Once upon a time (ten years ago to be exact), it was about to be a daaaaark and stoooooormy night. Maggie Chalke, an aspiring journalist, was left without a ride home for Christmas break. Mitch O’Grady, a college radio station DJ filled with the holiday spirit, swooped in with a Jeep Wrangler and offered to drive Maggie home.
During their journey, the snowstorm got so bad that they decided to make a pit stop until it passed. Mitch wanted to give Maggie a Christmas present: even though she might not make it home for Christmas, he was going to try to make this her best Christmas ever.
The Best Christmas Ever included:
- snow angels
- a lesson that toboggans aren’t just hats
- making a snowman
- exclaiming SNOWMAN! when taking a picture with said-snowman
It was so wonderful that when Mitch dropped Maggie off she didn’t want him to leave. Mitch couldn’t stay because he was excited to see his mom, who was the reason he loved Christmas so much.
Fast Forward 10 years!
Maggie (Brooke Nevin) is no longer an aspiring journalist, but is a real journalist! Unfortunately, however, the newspaper she works for just got bought out by a big corporation and her job could be in jeopardy.
She moodily turns on her radio and recognizes a voice and a name announcing a new show–
Good Morning with Mitch
It’s Mitch (Robin Dunne)! Mitch O’Grady! The Mitch who saved her Christmas so long ago. Except Mitch has obvi lost his Christmas spirit. In what is a gut punch to Maggie, he delivers the news in his perfect radio voice that he
- WILL NOT be playing Christmas music
- thinks Christmas music is junk
- ain’t playing no Christmas tunes, ya hear?!
What in the world happened to Good Ole’ Saint Mitch????
While drinking Christmassy drinks in a coffee shop with her sister, Grace (Dani Kind), Maggie reveals that ten years ago, Mitch never came back to school after Christmas break. She hasn’t seen him since, and has always wondered what happened.
Suddenly, Mitch walks into the coffee shop! To Maggie’s complete embarassment, Grace calls him over to their table. Grace ducks out, as the pair reminisces. Mitch is low-lifing it in Harrison because although he used to be a big time DJ in Los Angeles, his company changed ownership and they replaced music programming with nonstop news.
Also, Mitch gets hella weird when Maggie asks why he is now a Grinch, and cuts their catch-up (not ketchup) session short. As he is leaving—and to everyone’s horror—Brianna (Tess Degenstein), a yoga instructor, glides in licking her lips because she smells the sweet, sweet perfume that is a-new-single-hottie-celebrity (?) in town. She offers him a free 😉 yoga 😉 lesson 😉
Maggie is not amused.
Maggie decides she is going to try to pay Mitch back for his help all those years ago by… crafting?
CRAFTS WILL BRING BACK HIS CHRISTMAS SPIRIT! she exclaims while surrounded by glitter glue, stickers and every color of construction paper under the rainbow.
More specifically, she is going to be his Secret Santa. She will send him 12 anonymous homemade gifts based on The Twelve Days of Christmas in hopes that they will remind him of the magic of Christmas.
But even more specifically, its probably because she most likely is still in love with him. Hey, I get it, I’d be in love with a guy who bent over backwards to give me the perfect Christmas. That’s a freakin’ Hallmark movie all its own!
A representative of The Harrison Gazette’s new ownership, Ryan (Scott Cavalheiro), and her boss, Alan (A.C. Peterson), urge Maggie to find a human interest story to write. And, not to mention, her job kind of depends on the success of it. Great!
Meanwhile, Mitch receives his first two Secret Santa presents. They are boxes decorated with construction paper Christmas collages, and filled with instructive poems and novelties. The tasks he’s asked to perform are:
- Build a snowman
- Go on a carriage ride
And guess what Mitch does?
HE JUST THROWS THE PRESENTS AWAY.
Mitch’s program director, Rita (Geri Hall), fishes them out of the trash and calls Maggie’s boss, Alan.
Uh. Oh. This can’t be good.
While listening to Good Morning Mitch, Maggie hears a caller ask Mitch
“so….who do you think your Secret Santa is?”
From their separate locations Maggie and Mitch let out a collective “WHAT HUH WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT HOW DO YOU KNOW?!?!?!” The caller tells Mitch that she saw it on the website.
Once again, Uh. Oh.
Long story short, Alan wants Maggie to cover Mitch’s Secret Santa gifts for the paper. Man, what a pickle that puts her in!!!! It makes her eyes wide with fear and I can only assume her internal monologue is: ….wow hmmmm journalistic integrity hmmmmmmm maybe I’ll keep sending the presents though cuz i secretly love him but wow hmmm i need to keep my job…what a conundrum, hmm yeah let’s do it!
And, in a shocking turn of events, Mitch decides to go with it too. He says that it could help build his brand. A little part of me wonders if it’s because he also wants to spend time with Maggie.
🎵 On their first Christmas outing, Mitch has to make–a snowman with Cheetos for eyebrows! 🎵
After building the snowman, Mitch asks Maggie to be in the picture for the article with him, but she says that she’s a journalist and can’t be involved with the story (but, she technically already is a part of the story for sending the presents in the first place…). He does so little as breathe in response and she’s like YES OKAY I LOVE YOU.
He tells her that he feels bad for using these thoughtful presents for his personal professional gain, but is quick to add that the sender could possibly be his soulmate.
Sounds like he’s getting the Christmas spirit out of this already!
Oh, great. Yogi Brianna is back. Why, you ask? Because Mitch asked her to attend the 2nd Christmas activity with him. This time, it’s a carriage ride!
Yogi Brianna is really lame. She even has the audacity to ask Maggie to mention her yoga studio in the article…………….
