One of My Favorite Things About the Holidays

by Abby on December 13, 2016

I love them so much. The cheesier, the sappier, the more implausible, the better. I’m talking about holiday movies – the made-for-TV kind, of the Hallmark and Lifetime variety. Every year I try to watch at least one or two. The conditions have to be right, though. My kids can’t be around to interrupt me, and my husband can’t be home because he would ruin the experience with his snarky commentary. I KNOW the plotlines are absurd, the writing is terrible, and the acting is forced. That’s the appeal!

Merry Kissmas movie

Last night I watched a movie called “Merry Kissmas.” The first sign of a good holiday TV movie is a bad pun in the title. The next sign is a plot involving:
a) a lonely, overworked single gal who’s traded a romantic relationship for a successful career,
b) an unhappily paired-off woman who’s approaching her wedding day but is getting cold feet, or
c) a woman (possibly married, though this is rare) who has lost the magic of the holidays and is trying to get it back.

This particular movie featured Plot B, with elements of A and C. I will try not to reveal any spoilers here, since I know you will all rush off to watch it. Suffice it to say the main character is a woman who is unhappily involved with a self-centered choreographer (getting ready for his big performance of The Nutcracker, naturally). She is also a frustrated writer who’s working in PR. She is approaching her wedding day, but first she has to get through the holidays, which have lost some of their magic for her.

Then she has a chance encounter with a cute caterer in a faulty elevator that changes everything! Didn’t see that coming, did you? The rest of the movie is full of miscommunications and misunderstandings, scenes featuring cute puppies and festive cookie-baking, and even a musical montage of a couple falling in love while holding hands, playing skeeball, and riding on a Ferris wheel. How does the Ferris wheel fit in? It doesn’t! It’s seasonally and geographically incongruous, and it doesn’t even matter!

Did I mention the writing is terrible? Breakups happen in an instant, apropos nothing, with zero drama or tears, just chagrined sighs. Easy-peasy! In one scene, the heroine makes a wish to a mall Santa (or IS he…?) to help her get better at setting boundaries. Ha! Does Santa do emotional growth? I didn’t know! And in another scene, a hot guy in a reindeer sweater is adopting a puppy for no reason! It doesn’t fit with the plot at all but I couldn’t care less. They had me at hot guys and puppies.

The sets are just as bad. Cheesy and fake as the actors’ overly white teeth, each scene is festooned with twinkle lights and aggressively over-the-top Christmas trees and faux snow to remind you this is a HOLIDAY movie. It’s not uncommon to see the characters’ heels catch in the fake snow when they step outside to gaze up at the fake stars and reflect on their romantic entanglements. As if there’s any question at all which guy they’re going to end up with! We saw it coming from the opening credits.

When the main characters finally see what’s been right in front of their eyes the whole time and embrace as the holiday music swells and the fake snow falls, I feel as warm and fuzzy as the leading man’s reindeer sweater. Though that could also be because of the wine. Man, I love these movies. Got any favorites I should watch? The cheesier, the better!

{This post is part of the #Reverb16 writing challenge I am participating in this month, in response to the Day 11 prompt: What is one of your favorite things about the holidays? You can find out more about Reverb and how to participate here.}

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Tina Stroup December 14, 2016 at 9:23 am

You are hilarious!


Abby December 14, 2016 at 12:04 pm

Thanks, Tina! Your Xmas card is adorable, btw. I didn’t get around to one this year…


Lou Mello December 14, 2016 at 9:42 am

You had me at the “wine” part….


Abby December 14, 2016 at 12:03 pm

Ha! 🙂


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