Hallmark Holiday Movie Survival Guide
Each December, we sit idly by as high-powered business executives throw their MBAs into festively decked fireplaces for love. The fallout from Hallmark holiday movies seems like somebody else’s problem. Sure, it happened to Erica, the New York City advertising exec, and Ashleigh, the out-of-work fashion journalist, but it could never happen to you.
That’s where you’re wrong. No one is safe from finding love at Christmastime, so it’s best you be prepared.
Familiarize yourself with this guide, or you may find yourself stranded in a remote village at the mercy of an altruistic innkeep, or worse, your hometown being low-key stalked by your high school sweetheart.
Scenario 1: You have a high profile job in New York, Chicago, or San Francisco, and you’re offered a quick turnaround assignment in a quaint mountain town with a hard deadline of Christmas Eve.
Just say no. Work-life balance is so important, and it’s better to learn that now than after boarding a propeller plane to a regional airport in the middle of nowhere, falling in love with the heir to a local tree farm, and spending the rest of your life running the town’s year-round Christmas store.
If you must take the assignment, don’t panic. Panic may cause a slip on ice that will result in a severe head injury, which may in turn trigger a Christmas do-over. If this happens, you’ll likely awaken in the childhood bedroom you spent 18 years planning your escape from. But that’s a worst-case scenario. However, if it should occur, skip ahead to Scenario 3.
Scenario 2: You’ve received an elaborately handmade advent calendar whittled from balsam wood, or a series of unsigned cards addressed in perfect calligraphy.
Don’t open them. Douse them in gasoline, watch them burn, and toast the ashes with a cheerful mug of cocoa. Sure, it seems romantic, but door 23 likely contains a doll made from human hair. (Spoiler alert: it’s yours and it’s actually a tree topper! How festive.)
If the words “don’t open them” only made you more resolved to know your admirer’s secret identity, ask yourself: does your childhood best friend live nearby? You know, the one who never left home and won’t shut up about how it’s the BEST decision they ever made? It’s them. Congratulations. Board the first bus out of town before you end up spending your prime upselling reindeer tea cozies in the middle of June.
Scenario 3: You wake up in your childhood split-level in Minnesota when you fell asleep in a Manhattan highrise.
While your first thought might be to see a doctor for the traumatic brain injury you’ve likely suffered, if you’re in a Hallmark holiday movie, it’s too late for that now. Follow these directions carefully.
Find your high school sweetheart. If you don’t know how to reach them, look for clues in the easy-to-reach shoebox of photographs you keep under your bed even though it’s been roughly 20 years and you’ve moved five times.
Now pay attention, time is of the essence. It’s imperative you navigate this situation quickly so you can get yourself the medical attention you desperately need as you’re likely bleeding out on a patch of ice in Central Park.
First, admit every decision you’ve made in the last two decades has been wrong. You should never have left town to get an education. There are perfectly accredited business schools online! And sure, your current job is professionally fulfilling and comes with a great benefits package, but who needs vision and dental when you have love and a 50% stake in a store that only turns a profit 2 months a year.
Confess your mistake and you’ll wake up with a second chance at life – literally, you’re losing so much blood.
Scenario 4: You find yourself forced to spend time with an attractive work colleague who is your exact opposite.*
(*You’re a Type A all work-no play caricature of a person with a tendency towards thick-rimmed fashion glasses, a high pony, and brushing your teeth with military precision until your gums bleed.)
Quit your job. You can learn to let your hair down without spending 90 minutes plus commercials babysitting a charismatic 35-year-old who never learned how alarm clocks work – even though you’re both up for the same promotion.
If your strong work ethic won’t allow for you to carelessly quit without notice, brace yourself. Unfortunately, the Hyundai Sonata product placement wasn’t a great choice during a holiday blizzard and the two of you will be trapped at a rustic inn with only one room left. Be forewarned, a “no rooms left at the inn” joke will tempt you to sleep in the car.
QUICK. Ask them about the college ex who left them at the altar last Christmas so you can cut to the part where they become a relatable human being. But let’s be honest, the simple act of them having one emotion paired with the stress of being snowed-in a 200-year-old converted barn in the middle of nowhere while trying to make a midnight work deadline is enough to heighten anyone’s emotions. Marry them, it might work out.
Scenario 5: You’re attracted to a mall Santa.
‘Tis the damn season! But, if you’re in a Hallmark Christmas movie, it’s likely they’re the real Santa – which comes with a whole new set of problems. Relocation to the North Pole, fewer job prospects, premature aging, Christmas Eve deadlines every year for the rest of your life. Don’t make any commitments until December 26th, when the holiday spirit fades and you realize he’s more or less an overgrown child who’s married to their job and doesn’t properly groom their facial hair.
CONGRATS! With our help, you’ve made it to the New Year alone! You’ve successfully avoided becoming another cautionary tale.
A Cautionary Christmas. Coming to Hallmark December 2021.