Hanging On for Christmas
For Kathy (Kellie Martin - Hailey Dean Mystery: Dating is Murder) this is the first Christmas since her husband passed away and whilst she plans to make her Christmas cookies like she has done ever since she was a child she doesn't plan on celebrating Christmas. But when her friend tricks her into visiting a Christmas tree lot she meets its Christmas loving owner Tim (Cameron Mathison - A Christmas to Remember). And there is some sort of spark between them as Tim gives Kathy a Christmas ornament after her friend pays him to show up at her door with a Christmas tree. But with it being less than a year since her husband died Kathy feels it would be wrong to fall for someone else, not just now but ever.
If someone gave me a DVD with that synopsis placed on the case I would feel like I would know exactly what sort of movie it was going to be with a widow meeting a handsome and kind hearted man who patiently helps her move on whilst she battles with whether moving on would be betraying her late husband. And in a way I would be right as "The Christmas Ornament" has all the typical elements you would expect from such a movie; Kathy's friends whose encouragement to move on borders on the nagging to Tim's friends trying to set him up. And it is not just the people who are stereotypical because we have Tim and Kathy bumping in to each other and having plenty in common whilst with "The Christmas Ornament" being set at Christmas they are constantly surrounded by snow and decorations which enhance the romantic side of the story.
But "The Christmas Ornament" is not some overly sweet romantic comedy about two people meeting and falling in love as it is quieter and gentler whilst aiming for a touch of realism. As such whilst we have Kathy and Tim obviously feeling something for each other the focus is on Kathy moving on, not just from the death of her husband but also that feeling of shutting herself off and meeting someone new. Unfortunately whilst this makes "The Christmas Ornament" more sensitive and slower paced it may not be what someone is expecting from a Hallmark Christmas movie, especially with a lack of out and out comedy.
The thing is for me the slower, more sensitive aspect of "The Christmas Ornament" plays to Kellie Martin's strengths as she has a gentle persona rather than one suited to cheap comedy. Not only that Kellie Martin and Cameron Mathison do have this simple, gentle chemistry which is pleasant and appealing. Yes I could say that it isn't 100% realistic but it is a Christmas movie and so few Christmas movies come close to realism even those aiming to be gentle and touching.
What this all boils down to is that "The Christmas Ornament" is one of those Hallmark Christmas movies which sound like a stereotypical romantic comedy when in truth it is more sensitive and touching than you might expect. It is also the sort of Christmas movie which whilst you might not feel the urge to buy you might feel the urge to watch on TV each Christmas when it shows up on the Christmas schedule.