Christmas With Holly

Produced By:  Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Hallmark Hall of Fame movies have been few and far between of late, but I had hopes that they would come out with a new one in time for Christmas.  Happily, a new Christmas Hallmark Hall of Fame movie entitled Christmas With Holly aired on Sunday, December 9, 2012 and I was seated front and center with the television tuned to ABC to check it out.

            Based on the novel Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas, Christmas With Holly tells the tale of two individuals who journey to Friday Harbor, Washington in pursuit of dreams.  After being left at the altar, Maggie Conway (Eloise Mumford) decides she has had enough of city life.  She heads to Friday Harbor, where she remembers spending the most enjoyable family vacations, in pursuit of a lifelong dream - to become the owner of her very own toy shop.  Along for the ride are her sister and the dog she has been fostering.

            On the ferry to Friday Harbor, she meets Mark Nagle (Sean Faris) and his six-year-old niece Holly (Josie and Lucy Gallina).  Their paths barely cross, but even Maggie’s sister catches the sparks in their passing.  Mark is more interested in getting Holly to his brothers’ home.  Holly hasn’t spoken a word since her mother’s death and it is Mark’s fervent hope, as her guardian, that bringing her home to the place all of the Nagles grew up will inspire her to become that bright and happy child she was when her mother was alive.

            As luck would have it, Mark and Maggie continually run into one another and Holly falls in love with Maggie’s store and the dog that she has agreed to take care of.  But will misunderstandings and outside forces get between what seems to be a fated romance?

            A friend of mine once told me that Hallmark Hall of Fame movies are corny, often predictable and mushy a great deal of the time.  Christmas With Holly may not be corny, but I can honestly say that it is definitely predictable, and not in a bad way.  There is a charisma between Sean Faris and Eloise Mumford that makes their eminent romance very believable.  Plus, the characters of Mark and Maggie are extremely appealing to the audience.  Both have their faults, but are, at heart, very good people with commendable goals.  And the Gallina twins - both extremely adorable as Holly Nagle, who may not say much, but express emotions so beautifully with their eyes that they needn’t say a single word.

            I thoroughly enjoyed Christmas With Holly and found it to be the perfect pick-me-up movie for that hectic holiday season.  And yes, as with any Hallmark film, Kleenex will definitely be needed, but the tears will be mostly happy.  Now, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Thanks for telling me about a Christmas movie that already aired, but now that I’ve missed it, what’s the point?”  Well, the good news is that the Hallmark Channel will be airing Christmas With Holly a couple more times throughout the holidays and the movie is available at the Hallmark Hall of Fame website and at most stores where DVDs are sold.


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