Premieres Saturday, November 18 at 9 PM ET/PT
on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
In the proud military town of Pinewood, Amanda (Julie Benz) works at the community center. The center brings the town together and has hosted meaningful events like a surprise military homecoming for Dean (Mark Gibbon), husband and father to Amanda’s sister Victoria (Kirsten Robek) and niece Heather (Farryn VanHumbeck). Though she tries to bring joy to others, Christmas has not been merry for Amanda ever since her husband Rick died serving in the war.
Amanda rents a room to Master Sergeant Jim Mullins (Michael Shanks), who has returned to Pinewood from deployment. Jim hopes to return to active duty as soon as his leg injury heals, but plans to enjoy his holidays until he does – and is on a mission to help Amanda enjoy hers as well. Amanda feels a connection to Jim, and begins to let him decorate around the house but remains sentimental and protective over Rick’s motorcycle.
Amanda’s boss Tom (Jay Brazeau) tells her that the community center is struggling financially, and Amanda decides to plan a holiday fundraiser to save it. Jim helps Amanda plan, and is a natural at securing donations. Craig, who has known Amanda her whole life and has feelings for her, is jealous of Jim and tries to match his efforts in supporting Amanda’s fundraiser.
When Amanda attends a ceremony to lend support to her friend Lily (Jordana Largy), she discovers that Jim was with Lily’s husband Mark and his friend Dayquan when they died. These soldiers’ bodies have yet to be recovered, but they receive medals of honor along with Jim.
Amanda and Jim kiss, but the moment ends abruptly when news that Mark and Dayquan’s bodies have been recovered and will be returning home. After attending their funeral and remembering how fleeting life can be, Amanda lets Jim work on Rick’s motorcycle with her.
Even Amanda’s family notices the chemistry between Jim and Amanda. Victoria urges Amanda to donate some of Rick’s clothing to heal but she struggles to let go. Eventually, she donates Rick’s items and starts to heal with Jim. As Jim’s injury heals, he questions whether he should return to active duty or stay with Amanda.
When the community center’s auction falls short of their fundraising goals, Amanda adds Rick’s motorcycle to the auction block. After a bidding war with Craig, a generous bid from Jim sets the center over their goal. When Amanda finds out that Jim’s donation came from his reenlistment bonus, she is uncertain if she should fall for a man headed toward danger. As Christmas and Jim’s deployment date approach, Amanda must decide if she has the inner strength to both move on and give her heart to a proudly serving soldier.