The Secret Gift of Christmas (2023)

33% – Critics
33% – Audience

The Secret Gift of Christmas Storyline

It’s the approach to Christmas, the busiest time of year for personal shopper Bonnie Parker, who goes above and beyond to ensure that the gifts she buys, while matching the clients’ briefs, are meaningful to the recipients. She doesn’t realize it, but she uses shopping for herself, buying things she doesn’t need and will never use, to fill the emotional holes in her life, the biggest hole created by the death of her mother and the imminent remarriage of her father. While already busy, she accepts a new last minute client, Patrick Armstrong, she actually hired by Patrick’s new assistant, Bernard, who located Bonnie via social media. A contractor with his own thriving company, Patrick, while realizing he needs her services in he consumed by work while needing to buy gifts for his clients, his employees, his tween daughter Phoebe, and some clothes for himself, doesn’t appreciate her going that extra mile in the things she buying on his behalf outside of his “jeans and t-shirts” comfort zone, and as such the two quietly butt heads. But as he sees the benefit in the personalization of those gifts, he begins to see Bonnie in a different light. Conversely, Bonnie sees Patrick in a new light in realizing that his demeanor is not uncaring as she first thought, but is of a widowed single father trying to manage raising a daughter on his own while providing for her in maintaining his business. As Bonnie and Patrick start to open up to each other, their path to a happy ending has the hurdle in some misunderstandings, especially the place that Phoebe’s music teacher, Fiona Appleby, who has long been attracted to Patrick herself, has in his life.—Huggo

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The Secret Gift of Christmas Movie Reviews


Was the main character played by Meghan Ory contractually obligated to laugh every 10-30 seconds? Also, who did she anger in the costume department because the wardrobe was abysmal.

The concept was good, and I fully understand that this a fluffy Hallmark movie, but I really think it would have been a better movie if she had toned down the happy, happy, happy by about 100%.

Christopher Russell and Ellie Cluett as the father and daughter were good, and of course who couldn’t benefit from a personal shopper, especially at Christmas!

The movie was fine, there’s definitely been others this year that I’ve enjoyed much more.

Christmas shopping

The plotline of a personal shopper is not the most common one. Meghan Ory fills this role with a lot of positive energy. She certainly smiles a lot. When it comes to Christmas stories, I prefer the upbeat ones to those that sow doom and gloom through over half the movie. However, the story sets Bonnie up as being shallow.

There is nothing exceptional in this story. It is mostly about keeping Ory and Christopher Russell together as much as possible. There also isn’t much tension beyond Patrick’s resistance to being fancy and to social media.

There is a subplot where we see that Bonnie has a shopping addiction. The story doesn’t really deal with this issue other than love conquers all. I am disappointed that for an issue like this that ruins some people’s lives, it was treated, in my opinion, rather flippantly. It doesn’t even add much tension to the overall story since there doesn’t appear to be any ominous consequences threatening Bonnie.

As in many Christmas stories, the female lead bonds with the widower’s daughter which always adds a little bit of positive flavor for me.

The acting is OK. There is some good dialogue.


I love Christmas movies and Hallmark makes some of the best. (I want to live in that alternate universe.) Few of them are truly great but they are usually a comforting break. But this one was more annoying than anything. Primarily because they made the female lead way over the top.

This is basically a rewrite of the 2015 Lifetime movie A Gift Wrapped Christmas, but that one was able to create an overly enthusiastic lead who also managed to be charming.

An attractive cast and simple story line make this a quiet wat to pass the time if you can tolerate the lead character. But given a choice, I would strongly recommend you track down A Gift. Wrapped Christmas instead.