It’s pretty much a given – without the Lifetime and Hallmark networks – Christmas couldn’t exist. I’m not knocking those two – in fact I schedule my season in order to leave time to watch just about every Christmas movie. Most of them aren’t very good – by anybody’s movie standards – but they all end happily. Every single one of them. And this time of year that’s just fine with me. I like my holidays predictable.
Predictable is the word for the titles. Most of them are named “The Christmas………..”
To fill in the blank, choose one of the following: Miracle. Note. Wish. Family. Reunion. Angel. Magic. Wedding. Story. Cottage.
Many plots center on a scrooge-like character (young man, young woman, old man, old woman) who never learned the real meaning of Christmas – so we need one big event to teach them.
Another favorite plot involves someone who’s been away from their home town. This person has often had a high-falutin’ career in the big city and for some reason returns to said home town and proceeds to re-fall in love with 1) the town, or 2) a former sweetheart who stayed there all this time and is miraculously single. And of course through this return visit, the true meaning of Christmas is revealed.
A plot that repeats every year – the successful business person is sent home to shut down a plant/store/company that is the main source of income for all residents. During the course of this 1-1/2 hour movie, the person sent to do the deed gets converted to small-town thinking and finds a more efficient way to run the plant/store/company so that all get to keep their jobs. Turns out the people who work in the little town are the kindest, most generous folks this executive has ever met. And once in a while the hatchet man/woman falls in love with the local plant supervisor/employee spokesperson
Of course many plots feature children. Sometimes it’s kids trying to keep mommy and daddy together. Sometimes it’s a kid whose parents have died. Or kids who haven’t learned the real meaning of Christmas yet but are still too young for that high-falutin’ career in the big city, so their lessons must be taught in a slightly different way, but rest assured, those lessons will be taught. Pets are often involved.
I’ll watch all of them. At least I’ll try. Just because I can guess what’s coming in the next scene, that’s no reason to give up my cup of coffee, feet on the coffee table, Christmas movie playback.
© Anita Garner 2009