Merry Christmas, Hearties! Once again, I apologize for the long hiatus. With Christmas so close, and me recovering from surgery and getting moving again, things have been pretty hectic. But I couldn’t desert one of my favorite groups of people, could I? Wow! Can you believe that by this time next week, most of us will have already seen When Calls the Heart: The Greatest Christmas Blessing? The season passes SO fast when you’re an adult. It’s almost not fair, is it? I’m sure the special will feel far too short too, but I’m sure we’ll savor every moment. And of course, I will be posting a special #WonderWednesday blog to talk about what we will have just seen. I don’t think I’d be able to compose a decent paragraph, much less a whole post, and then get it posted that very night. 😀

Now! Let’s get to today’s #WonderWednesday movie. You might be a little surprised to see that it’s actually not a Hallmark. GASP! Please don’t pass out from the shock! But I found a little gem on Lifetime, which I hardly ever watch. I even had some doubts about tuning in to this one, but it starred our very own Niall Matter, so I had to give it the old college try…and I rather enjoyed it. And if you are a connoisseur of the two Hallmark channels, you’ll see several familiar faces.

It’s called Christmas Pen Pals, in the spirit of The Shop Around the Corner (Jimmy Stewart). Hannah, an overworked way-too-into-technology dating app designer, returns home for Christmas desperately seeking inspiration for her rapidly-failing project. Her father even remarks, “I’m surprised you know how to breathe without [the Internet].” When dear old Dad doesn’t have Wi-Fi at home, she goes to a café hoping for a signal. Not only does she discover a lack of connection, but she also discovers that the high school and part of college boyfriend, Sam, (Niall) owns said coffee shop.

The town is restarting a long-forgotten tradition (as in pre-WWII) called Christmas Cupid. All participants fill out a sheet, then Matchmaker Martha (the town postmaster) pairs up pen pals to help them find a “deep friendship, or better yet, love”. The letters are completely anonymous until the big reveal on Christmas Eve. Hannah wants her father to join so he can finally find companionship so long after the death of her mother, but he says he’ll only join if she does. She reluctantly agrees.

I’m going to have to cut this short…motherhood calls. But the best part about the whole thing is hand-written is mandatory; no computers or cell phones allowed. There’s something about writing your thoughts out longhand. That’s how I do every first draft of every story I write. My mind comes alive, and the thoughts just pour onto the pages. And in this movie, the writers discover just as much about themselves as they do about their partners. You should have seen Hannah’s reaction every time the mail came in. Miss Modern Technology could hardly wait to rip open an envelope. Slowing down can be just the ticket.

If you can find it before the season is over, Christmas Pen Pals is VERY worth watching. Sorry to end so abruptly, but I’ll see you Friday. This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

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