favorite Christmas movie is “Trading Christmas” and my next is “Mrs. Miracle” but “A Very Merry Mix-Up” is right up there. Love the part when they come home from the hospital and then bake cookies late at night. Thanks for these reviews, they are hysterical. Never lose your lack of awe and respect for the maudlin and artificial.

    Liked by 1 person

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