Christmas cliché

Christmas town

I believe that it’s best to always be honest about our shortcomings. My name is Kymberly and I have a Christmas Movie Problem.

Give me your jaded big city reporter/career gal exiled to the sticks on a story to find Santa or cover the demise of a small town. It is important to note that for big city types being exiled to any town smaller than Chicago is a fate worse than sticky peppermints or a town without Santa Claus.

Our beleaguered big city hero must then drive, fly, whatever into the colorful small town where she (it’s always a she) will immediately run into the one guy in town who has sworn off love. This is not a metaphor. She will literally RUN INTO him. Bonus points for spilling coffee on each other.


As with any great romance, it is best if the two parties intensely dislike each other, bicker often, or on opposite sides of saving Christmas. There may also be a town where the entire collective village is supported by a factory engaged in toy making.

Generally either the factory — or entire town — is threatened. Our heroine will learn most of this at a diner populated by wise-cracking townies with hearts of gold or the small town inn where she stays. There is never, ever a Best Western in these small towns. A quaint country inn with a proprietor who may or may not be an Angel will just have to do.

If she has a boyfriend he is a busy workaholic who “only cares about money.” This, of course, is always wrong. Loving money is never a good plan in Christmas movies. Living in giant victorian or center-hall colonials that clearly cost a lot of money is.


The plots are not exactly cliff-hangers. Will she or won’t she end up with the least likely man she should? Of course she will. She will have won the heart of the gruff widower with a heart of gold, hardworking sheriff or saint who will kiss her under the mistletoe and soap flake snow falls in clubs.

Basically it’s your classic Christmas Movie Bingo: “The True Meaning of Christmas,”
Mistaken Identity, Precocious little kid, Magical Christmas being (Reindeer), Town saved, Kiss in the Snow, Evil businessman, “Meet Cute,” and Widower.

Christmas festivals

Of particular note, and somewhat mystifying to me, entire towns hold festivals and pageants on Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve? I can hardly get together with friends two weeks prior and three weeks AFTER the holiday? No way are we making a command town-wide performance on Christmas Eve. Do these people not have extended families and out of town relatives?

Disparities aside, I will continue to gorge on Christmas movies and exclaim my adoration without shame.. I will make fun of them – and myself – while simultaneously wanting more.
When it comes to small towns, heart, magic, Christmas and peple gathering together I think we always need a little Christmas now.

Cheesy, trite, treacly and predictable. Long on syrup and short on plot. Nonetheless. I love them all. In many ways these are the white (Christmas) noise that serves as a wonderful backdrop for the entire season. I like the soothing sets, the over the top decorations, the wide-eyed belief in magic, and the endless loop of predictable happiness.

Think about it, knowing there is going to be a guaranteed happy ending really is a gift.
Spoiler alert. They Do Save Christmas and there is kissing at the end.


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