Lifetime TV movie review: Twelve Trees of Christmas

Cherie (Lindy Booth) works as a children’s librarian in Manhattan. Although it’s a public library, it’s in a private building and the lease runs out and it’ll close because the Shaughnessy family plans to develop it into housing. Turns out she somehow lives in a [beautiful] rent-controlled apartment in the same building as Tony Shaughnessy (Robin Dunne). She quickly meets him and his grandmother in an attempt to save the library. She can’t convince either. To save the library, Cherie decides to hold a Christmas tree decorating contest with the theme “what the library means to you.”

The library custodian reveals his inner dream to be a chef with his Victorian culinary themed tree. The head librarian goes with fantasy. Cherie wavers for a while but then decides to go Irish realizing that it might sway Mrs. Shaughnessy. A married couple who met at the library almost quit the contest when they can’t agree on a theme. Tony joins the competition and his professional interior designer Cordelia (Mel B) insists on helping him. Cordelia’s the spoiler in the wings. She appears to have designs on more than just Tony’s various projects. Cherie and Tony grow closer despite their sparring over the library.

Tony: “I was born into the family business. My grandfather stapled an application to Harvard Business School to my forehead when I was in the crib.”
Tony: “What is your definition of success?”
Cherie: “Living your passion every day, helping other people and enjoying life.”

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Cherie’s spot on about passion and what one should do with one’s life career-wise particularly if it comes with a gorgeous rent-controlled apartment in Manhattan. Lindy Booth’s spirited and determined as Cherie. She makes this movie a delightful holiday treat. Twelve Trees of Christmas is a sweet film for bibliophiles and library fanatics. A sparklingly positive celebration of literacy and literature.

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