The Mistletoe Secret–What Puts Your City on the Map?

Starring:  Kellie Pickler and Tyler Hynes 

Released:  2019

Summary:  A woman convinces a travel writer to do a story about her hometown in Utah, but her heart begins to feel torn between the travel guru and his ghostwriter.

Everyone loves Tyler Hynes, but many aren’t crazy about Kellie Pickler.  Image:  Crown Media


Christmas Crazy

During the 2019 holiday season, Hallmark went overboard to pack as much holiday cheer as they could into every movie premiere.
The Mistletoe Secret boasts a Christmas Council that accomplishes more in a few weeks than Santa’s elves do in an entire year at their North Pole workshop.
In fact, so many Christmas activities are scheduled in the town of Midway, Utah, that a passport is given to participants, which gets stamped each time they complete a challenge.
Do small towns really go all out like that every Christmas?
I doubt it.
It’s not uncommon for larger cities with park and recreation districts to plan multiple holiday events throughout the season, but these are coordinated by multiple teams and offices so the burden doesn’t land on a few people
Can you imagine being on a committee where you had to plan and execute the town tree lighting ceremony, an ugly sweater contest, a Christmas Market, a scavenger hunt, an ornament auction, and more on top of your regular job and personal responsibilities?
I don’t think any of us would maintain Aria Eubank’s big smile under all that pressure!
Hallmark tried to deliver what viewers want–concentrated doses of holiday cheer–but many of us would be content with a narrower focus.  Even for those of us who breathe in Christmas like oxygen, it’s unrealistic to think anyone has time to devote to Christmas activities day and night, as they do in these movies.

What Puts Your City or Town on the Map?

What’s special about your city or town?  Is your area known as a famous destination for anything?   SHARE IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW!!
Dayton, Ohio, where yours truly pens her thoughts on Hallmark Christmas movies, is the birthplace of aviation and Wilbur and Orville Wright.  People come from all over the country to visit our National Museum of the United States Air Force.
In The Mistletoe Secret, businesses are struggling to survive.  You know what that’s like.  Times change, and not all areas survive economically.  Think of the once booming railroad towns that have fallen into decay.  Industries move overseas.  Jobs are lost.  New, hotter attractions lure away tourists.  Our heroine, Aria, tries to get Midway, Utah, back on the map by getting a travel influencer to spotlight her town.

Does Midway, Utah Really Exist?

Yes, it does!  It gets its name for being centrally located in an agricultural district.
This city is famous for Swiss Days, which is an event that attracts thousands of people annually.  Midway doesn’t have a year-round “Christmas Council,” but it does have the “Midway Boosters,” whose members promote activities and improvements in the city.  Sounds a lot like our movie!
Fun fact:  Midway has a geo-thermal caldera at its resort, so people can scuba dive year-round in the 90-95 degree water.

How Do You Like Kellie Pickler As a Leading Lady ?

What do you think of Kellie Pickler?  Vote in the poll below! Image:  Crown Media

We all have our favorites when it comes to the leads of our beloved Hallmark Christmas movies.  Like Christmas cookies, they are all good, but some are just better than others!

Kellie Pickler has had a rough life, yet she rose to the top in spite of it.  Her mom left when she was only two.  Since her dad was in and out of jail, she was raised by her grandparents.  With that kind of DNA and poor example, many would end up as problematic, dysfunctional adults themselves.  To her credit, Pickler became a cheerleader and beauty queen in high school.  American Idol served as a springboard, and she ended up in Nashville, recording songs that made her a famous, chart-topping success.
Just goes to show you everyone has hope, no matter what lemons life has handed you.  The key is making right choices and being determined not to let your past ruin your future.

Who’s Your Daddy?

Patrick Duffy, best known for his role of Bobby Ewing in Dallas, plays Aria’s widower father.  He tells the sweet story about the two men, a Prince and a Knight, who vie for a beautiful woman’s love.  The one who wins her will prove his love by putting himself in harm’s way in the daunting task of gathering mistletoe for her.

Aria’s mom often told that story, which is a charming spin on a classic fairy tale.  Aria dreams of finding “the one,” whom she calls her “Mistletoe Man.”  Alex, of course, gives her the expensive mistletoe ornament and becomes the Knight who wins her heart.

What Attracts You to Someone?

Would you pick Christopher Russell or Tyler Hynes?  Image:  Crown Media

Sterling Masters might be a HUNK, but we discover he’s very shallow and self-centered.  He’s a lot like Gaston from Beauty and the Beast–all looks and brawn but no soul.

Aria is taken with Sterling and thinks he might be her Mistletoe Man.  She has read his online articles and feels like she knows him, and his heart is what attracts her.  Unbeknownst to her, the articles have been written all along by Alex.  Sterling is the face of his “Master of Travel” program, but Alex is the heart of it.
In typical romantic fiction, this ploy causes a rift between Aria and Alex, but it quickly resolves.
The lesson we can learn from this is not to base relationships on attraction alone–the heart and soul of the other person is what counts–those are the things that last and sustain a relationship long-term.

The Mistletoe Secret Is a Book Too AND It’s On DVD

The Mistletoe Secret is a book written by Richard Paul Evans, and it is a lot different than the movie.
In the novel, Aria is a lonely woman blogging about her personal feelings.  Alex Bartlett is reading and relating to her posts, and puts together the clues to find her in Midway.  He doesn’t want to reveal that he knows her “secret.”
Intriguing twist!
The book and the DVD are available for purchase.

Join Us On Facebook

In our Facebook Group, Hallmark Movies-Christmas Magic, we have polls, trivia, discussion, and all forms of whimsy!  Even if you already belong to other Christmas groups, you can never have too much Christmas!  Grab your hot cocoa and join the conversation.
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