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1960

The Greatest Christmas Blessing

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Elizabeth sits at home reading to her unborn baby the children’s book, “The Greatest Christmas Wish.” She rubs her growing belly and feels the baby kicking.

At Abigail’s Cafe, preparation is underway for the annual Christmas Eve dinner. Bill is up to his neck in trying to create his mother’s figgy pudding recipe. Abigail takes a bite and questions Bill’s baking ability.

Residents of Hope Valley swing by Elizabeth’s home with gifts for the baby. Elizabeth thanks them and shares that she will bring the gifts up later to the baby’s room. When they leave, Elizabeth goes up to the room, which is not yet decorated or ready for the baby.

Later that day, Elizabeth is at the school having her class work on wishes for the wishing tree. One student asks Elizabeth what she’s wishing for this year, and she responds, “A healthy baby.” The students hears noises outside and see a wagon of strangers arriving into town.

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Abigail, Bill, Rosemary, and Lee greet the wagon arriving into town and meet newcomers Lillian and her sister Grace, who are traveling through with a handful of orphans. The group has stopped in Hope Valley after the wheel on their wagon broke. Abigail invites the orphans inside for some hot chocolate, while Bill examines the wagon’s broken wheel with Lillian. He breaks the news that the Blacksmith is away for the holiday and they won’t be able to make it to their new home until after Christmas.

Highlights -The Wishing Tree - When Calls The Heart

In the town center, the children are hanging their wishes on the tree. Abigail checks in with Elizabeth about the baby’s room. Elizabeth lies and says everything is going well.

Elizabeth, Rosemary and Abigail have tea with Lillian and Grace and invite them to stay with them until the wagon is fixed. Meanwhile, the local kids learn that the orphans will be celebrating Christmas in Hope Valley and decide to take down their wishes and replace them with just one wish - to give the orphans the best Christmas possible.

Bill shares with Abigail his feelings that Lillian and Grace haven’t been completely honest with them and decides to do a little investigating. He also continues to try and bake his figgy pudding, though unsuccessfully. Abigail tells him it might be missing the secret ingredient of love.

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Rosemary meets orphan Millie and learns she doesn’t talk, but loves to read. Rosemary takes her to visit Elizabeth to get a book. While there, Rosemary brings Elizabeth a beautiful blanket for the baby and Elizabeth insists she will bring it up to the baby's room later. Elizabeth suggests Rosemary bring Millie to Carson to see if he can help with her speech.

Highlights - A Closer Look - When Calls The Heart

Rosemary Lillian and Grace take Millie to Carson who examines her. He shares with them that there is nothing physically wrong with her; it could just be something psychological. The girls open up and share that their parents died when they were young and they both were placed in separate orphanages. This Christmas will be their first time together since childhood. Later on in town, Millie, with book in hand, approaches Henry and without speaking and convinces him to sit and read the book to her.

Jesse visits with Clara at the store and surprises her with tickets to see “The Nutcracker” in Union City. When both Clara and Jesse later realize “The Nutcracker” is a fancy affair, Rosemary and Lee step in to help the two find the perfect outfit.

Abigail continues to worry about not having enough food for Christmas Eve. She runs into Elizabeth, who finally reveals she hasn’t set up the baby’s room and is missing Jack terribly. Abigail recruits Rosemary and others to surprise Elizabeth and decorate the baby’s room.

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While Bill and Abigail are out shopping - Bill, for some more ingredients for yet another try at the figgy pudding and Abigail for stockings for the orphans - they argue over how many orphans there really are. After checking with his sources, Bill reveals that there should be 7 orphans. However, Abigail is certain that there are 8 orphans. Later that day, Bill counts the kids and realizes that Abigail is right and that there are 8 orphans. He is now more convinced that Lillian and Grace’s are hiding something and decides to further investigate their past..

With more information, Bill confronts Lillian and Grace, having learned that they are wanted for taking Millie without permission from an orphanage. Lillian and Grace share that Millie’s sister, Charlotte, is in their care, and they did not want the two girls to be separated. Lillian and Grace worked to get all the proper paperwork to gain custody of Millie, but when management changed at the orphanage the new boss wouldn’t agree to the terms already committed. They left the orphanage defeated and didn’t realize Millie had snuck into their wagon until the wheel broke. They plead with Bill to hold off on alerting the orphanage, but Bill reveals he has already sent them a message saying he will be on the next train back with Millie. Bill leaves with Millie, but has a change of heart and says he can take her back after Christmas.

Abigail, on the hunt for the perfect dish for Christmas Eve, discovers that Ned is sold out of everything. If she needs another main dish she will have to go to Belson Hill. She remembers that Rosemary is taking Elizabeth there to buy a stroller and the three ladies borrow a car to head out of town. Arriving after closing time, Abigail is only able to buy a salami. The three ladies gear up to return home.

Back in Hope Valley, Agnes, the orphanage director shows up demanding Millie be returned to her and that Bill arrest Grace and Lillian. The three try to reason with Agnes, asking for her to stay through Christmas so they all can be together, but Agnes stands firm. A visit from Carson also doesn’t convince her, and as she makes plans to leave town. That is until the entire town learns the trains are shut down due to a snowstorm and everyone is stranded.

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Highlights - A Child is Born - When Calls The Heart

With Abigail, Rosemary and Elizabeth still not home, Bill, Carson and Lee go by horse to search for them. The storm intensifies and the girls lose control of the car and crash. Elizabeth screams out and announces that she is in labor. Rosemary and Abigail remember there is an abandoned hunting cabin not far from where they are. Together they help bring Elizabeth there. The men discover the empty car and realize something must be wrong. Lee has always has told Rosemary in case of an emergency to stay where in place. They find the cabin and arrive to discover that Elizabeth has delivered a healthy baby boy, who she names Jack.

Highlights - Reading is Believing - When Calls The Heart

The next day, they return to Hope Valley and are greeted by the townspeople, who have held off on their Christmas dinner. While there, Millie once again takes her book and approaches Henry to read it. Millie surprises everyone by reading a page out loud after Henry asks her to. Agnes realizes in this moment that the best place for Millie is with her sister, agreeing to let her stay in the care of Lillian and Grace.

Highlights - Precious Moments - When Calls The Heart

Elizabeth promises to always love Baby Jack and she knows that Jack will be watching over them. The town of Hope Valley celebrates Christmas Day with presents, delicious figgy pudding, and quality family time. Elizabeth says with feeling, “The greatest Christmas gift is spending time with friends, the best family, indeed.”