Did You Catch All “The Wizard of Oz” References in Hallmark’s “If I Only Had Christmas?”

StarringCandace Cameron Bure and Warren Christie

Released:  2020

Summary:  During Christmas, a happy publicist must work together with a cynical vice president and his team to help a charity in need.

Candace Cameron Bure and Christie in If I Only Had Christmas.  Image:  Crown Media


Hat Tips to the Wizard of Oz

If I Only Had Christmas places a modern twist on the iconic classic from 1939.  You probably have to watch Hallmark’s version more than once to catch all the references to the original, but here are some of the most obvious ones.
  • In place of Dorothy Gale, our lead is Darcy Gale, and her pet pooch is Bobo instead of Toto.  Naturally, she’s from Kansas.
  • Darcy volunteers her PR skills to help with a charity, the Emerald Education Trust, a play on the Wizard’s Emerald City.
  • Glenn Goodman and his team represent all the main characters from Oz.  Dr. Bridget Tinsley, who seems cold and without a heart initially, is our Tin Man (or woman, in this case!); Riley Lyons, the dancer who is afraid to perform, finds his courage, just like the Cowardly Lion; Jackie Crowe is a very well-organized, hard worker with great ideas–the “brains” of the operation–and she’s our modern Scarecrow; Winona, the Chief Financial Officer, initially appears as the Wicked Witch, and she refers to her assistants as flying monkeys, but her iciness “melts” by the end; Darcy’s brothers, Huck and Zeke, are references to Hunk and Zeke who were farm hands for Auntie Em and Uncle Henry. Glenn is really the great and powerful William Austin, or the man behind the curtain, like the Wizard.
  • When Winona urges Glenn/William to pursue Darcy, who has returned to Kansas, Winona shoos him away, saying, “Go!  Fly!  Fly!” just like the Wicked Witch did with her minions.
  • Darcy wasn’t raised by her “Auntie Em,” but her stepmother, Emma, is like a real mom to her.
  • When Glenn and Darcy go through the outdoor maze, she says she hopes there are no lions or tigers, and Glenn reassures her there are only bears.
  • Darcy and her support team lock arms to walk down a short yellow pathway.
  • One of Glenn’s assistants refers to him as a “horse of a different color.”
  • The most obvious reference are the red shoes Glenn gifts Darcy before her dance number with Riley.
Image:  Crown Media
  • When Darcy returns to Kansas from her time in Connecticut, she reacts with “There’s no place like home.”
Did you notice other allusions to The Wizard of Oz not mentioned above?  If so, please share in the comment section!

Warren Christie is Back

Hallmark fans fell in love with actor Warren Christie in 2008 when he starred in The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, a movie many still cite as their all-time favorite.
Christie stars with Brooke Burns and the legendary Henry Winkler in The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.  Image:  Crown Media
Although Christie continued to pursue other acting opportunities, Hallmark fans didn’t glimpse him again until 2014 with the release of the beloved, moving, and true-life story of the Spehn family shared in The Color of Rain.
Christie stars opposite Lacey Chabert in The Color or Rain.  Image:  Crown Media

Another six years passes before Christie returns to Hallmark for 2020’s If I Only Had Christmas.  We need to see this handsome guy more than every six years!  At age 45, he’s still as handsome and debonair as ever.

If Christie is one of your favorite Hallmark hunks, you might be disappointed to know he’s already spoken for.  Christie has been married to actress Sonya Salomaa since 2007.

Christie with his real-life wife, Sonya Salomaa

Some Fans Voiced Disappointment Over 2020 Premiere

Since Candace Cameron Bure and Warren Christie never star in a bad movie, fan expectations were very high for the premiere of If I Only Had Christmas.  Many viewers, however, commented on the movie saying it was “slow” and that they “couldn’t get into it.”
While the movie did include the usual Christmas tropes, the parallels to The Wizard of Oz made it a very unique Hallmark production.
One could argue the chemistry between Bure and Christie isn’t all that magical.  The beginning scene when they first meet, with her not realizing his identity and speaking too bluntly about her impression of him, is comical and well-done.  They also develop a great rapport throughout the movie, but despite all this, sparks simply don’t fly.  The biggest letdown is the kiss in the final scene.  They move awkwardly towards each other and seem completely uninterested in locking lips.
Image:  Crown Media
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You are cordially invited to join our community of Hallmark fans!  We have two Facebook groups…one for Hallmark Christmas movies and one for all other seasons of Hallmark movies.  See you there!
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