Amidst the cheerful “making a list and checking it twice” crowd that prevail at Christmas are always people whose circumstances make them reluctant participants in the pervasive jolliness. David Lyndon is a recent widower. He has a young daughter, he is running for Congress, and if Christmas would just go away, that would be fine with him.
Willow Peterson retreats to Shenandoah Falls, the town where she grew up, after a fruitless attempt to do the right thing—she blew the whistle on corporate malfeasance and the only thing blown out of town is her. She’s a failed 34 year-old whistleblower living under her mother’s roof.
A charming aspect of A Christmas Bride is the “it takes a village” cast of characters—be it Willow’s counter-culture mother and laid-back sister or David’s uptight, controlling mother and his adorable, anxious daughter Natalie—but we never lose our focus on the evolving relationship between Willow and David. Willow was a close friend of David’s deceased wife and she mourns her friend. Her place in David’s past somewhat muddles the possibility that they might become more than friends in the future.