A Country Christmas Story: Dolly Parton stars in new Lifetime holiday film

Lifetime launches its annual holiday programming slate “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” in sweet country style this Saturday night with A Country Christmas Story, featuring the legendary Dolly Parton.

A Country Christmas Story Lifetime

The all-new original film stars newcomer Desiree Ross as Grace, a 14-year-old biracial girl from a small Appalachian town who dreams of country music stardom.

With the support of her good-natured grandmother Sarah (Mary Kay Place, The Big Chill), her community and her church choir director Mr. Hanley (Ross McCall, White Collar), Grace plans to enter a singing competition at Parton’s Dollywood theme park.

Though her girl is clearly talented, Grace’s no-nonsense mom Jenny (Megyn Price, Rules of Engagement) — still smarting from her failed marriage to Grace’s musician dad (Grammy-nominated R&B singer Brian McKnight) — is adamant that her daughter focus on her academic skills instead of pinning her hopes on a pipe dream.

And Grace has doubts, too, about being biracial in a mostly lily-white musical genre, telling Mr. Hanley that “Country music doesn’t come in my color.” So he gives her — and viewers — a fascinating mini-lesson in the genre’s multicultural roots.

“Before anybody labeled it ‘Country,’ it was just the music of the poor, and people would sing it together,” he explains, giving her a role model in Linda Martell, the first black woman to perform at the Grand Ol’ Opry. Grace gets to work refining her talent and penning an original song about her fractured family — discovering touching and insightful things about each parent, and what really matters at Christmastime, as she edges closer to the Dollywood stage.

A Country Christmas Story

Bonus points to the film for casting fledgling country talents Camille Sanders and Dillon James Galanski as Grace’s equally kindhearted rivals.

A Country Christmas Story premieres Saturday, Nov. 9 at 8/7CT on Lifetime.

Photo credits: ©2013 A+E Networks, LLC.


  1. I am watching the Country Christmas movie with Dolly Parton and had been enjoying it, even though most of Lifetime’s Christmas programing seems to be like the rest of the years far except with decorations. I was enjoying it until the church choir changed Jesus Christ to Heees in the send off for the contest. I don’t expect any better from Hollywood but from Dolly I do. Are you liberal Hollywood entertainment types so insecure you have to erase Christ from a chritmas story? Pathetic.

  2. I thought the the movie was A Country “Christmas” Story but I’m sorry to say that this feel good movie needs no be renamed A Country HOLIDAY Story.

    While they felt it necessary to develop the story line by showing the mother Jenny (Megyn Price) and Grace’s (Desiree Ross) father as stereotypical musicians that were drinkers and smokers to lend to the reality of the story I wondered WHY when it came to Grace’s exit for her big break in Nashville who decided that it wasn’t okay for a CHURCH choir to sing, That Jesus Christ is born. Instead they decided it needed to be “That heee is born”.

    Since I don’t know anything about the directors or writer of this movie, I will have to say that whoever made that decision should have been out voted with Dolly Parton leading the way.

    I don’t know of one time that the words to a Christmas song that included “Jesus Christ” have been changed before. Even when Simon & Garfunkel and others who you would not consider followers of Christ sing songs like Go Tell it on The Mountain, they never changed the words.

    We are no longer being politically correct we are being totally desensitized.

    Keep Caring and Sharing, by passing this on!

  3. We’ve just watched this tonight and thoroughly enjoyed it. We loved the train of thought; giving dad’s permission to come back on the scene…the ‘got me now’ and the theme of accountability/responsibility between mother/daughter well done. In as much as we all hope for a positive outcome in the theme of what Christmas is all about the elements of touching on reality of daily life and dialogue and problems …well what more could you want. Oh, and as always Dolly captures hearts. 🙂 Thank you for giving us a new choice for this upcoming Christmas.

Comments are closed.

About Lori Acken 1195 Articles
Lori just hasn't been the same since "thirtysomething" and "Northern Exposure" went off the air.