Hallmark’s “Christmas In Evergreen: Tidings of Joy” Another Magical Installment

Starring:  Maggie Lawson and Paul Greene

 
Released:  2019
 
Summary:  As the town searches for a rumored Christmas Time Capsule, a skeptical writer arrives in Evergreen on vacation to experience the renowned holiday cheer.
 
Image:  Crown Media, United States LLC

Who remembers Maggie Lawson from the detective show Psych that aired from 2006-2014?  She played a detective in the Santa Barbara police department and was the love interest of “psychic” detective, Shawn Spencer.  For the duration of the series, the two were an item in real life, but their relationship died with the show.

It is refreshing to see her in Christmas In Evergreen:  Tidings of Joy, since she is not part of Hallmark’s regular, rotating cast.

Another Story About A Writer

The Hallmark lineup has been saturated with stories about writers.  Apparently, researching other professions to incorporate into the script isn’t in the budget.

Not only is Katie Connell (Maggie Lawson) a freelance journalist and novelist, so is Ben Baxter (Paul Greene).

Maggie intends to vacation in Evergreen to clear her head and seek inspiration for a second novel.  She finds plenty.

Plot Twist

In most Hallmark Christmas movies, leading characters abandon the big city for charmed living in a small town. In this movie, it’s reversed.  Our love birds connect in the small town of Evergreen, but their hearts remain in the city.
Evergreen is a nice place to visit, but they don’t want to live there.
Ben admits he initially assumes Katie is cynical–the stereotype for big city dwellers–but he later apologizes.  He ends up with a  job at the magazine Katie’s mom runs, and they both find their happy-ever-after in New York.

We see another reversal of protocol with this saga:  instead of the Evergreen movies being based on books, novels are written based on the movies by Nancy Naigle.

Christmas Time Capsule

Evergreen was hit by a blizzard 50 years ago.  Since everyone was snowed in together, they passed the time creating a Christmas time capsule and hid it behind a building wall in the alley.  They also planned the first annual town Christmas festival.
For years, the oldest remaining citizens, Nan and Nick, have been dropping hints so residents would discover the gigantic advent calendar in time for the 50th year celebration.
My question is this:  Since Nan and Nick act like they had planned the pathway to discovery 50 years ago, how did they know they would be the only two left living to pull it off?
For 24 days, the town is thrilled with daily letters from the past and gifts:  original Kringle recipes, scarves, ice skats, cookie cutters, and savings bonds to boost the town budget.
The final letter from the past requests the town to fill the boxes and rebuild the wall to be discovered again in 50 years.

Cheesiest Parts of the Movie

This movie is very charming, but it has some issues.
  • The young boy, David, found a key in the last Evergreen movie that made the church bells chime.  He has to find a key again in this one?  The new key made the alley wall fall apart to reveal the advent calendar.  Couldn’t the writers invent a different discovery?  The key had been hidden under the sleigh stationed at the Christmas tree lot.  Hard to believe in regular sleigh maintenance that no one discovered the hidden compartment or that it hadn’t simply fallen out during one of its excursions.
  • Some of the acting is horrible.  David acts like he just read his lines for the first time two minutes before the movie starts.  Hannah and Elliot jumble their attempt to express their growing attraction and embarrass themselves with poor performances.  Thomas’s acting is passable, but his approach to Mayor Michelle is a little stiff.
    • Katie opens one of the advent letters, and it requires her to pick an activity she loves to do but doesn’t do often and get the town to participate.  She chooses for everyone to build snowmen.  Anybody notice how perfectly round all the fake, Styrofoam balls are?  Instead of the “snow” being heavy, the Styrofoam looks airy enough to float away with the slightest breeze.
  • While it’s a cool idea to refill the advent boxes and hide them behind the wall for another 50 years to be “discovered,” the cat is out of the bag.  This was kept a secret for 50 years because it had never been done before.  Now that it is to become a tradition, it’s unrealistic to think this will remain a secret.
  • Kevin Miller (played by Mark Deklin) from the second Evergreen movie is credited for his appearance at the very end of this third one when he surprises girlfriend, Lisa Palmer (played by Jill Wagner), but you never see the two connect.  It looks like Hallmark spliced old footage into Tidings of Joy to create the illusion of his presence.  Otherwise, why would we see every couple in town kissing except Lisa and Kevin?

 

Which Christmas In Evergreen Is Your Favorite?

In the first movie, we are introduced to a “magic” snow globe.  We discover a mysterious 25-year-old letter to Santa in the second installment before the town stumbles upon the gigantic advent calendar in the third one.  Cast your vote for your favorite!

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