My Life vs. Made-for-TV Movies: Christmas Edition

Forget about shopping, wrapping and to-do lists! ‘Tis the season to let yourself get lost in a predictable Christmas movie. Each season, stations air countless hours of original holiday programming. Now I know a scrooge or two who might argue the term “original.” Come on. Just because the same five actresses appear in over 100 films doesn’t mean you have to get all bah humbug about it.


With this abundance of great hair, straight teeth and Christmas love and togetherness, the lines of reality can get a little murky, especially if you watch eight hours at a clip like I do. Sometimes I have trouble distinguishing where the made-for-TV movie ends and my real life begins.

You too?

Well, honey, come sit next to me because I have devised this handy checklist to sort it out. Be sure to select all of the movie scenarios that apply to you:

The Snowflake Kiss: Forget the pop of fireworks when you lock lips; it ain’t love until your kiss is charged enough to spark some serious flakes. Watch out eHarmony, what Santa and his elves have joined together, let no man tear asunder. And there is no membership fee in Santa’s love club.

Alternate reality: Have kids and don’t remember their names or giving birth? Lost in suburbia wondering what became of your penthouse with a doorman? The Ghost of Christmas Future fixed Jimmy Stewart right up, so just go with it. Soon enough you will experience an “aha” moment catapulting you back to reality and begging for the woulda-shoulda-coulda life you glimpsed.

Visits from Up North: This ambiguous location is the super-secret, totally obvious code for the North Pole. Shhh! This can only mean you have encountered an elf or angel commissioned to save you from yourself before Christmas. Do not argue with a higher calling!

A rescue mission: You are the only person available and qualified to trudge off to some Arctic, backward hick town and save a business or famous Christmas attraction. Despite arriving in a completely inappropriate outfit with barely enough clothing for a three-day stay, North Face and UGG attire will magically appear. You will be cozy and desirable as you restore glory to the dilapidated, fall in love and stay forever.

Santa Switch: A man with a booming laugh, beard and jelly belly keeps popping up in the oddest places. He could be the janitor, cab driver or appear anywhere red suspenders are welcomed. He knows your name and may or may not be visible to other people. Before you ask for a psych evaluation, remember Christmas magic can make you look a little whacky to the outside world.

Handmade goodness: The sudden desire to bake cookies, whittle some ornaments from reclaimed wood or make costumes for the school pageant are signs that you have been bitten by studio-manufactured Christmas spirit. In what universe are advertisers still lining up, what with movies encouraging all these handmade shenanigans? Consumerism people, it’s what real Christmas is all about.

And speaking of advertising …

Product placement: Are you strategically placing Folgers coffee in your selfies? Featuring that Visionworks eyeglass case in the family Christmas card photo? Please, do us all a favor and be more subtle than the Hallmark Channel. The fact that no Hallmark wrapping paper or cards show up in a movie—EVER—is so confusing. Shouldn’t they be hawking their own goods first?

If you checked even one item above, expect a call from make-up and wardrobe. You are about to have a made-for-tv moment this holiday season.

And just remember: If Santa winks at you, there is a Christmas wish in your future and more movies of course.