After the debut of Hallmark’s first every Christmas movie with a core gay couple plot, The Christmas House, in 2020 I was very excited to see that these characters would be returning in 2021 with The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls. Everyone from the original is back with an unplanned competition between brothers Mike and Brandon involving the thing that this family loves most, Christmas.
Set two years after the first movie, which yes in real life only one year has passed, but The Christmas House technically spanned to years with a brief jump to the next year showing Mike living in the Christmas House with Andi and Noah and Brandon and his husband, Jake, having brought their newly adopted son home for his first Christmas with the family. In this sequel Mike has been informed that he has been cast in a reality show called Deck Those Halls, but when his celebrity competitor isn’t able to compete Brandon winds up decorating the house next door and getting very fixated on defeating his younger brother. The focus of Mike’s plot is on whether he should propose to Andi, the woman he has loved for years, and when we think it is about to happen her ex arrives and starts inserting himself into everything and causing Mike to feel like an outsider. Brandon is having his own familial concerns, which include him fixating on things and not seeming to be able to focus on spending time with his husband and their two young children. Jake is constantly shown as understanding and willing to help Brandon do anything he needs, while Brandon is often show in a sort of manic state or getting snippy with his brother.
I did really like the movie and I thought it was a lot of fun, but I found myself with some of the same thoughts I had about the original. I had hoped that in the sequel that there would be some changes made, but that didn’t exactly happen. While Brandon and Jake are given more screen time, the two are often not together and when they are Jake is shown as sort of the constantly trying to just cope with his husband. Mike is primarily the focus, which was also the case in the original, and I do think Robert Buckley is great in the role, but I had hoped we would get some more cute couple moments with Jake and Brandon. It was shifting in the right direction plot wise and they did set it up for a third movie, which could be very fun, but I do have one thing that really nagged at me.
In both movies we barely see Brandon and Jake kiss. Hug, yes, hold hands, yes, kiss, not really. They are shown as a mostly happy, and ultimately very happy married couple, but I really would like a little bit more kissing. In Every Time a Bell Rings, the Hallmark movie with a gay female plot that you can stream on the Hallmark Now app, showcased a kiss between two women who are dating. Now yes, I did have fun watching the movie and I would watch it again. I’d even watch a third in this franchise if they choose to make it, but I would just really appreciate it if Hallmark would let this married couple kiss as freely as the other couples in this franchise, having a few more kisses would be great.
You can stream The Christmas House and The Christmas House 2 on the Hallmark app today.
I do want to note that I edited this article on 12/22/21 to reflect a correction from Twitter. I was sent literal video proof of a kiss between Brandon and Jake happening in both The Christmas House and The Christmas House 2. I honestly did not remember those moments happening and I even asked my wife, who couldn’t remember them either. We honestly must have missed them during our watches and I admittedly did not take notes. I apologize for the previous inaccuracies and do still thing The Christmas House 2 is a fun movie.