Hallmark's "A Maple Valley Christmas" Is Based on a Book

A Maple Valley Christmas Plot Summary   A rancher has spent her whole life working the family farm with her mother and sister, but when a man arrives and disrupts her plans, she starts to question what she actually wants. Starring :  Peyton List and Andrew Walker Image:  Hallmark Media The Movie Is Based on a Book A Maple Valley Christmas is based on the 2018 novel by Jerry Todt, but the Hallmark flips the script.  In the book, Erica is the real estate agent tasked with convincing a maple syrup farmer to sell, but after spending time in the small town, she has to decide between love or becoming a partner in her firm. When Hallmark fans love a movie, they always ask Hallmark for a sequel.  It will be interesting to see if Hallmark produces one because Todt released a follow-up novel in 2020 called A Maple Valley Wedding , which is set one year later.  Erica is in love, she's come to faith in Jesus, but then her ex shows up and sends her on a downward spiral. Did you enjoy this m

Here's Why Hallmark's "We Wish You a Married Christmas" Bombs

We Wish You a Married Christmas Plot Summary

A couple goes to the quiet town of Gracious to reconnect at Christmas on advice from their marriage coach.

Starring:  Marisol Nichols and Kristoffer Polaha

We Wish You a Married Christmas
Image:  Hallmark Media

Only a Few Redeeming Moments in We Wish You a Married Christmas

The best part of this movie is its title, a cute twist on a classic Christmas song.  

Robby (Polaha) and Becca (Nichols) are a married couple whose careers and busy lives have caused them to lose touch with one another.  They pass like two ships in the night, each seemingly unnoticed by the other.  Robby forgets Becca stopped eating meat, and Becca has no idea Robby took a baking class.  Robby is the lead on their apartment renovation, and he takes none of Becca's suggestions into consideration.  They argue over silly things, like where the microwave should go in the kitchen--trivial matters many couples find relatable.

What is sweet is the way Robby and Becca remain willing to acknowledge how they've both failed in the relationship, recognize what they can do to get back on track, and maintain an openness and willingness to try.  They show grace and humility towards one another.  Becca has reservations about how returning to their regular lives at home will impact the gains they've made on vacation, yet she and Robby resolve to change their priorities and put each other first.

The most amusing part of the movie is the "accidental" role heavy outdoor ornaments play in helping married couples reconcile and the "talking" Alpacas.

The Movie is a Bomb

Kristoffer Polaha is always a strong lead, and while his acting is on target and shows heart in We Wish You a Married Christmas, the movie contains fatal flaws.

Marisol Nichols' performance is fair, but as much as she tries to project feeling and emotion onscreen, she rarely succeeds in generating warmth and chemistry with her co-stars.  She shines best in dramatic roles, like the dying mother in Holly & Ivy.      

The worst part of this movie is the married gay men who run the inn where Robby and Becca are staying.  The perversity of watching men kissing each other and flaming across the screen for a large chunk of the movie is revolting.  This lifestyle is unnatural and makes the skin crawl no matter how much Hallmark and Hollywood promote it in hopes of normalizing it.  God condemns this lifestyle, so if you are aghast by people who stand on the biblical position, you'll have to take up your gripe with the God of all Creation, Jesus.  "But Jesus loves everyone!" you will argue. True, but you love your kids, too, yet you set boundaries for them.  When they cross the boundaries, they are punished.  God set a boundary when He defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.  Homosexuality is clearly cited as an "abomination" in scripture that separates people from God for all eternity when they choose to reject Jesus for their own unnatural lusts stemming from a "reprobate mind."  Jesus extends His love, grace, and mercy to anyone who will repent, but those who refuse His offer of salvation will go to hell--not something we should be celebrating.  "But Jesus hung out with sinners!" you will contend.  He sure did, but so that they would turn away from their wicked ways and choose Life--the narrow way--not so they could feel good about wallowing in sin.

Polaha has spoken many times about his Christian faith, but he apparently doesn't know his Bible well enough to realize that promoting such a lifestyle in his movies is the exact opposite of God's will. He compromised.  Being nice and showing kindness to all people is right, but for a Christian to stamp approval on evil is wrong.

Everyone loves the family pet, but our culture is putting a gross overemphasis on pet ownership.  People are crossing the line by humanizing pets and treating them better than they would their neighbors.  For more on this topic, read 10 Insane Ways People Are Humanizing PetsWe Wish You a Married Christmas features a shop where people can come to have their pet's portrait painted and pick up homemade dog treats.  Robby and Becca text tons of dog pictures to her mother like it's a grandchild.  The dog is even dressed up and put in a parade!  You can love your pooch without giving it equal standing with humans.  

A lot of liquor is consumed in this movie!  If you're a drinker, you might be grinning and saying "cheers" as you watch, but many viewers do not appreciate the uptick in drinking in Hallmark movies, something that was typically avoided in past seasons.

We Wish You a Married Christmas bartending scene
Image:  Hallmark Media

Becca even talks of curling up with a "trashy novel" in one scene.  It's a G-rated comment but another indicator that Hallmark is shedding its reputation of wholesomeness.  

Finally, We Wish You a Married Christmas is painfully slow-moving.  Many viewers are commenting that after 30 minutes, they turned the channel.  It's too much of a sleeper.  In addition, it's a "downer" for a Hallmark Channel presentation.  Even though the plot is redemptive since it gives hope to struggling married couples, working through all the issues dampens the light-heartedness we've come to expect.  Maybe it should have aired instead on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries or Hallmark Drama.

My Christmas Tree Rating

A married couple rediscovering each other is a nice concept, but this movie is too slow, dampens holiday cheer, and is not family-friendly, earning it only 1 out of 5 Christmas trees.


  1. Agree but Poloaha is an excellent actor and I'd like to see him get casted in a better plot / storyline in the future. He deserves better!


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