Lifetime’s Christmas In The City Teaches The Meaning Of Christmas, Which We Somehow Keep Forgetting

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Lifetime movie Christmas in the City Ashanti 2013

Wendy and Tom start spending more time together, and they both lament the fact that the city doesn't appreciate Christmas enough. Umm, what lame city are they in? I think there's an enormous Christmas tree in New York City who would disagree with their big city complaints. Of course, most of the Scroogey problems lie in Wolmans itself, where Teanna has replaced real Christmas trees with stylish pink and silver ones (the horror!) and fired Santa Claus (Michael Durrell)  in favor of shirtless male models in Santa hats. Here's what I don't get. Why in the world would putting shirtless Abercrombie rejects in the toy department boost sales? The moms will be so distracted they'll buy their kids whatever they want?

Tom and Wendy start spending quality time together bonding over their love of traditional Jesusy Christmas stuff. When Tom finds out that Angie doesn't want a real tree in her apartment to preserve the environment, he blatantly disrespects Angie's wishes and brings a real tree to their door so that Wendy can be impressed with his grand gesture: “Here, I brought this murdered tree to your environmentalist friend's doorstep because you wanted one and I really want to bang you.”

Angie's luckily very nice and allows the tree a place in her home. What she's not so okay with is the fact that the Christmas show she's been performing in is canceled. She drowns her sorrows in ice cream and Christmas movies, and what's that I see on the TV? It's a Lifetime Christmas movie from last year called Holiday High School Reunion. That's right, it's a Lifetime movie within a Lifetime movie. Lifetime Inception! This was a very important moment in my Lifetime viewing experience. What a fun little Easter egg. Christmas egg? Stocking stuffer? We'll work on the terminology. Regardless, it was so fa la la la lovely.

Of course that cash deposit bag that was so important earlier comes back into play as Teanna places it in Wendy's purse and fudges the sales reports to sabotage her. She accuses Wendy of stealing and tries to get Tom to believe her, and it was like Leo and the jewel in the coat pocket all over again. I could not handle it. And neither can Wendy, who walks out in a huff. She runs into Santa Claus in the park, and after he tells her some very personal information about herself, she realizes he's the real deal. Or he's just a crazy stalker. One or the other. Either way, he inspires her to save Christmas.

Cue the fun decorating montage in which Wendy, Tom, Angie, Grace and even Teanna's minion Bruno (Josh Crotty) redecorate the toy department with traditional Christmas stuff. Even the shirtless models like how it turns out. Teanna of course hates it, but they drive her out when Angie starts singing a Christmas carol and Tom's uncle fires her. She breaks her heel on the way out, just to make sure things are really embarrassing for her.

Angie gets an offer from a London theater group representative who liked her singing, and Wendy and Grace head home, where their shop has to close anyway. Ugh, this is You've Got Mail all over again! But luckily Tom shows up with her Christmas bonus — which still isn't enough to save the shop — and offers to let her run her own candy shop in Wolmans. The implication seems to be that she has to date him, though, since he immediately kisses her in front of her young daughter.

And there you have it. Christmas is saved for the one billionth time in a movie. Maybe it's time we admitted that Christmas really doesn't need that much saving. That is, based on how many times I've heard “Jingle Bells” since early November and how many inflatable Santa decorations I've glimpsed this week. Yeah, Christmas is doing just fine. It's Arbor Day that really needs saving. I'm sure Angie would agree with me.

(Images: Lifetime)

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