Not Your Mother’s Christmas
Small Town, Big Christmas
My Big Fat Italian Christmas
A Tale Of Two Holidays
Ah, Christmas. It’s the one time of the year where you can really let loose, eating and drinking to your heart’s content while decorating your house with a litany of lights and decorations ready for the big day.
As a Father with two kids myself, part of the joy comes from getting your little ones involved with the decorating and topping it all off with that one big centerpiece that brings everything together. When the dust settles and you switch the lights on for the first time, this end result gives an overwhelming sense of satisfaction as you see all your hard work come together in the best way possible.
This year perhaps more than any other it’s become a lot more acceptable to bust out the decorations from the attic or basement and begin sprucing up your home in November to wash away the disappointment 2020 has brought for many people. If you’re not quite there yet, Holiday Home Makeover with Mr. Christmas does enough to deliver a festive treat but is unlikely to have you reaching for your own decorations any time soon.
Holiday Home Makeover unashamedly sticks to the tried and tested tropes of this genre we’ve seen a million times before but mixes that in with a distinct Christmas theme. Across the four episodes available, each segment begins with Mr. Christmas answering mails from American families and heading over to help get their impressively large houses decorated.
After sizing up the property and getting to know the families, Mr. Christmas teams up with his enthusiastic pack of elves to get their chosen house looking magical. You’ve got Louise who’s a jack of all trades, coordinator Rosie, perfectionist Barb and builder Chris who team up to transform these houses into a mini winter wonderland.
As one may expect, all the usual decorations come out with everything from trees and tinsel through to mini candy canes and even a special Hanukkah inspired theme to round out the four episodes. Most of this works quite well, as the family entrust these Christmas messiahs to transform their house, but other times leave big question marks over what they’re doing.
In episode 1, the team put up wall stickers for Christmas trees next to the staircase on a painted wall. While this aesthetically looks great, wall stickers are an absolute nightmare to peel off and I’d imagine the family will end up with their own Nightmare after Christmas in trying to remove these without ruining the paintwork.
There’s also the problem that this is very America-centric, with specific emphasis on big houses featuring lots of room to decorate outside and inside. It’s a shame because to be honest, I think this show would have worked better with a combination of small apartments and large houses to try and appeal to a larger demographic.
As it stands, this show borders on showing off. It never steps over that mark – thanks in part to its Christmas theme – but four episodes are probably about right before this outstays its welcome.
While the houses themselves may not be all that inclusive, there’s at least an attempt to get the audience involved with one “Holiday How-To” section added to each episode. These work as a do-it-yourself task for you to get involved with and a nice idea to break up the fly on the wall segments.
All of this rounds out to the usual big reveal these shows work well with and here, it all boils down to that aforementioned satisfaction of turning on the lights and seeing a house transformed completely.
While Holiday Home Makeover never really steps out its comfort zone to showcase big and small houses, the large playgrounds do offer some pretty impressive transformations nonetheless.
If you’re in the mood for some Christmas-themed makeovers and don’t quite fancy getting the decorations out yet, this one’s worth watching but is unlikely to push you further into the Holiday spirit.
Verdict - 6/10