Movie

Holly’s Christmas

Tonight I watched a movie called Holly’s Christmas.

It was on general commercial Australia TV – I was checking what was on TV tonight and was surprised to find at least 4 Christmas shows in a row on a standard channel.

So this is a Hallmark movie, known as Christmas with Holly in the USA and based on a novel by Lisa Kleypas called “Christmas Eve at Friday Harbour. Christmas Eve At Friday Harbour: Number 1 in series (Friday Harbor)

The movie…

In short, a young man (Mark, played by Sean Faris) has become guardian of his six-year-old niece after his sister’s death. A selective mute, the  girl is being returned to an earlier school year so Mark takes her back to the island he grew up on and was living up to three month ago.

As they caught the ferry, a young woman (Maggie, played by Eloise Mumford) is heading to the island to start her dram toy shop. Instantly, we knew she would become the love interest and probably help Holly (played by Josie Gallina) talk again. Our children, on the other hand, followed the story and didn’t see it coming!

The movie does end at Christmas and has some special Christmas elements (beautiful lights on boats and the harbour, a special Christmas gift for Holly and Holly asking about her mum). However, it otherwise is mostly just a feel good story about a young girl and her uncle’s romance.

For me, it was a nice light movie to watch on a Sunday evening and we enjoyed it.

The movie has some nice water views, a lovely side story of fairies watching a toy store, lovely people, nothing nasty, and a happy ending.

Evergreen – idyllic or commercial?

Evergreen – a magical town where things are beautiful and Christmas is wonderful – sounds idyllic!

In the movie

So Evergreen is the setting for a new Christmas movie called Christmas in Evergreen: Letters to Santa, due to be released (on American TV) on 18 November.

Overall, it appears to be romance where two couples find each other and presumably kiss under the mistletoe! There is nostalgia and a concerted effort to make  Christmas wish, found in an old letter to Santa, come true.

If you like Christmas and romances, this could well be a lovely movie to watch.

Note it follows on from a 2017 movie, Christmas in Evergreen, where a small town vet wishes for her ‘most romantic Christmas ever’.

Santa in Christmas movie on a TV

Its origins

Evergreen is designed to bring to life the magic of Geoff Greenleaf’s card illustrations. Greenleaf is the master artist and illustrator at Hallmark, and Evergreen is a town based on illustrations forming the background of many of their Christmas cards.

If you have paid attention to enough cards, it may be sweet to see it come to life in a movie, and it adds an extra layer to the meaning of those card illustrations. And seeing things come to life (think books, stories, characters) can be comforting and exciting.

One review I have read goes on to list various iconic Hallmarks items that are included within the movie set of Evergreen. While this builds the authenticity of the town, it feels a bit strange to me.

For starters, I’m not sure that I would recognise things as Hallmarks property so the authenticity would be lost on me!

More than that, though, it feels very commercial and money-grabbing to have such icons in a movie – I want to relax and feel the Christmas spirit, not thinking about a big corporate and their profits!

However, this is perhaps expected on the channel showing this movie as part of their Count Down to Christmas – it is actually called the Hallmark Channel! Again, an entire channel owned and managed by a retail-based company feels strange to me, but I gather it has been in place for many years in the USA. I am curious to watch that channel and see how commercial it is – maybe the advertising is more subtle like including their icons and settings in programs.

What do you think – does this movie and channel feel too much of an ad for Hallmark, or is it just good that this company is putting money into making Christmas movies to watch?

 

* Image courtesy of Belchonock at 123rf

A Christmas Movie With a Message

    watching TV at Christmas time with bowls of foodWith all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, sometimes it’s hard to find a moment or two to sit down, let alone time to relax. Watching anything on tv sometimes needs to be scheduled into our holiday to do list, much less the time for a favorite holiday show or movie. Frosty, Charlie Brown, Rudolph just to name a few, all filled our children with magic, delight and reinforced that Santa would be coming to town soon. They all had their favorite and if you were lucky they would not air at the same time, because everyone wanted to see their favorite Christmas show.

As a child I also had a favourite, but I also remember one particular movie that aired time and time again. No matter the channel or time you were sure to see it airing. I remembering thinking to myself, a Christmas movie with old people, in black and white and with no Santa or reindeer in sight. How could this be a Christmas movie? Never giving it a second thought or chance, I turned the channel on to what I called a Christmas show, one with lights that flash, one with Santas and elves and one with snowmen being decorated.

Seeing the ultimate Christmas move for the first time

That all changed when I met my husband. Our first Christmas together was magic, and with one small suggestion a new Christmas memory and tradition was born.

Christmas was just a few days away, and my husband and I were out running last minute errands. We stopped at the local video store, being tired I decided to wait as he choose the latest release – or at least I thought he was. We get home put away our packages and got comfy to settle down to watch the movie.  

I was surprised by the black and white picture that panned into view; ‘maybe it’s one of those movies that start black and white and flash forward turning into color,’ I thought. Then suddenly there it was, the movie I never paid attention to, the movie with old people and the movie with no Santa , It’s A  Wonderful Life  flashed before my eyes. Complaining a little , but finally caving in, I gave it a try.
             
             What a truly wonderful movie. Life not always being fair, pulling together when times are tough, giving, loving and being a family. The message is priceless.

people helping eahc other, elves making gifts and Santa giving a present

Helping and giving are the real Christmas message

I honestly sat completely involved in every twist and turn George Bailey had to endure to find the true meaning of not only Christmas but life. As the credits rolled up on the tv screen I thanked my husband, for not only choosing this movie  but for urging me to watch it.

The Christmas message

 Since that first Christmas, every Christmas no matter what we have on our to do list, a few days before Christmas we get all comfy, settle down and snuggle up to watch It’s A Wonderful Life. Now, I’m the first person to say yes, a movie with old people, yes a black and white movie, yes a movie without Santas and reindeer is absolutely a Christmas movie, it isn’t about the images that represents Christmas , it’s all about the message.

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