“Christmas on Cherry Lane” was a delightful new Hallmark movie that took a decidedly different turn than most Countdown to Christmas films. This movie featured plot twists and character connections that were at times difficult for some viewers to keep up with, but truly paid off at the end. To help out, we’ve put together an explanation of just how the characters were connected, in case you’re still putting some of the puzzle pieces together.
Warning: This article will have spoilers for the film.
‘Christmas on Cherry Lane’ Took on a ‘This is Us’ Timeline Twist
“Christmas on Cherry Lane” was clearly inspired by “This is Us.” The movie took a timeline plot twist that focused on multiple generations, similar to how the popular series “This is Us” was organized. But to avoid being too similar to the series, the character connections were a little more distant than the direct descendants plotline of “This is Us.”
To help with our look at the connections, let’s first review the major characters. Below is a screenshot from Hallmark’s cast page for the movie.
The movie consisted of three storylines that took place at the same house on Cherry Lane, but each story was separated by a number of decades. They didn’t hide the ball on this plot twist, but revealed it 20 minutes into the movie. However, it wasn’t until the end of the movie that they fully revealed all the different character connections.
The first timeline was 1973. This was the storyline with a pregnant Lizzie (Erin Cahill) and her husband John (John Brotherton.) They had just moved into the house and Lizzie’s family showed up the very next day to stay with them and celebrate Christmas. They met Daisy, a next door neighbor who was staying at her parents’ home while they were out of town. And John became friends with a cop who helped him out a lot when his gas station shop was vandalized.
The second timeline was 1999. This is the one where Regina (Catherine Bell) and Nelson (James Denton) announce their engagement and plans to sell the house and move to Florida to Regina’s two children, Conrad and Winnie. Conrad also has a good friend he goes to for advice, Ivy. She’s taking in a foster child just for Christmas, before he goes to his parents, named Zian.
The third timeline was 2023 (present day.) This is when Zian (Vincent Rodriguez III) and Mike (Jonathan Bennett), a happily married couple, are trying to celebrate their first Christmas at their home, despite lots of issues with the power going out and kitchen renovations. They also get the wonderful news that they will be taking in a foster child, and their family couldn’t be happier.
How the Characters Are Connected
There are a lot of character connections that are easy to miss if you blink or don’t watch closely. Jackie Curtis started a discussion thread in a public Hallmark Facebook group where viewers got together and figured out what all the major twists and connections were.
Lizzie’s Daughter Ivy Is Connected to Multiple Characters
In 1973, Lizzie (married to John) gave birth to Ivy on Christmas.
It was an adult Ivy in 1999 who kept a foster child, Sam (aka Zian) for the Christmas holiday. Zian later went on to marry Mike, and they took in their own foster daughter on Christmas Eve in 2023.
Of course, another interesting twist is that Regina’s son Conrad, (the son who’s upset about her moving in 1999), is shown to be best friends with Lizzie’s now grown-up daughter Ivy.
But there are more connections than that.
Regina’s First Husband Is Connected to Lizzie & John
Another big connection is the cop friend, Greg, who helped get John home to Lizzie during a snowstorm while she was giving birth in 1973. Lizzie and John were so grateful for his help that they promised he and his wife would be the first to know if they ever sold their home. He visited the house with his son, and talked about how his wife was pregnant with a baby girl.
In the 1999 timeline, we eventually learn that Regina’s first husband (and Conrad and Winnie’s dad) was that very cop, Greg, who helped Lizzie and John. So at some point in the past, before he died, he and Regina ended up buying Lizzie and John’s Cherry Lane house. (This also might be an Easter egg for “Good Witch” fans who remember that Cassie’s first husband was a cop who died in the line of duty.)
Also, Conrad talks about Uncle Ham a few times. Uncle Ham is Lizzie’s husband, and he eventually gives his blue car to Conrad (which Conrad is still driving in 1999.)
Daisy Is Connected with All 3 Timelines
Another connection is Daisy. Daisy is the teenage neighbor spending the holiday alone in 1973, who is invited to spend it with Lizzie and John’s family instead. Then in 2000, Daisy’s back and helping Regina prepare for her kids to come by the house for a visit. Daisy is then the older woman who advises Mike in 2023, and she’s friends with Regina’s daughter Winnie, who finally made it big in the singing business (which she had talked about a lot in 1999.)
The end shows us that all the stories came full circle, which is a nice way to conclude the different timelines.
Stephanie Dwilson has been working in entertainment journalism for more than a decade. She's led teams of writers covering top TV show franchises like The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Rick and Morty, and more. She's a veteran Hallmark journalist and runs a 60,000-member Facebook group dedicated to the genre.
Stephanie is a licensed attorney and she has a master's in science in science and technology journalism. You can reach her at [email protected].