My 56 Thoughts About When Calls the Heart: The Heart of Christmas Holiday Special

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Merry Christmas Readers and Hearties alike!!

If you are like me, you love the Hallmark Channel not only because of the year-long movies that celebrate the changes of the season as each year progresses but also because of their wonderful programming options, which includes the beloved TV series When Calls the Heart that is going into its fourth season. Hearties, the worldwide fans of When Calls the Heart, got their first glimpse of the fourth season through the two-hour holiday special that aired yesterday, helping to celebrate Christmas Day in style.

The residents of Hope Valley were gearing up for the holidays with school teacher Elizabeth Thatcher taking over the reigns as Christmas Committee Chairperson while Constable Jack Thornton, Pastor Frank Hogan and most of the men in town worked diligently to create homes for the displaced settlers. The growing town was also visited by an intriguing peddler who not only sold the townspeople his wears but also taught them all valuable lessons of the season.

In true Hallmark Channel and When Calls the Heart fashion, the holiday special was filled with tender and romantic moments with a family-friendly feel that encompassed all that Christmas Day should be.

Here are my thoughts as I watched the two-hour special:

1. Elizabeth has been in Hope Valley for three years already?
2. It was a tough winter for them especially the new settlers.
3. But it’s Christmas in Hope Valley…
4. And that means Elizabeth is in charge of the Christmas Committee.
5. Oh boy, is that a good idea??
6. Rosemary would probably say no, but she’s not back from her honeymoon yet.
7. Jack and other men in town working hard to get new homes for settlers before Christmas…no easy feat there.
8. Abigail is head of the council (is anyone seeing parallels to Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman?)
9. And, Abigail may have to take over as mayor? No pressure there…
10. Oh look, the honeymooners are home. Welcome Back Mr. and Mrs. Coulter.
11. That was sweet of Lee to get young Cody an autographed baseball.
12. But Rosemary and Elizabeth being neighbors, albeit briefly, that’s going to be interesting to say the least.
13. Jack has big plans for Elizabeth for Christmas…what could that be about, hmmm???
14. Elizabeth runs a tight ship in her classroom, but in that time period you could (not so much nowadays, though).
15. The settlers are obviously excited about the prospect of having their new homes before Christmas.
16. But first Elizabeth and Jack have to get a tree together…cue romantic interlude…
17. Nope, interrupted by bells ringing and a mystery dog.
18. Enter Peddler Sam Bailey
19. Good grief Rosemary, how much Christmas do you need in one small place…aren’t all those decorations a little overkill?
20. Ah look, Pastor Frank and Abigail are having a romantic moment…about time they get that kiss on screen!
21. So sweet to see Jack and Elizabeth decorating her tree together.
22. And then he (conveniently) drops that decoration, making it seem like he’s gonna propose, but he’s just picking up the wayward decoration and asking…
23. Elizabeth to go to the Mountie Christmas Ball with him (not what the Hearties wanted to hear, but we’ll take it for now)
24. Anyone seeing all the similarities to Elizabeth’s namesake, who went to a Mountie Ball and fell in love with her Mountie?
25. Oh no, Mayor Gowen is back in town.
26. He’s under investigation so he can’t hold his title. Abigail get ready for a lot of stress!!
27. How nice of Rosemary to offer Elizabeth her finest gown for the Mountie Ball, right? She always gets her digs in (intentionally or not) where Elizabeth is concerned.
28. I feel bad for Mrs. Tucker, losing her husband in the flood and grieving at Christmas.
29. Boy, Gowen is such a scrooge isn’t he?
30. Peddler Sam comes into town and the kids think he’s Santa (I don’t think so…)
31. With how busy Abigail is Bill has to take over the café – can he even cook?
32. How did Rosemary get even more Christmas decorations in their new little house??
33. Oh look, Faith and Elizabeth are becoming friends.
34. Café customer didn’t like Bill’s eggs. Didn’t I question if he could cook or not. Although I wouldn’t argue with someone caring a rolling pin like a weapon.
35. Rosemary’s Christmas gift has gone missing – given how less than attractive it is, maybe that’s a good thing.
36. Now we’re back to Gowen being a scrooge. Groan!! He’s not only fired Dottie but causing grief for his nurse Faith. Sigh!!
37. Let the competition begin for who will play Mary in the Nativity play. But this is Hoe Valley, it’s not going to turn ugly.
38. Has Frank lost his Christmas spirit?
39. I guess it makes sense for the townsmen to play darts to figure out who will have to don the Santa Suit, right?
40. Oh boy, how did Florence get Rosemary’s brooch?
41. Peddler Sam is in trouble for selling the brooch to Florence. How did he get?
42. The kids learn their roles in the Nativity play; and as expected, Anna and Hattie forego the role of Mary, letting newcomer Ruby to play her.
43. Ah how cute, Rip gets to have a four-legged friend in Peddler Sam’s dog Dasher, but that means Sam is in jail because of the “stolen” brooch, oh boy!
44. Of course, we learn that Rosemary “found” Lee’s gift to her (the brooch) and she hated it so she sold it to Sam who sold it to Florence – we all saw that coming, right?!
45. Is that ironic that Peddler Sam would have Pastor Frank’s bible from when he was in Granville Penitentiary? Nope, there is a reason for everything in this show.
46. Then all the town’s well-laid plans start to crumble just like that beam in the house for which Lee, Jesse and Jack were working so hard to repair.
47. And now the freight wagon isn’t coming that had all the play’s costumes and the kids’ gifts – what are they going to do now?
48. Of course, they’re all going to work overtime to make new costumes and create toys and gifts for all of the kids.
49. Meanwhile, Pastor Frank is searching the countryside for Mrs. Tucker and her son Harper; and thankfully he finds them and is able to get them to come back to Hope Valley.
50. But Jack and Elizabeth didn’t get to go to the Mountie Ball after all in order to safe Christmas for the town, especially the kids.
51. You gotta give Abigail credit that she won’t give up on Gowen, even when he seems ready to give up on everybody else. She’s a much better person that I would be toward Gowen.
52. Nativity play goes off without a hitch and Santa Claus (err, Bill) shows up to give the kids all the gifts they had asked for.
53. Peddler Sam leaves his dog Dasher behind with Cody, who had been begging for a dog for Christmas.
54. How did Jack and Jesse transform the saloon into a makeshift Mountie Ball? The magic of Hope Valley at work??
55. Wow, that gown that Elizabeth is wearing is quite spectacular, isn’t it? And Jack looks so handsome. Who said they needed a fancy ball to have a wonderful time together?
56. It would seem that Peddler Sam just might be Hope Valley’s very own angel – kind of like the angel in It’s A Wonderful Life, huh?

