We Need Another Christmas Romance

The old Christmas traditions are dead. Families used to celebrate Christmas in the one true and correct way: by watching scratchy animated films about dying snowmen, mutated reindeer, anemic trees, and weird green men you wouldn’t touch with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole.

Well, VHS players are now extinct, and you can only find these classic stories that illustrate the true meaning of Christmas by individually subscribing to 18 different streaming services. There is also a guy in the corner of the Wal-Mart parking lot wearing a big trench coat full of Christmas specials, and he’d be the best way to get them if he didn’t only accept bitcoin.

What’s replaced these classics? Sappy Christmas romance movies.
You know, sentimental holiday films with predictable romance plots, like “The Christmas Prince,” or “The Christmas Switch,” or “A Castle for Christmas,” or “Die Hard”. 

What do I think of these movies? Well, as a full-time husband, I am legally required to state that “no, honey, I love these movies,” and “the only thing I love more is watching them with you,” and “yes, I agree that we should remodel our house to look like the interior of that Christmas village”. 

Here’s the thing: they’re actually fantastic. In a real world full of horrifying twists, these movies are as comfortingly predictable as a sunrise, or Utah road construction. You know everything that is going to happen in the entire movie within the first scene – nay, within the opening credits – nay, within the title itself.

They are so comfortingly predictable that right now, we can come up with a title for a Christmas romance, and you and I will both immediately know the entire plot.

Take, for example, this fake and fictitious Christmas romance: “I Saw Three Ships.”

A late twenties, early thirties woman with a high-powered corporate job is returning to her sleepy port town home for Christmas. Her name is Christy. It’s short for CHRISTMAS. 

She bumps into a handsome stranger, who says, “Hey, sorry to spill hot chocolate on your festive holiday boots; I was just distracted buying choral music for the orphans I volunteer to take caroling every year. My name’s Frank.” (It’s short for FRANKINCENSE.) Frank is a local fisherman/photographer/artist. His fishing boat is named THE MISTLETOE.

Then a giant corporate shipping, uh, ship, takes berth at the port town. It’s full of superficial, exploitative holiday products that everyone hates, all manufactured by CORPORATE XMAS HOLIDAY CORP UNLIMITED. Corporate XMas Holiday Corp Unlimited is run by Grinchman Grincherson the Fifth, a rich heir who wants to bulldoze the entire town so they can put a Christmas Crypto store there. Grinchman Grincherson hates Christmas; his favorite holiday is Boxing Day, because that’s when you get to return Christmas.

(He is also Christy’s FIANCE.)

Christy is going to miss caroling with the orphans, and with Frankincense; Christmas traffic and/or the winter storm have made it impossible to get there in time! That’s when a kindly old man on a small, charming boat offers to give her a ride across the bay. This mysterious helper has no name; his boat, though, is named “I AM LITERALLY SANTA CLAUS.”

The orphans are the supposed driving motivation for everything, and are referenced constantly and with great reverence, but rarely ever featured on screen; kind of like Jesus in American Christmas. 

Christy kisses Frank on The Mistletoe, breaks up with Grinchman Grincherson V, sings with the orphans, and learns the true meaning of Christmas. Frank’s photograph of the Christmas sunrise on the bay sells at auction for a gazillion dollars and/or he reveals that he is secretly a prince from a small, fictional European nation where everyone speaks British English.

And that’s the first movie in the quadrilogy.

Anyway, that’s exactly what played out in your mind too, right?

Right?

Well, we’ll see how close we were when some version of this inevitably comes to a streaming service next Christmas–or, perhaps, to a strange man’s trench coat in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

This article first appeared in the Duzett Gazette, the really official newsletter of Carl Duzett. Sign up here to get more content like this in your inbox, as well as some other content that isn’t quite like it, but is probably also good.

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