REVIEW: The Hallmark Sequel "Haul Out the Holly: Lit Up" Is as Silly as the First One

Emily and Jared are looking forward to celebrating the holidays together as a couple, and they prepare to work with their neighbors on Evergreen Lane to make this year's Christmas celebrations the best yet.  When a house on the block goes up for sale, the soon-to-be-neighbors are holiday royalty, but they are so competitive that they nearly ruin Christmas for everyone. Starring:   Lacey Chabert, Wes Brown, Stephen Tobolowsky, Ellen Travolta, Melissa Peterman, Seth Morris, and Jennifer Aspen Image:  Hallmark Media Haul Out the Holly:  Lit Up Has a Moral When the residents of Evergreen Lane learn that their new neighbors are the Jolly Johnsons--famous holiday reality stars--they are thrilled to welcome them to the block.  Everyone assumes the Johnsons will fit right in since they share their same affinity for elf culture. Emily, Jared, and the rest of the holiday crew quickly realize that the Johnsons aren't interested in joining in on the fun--they plan to take over. Image:  Tw

Review: Hallmark's "Where Are You, Christmas?" Is a Shot at Creativity that Falls Short

When Addy wishes for a year without Christmas, she wakes up in a world of black and white.  She must work together with the town mechanic to restore Christmas.

Starring:  Lyndsy Fonseca and Michael Rady 

Where Are You, Christmas?  Hallmark movie
Image:  Hallmark Media

Hallmark Tries Something New with Where Are You, Christmas?

As much as fans love Hallmark movies, most of us are growing bored with the same recycled plots.  In response, Hallmark enlisted the talents of seasoned writers Michael Reisz and Timothy Kuryak to deliver something fresh.

Where Are You, Christmas? inventively imagines a world in which Christmas doesn't exist.  It's an interesting concept.  Without Christmas, the world is dull and colorless.  People have no joy.

Christmas is a season of hope and a time for miracles.  Without it, people miss the chance to find healing from the things that are hurting them, which makes them angry and a little bitter.

Addy's high-pressure job in branding means Christmas is her business every day of the year.  After too much of a good thing, she no longer appreciates the holiday--until she loses it.  

If Addy can't help everyone remember Christmas before December 25, Christmas will vanish permanently.

Amusing Moments in Where Are You, Christmas?

The writers do a great job incorporating humor into the script, although it's sometimes delivered a little dryly.

The most amusing part is when Addy's parents reference their annual New Year's movie marathon.  Her mom mentions that every year, 100 New Year's movies are made that start airing in June.  This a great line that pokes fun of Hallmark's long season of unending Christmas movies, including a month in the summer. 

Addy tries to return to Chicago, hoping everything there will be normal, but she can't escape Red Lake Falls.  Hunter explains that he made a wish on the Santa app that she wouldn't leave the small town, and Addy believes him.  Hunter delivers the line so sincerely that Addy doesn't catch the jest until he admits that he is joking. 

Where Are You, Christmas? Has a Few Issues

When Addy checks her parents' attic for Christmas decorations, the shelf where they are stored is empty.   Every trace of Christmas is gone throughout all of Red Lake Falls.  Yet, when Addy determinedly plans to help the townsfolk remember Christmas, she finds a box of tinsel and other holiday decor.  She also uses a Christmas sweater to jog Dana's memory.  These are glaring plot holes.

If the key to returning to color is remembering Christmas, it makes no sense that Addy remains in black and white because she never forgets the holiday.  Since many of the characters regain color when an old hurt is healed, Addy should have at least returned to normal when she makes peace with her dad--the strained relationship with her dad is her biggest issue in the story.  However, she doesn't get her color back until she kisses Hunter for the right reasons.  This doesn't track.  

Once Addy realizes the reason Christmas has disappeared is a result of her making a wish on her brand's Santa app, why doesn't she make a new wish?  The app asks every day about making a wish, so simply changing her wish would have been the logical solution.  She should have at least tried it, and if it didn't work, some type of reasoning for the fail could have been explained.

What's up with creepy Santa anyway?  Holiday magic is fun in movies, but the Santa on the app teeters softly on the brink of the diabolical.

Finally, Addy and Hunter have no sizzle.  Both Fonseca and Rady are great actors, but the romance is clearly lacking in the movie.

My Christmas Tree Rating

Where Are You, Christmas? is much different than the cookie cutter romances we've come to expect from Hallmark.  It blends a little magic with a philosophical twist as viewers ponder what life would be like without Christmas.

Despite its uniqueness, especially with the unusual cinematography, Where Are You, Christmas? falls short in delivering a feel-good Christmas movie because it's a little too dark, the romance is diminished, and it is riddled with disparities.

I give this one 3/5 Christmas trees.

Where Are You, Christmas?  Hallmark movie
Image:  Hallmark Media


  1. I thought this was a mixed bag as well. It's nice to try and be creative, but the way Hallmark tries to do it sometimes, or most of the time, just falls flat. -Maria

  2. Didn’t care for this movie at all.

  3. It’s a one and done for me. Some Hallmark movies I have watched many times, love most of them.

  4. I think the reason she knows Christmas and is in black and white is because she’s always known what Christmas is, but struggles with feeling Christmas. When everyone else remembers Christmas they remember the joy.
    But why she turns at the kiss instead of the conversation with the dad? Its still a hallmark movie and a magical kiss goes a long way.

  5. This was just way off. Nobody would believe this at all! Loved the actors just not the movie.

  6. I kind of liked it. It was different and fun. It did make sense that she remained in black and white even though she remembered Christmas. She had wished for it not to exist for her that year so she couldn't change color until the Christmas day.

  7. I loved it!!
    Flaws and all. It was different but it wasn’t annoying….

  8. I loved it!!!
    Flaws and all….
    It was different and not annoying…

  9. Thumbs down...caught the discrepancies mentioned, in the previews. Bugged me enough I didn't even want to watch the movie.

  10. My favorite so far this year. It may have a few holes in the script but I loved the movie and it’s creativity overall.

  11. This was a terrible movie. I watched it all. Wasted my time. Hallmark has got to do better.

  12. I think it was one of THE BEST Hallmark movies I've seen! My top 5...Addie did a superb job of acting!

  13. I thought it was great! A nice change from the normal Christmas movies! Great job.

  14. I enjoyed the movie in spite of its short comings. It was great to see Hallmark think outside of the cookie cutter box. I would love to see movies that include more Christmas magic and miracles. I think we have so much reality thrown at us it’s nice to fantasize that the unbelievable can happen.

  15. It was different but I liked it— an unusual look at how Christmas affects us.

  16. Great movie with a message....get the message and you will be at peace

  17. I really enjoyed it. Different but a good movie. And it's about Christmas. You can't go wrong there.


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