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Writing Around The Christmas Tree Release Date, Cast And Plot - What We Know So Far

It's almost that special time of the year. The air is thick with the smell of gingerbread, the stores are filling up with shiny decorations, and there's a crust of frost on the lawn. Yes, it's almost Christmas time, which means that even though you're likely gearing up for Halloween at the moment, networks like the Hallmark Channel and Lifetime are getting ready to promote their slate of Christmas-related TV movies. Even streamers like Netflix are trying to grab a slice of that holly jolly pie for themselves.

"Writing Around the Christmas Tree" is one of thirty films that will air during Lifetime's "It's a Wonderful Lifetime" promotion, which will begin rolling out on November 12 (per A+E Networks). Every night, those hungry for romantic drama and comedy with a seasonal bent can tune in the cable network and be treated to a fresh full-length holiday-centric movie featuring stars like Reba McEntire, Kelly Rowland, and Tia Mowry. 

What's "Writing Around the Christmas Tree" about, who stars in it, and when will you be able to see it? Here's what we know so far.

When will Writing Around the Christmas Tree be released?

Per an announcement by A+E Networks (Lifetime falls under this company's umbrella), "Writing Around the Christmas Tree" is set to make its debut on December 25 at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. CT. That means you can cuddle up with the flick after Christmas dinner or check it out before you head to bed, depending upon your time zone. Judging from the state of its trailer, the movie appears to be fully completed and ready to debut, so it's unlikely production delays will hamper its upcoming premiere.

As with all Lifetime movies, the film will likely repeat multiple times after the Christmas holiday and beyond, so if you miss it the first time, keep an eye on the schedule for fresh showings. "Writing Around the Christmas Tree" also closes out the "It's a Wonderful Lifetime" promotion and will be the network's final original production of the marathon. 

Who stars in Writing Around the Christmas Tree?

Per IMDb, "Writing Around the Christmas Tree" stars theatrical and television actress Krystal Joy Brown ("Motown: The Musical," "Hamilton," and "She-Ra and the Princess of Power") as Mikaela Leighton, a romance novelist who is unlucky in love. Curtis Hamilton ("Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel'le") plays her love interest and fellow novelist Levi McGuire. 

Rounding out the cast are James Black as Irving Leighton, Mikaela's father; Meg Steedle plays Olive Olsen; Gavyn Michaels portrays Keifer, Mikaela's friend; Dawnn Lewis plays Sharon Samuels, an author at the retreat; Max Emerson is Mitchell; Samantha Quan is Gigi; and René Ashton is Tracy. There's no word on how characters other than Mikaela and Levi will affect the film's plot, but it appears from the trailer that Quan, Ashton, and Steedle's characters are also members of Mikaela's retreat.

What is Writing Around the Christmas Tree about?

Per the official blurb published by Lifetime and the movie's trailer, the film will center on Mikaela Leighton (Krystal Joy Brown), who writes romance novels for a living. While she's found success in the field, she's been unlucky in capturing real love for herself, and the lead character of her string of successful novels remains single. Worse, Mikaela is now suffering from writer's block as her publisher breathes down her neck for her next tome. Every year, her late novelist mother used to run a writer's retreat over the Christmas holiday in a small, "quaint" inn near the banks of a snowy lake in her hometown. To break her block, Mikaela revives the retreat and goes home for the holidays.

Mikaela soon makes the acquaintance of Levi McGuire (Curtis Hamilton), a fellow writer and a member of the retreat who the plot breakdown describes as "dashing." Levi promptly tries to coax Mikaela into taking another chance at love. After all, if she wants to write about romance, she really ought to experience it for herself. Will Mikaela resist the call of passion due to her past hurts? Or will she decide to take the plunge, break her writer's block, and give herself over to true love?

You can view the film's trailer above.