On Day 11 of my Christmas Movie Review, the calendar shows that it is exactly two weeks before Christmas, which means shopping opportunities are growing limited. So, in keeping with that… here are my thoughts on 12 Gifts of Christmas, 2015, Hallmark.
Cute guy, Marc, is so busy with his career that he doesn’t do well at Christmastime (or any other family time for that matter), so under a frantic corporate deadline, he hires a personal shopper who turns out to be none other than the cute girl, Anna, who took pity on him when she overheard him struggling to pick out a cookie at the local bakery for his secretary’s birthday.
Anna is a fledgling artist who resists what she excels at – her almost Norman Rockwell-ish Santa portrayals to pursue what she believes is cutting edge modern art. Living in the (very nice) basement of her successful restaurant owner sister, she struggles to make ends meet, while babysitting her nieces and helping her busy sister shop for perfect gifts.
It is the sister who pushes her to hang her shingle as a personal shopper, and her sister who encourages her Santa art.
When busy Marc first engages Anna, he’s ultimately impressed when she amazes his friend with the gift she picked (which is after he fired her for ignoring his predictable suggestions), so he hires her back just in time to go undercover as his date at the office Christmas party and figure out the perfect corporate-wide gift to his employees.
At the same time, he’s under pressure from family and work; his mother begs him to make time for Christmas as his sister and family will be home, and he has to produce an advertising campaign for a client who wants their customers to “feel” Christmas or lose the account.
Anna again poses as Marc’s girlfriend to meet his family to ferret out their deepest desires. At this point, both begin to recognize there could be a future for them.
There are no past or present girlfriends or boyfriends to complicate the plot; just a sweet tale of boy meets girl and how they compliment each other’s lives, but not before some fallout from Marc capitalizing on Anna’s Santa art for his client without her permission (even though it sets her up for a lucrative career). This is the major conflict, which shows up nearer the end, so the loose ends are more hastily wrapped up than I would have preferred.
Traditional moments include Christmas cookie baking and tree decorating with Anna’s nieces, ice-skating with Marc’s sister and nephews, and Anna enticing a very busy Marc into an afternoon of shopping to see how fun it really is. (Ha for all you men who resist that.)
Biggest surprise moment: Donna Mills (that’s right Knots Landing fans) as our hero’s mom. All I will add about this is that my husband was fascinated with her kind-of dripping mascara, and not in a good way.
Of NOTE: Another personal shopper movie, A Gift Wrapped Christmas, 2015, Lifetime, is available, though I have yet to watch in its entirety. The two networks are definitely competing their themes this year. (Please see Days 9 & 10 for more.)
Though the premise seems a bit trite, the overall effect was satisfying. I’m giving this movie 4 of 5 bright red Christmas bows. ♥♥♥♥