Our traditions only matter because we share them with the people we love. That’s the message of Baking All the Way, part of the It’s a Wonderful Lifetime slate of movies on the Lifetime channel. It’s also the perfect message for this time of year.
Baking All the Way is set in a bakery – surely the “coffee house” trope-filler for the holiday season, but since that’s one of the best fanfic tropes, that’s hardly a bad thing. Julia (Cory Lee), a famous baker, is on a quest to find the perfect gingerbread recipe for her newest cookbook. Her search brings her to small-town Wisconsin, to a struggling bakery owned by a widowed father, Kris (Yannick Bisson). The two make a deal – she’ll help save his bakery, and he’ll give her his signature gingerbread recipe.
As much as I love a good enemies-to-lovers tale (Pride and Prejudice is one of my all-time favorite novels, after all), sometimes I just want to lose myself in a story about two strangers meeting, becoming friends, and falling in love. That’s exactly what Baking All the Way offers. There’s a touch of drama and the requisite misunderstanding, of course. It’s the nature of the holiday-movie beast. But the drama between the two is smaller in scale.
These aren’t two people who have wounded each other. They’re people who are coming to understand that they’ve found “home” with each other.
But beyond the love story, Baking All the Way has a deeper message. As I wrote above, the movie is really about the significance of the traditions we pass on. Mothers to sons. Fathers to daughters. In the film’s case, it’s a signature gingerbread recipe. Kris’s mother, Irene (Jayne Eastwood) taught it to him. And now he’s passing it on to his daughter, Abi (Bianca Sas).
Sometimes we hold tight to our traditions, particularly things like old family recipes, thinking that the exclusivity of them is what makes them special. We tell ourselves that Grandma’s pecan pie is special because nobody else has the recipe. But Grandma’s pecan pie is special because it’s shared with those she loves. She makes the pie for special occasions, to show her love. She passes the recipe down to her child, who passes it down to their child in turn.
It’s a perfect message for any time of year, but particularly for the holidays, which are so often filled with traditions we share with the people we love.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Baking All the Way? Share with us in the comments below!