Hope Valley comes together to celebrate Christmas and little Jack’s birthday.
When Calls the Heart season 7 kicks off with a heartwarming Christmas special that defines home. A series of dilemmas, surprises and fortuitous encounters shines light on the power of friendship, family and goodwill.
The residents of Hope Valley are enjoying family traditions as well the town’s first Christmas Festival hosted by saloon owner Lucas Bouchard. Recently engaged couple Clara and Jesse find themselves working on a shared project.
Elizabeth is thrilled to celebrate her son’s first birthday, but is sad that she cannot share the special event with late husband Jack. Lee and Rosemary seek the perfect present for little Jack while at the same time struggling with their infertility.
Mountie Nathan and niece Allie are faced with a big decision and Bill frantically searches for a very special gift that has been misplaced. Long distance couple Carson and Faith encounter a series of mishaps while trying to make their way to one another on Christmas. A kind stranger just might be the key to them finding each other.
Let’s take a closer look at the events of the most recent Christmas special from When Calls the Heart.
Dilemma: More guests than anticipated
The town is thrilled with the huge turnout for the inaugural Hope Valley Christmas Festival. The crowd is larger than anticipated, however. That means the saloon is running critically low on food for the guests as well wait staff to serve them.
Faith suggests a town “potluck” to gather more food. Different households offer what they have available. Ned from the mercantile donates the food on his shelves. Henry Gowen chips in funds to cover a portion of Ned’s donations.
Lucas asks Clara to help wait tables for the busy crowd. Clara then enlists the help of Jesse who agrees to join the serving term despite a rocky history between him and Lucas.
Of course, Lucas is overwhelmed with everyone’s generosity. It is especially meaningful since the Christmas Festival is a tradition that Lucas shared with his parents. His parents were quite busy most of the year but always spent time quality time with Lucas during their holiday travels.
Dilemma: Carson and Faith missing each other
Faith has been out of town for some time caring for her dad. New beau Carson is excited for her to make a holiday visit to Hope Valley. Unfortunately, Faith’s brother is no longer able to fill in as a caretaker for their dad during the visit.
Then Faith learns that her other brother can cover for her. She gets on a train to surprise Carson. Meanwhile, Carson gets on a train to surprise Faith in Hamilton. The two lovebirds narrowly miss one another at the train station.
Fiona sends word to the train station to let Carson know that Faith is actually in Hope Valley, but no more trains are running until after Christmas. Carson heads out on foot before finally stumbling upon traveling salesman Walter in his car. Walter made his sales pitch in Hope Valley earlier in the day, went to Union City for a sales meeting and is now headed to his parents’ home for Christmas.
Walter happily agrees to give Carson a ride, but the pair get a flat tire. They rely on the generosity of a woman who lives with her children nearby. She agrees to let them take her wagon and the guys finally make it to Hope Valley.
As Carson arrives, Faith begins to leave to look for Carson. Thankfully, Carson catches her before she heads out and they embrace. The couple returns the wagon to the woman and her children along with gifts and food.
Dilemma: A bad cough and low sales
Walter has a bad cough, no coat and lackluster sales. Even still, he kindly agrees to give a stranger a lift in his car. The stranger, of course, is Dr. Carson Shepherd. Walter has not been able to afford medical treatment for his cough.
Carson examines Walter at the infirmary and gives him cough medicine. The doctor also gives Walter a coat and secures a ride for him back to his car with Henry Gowen. Henry sees promise in Walter and tells him to call him after Christmas. The businessman has contacts in Union City that may be able to help Walter find a more lucrative job.
Dilemma: Problem with a promotion
Nathan receives a job offer as Inspector at Mountie Headquarters. The promotion is fantastic but sadly requires another move for Nathan and Allie. Both have settled in nicely in Hope Valley.
Allie has made friends and let down her usual defenses associated with a move. Bill congratulates Nathan but is not excited about the prospect of “breaking in” another new mountie. Also, Nathan clearly has an undeclared affection for Elizabeth.
Elizabeth bonds with Allie and Nathan while searching for and decorating their Christmas tree. Nathan and Elizabeth talk about each raising a child alone. There are lingering looks and expressions of concern.
After seeing Allie perform in the Christmas concert, Nathan decides to decline the job offer and remain in Hope Valley with Allie. Allie is ecstatic and goes to share the news. Nathan says he wants to tell Elizabeth. Just as Nathan goes to tell Elizabeth, he sees her talking with Lucas and the mountie becomes discouraged. Elizabeth ends up learning the news from Allie while Nathan looks on.
Dilemma: Special gift gone missing
Bill cannot locate the special gift he has for little Jack on his first birthday. He is very upset as he searches everywhere he can think of. It is clearly something very dear to him.
Molly has been cleaning Bill’s office and saw the gift on his desk. We learn that she moved the gift to a cabinet to keep it safe. (It’s too bad she didn’t tell Bill about the move earlier!)
Bill shares the gift with Elizabeth. It is Jack’s old compass that he gave to Bill. Bill now wants little Jack to have it. Any inscription on the back talks about finding your way home.
Elizabeth is deeply moved and grateful for the gift. Bill shares a beautiful sentiment about the compass being a way for little Jack’s dad to be able to help his son even though he was never able to meet him.
Dilemma: Longing for a first word
Elizabeth faces many emotions as she celebrates Christmas and her little one’s first birthday. She longs for the dreams she had of spending holidays and parenting with Jack. She is happy and still grieving all at the same time.
Elizabeth tries several times throughout the episode to get little Jack to say his first word. While she says he will talk when he is ready, we can tell that she is very anxious to hear her son speak.
Rosemary and Lee finally share their gift with little Jack. It is a beautiful wooden rocking horse crafted by Hickam. The rocking horse is just the right size for little Jack and he enjoys rocking back and forth. All of sudden, little Jack calls out “Mama” to the delight of Elizabeth.
Dilemma: Love triangle
Okay, I don’t know if love triangle is actually the correct term. Either way, Elizabeth seems to have a genuine affection for both Lucas and Nathan. It is sometimes difficult, however, to tell if it comes from a place of friendship or something more with these characters on When Calls the Heart.
Elizabeth seems intrigued by Lucas and his travels. He in turn has made several thoughtful and generous gestures towards Elizabeth. Last season, he funded the town library on her behalf. This time, he and some helpers recreated a paper lantern display from Japan that Elizabeth said she thought sounded beautiful.
On the other hand, Elizabeth has long talks with Nathan about family. They seem bonded in this way. When their faces come close while decorating the tree, both linger a bit before turning away.
A promo for the rest of season 7 shows a dream-like sequence of Elizabeth walking towards the two men with Lucas on one side of the street and Nathan on the other. It strongly suggests that Elizabeth will be making some sort of choice between the two. We will have to wait and see when season 7 picks up again in February.
Friendship, family and even the kindness of a stranger helped the residents of Hope Valley celebrate Christmas this year on When Calls the Heart. We are reminded that “home” comes in many different forms, often as simple being with the ones that love and care for you.
Stay tuned for more of When Calls the Heart when season 7 continues in February 2020. Meanwhile, please let us know in the comments which story line in the Christmas special was nearest and dearest to your heart.
Are you #TeamNathan or #TeamLucas or neither? Engage with fellow fans about the show on social media using the popular #Hearties hashtag.
Revisit the season 6 finale of When Calls the Heart here.
Writer, interviewer in metro Atlanta. Always ready to talk TV and movies. Wife, mom, special needs advocate.