Hallmark’s “Cranberry Christmas”–Juggling Work & Family

Summary:  A separated couple feign marital bliss on national television to help their town’s Christmas festival and their business.  Their rekindled love becomes complicated though by new opportunities.

Starring:  Nikki DeLoach and Benjamin Ayres

Released:  2020

Benjamin Ayres & Nikki DeLoach.  Image:  Crown Media


Making Time For Work & Relationships Can Be Tricky

The premise of Cranberry Christmas reminds me of the once married couple from the HGTV television series, Flip or Flop.  Tarek El Moussa and Christina Anstead built an enterprise flipping houses, and they appeared to be such a happy couple.  Fans were shocked when the two divorced because they had managed to create the illusion of a wonderful marriage onscreen despite their rapidly deteriorating relationship.
Hallmark doesn’t let relationships die, so Dawn and Gabe manage to work through their struggles and find balance.
Somewhere along the way, Cranberry Lane pushed Dawn and Gabe down different paths.  His heart was in farming the land, and she loved promoting their business through television and other avenues of brand-building.
Dawn and Gabe joked that she was the “dreamer,” and he was the “doer.”  Eventually, Gabe became unhappy because he spent the 10 years of their married life making her dreams come true while sacrificing his own.
Anyone who owns their own business will tell you it’s all-consuming.  They can’t clock in and clock out each day but work 24/7.  Their livelihood hinges on it, and they have employees who depend on them.  It’s very stressful!
Dawn has been on the road for a few months and finally returns home.  Despite still being married, both she and Gabe find the time apart hasn’t made their hearts grow fonder–it has made the awkwardness and distance more pronounced.
Image:  Crown Media
It’s a blessing in disguise when both Dawn and Gabe find they are in charge of the town’s Christmas festival, even though they are initially hesitant.  Planning the festival forces them to spend more time together, and the experience helps rekindle the love they still have for one another.

Marriage Takes Work

In a society where fifty-percent of couples choose to call it quits when they hit bumps in the road, Dawn and Gabe offer hope that marriages don’t have to end if two people are willing to work at it.
Pamela Franks has her own TV show and offers Dawn a weekly spot of her own.  It’s an incredible opportunity and something Dawn would love, but it would require her to be away from Cranberry Lane and Gabe.  In fact, Dawn refrains from telling Gabe about the offer because she knows he will give up his dreams again to accommodate her, and she wants him to finally have his chance to do what’s important to him.
When Gabe finally learns that Dawn turned down her own TV show, he pitches Pamela about filming the show on their property, and Pamela agrees.
Marci T. House as Pamela.  Image:  Crown Media
Hallmark shows married couples that we don’t have to have an all-or-nothing approach when it comes to picking between a career and a family.  One spouse doesn’t have to give up on their dreams so the other can realize theirs.  With love, hard work, compromise, and creativity, spouses can complement each other, find common ground between two sets of dreams, and see each other’s successes as joint accomplishments.


Are You a Fan of Cranberries?

We love how Hallmark movies include the best seasonal treats–cider, hot cocoa, cut-out cookies–but we don’t often see cranberries featured.
I had no idea cranberries were harvested from flooded blogs until this movie.  Did you?  For more details on the cranberry collection process, click here.  It’s interesting!
Cranberries are high in anti-oxidants and very low in sugar.
Need some ideas on how to incorporate cranberries into your meal planning?  Here are 80 different recipes for cranberries provided by Taste of Home.

What Is Cookie Butter?

One of the DIY’s Dawn makes from leftover cookies is cookie butter.  Never heard of it?  It can be used as a spread, similar to peanut butter or Nutella, which means you can top your toast, bagels, or fruit with it.
You can check out this post for DIY ideas on making your own cookie butter.  The post includes different cookies, add-ins, and packaging ideas.

Dawn’s Ring Symbol of Permanence

When Gabe and Dawn were first engaged, he shaped a ring for her from a twig and cranberry–items that wouldn’t last.
Gabe surprised Dawn near the end by giving her a real ring he designed and her grandma created.  Of course, the center gem looked very much like a cranberry!
Viewers can breathe a sigh of relief–our couple will make it!
Image:  Crown Media
Most Hallmark movies bring together previously unattached characters, so Cranberry Christmas is a nice switch because it’s about keeping two people together.

Join Our Facebook Groups!

Our Hallmark movie Facebook groups are fun places to be.  If you aren’t already a member, we would love for you to join the conversation.  We have two groups–one for Hallmark Christmas movies all year long, and one for every season of Hallmark (Winterfest, Love Ever After, Spring Fling, etc.).
Find us here:
?? Hallmark Christmas Movie Magic ??
?? Hallmark Seasons of Love Movies ??
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