Hallmark's "A Christmas Tree Grows In Colorado"--Cute Movie, Dumb Premise

Starring:  Rochelle Aytes and Mark Taylor Released: 2020 Summary:  A woman is forced to convince a firefighter to give her the spruce tree from his property so she can use it in her town's upcoming Christmas celebration. Grace Sunar plays Claire in A Christmas Tree Grows In Colorado.  Image:  Crown Media A Sweet Story About Adoption Much like Christmas Town , this movie is about the profound impact adoption has on children stuck in "the system," wondering if anyone will ever take them home and love them like a real family. Kevin Snyder (Mark Taylor) is a firefighter living in Brooklyn, Colorado.  An orphan once himself before being adopted, Kevin gives back by adopting his own daughter, Claire.  Despite being a single dad with not much room for anything else in his life besides work and Claire, the two make a happy, little family. Typical Politicians Industry needs a boost in Brooklyn, Colorado, and Erin Chambers (Rochelle Aytes), the director of community development,

Not Much Mystery in Hallmark's "Unlocking Christmas"

Starring:  Taylor Cole and Steve Lund

Released:  2020

Summary:  When a mysterious key and holiday riddle land on their doorsteps, a couple embark on a Christmas adventure they'll never forget.

Let's hope this movie will "unlock" more Hallmark leading roles for Steve Lund!
Image:  Crown Media

Gee, Who Could Be Leaving the Riddles?

If a key and a riddle appeared on my doorstep, my first inclination would be to call the police. Stranger danger alarm bells would sound in my head, alerting me that some unsavory person with dangerous motives was trying to lure me into a trap.  

Kate Stafford is a doctor, which means she possesses a superior intellect.  The moment she learns Kevin Matthews, the handsome vet who has just returned home, received the same key and riddle, she would immediately deduce they only share one common connection--Kevin's mom, Maggie.

Somehow, both Kate and Kevin can't see this.  

When Kevin's dad ultimately lets the cat out of the bag, Kevin asks why his parents hatched such an involved scheme.  His dad shares a memory of how someone did it for them early in their marriage, and they wanted to pay it forward.

The riddles were left by Maggie and Arnold.  Who knew? (cough, cough EVERYONE)
Image:  Crown Media

Are we really supposed to believe Kevin's  parents would have kept such an amazing story bottled up all these years?  This is the kind of juicy experience parents tell and re-tell at every family gathering for decades.  

What are the odds the clues would remain intact where Maggie left them for Kevin and Kate to find anyway?  

For someone who's supposedly a busy orthopedic doctor, Kate has an inordinate amount of extra time to unlock a mailbox, create a childhood memory for someone else, participate in a reindeer race, visit the town museum, donate to a toy drive, create a video for deployed troops, and solve a very cryptic codex.


Mr. McCallister's wife has recently passed away, and he experiences psychosomatic bodily pains from missing her so deeply, which makes him a regular patient of Kate's.  

Each time he has an appointment, he runs down the list of possible ailments he could have according to WebMD.

That's funny.  We all know someone who does this.   Maybe you're guilty of it!  

Doctors must be so weary of people self-diagnosing from faulty, online research.   If you've ever Googled your symptoms, the list of possible diseases you could have are terrifying.  It's always best to discuss your condition with your physician and not an online forum.

Transition to Civilian Life

As always, Hallmark does a great job honoring our veterans.  In Unlocking Christmas, viewers learn that transitioning from military to civilian life can be very difficult.

Kevin might be working in his dad's hardware store, but it's not his choice for an occupation long-term.  The problem is, he doesn't know what he wants to do.

In the military, every day is disciplined and structured.  You function within the perimeters of a close-knit brotherhood.  When you leave this community where everyone works as a team and has your back, it's shocking to re-enter society where this ceases to be the case.  It's easy for military people to feel like no one understands them and that they don't belong.  On top of everything, they must decide on a career path, juggle finances and healthcare options, decide where to live, and so much more we take for granted.

If you're a veteran who has struggled with the return to civilian life, feel free to share your experience in the comment section.  Thank-you for your service!

Fans Love Steve Lund

Fans haven't seen Steve Lund in a Hallmark movie since The Christmas Cottage in 2017.  

He is ruggedly handsome in a Star Wars Jedi kind of way.  In fact, if Disney ever creates a Star Wars movie revealing Anakin Skywalker has an older brother we never knew of, that character would look just like Steve Lund.

He might be too old for a Padawan braid, but Lund can use "The Force" of his charm. 
Image:  Crown Media

Lund is Canadian, born January 9, 1989, and is a towering 6'3"!  He dreamed of being a hockey player, but he switched careers when an injury made that an impossible option.  Aren't we glad he chose acting?

While Lund looks adorable with Taylor Cole, this movie is just white noise on Hallmark.  The story is based on the novella by Fern Michaels, A Christmas Homecoming, and it has it's nice moments, but nothing that makes it exceptional enough to earn permanent space on the DVR.

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Image:  Crown Media


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