With the help of watching 20 (so far) new (to me) Christmas movies this year, I've come to recognize some well-worn themes. With this list, I will never torture myself with (so many) horrid Christmas movies again! Despite some moments of torture, I'm still delighted to enjoy the magic of Christmas via film!
1) The workaholic. This is by far one of the most prevalent Christmas themes. The workaholic learns the magic of the holiday.
2) Santa injured/under fire/lost. Let's call this my least favorite Christmas cliché. Wait. So Santa has amnesia? Pass the peas. (I don't know why I said this either.)
3) Christmas in Peril. Sometimes this is forgetful Santa's fault, sometimes it's the Scrooge's. Whoever's at fault, we've got to save Christmas!
4) The Terrible Christmas leads to a sad season for some lovable person. Oh man. This is a person in deep need of learning the true meaning of Christmas! You've had a rough go of it at Christmas, eh? Well I guess that's why you need us!
5) Love fixes Christmas. This is actually my favorite Christmas cliché. Rom com and Christmas? Count me in!
6) Dead or deadbeat parent and/or the widow(er). A person who hasn't known love since their beloved dies finds it at Christmas. The struggling kids get a new parent that they finally learn to love at Christmas. I do not like this one at all. It's so unbelievable. I can't stand you but at Christmas I suddenly realize the error of my ways? Even as a surly teenager? Right. About that...
7) Absentee Mrs. Claus. Where is Mrs. Claus in these movies?? I saw so many Christmas movies with a santa but no Mrs. Claus. Bizarre.
8) A new Santa. Santa's retiring or dying and we've gotta find a new one! Now this one is also related to Christmas in peril because sometimes the search for a new Santa means if he's not replaced, Christmas DIES!!
9) Christmas wedding. Another fave! Everyone loves a Christmas wedding in the movies! In life I've never seen or known anyone who had one. Hmm...
10) Be careful what you wish for on Christmas... a little magic might make it come true. I like this one, too! But I like it better without the "magic" sounds. You know it. It also sounds just like a fairy getting her wings.
11) Big city guy/gal learns an important lesson in a small town. This is an important theme for all well-worn cliché-filled spectacles. Don't you know people in small towns are more real? And people in big cities only care about money and all things temporal? If not, you learned it in this magical money.
12) The Scrooge. There's always a person who thinks Christmas is terrible. This one is often rolled up into four or more other Christmas clichés. Its closest cousin is big city guy/gal learns an important lesson, the true meaning of Christmas, the workaholic and be careful what you wish for on Christmas.
13) The True Meaning of Christmas. Ah. The cliché to end all clichés! If at the end of the movie, you don't know love is at the heart of the true meaning of Christmas, then I guess you don't have a heart or a soul or you just weren't paying attention!