Last season, I watched Hallmark’s 2015 Charming Christmas, based on the book The Secret Life of Mrs. Claus by Rosalind Noonan as Carly Alexander, with the screenplay by Karen McClellan, but I ran out of days to review it.
As I watched it again this year, I’m happy to report it was worth seeing a second time.
Julie Benz plays Meredith Rossman, manager of her parents’ department store. All business, she promotes a deal to franchise Rossman’s, allowing her parents to pass the reins to her as they embrace retirement.
However, her parents are concerned their daughter isn’t slowing down and smelling enough roses, so they make a new deal that if she makes the time to play Mrs. Claus to their new store Santa, they will consider her proposal.
As she drops off Mrs. Claus’ dress for a minor repair, her patience is tried, first by a torpedo of a young boy, Tyler, and then by an attractive man with twinkling eyes who mocks her inability to understand children at Christmas.
Surprise – the man, Nick, played by David Sutcliffe, turns out to be the new Santa hired by Meredith’s mother. Meredith is not happy, as she’s a micro-managing nose-to-the-grindstone over-achiever, and Santa’s “charm” quickly gets under her skin through his flirtatious challenging of her status quo.
Their dialogue is snappy and smart as their attraction to one another is immediately apparent.
There are several sub-plots/B stories going on that strengthen the main story. We get to peek into the lives and struggles of two of Rossman’s employees, one being the mother of the rambunctious Tyler. To help Meredith’s time constraints, Jesse and Olivia also agree to play Mrs. Claus and wear the dress.
(One thing I didn’t quite get was how that magic dress fit three different women and never needed to be cleaned.)
Nick teases Meredith’s long-ignored playful side into fun Christmas activities, and slowly she starts to relax and realize what she’s given up all these years.
Just when we think perhaps she’ll soften and change, her old business-school classmate, who obviously has a crush on her, makes an offer on the store she can’t seem to refuse…
Nick lets go of his faith in Meredith as Christmas Eve approaches, and suddenly the store has to function without a Santa to the point the kids protest via a sit-in.
Note: The kid scenes with Tyler are especially “charming”.
It took me two times to see the three-way meaning in the title Charming Christmas.
- Charming can be used as a verb…
- Charming is the way Santa acts, and with eyes glinting, so describes himself to Meredith.
- Santa gives a silver charm to each of the staff at the store that holds a special meaning and hope.
The only thing I didn’t quite grasp was the pickle ornament. Nick explained the legend, but the payoff didn’t seem to happen. After such a build up, I wanted to see who found the pickle ornament?
If I have to watch the movie again to find out, I’ll be happy to do so.
The ending was satisfying and left me wanting to know even more about the ever upbeat Santa. A sequel would be a delightful follow-up, and I can only hope.
I give this movie 5 of 5 silver Christmas charms.
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