Home for Christmas Day (2017) – ‘Gilmore Girls’ and Military Drama Collide in this Tearjerker

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

December isn’t the only time of year you’ll find Hallmark Channel hanging mistletoe. You know the adage, “Christmas in July”? On Hallmark Channel, you’ll find a plethora of fun originals (old and new!) airing on their channel. This, their latest (and second in a string of many premieres for 2017) will wreck you. In all the good ways that matter.

Despite tragedy on her life, Jane McKendrick (Catherine Bell) is doing well. She’s a realtor with successful closings to her name, and she’s raised a talented teenage daughter, Betsy (Matreya Fedor). Her one weakness is her daughter, whom she tries to protect from the world. Everything between them shifts when Betsy unexpectedly meets an enlisted soldier. She's smitten from then on.

Suffering from the loss of her husband, who was a soldier, Jane tries to persuade Betsy to focus on her school and college rather than this boy. But as Christmas approaches, Betsy falls head over heels. Though their time together is short given he’s to ship out on Christmas day, Betsy further pursues a friendship with Tyler all the while placing a strain a relationship with her mother.

Premiering on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, this original is as lovely as it is heartbreakingly bittersweet. Given its premiere location, this script was able to be a bit “freer” in the direction it took its story. By this, I mean it isn’t restricted by a boy-meets-girl plot. It was able to tap into deep emotions (scars left by devastating losses) and the serious affairs of the heart.

The first class cast not only includes Bell (who’s familiar to this channel, and is also well known from the long-running, JAG) but Victor Webster whose leading man is a favorite in the sweet romcom Love Blossoms. He and Jane’s friendship is simple yet complicated (I know, that sounds like a contradiction). Those seeking a “strong” romance (in terms of the settings or antics) might be disappointed by this script. It’s more about the serious sides of relationships and the impacts they have on us and our well-being. Personally, I see this as a beautiful story; one I couldn’t have enjoyed more.

Those who love Hallmark Channel will be swept away by this. As the second premiere for their Christmas originals (of 2017), it rises to the task of kicking off the seasonal favorites. There are some Gilmore Girl vibes (in terms of the mother-daughter bond) minus the same kind of wit, and a wonderful military theme to accompany it. Only be aware, it will break your heart into a million little pieces if you let it… and then it’s sure to slowly piece them back together again. This is its best gift of all.

All *text* © Rissi JC; review first appears on RissiWrites.com.


  1. Aww! I love Catherine Bell. I'll have to check this one out!

    1. Me too. Watched her character change, grow and FINALLY end up with her love through the entire run of JAG and I've also seen *most* of Army Wives, too. :)


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