Betsy (Matreya Fedor) is a high school student, a choir soloist, a horse lover and wannabe vet, a diner waitress, and about half a year away from college, so this is potentially her last Christmas while living at home with her mother. Betsy is a good kid with a clear path toward her goals, but when a handsome soldier walks into the diner one day, things get rearranged. She and Tyler (Anthony Konechny) fall in love despite an imminent tour of duty, and despite her mother’s stern disapproval.
Betsy’s mother Jane (Catherine Bell) isn’t normally the wet blanket type, but thanks to long, lingering shots of a framed photo, we get the hint that her own soldier boy, Betsy’s father, was killed in action long ago. Might this possibly be the source of her concern?
It’s definitely the source of her concern, but teenage love thrives when it’s forbidden, and not even the hunky diner owner (Victor Webster) can distract Jane from her objection, driving a wedge between her and her daughter during a time they should be treasuring as the last of its kind.
Home For Christmas Day follows all the familiar Hallmark beats, and director Gary Harvey know how to make the most of his modest budget, tapping Fedor’s talent as a singer for a do-it-yourself music montage that pays for itself, although I did question the need for a montage summing up a relationship that had, at that point, existed for literally all of 2 days. I get it though: your first love feels like it’s bigger and more important than the whole world. Plus, a montage is a great way to pad out a movie; 84 minutes can feel like a lot of time to fill when everyone already knows not only the destination, but also the the well-worn path of the journey.