When Calls the Heart: A Christmas Wishing Tree
It’s Christmas time in Hope Valley, and Elizabeth finds herself reflecting in her journal. It has been six months since Jack went on patrol and eight days since he last had contact with her.
Back in the classroom, Cody is at a loss of what he should get his new mom, Abigail, for Christmas, his first since officially being adopted. Elizabeth suggests writing down a wish for his new mom and placing it on the Hope Valley Wishing Tree. Elizabeth later pays Abigail a visit and expresses how much she misses Jack.
The citizens of Hope Valley gather around the city’s Christmas tree to listen to Abigail deliver a speech. She explains that this year’s tree is a wishing tree and assigns everybody to write down their wish on an ornament and hang it. If your wish winds up missing from the tree, it means someone has grabbed it and is working on making it come true!
Robert finds Elizabeth and informs her that someone already took his wish off the tree. Elizabeth confesses that she did and Robert is excited that his baby brother or sister will be getting a new crib, since that was his wish. He thanks her with a big hug.
Bill sees Abigail getting ready to ship an order of fresh baked goods to Henry. He informs her that due to overcrowding in the prisons, Henry has been placed in a tent camp. Abigail notes the freezing conditions at night and wants to offer Henry some charity, including letting him come back to Hope Valley for the holidays. Bill shuts down the idea, but Abigail believes in the power of forgiveness and says it is time to express it. She ends up pulling rank as Mayor on Bill, telling him that Henry will be returning to town and can perform community service as part of his sentence.
Rosemary and Lee escort Elizabeth to the wishing tree so she can hang her wish: to bring Jack home to Hope Valley. When they depart, Jack surprises Elizabeth at the tree and the two embrace with a kiss. Later on, Bill confesses that he called Jack’s commanding officer and arranged for Jack’s return. It turns out that all of Elizabeth’s friends were in on the surprise of Jack’s return!
Once Jack and Elizabeth grab some alone time, he tells her that his return to Hope Valley is just for a few days before he has to go back to duty. Elizabeth is sad but realizes that they just have to focus on the time together.
Rosemary comes home to find Lee sifting through a pile of old memorabilia from the attic, including his high school baseball glove and Rosemary’s memory book. She explains that her memory book contains treasured photos and mementos from her trips to the circus as a kid. She drops the hint to Lee that she would love a ticket to the circus this year for Christmas and he reads her message loud and clear.
Abigail finds an old photo of Peter while searching through Christmas decorations. Cody tells her he wishes he had a chance to meet Peter. Abigail wishes the same thing, too, but she’s also happy with also being mom to both him and Becky. They find an old Christmas to-do list written by Peter. After a pause, Abigail puts the photo away and continues rummaging through decorations. Meanwhile, Cody sneaks the list into his pocket.
Jack and Elizabeth run into Carson while taking a stroll. The doctor has made a house call at his elderly patient Myra McCormick’s cabin. Elizabeth asks if Myra is coming to the Christmas Parade, and Carson says his patient is not a fan of the holidays but he hopes to change that.
Rosemary spots Jack in town and then turns to Elizabeth for a huge favor. She wants Jack to spend a few hours to hang out with Lee to keep him busy; all he seems to be doing is bothering his wife with all of his free time. Elizabeth promises Rosemary Jack will stop by to hang out with Lee before he goes back to duty.
Determined to get her into the holiday spirit, Carson stops at Myra’s cabin with Christmas decorations. She tells him that Christmas is for kids, and she is not a kid. She shuts the door in his face.
Elizabeth brings Jack to the school so he can help the children with the parade float. The students decide on a North Pole theme. Cody tells Elizabeth to keep his mom in the dark when it comes to the float because he wants it to be a surprise.
Jack heads to the mercantile to pick up dowels and wood stain for crib he’s making for Robert’s mother, and also checks in on a package he is expecting. He bumps into Jesse, who is running errands for Dottie as a way to pay her back for some money he borrowed to buy Christmas socks for Clara.
Abigail is surprised to see Henry in the local jail and says she didn’t expect him to be in town so soon. He thanks her for opening up the jail to him this holiday season. Bill interrupts the two to tell Henry about his community service, which will involve doing handy work and cleaning up at his old office.
The kids are hard at work putting together the float. Jack is hard at work building the baby crib that Robert wished for. Elizabeth gazes at her fiancé and tells him that someday he will be building a crib for their baby.
Later on, Clara and Elizabeth catch up. Clara tells Elizabeth that she and Jesse are doing very well, and she thinks he even took a side job working for Dottie so he can buy Christmas presents. Meanwhile, at Dottie’s, Jesse is straightening her home and is surprised to discover a floorboard filled with cash.
Jack finds Lee and asks if he will help out with the school’s float, and he enthusiastically says yes. Later at dinner, Jack and Elizabeth spend time together, and he tells her how lonely he gets while on duty. Elizabeth wants to know if the sacrifice is worth it--he tells her yes.
Bill continues to rehearse with the band for the Hope Valley Christmas Parade. Rosemary points out that he is missing a flute and she just happens to play. Jack reluctantly allows Rosemary to join the band.
Carson is still on a mission to give Myra a memorable Christmas, and brings a gathering of young children to sing carols to her. She tells him she never asked for Carson to bring carolers by the house and slams the door. When the kids want to know what they did wrong, he tells them nothing and they go back to school, singing all the way.
