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

"Inventing the Christmas Prince:" How Far Would You Go to Grant Your Child's Wishes?

Inventing the Christmas Prince Plot Summary

A woman is about to quit her job as a rocket engineer when her daughter becomes convinced that her Scrooge-like boss is the Christmas Prince, which is a story that she invented years ago.

Starring:  Tamera Mowry-Housley and Ronnie Rowe Jr.

Inventing the Christmas Prince
Image:  Hallmark Media

Extreme Cuteness Alert

Isabel Birch plays Grace, the adorable daughter of single mom, Shelby (Mowry-Housley).  Shelby recounts the annual story of the Christmas Prince who did such a wonderful job, that Santa gave him a special promotion.  Every Christmas, the Christmas Prince picks one girl or one boy to be queen or king, and that lucky person receives 12 wishes.  The Prince rides a white horse named Snowball and is distinguished by a birth mark on his hand where Rudolph kissed him when he was a baby.

Grace has the wide-eyed wonder only a child possesses at Christmas, and she believes in the Christmas Prince as much as most kids believe in Santa.  When Grace sees the birthmark on Evan's hand, she's convinced he's the Christmas Prince, much to Shelby's dismay.

Evan's personality and lack of social grace more than disqualifies him from the royal designation.  He hides in his office, has no life outside of work, demands too much from his employees, and takes no interest in his staff.  His behavior has earned him the moniker Dr. Spock, a far cry from the title of Christmas Prince!

Still, Grace lost her father, moved to a different school, and has had a rough year.  Shelby can't bear the thought of disappointing her.

Lucky for Shelby, she has leverage.  Evan is in hot water with the higher ups and is warned that if one more employee quits, he will be up for review and will likely be fired.  

When Evan announces that everyone has to work all day on Christmas Eve and a partial day on Christmas, Shelby makes a dramatic exit.  Evan panics because he knows his days at Satellite Boost Lab will be numbered.  The only way Shelby will agree to stay is if he pretends to be the Christmas Prince who has picked Grace for this year's queen. 

What choice does Evan have?  He reluctantly agrees to be the Christmas Prince until Shelby drops Grace's 12 wishes on him.

Inventing the Christmas Prince
Image:  Hallmark Media

Grace's 12 Wishes

Some of Grace's wishes are tricky but manageable, like watching a Christmas movie with Santa and the elves, a gingerbread playhouse, a sleepover, tea at an exclusive restaurant, and arranging for the Prince and Shelby to go on a date.

Other wishes are impossible, like a pony to live in Grace's closet, kissing a reindeer, and making a snowman come to life.

Parents can relate to the creative ways Shelby finds to redirect her daughter and convince her how wise it would be to alter a few of her wishes.  Grace agrees to cross a pony off her list and replace it with helping at a toy drive.  Grace is also placated when Evan offers her a keyboard instead of a grand piano, especially when he attaches a very special story to it.  Grace is even convinced that the white horse pulling the carriage that comes for her at the dance is the real Snowball.

Initially, Evan is appalled that Shelby can lie to Grace and go to such extreme lengths to make her wishes come true.  He thinks it's ridiculous. Shelby explains what most of us already know--Santa lies are different!  Only at Christmas can parents tell lies about all the things that make the season magical for children and have it not be counted as a strike against them.

The more time Evan spends with Grace, the more he loves her and understands why Shelby doesn't want to disappoint her.

Do you think Shelby goes too far?  Share your thoughts in the comment section!

Most of us might have found the story a little more realistic if Grace had only been granted three wishes.  The writers wanted to tie 12 wishes into the 12 days of Christmas, but it becomes too implausible. 

Mowry-Housley and Ronnie Rowe are Great Together

Rowe does a phenomenal job in the role of the Christmas Prince.  His character is very anti-social, and he has no experience with children.  He is acutely uncomfortable around Grace, her friends, Shelby, and his staff, and the viewer can feel his awkwardness, which means he nails his part!

Inventing the Christmas Prince
Image:  Hallmark Media

Shelby soon realizes Evan isn't the Scrooge she assumed--he just needs a little guidance and support to come out of his shell.  She teaches him that just taking an interest in people goes a long way, and she shows him how it's done.  With her encouragement, Evan begins investing in his employees, learning their names, giving them gifts, granting them time off, and his team-building efforts pay off.  He's promoted, not fired.  

Did you know Tamera Mowry-Housley recently released a book?

My Christmas Tree Rating

The acting is great, the story is unique, and the princely attire, carriage, and tiara that are produced to whisk Grace and Shelby from the dance are magical--like a Cinderella story.

Inventing the Christmas Prince
Image:  Hallmark Media

The excess number of wishes makes the plot a little less credible, but it's still a delightful movie and definitely worth watching.


  1. A really sweet and cute movie. I'd watch it again.

  2. In the end Grace only had 8 wishes and even Shelby describing how they arrived at eight wishes was plausible. The wishes were exactly what one would expect of a child who still believes in the magic of Christmas. Our families favorite this season.


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