…………..what a wonderful person.
Also, because of the Secret Santa story, Mitch is a celebrity around Harrison. He’s getting loads of fan mail, and attention on social media. He is so much of a celebrity that people are making signs at his events like he’s the member of a boy band.
****Quick someone please hire me to make a sign that says YOU’RE SO COOL on it, and let me be an extra in a Hallmark Christmas movie. It’s all I’ve ever wanted.****
Here’s some quick bullet points because we’re only 45 minutes into the movie and I’ve already written 18,000 words:
- M&M (Mitch & Maggie) hang out off the record
- Mitch reveals he always wanted, but never got, an old-timey red bike for Christmas
- Maggie listens to her radio from the 1930s at work a lot
- But really, how are people not annoyed at her listening to her radio at her desk in an open bullpen? Huh? It’s like that one time in The Office where Andy Bernard was singing Zombie by The Cranberries at his desk and people wanted to throw him out of a window.
Also, after Maggie suggests Mitch buy his mom a star ornament, Mitch reveals that his mother passed away that Christmas 10 years ago. She had been sick for a long time but never told him about it. Now that she is gone, he treats December 25th as any other day.
No wonder he didn’t come back to school 😦
🎵 On their third Christmas outing Mitchie has to take a picture with Santie Claus 🎵
Maggie gets an invite to her newspaper’s new owner’s Christmas party. She decides that she wants to ask Mitch, while her boss decides that Maggie needs to find out who Mitch’s Secret Santa is, and figure out her motivation. He needs the scoop! He wants an exclusive! Got it, Ace?!
While M&M wait in line to sit on Santa’s lap, she asks Mitch if he is busy later that night. And, he is. He’s going to DJ a party in the city—the same party Maggie was about to ask him to—and he’s bringing Brianna as his date…
Maggie brings her sister as her date to the party. The pair and Maggie’s bosses bump into Brianna and Mitch (BM is less than M&M as a nickname… COME ON!), and as always Brianna is the worst.
Alan and Ryan try to pressure Brianna to confess she is Mitch’s Secret Santa in front of the whole party, but, instead, she gives a non answer and then speaks in an Instagram #ad:
hey fraaaands, use code SANTAPARTY25 and you’ll get 25 percent off your next yoga class!!!!!!!
Yeah, it is clear to everyone that Mitch’s Secret Santa totes ain’t Yogi Brianna.
🎵 On their next Christmas outings Mitch has to live in a Christmassy activity montageeeeeeeeee 🎵
#4 Volunteering at a soup kitchen.
#5 Making snow angels
#6 Sled riding
#7 Watching Christmas movies
Just a quick interruption to announce that Maggie’s hair always looks good.
To Maggie’s surprise and excitement, she gets an interview at Chicago’s prestigious newspaper, The Telegraph Standard. She says yes to the job without even asking if they match 401k contributions. She’s that excited about it! She starts the first of the year!
Maggie must tell Mitch about her move, and he’s super awkward about it. He’s obviously happy for her success, but he’s going to miss her A LOT.
At the end of their extremely uncomfortable and conflicted coffee date, they hug. After their embrace, Mitch wipes silver glitter off of his lapel, but doesn’t question why hugging Maggie made him shine like a disco ball.
(Either I missed the 9th day of Christmas or it wasn’t shown, but…)
When Mitch gets his 10th gift from his Secret Santa, he notices a butt ton of silver glitter. Now, where has he recently seen a butt ton of silver glitter?
He realizes Maggie is his Secret Santa, asks her to meet him for hot chocolate, mopes around town, creepily stares in her window and sees the crime scene filled with glue, construction paper, and glitter.
At their hot chocolate meeting, Mitch is visibly ticked when he tells Maggie he knows she is his Secret Santa. He asks a pretty valid question: did Maggie do this to get ahead in her job?! Because this story sure got Maggie her dream. But, even though Mitch should know she’s not like that, he storms out without letting her explain.
Back at home, she cries to her sister over a warm cup of delicious Folgers coffee. She tells Maggie that she should keep sending the gifts cuz things can’t get any worse.
Let’s make the final 15 minute rush!!
Maggie confesses her journalistic sins, motivations for being Mitch’s Secret Santa and love for Mitch in a newspaper article entitled
Confessions of a Secret Admirer
…which is probably the title of at least 5 different Lifetime movies.
Mitch receives a copy of the article and his last Christmas present, which has a picture of the red old-timey children’s bicycle he never got for Christmas. He decides to make Maggie a Secret Santa gift of his own–an elaborately decorated box with a poem and star ornament inside!
Maggie finds the gift in her house (how?) and races outside to find him, only to see him in front of her house waiting on her!
They kiss! She bought him the bike! I’m sure they kiss some more! They live happily ever after (probably)! The end!
I rate On the Twelfth Day of Christmas Nauseous which is a 4.5/5 on my scale of Hardest Words to Spell*!!!!!
*I may not be the best speller.
Hi! So, I really love On the Twelfth Day of Christmas. As does my mom. So….there’s that!
I don’t hear this movie talked about a lot, but it should be! It’s so adorable, relaxing, and fun. It also feels different than any of the other Hallmark Christmas movies I’ve seen—and I’m in the triple digits.
Robin Dunne has the perfect radio voice. Just so perfect.
Honestly, I don’t know what else to say about it. Other than it’s super cute, and that I will watch it every time I see that it replays on #CountdowntoChristmas, and you should too. And, let’s be honest—I should probably call these Recaps & Weird Rating Scales instead of Recaps & Reviews.
Thanks for reading! Let me know what you thought about On the Twelfth Day of Christmas!