CORRECTION: The fourth season of When Calls the Heart will begin on the Hallmark Channel on Sunday, February 19 at 9/8c.

Using her favorite online handle, Rueben is an East Coast-bred gal who is now a permanent Californian and a lifelong tv-oholic. She watches at least 25 TV shows a week, goes to the movies as often as possible, listens to music every waking moment, reads every day and “plays” on the internet every chance she can. Some of her current favorite TV shows are Outlander, Blindspot, The Blacklist, Killjoys, The Brave, The Shannara Chronicles, Good Witch, When Calls the Heart, The 100, Jane the Virgin, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Fosters. Follow her at @ruebenrambling or contact her at rueben@nicegirlstv.com.


  1. Kerry Mills

    January 3, 2017 at 3:05 am

    Can you tell me who made the Ball Gown..Absolutely stunning!

    • Rueben

      January 8, 2017 at 12:30 am

      I would suggest asking the folks on Twitter @WCTH_TV – the official page for the show – as they might be able to tell you. It was stunning dress that we didn’t get to see very much of since that faux ball scene was so short.

  2. Diane Johannesen

    January 3, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    When will “When Calls the Heart-Christmas” be available to purchase on DVD?

    • Rueben

      January 8, 2017 at 12:29 am

      That’s a good question, but unfortunately I don’t know the answer. If you are on Facebook, I would suggest reaching out to the members of the Fans of Hallmark’s When Calls the Heart, which you should be able to find here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/544632748969161/ – as they will probably be able to let you know that information as soon as it becomes available AND/OR you can reach out on Twitter to the official page of the show – located @WCTH_TV – to see if they can let you know.