Premieres Wednesday, November 22 at 8 PM ET/PT
on Hallmark Channel
Melanie Welsh (Ullerup) and Donovan Goodwin (O’Connell) are creative executives at Farnsworth Advertising, one of the top agencies in Connecticut. Now the firm has a chance to win the lucrative Evergreen Mobile Christmas account, but Donovan, who Mr. Farnsworth (MiloShandel) selected to make the pitch, failed to impress the Evergreen executive. Though Donovan’s storyboards were sleek, and clearly emphasized the phone’s design and functionality, they lacked the most important element – Christmas spirit. Given the chance to make one last pitch, Farnsworth decides to team up Donovan with Melanie, whose earnest and heartwarming campaign style would surely add the homespun appeal Evergreen wants.
Christmas is definitely in Melanie’s wheelhouse, especially when it comes to finding perfect presents. But when she draws Donovan’s name for the Secret Santa gift exchange, she’s totally at a loss. She usually knows what to buy people by getting to know them, but Donovan is as reserved and minimalist as his advertising style, and he never participates in his coworkers’ social activities. Discussing her dilemma with her sister Jude (Rebecca Davis), who suggests that she find a secret way of asking Donovan what he likes, Melanie creates a separate Secret Santa email account to communicate with him. But her first message asking him to name some of his favorite things, receives only a terse reply, suggesting all he wants is a simple tie.
Determined to infuse Donovan and the Evergreen Mobile pitch with the joy of Christmas, Melanie keeps emailing him as Secret Santa and takes him to Stamford’s North Pole Tree Farm, a holiday extravaganza filled with acres of Christmas cheer. Directing his attention to the excited face of a little girl about to get her picture taken with Santa Claus, Melanie explains how their ad campaign has to tap into that feeling of wonder that the holidays bring. She reminds him that Christmas is supposed to evoke cherished memories of times with loved ones. When he says he never had any moments like that, Melanie begins to understand why he’s so closed off, and she makes it her mission to give Donovan a crash course in holiday cheer.
As Donovan opens up to his Secret Santa online, he reveals that after his mother’s death, his father dove into his work and stopped celebrating anything. Encouraging Donovan to show his dad his feelings, Melanie discovers she has developed feelings for Donovan, and wonders what he’ll think when he learns the true identity of his Secret Santa. But little does Melanie know that Donovan is her Secret Santa as well, and while she’s been secretly finding out about him, he’s been picking up clues about her. As the two finally nail the Evergreen campaign and truly enjoy working together, they also nail their Secret Santa gifts to one another, and find that perhaps they’ll soon be creating Christmas memories of their own.