Toying With the Holidays (The Holiday Train)

On Track

Workaholic Danielle ( Can we get a Hallmark heroine who is kinda lazy just one time?) is taking her son home for Christmas to experience the holiday the way she did when she was a child with all of the bells and whistles, including the town’s famous holiday train. At the last minute, her boss lays a project on her that she can work on through her vacation. She briefly stands up to him but when he frowns at her, she caves. When will we have a female employee who is a shining star for the company not give up her power and submit to the boss’s unreasonable demands? In this case though, she is not struggling with the project throughout the movie casting a pall on the family time and celebrations. She pretty much knocks out the project right away and we move on to the important stuff. How refreshing!

Dani is as energetic at home as she is at work and when she learns the Holiday Train which her late Dad took the lead on for the town is kaput, she is determined to set it back on track (no pun intended). To that end, she gets together with Chad Michael Murray who repairs her Dad’s Lionel train she found in the attic. He is a train enthusiast as well as a hobby shop owner. CMM is as lazy and disorganized as Dani is efficient and hardworking. He’s also a little grumpy and a slob. (“Sorry, It’s the maid’s day off.” “Are you sure she isn’t hiding under all that stuff?”) His business is suffering (surprise surprise) possibly because he leaves his store open with no one on the floor while he is in the back room repairing stuff with headphones on so he can’t hear if he has any customers who might would want to buy something but more likely just steal it and he would never know the difference. But opposites attract. Danielle whips his business into shape in no time with a website and a human presence minding the store. CMM embarks on restoring the holiday train and romance ensues, despite some competition from the frisky flower shop owner next door.

Cindy was well cast as the peppy smiley Dani and I liked the pairing with laidback CMM who can do “scruffy” like nobody’s business. Cindy looked great as did the actress who played her Mom who had a little promise of a romance of her own. The Lionel train aspect was interesting. I love trains. Also, I loved Danielle’s house, which looked like a real home in a real neighborhood.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

December 21, 2021

5 thoughts on “Toying With the Holidays (The Holiday Train)

  1. Okay I’m going to give it a shot, I like trains too! ❤ (of course the pun was intended);-)

    “My heart is warm with the friends I make,
    And better friends I’ll not be knowing,
    Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take,
    No matter where it’s going.”

    ― Edna St. Vincent Millay, The Selected Poetry

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  2. And one more thing. I love this so much, from Gatsby.

    One of my most vivid memories is of coming back West from prep school and later from college at Christmas time. Those who went farther than Chicago would gather in the old dim Union Station at six o’clock of a December evening, with a few Chicago friends, already caught up into their own holiday gayeties, to bid them a hasty good-by. I remember the fur coats of the girls returning from Miss This-or-that’s and the chatter of frozen breath and the hands waving overhead as we caught sight of old acquaintances, and the matchings of invitations: “Are you going to the Ordways’? the Herseys’? the Schultzes’?” and the long green tickets clasped tight in our gloved hands. And last the murky yellow cars of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railroad looking cheerful as Christmas itself on the tracks beside the gate.

    When we pulled out into the winter night and the real snow, our snow, began to stretch out beside us and twinkle against the windows, and the dim lights of small Wisconsin stations moved by, a sharp wild brace came suddenly into the air. We drew in deep breaths of it as we walked back from dinner through the cold vestibules, unutterably aware of our identity with this country for one strange hour, before we melted indistinguishably into it again.

    That’s my Middle West — not the wheat or the prairies or the lost Swede towns, but the thrilling returning trains of my youth, and the street lamps and sleigh bells in the frosty dark and the shadows of holly wreaths thrown by lighted windows on the snow.

    Liked by 1 person

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