Elizabeth runs into Robert’s parents and tells them about the work he is doing on their unborn baby’s crib. Elizabeth lets the couple know that their son wants a crib for his Christmas wish and Robert has been picking up on his parents’ concerns with the new baby. Robert’s father is surprised with how intuitive his son is, but warns Elizabeth to not fill their son with too much hope.
Lee and Jack are working on the float back at the school. Jack tells Lee that he wants to soak all his happiness in before having to head back to duty on Christmas Eve. Carson shows up with the kids and tells Elizabeth he is disappointed that he is a doctor that can’t get his patient into the Christmas spirit. Instead, he will throw his time into helping with the Hope Valley float.
Henry is continuing his work in the Mayor’s office. Abigail lets him know that his work the next day will be cleaning up the barn. While there, a telegram comes for Abigail. Once she reads it she becomes distraught and leaves her office. Henry finds out the telegram is about a snowstorm on the ridge that will keep Becky from getting home. A tearful Abigail breaks the news to Cody that his sister won’t be home for Christmas.
The finishing touches are going on the float and Jack is wrapping up the baby crib for Robert’s parents. His parents surprise their son and ask if they can join Robert in finishing up the final work on the crib, and they are met with a giant smile from their son.
Carson confronts Myra in town and tells her that it is okay to lean on people and experience joy. He opens up that he knows what it’s like to lose a spouse and shut the world out. Carson tells Myra that her life is what she makes it and he hopes she will start letting people in.
Bill finds Abigail at the wishing tree and guesses that she is making a wish for Becky’s early return. Abigail also tells Bill that is not too late to make a wish on the tree. Just then, Jack and Lee tell Bill that Henry has escaped and stolen a horse. The men head to the police station to get ready for their search for the fugitive. Abigail tracks Bill down before he leaves to apologize for allowing Henry back into town to begin with. Jack tells her to not beat herself up. He also points out that Henry is desperate for freedom and once they capture him, there is no guarantee what will happen.
Jesse tells Dottie about the money he found in her floorboard and she is moved to tears about Jesse’s honesty. She says her late husband didn’t trust banks and he used to store money in random places; she had no idea this cash existed. She wants to give Jesse a reward and he politely declines. But she does give Jesse the socks that he was working to buy Clara for Christmas. He accepts the gift.
Carson stops by Myra’s cabin and finds her cooking a big meal for the two of them. They begin to talk about the pain of losing a spouse and learning to find joy again. Carson tells Myra that cooking a meal for a friend is a great start.
The men return to town without Henry. Bill had to return to get a new horseshoe for his horse. Abigail still feels guilty for allowing Henry back into town and Bill says the only person to blame is Henry. Jack apologizes that he spending his last free evening tracking down Henry, but she understands what she signed up for.
Back home, Rosemary and Lee recap their exhausting week. She tells him she has a surprise for him: a Santa beard! She submitted his name to play Santa at the Hope Valley parade.
Abigail is having a quiet night with Cody until Dottie barges in and tells Abigail to rush outside. Just then, Henry returns on horse with Becky. A tearful Abigail gives her daughter a huge hug and can’t believe that Henry risked his life to bring her daughter back for the holidays.
Jack and Elizabeth return to warehouse to check on the float, just as Robert’s crib is finally finished. Just then, Robert’s mom feels a contraction and the family heads to Dr. Shepherd’s, where Robert is made a big brother.
Christmas Eve morning has finally arrived and the citizens of Hope Valley gather around the wishing tree and deliver presents to friends. Myra shows up with a basket of cookies for the children and Opal tells her how happy she is that Myra is there.
When it’s time for the parade to start, Abigail announces that she has made Jack and Elizabeth this year’s grand marshals. Abigail is shocked to see Santa arrive in the parade on his sleigh. Cody tells his mom that taking her to the North Pole was the last unchecked item on Peter’s to-do list, and he made it his responsibility to fulfill it. Abigail thanks Cody with a giant hug. Meanwhile, Jesse presents Clara with beautiful socks that Dottie gave to him. The band gets ready to play and the parade begins down the street as people wave Christmas flags. Bill even brings Henry out of jail to enjoy the festivities.
Later that evening, Abigail sneaks Christmas Eve dinner to Henry in prison. She also tells Henry that she will not let the prison know about Henry’s little escapade, and he appreciates it. She thanks him for his extreme gesture of bringing Becky home for the holidays. She tells him that because of Henry’s actions, it will be a merry Christmas.
Later that evening, Becky and Cody present Abigail with her Christmas present: a framed photo of the two of them, along with another framed picture of Peter, as a way to bring all her children together.
Jack and Elizabeth enjoy their last dinner before Jack has to go back to duty. They also exchange presents with one another. Elizabeth gives Jack a hand-stitched pillow with the message, “love is patient, love is kind.” Jack gives Elizabeth his grandparents’ wedding rings, with an inscription that reads, “love is patient, love is kind.” She tells Jack she will be waiting for him to return. The two take one last stroll to the wishing tree, where they notice there is one wish left to grant. It just reads, “hope.”
Bill interrupts the moment and delivers Jack a telegram: due to a major blizzard, all roads are closed and Jack gets to stay in Hope Valley for another week! Abigail points out that the tree is definitely magical and the two head back home to get ready to celebrate Christmas. Meanwhile, back at the café, Bill hangs up the ornament that reads “hope” on the patio.