Every year Hallmark creates new original Christmas programming. The movies are all vaguely the same (big city gal heads to her small hometown for the holidays and falls back in love with its quaint nature and a charming local handyman), but they are all set in different places with different characters and actors — except for one budding franchise.
The Christmas in Evergreen movie series is one of the network's only crossover events, with the same town, characters, and basic storyline appearing in each film.
Where Is Evergreen?
In the first movie, Evergreen is described as being set in Vermont "so far north that on clear days you might be able to see the North Pole." In real life, the Evergreen movies are actually filmed at the Burnaby Village Museum in Canada's British Columbia, according to Coastal Living magazine. The museum is designed to look like an early Canadian province complete with a general store, trolley, old-fashioned ice cream parlour, and more. In short, it's the perfect setting for a Hallmark Christmas movie about a charming small town.
How Many Evergreen Christmas Movies Are There?
There are three Christmas in Evergreen movies thus far, with a new installment premiering each year since 2017. The first is Christmas in Evergreen, followed by Christmas in Evergreen: Letters To Santa, and then this year's Christmas In Evergreen: Tidings Of Joy.
What Happens In Christmas in Evergreen?
The first Evergreen Christmas movie follows town veterinarian Allie Shaw (Ashley Williams) as she prepares to move to Washington D.C. to live with her big city boyfriend. But heavy snow strands her in Evergreen for Christmas along with two passing tourists: a widowed father named Ryan (Teddy Sears) and his young daughter. The more time Allie spends with Ryan, the more she falls in love. In the end, she decides to forgo her move to D.C. to stay right there in Evergreen with Ryan, who conveniently takes over the empty local doctor's office.
Every Evergreen movie has a little element of magic to it, and the first film has a magical snow globe that grants wishes — so long as it's what the wisher's heart truly desires. The widower's daughter wishes to spend Christmas in Evergreen, so we can all blame her for the snowstorm that strands them.
What Happens In Christmas In Evergreen: Letters To Santa?
The second movie focuses on two new main characters. Lisa Palmer (Jill Wagner) was born in Evergreen but moved away as a child. Now, she's a successful interior decorator who returns home to Evergreen and finds herself taken with the place even as an adult. With the help of a contractor named Kevin (Mark Deklin) who is also passing through town, she fixes up the abandoned general store and takes over its operations. Kevin isn't initially sure he wants to stay in Evergreen, but when Lisa plants her roots, he takes a nearby logging job to begin their romance together.
The magical item in this movie is an old fashioned letter box where people mail their letters to Santa. It was housed in the abandoned general store, but once Lisa came to renovate it, the town placed it prominently on main street for all the children to use. (The magical snow globe also makes an appearance in this film.)
What Happens In Christmas In Evergreen: Tidings Of Joy?
The third Evergreen movie follows a big city journalist named Katie Connell (Maggie Lawson) who comes to Evergreen for a break between writing novels. She soon finds the assignment of a lifetime, tracking down the mysterious Christmas time capsule buried 50 years ago. Along the way, she meets Ben (Paul Greene), who also used to be a journalist. Together the two of them collaborate on finding the time capsule, which turns out to be a hidden advent calendar with different wintertime activities planned for the town for each day in December. Katie helps reignite Ben's love for journalism and Ben helps ignite Katie's love period. At the end of the movie, they actually both move back to the city to explore their writing careers, which is pretty unusual for Hallmark. Typically the characters stay in the charming, small town when the movie ends.
The magical element to this film is the advent calendar, but both the snow globe and the letter box make appearances.
Who Are The Recurring Evergreen Characters?
The townspeople recur in all three movies, so viewers will recognize the diner owners Joe and Carol Shaw (played by Barbara Niven and Malcolm Stewart), the mayor Ezra Green (Chris Cope), the elementary school principal Michelle (Holly Robinson-Peete), inn owner Megan (Michelle Martin), choir director Hannah (Rukiya Bernard), farmer Henry (Daryl Shuttleworth), and mysterious guy named Nick who is pretty obviously Santa Claus (Keith Martin Gordey).
Notably, the leading ladies from the original films all come back each year for brief cameos. Allie shows up for the Christmas festival in Letters To Santa, and in Tidings of Joy she appears in the beginning of the film before jetting off to Paris for the holidays. In Tidings of Joy, Lisa is still running the general store, and we see her boyfriend Kevin at the end of the movie when he comes to the Christmas festival to kiss her. Expect Allie, Lisa, and now Katie to all make an appearance in the next movie, if there is one.
Will There Be A Christmas In Evergreen Movie In 2020?
At the end of the third film, Katie reveals that her second novel was a story about Allie and Lisa's romances in Evergreen. And she revealed that she's already prepping her next book for next year "about twin pine trees and twin sisters." It's safe to say that was Hallmark admitting that a fourth Christmas in Evergreen movie is being planned for 2020, and that it will likely follow the adult twin sisters who make two lingering appearances in Tidings of Joy.
Because Hallmark keeps the framework of these films the same but rotates out the leads, these Evergreen movies can go on for a long time. Pretty much as long as the real Evergreen filming location agrees to host the cameras. So the snow globe, letter box, advent calendar, and apparently twin trees will be back on our screens before we know it.