Starring Ginna Claire Mason and Frédéric Brossier
Heidi (Mason), an American with roots in Heidelberg, Germany, is over the moon that she’ll be selling her hand-blown enameled glass Christmas ornaments at Heidelberg’s famous Christmas market. Arriving there with a sample set of her wares, she meets Lukas (Brossier), a furniture maker and artist whose family owns the guest cottage where Heidi will be staying. Lukas’s family embraces Heidi, and as he assists her at the market and takes her sightseeing, they grow closer and begin supporting each other’s creative dreams. Orders for Heidi’s ornaments pour in, but when the stock she shipped from the US fails to arrive, she worries she’ll be unable to fill her customers’ orders.
I wasn’t the only one at Comfy Cozy TV who eagerly anticipated A Heidelberg Holiday, as you can read here.
Adorable leads. Mason, who was so memorable in 2022’s A Holiday Spectacular, sparkled as starry-eyed Heidi. When she first explored the market’s wares, Heidi was like a magpie drawn to shiny things. Her elation at being in Heidelberg and participating in the market was contagious. The handsome Brossier, a German-French actor making his Hallmark debut in this movie, possessed an easygoing Old World charm. I loved Heidi and Lukas’s first meeting. She was struggling to carry her luggage uphill, and he teased her gently by asking her what she did to make her cab driver drop her off so far from her destination. Fortunately, he was a gentleman and helped haul her bags. The two had a sweet rapport from the start but didn’t rush the romance. I enjoyed watching how Heidi and Lukas encouraged one another. He helped her set up her booth, gave her sales tips (soft sell, not the hard sell she preferred), and cheered her up when she fretted about her delayed shipment. And when Heidi learned he was frustrated with running his father’s furniture business, she urged him to embrace his artistic side and pursue his passion for creating low-relief wood carvings.
A delightful family. The Oppermanns—Lukas’s parents, sister, brother-in-law, and two nephews—were one of the most welcoming families to ever grace a Hallmark movie. They were warm and generous to Heidi from the moment she arrived at their door, treating this stranger as if she were one of their own. I found them irresistible, and watching the joyous scenes in which Heidi spent time with them was like being wrapped in a hug. They also taught her about German Christmas lore—the Belsnickel and St. Nicholas, for instance—and introduced her to treasured traditions, including putting your wish in a Christmas stocking, and giving someone you have a crush on a Studentenkuss chocolate bar. All this made the movie feel extra Christmassy.
A lemons-to-lemonade scenario. After Heidi was devastated to discover that her ornaments had been shattered en route to Heidelberg, she felt there was nothing left to do but go home. But because this was a Hallmark movie, there had to be some way of turning misfortune into good fortune and keeping Heidi and Lukas together. She came up with the brilliant idea of using the glass fragments to add a mosaic element to Lukas’s carvings, and her customers happily accepted these in place of the ornaments. It was a creative way of ensuring an ongoing relationship for the couple.
Heidelberg! The picturesque Heidelberg market made for an enchanting backdrop for Heidi and Lukas’s story. And I loved the scenes in which the couple explored the city, admiring the beauty of Heidelberg Castle, the Old Bridge, and other architectural marvels. Parts of A Heidelberg Holiday were also filmed in Belgrade, Serbia.
Alexander Schubert as Mr. Wiedmann. Schubert played deadpan clerk Mr. Wiedmann, who Heidi and Lukas encountered each time they trekked to the post office hoping for news of the shipment. He explained that the ornaments had travelled from Iceland to Ireland and repeatedly stressed the speed and efficiency of the German postal service, ending each conversation abruptly by shouting the next customer’s number. This character added a delightful comedic note.
A shipping blunder. Heidi’s careless approach to shipping her glass ornaments seemed out of character. It was as plain as day that she was using a cheap, fly-by-night company. They didn’t care enough to treat delicate objects properly, for the ornaments were loosely packed in flimsy cardboard boxes. Any artisan as serious about her craft as Heidi was would have taken every precaution—used a reputable shipping company—to ensure that her precious cargo arrived intact.
My grade for A Heidelberg Holiday: A-
Caroline Kaiser is a professional book editor who specializes in fiction and memoirs, and she’s been guiding writers toward publication since 2007. Caroline is also the author of two ghostly mystery novels, Virginia’s Ghost and The Spirits of South Drive. Before she embarked on an editing and writing career, she spent many years working in a Toronto auction house as an antiques appraiser. Apart from curling up on the couch and drinking tea as she watches Hallmark movies, Caroline enjoys baking and exploring London, Ontario, the picturesque city she now calls home. Her website is www.carolinekaisereditor.com.