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Things I do between Black Friday and Christmas –

  • Eat my bodyweight in Christmas cookies
  • Light an obscene amount of holiday scented candles throughout my apartment
  • Spend weekends with my ass on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, Snoop Dogg Cali Red in my hand, binge-watching those cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies

You, merry reader, know exactly the Hallmark Christmas movies I’m talking about.

A cynical businessman, played by some soap opera has-been, swoops into town, planning to ruin Christmas, only to have a change of heart after falling in love with the cute girl who owns the bakery known for its gingerbread cookies and Christmas cheer. There’s a precocious child. They kiss. It snows.

And as predictable as they are, I LOVE every second. Sure, a monkey with a third grade education could write them, but that’s what makes them so enjoyable. In a world that seems to be falling apart around us more and more each day, you bet your ass I am going to stay inside watch a movie called Christmas Cookie Connection, because comfort comes from knowing at the end of two hours, Lacey Chabert and a vaguely homosexual, conventionally handsome actor who ONLY stars in these types of movies will end up happily together after saving the local toy shop from demolition or winning the charity gingerbread house baking competition or making sure military spouses get flown home through a snow storm.

And not to compare you to a monkey with a third grade education, but have you ever felt you could write one of those Hallmark holiday movies yourself? Well, The Prompt has you covered and we’ve done ALL the work for you.

So, grab some heavily spiked eggnog, throw on your favorite ugly Christmas sweater, and take a walk down Christmas Lane with me as you choose your own Hallmark movie adventure.


1. First off, where do you live?

  1. A cozy cottage on Reindeer Lane in the small town of Holly Falls, situated at the bottom of a beautiful Montana mountain range
  2. A charming yet nondescript suburb of a major city with a festive downtown area, replete with Christmas decorations and a coffee shop that never runs out of hot chocolate
  3. A bed and breakfast, a dude ranch, or an apartment complex that needs money by Christmas Eve to avoid foreclosure by the bank

2. Now, let’s decide who you are.

  1. An overworked marketing executive who begrudgingly returns home for Christmas while also managing a looming deadline that could be the difference between a promotion or abject career failure
  2. A Christmas tree farm owner struggling to make ends meet after your spouse died in an unfortunate wood chipper incident
  3. A small town bakery owner responsible for planning the town’s annual downtown Christmas Festival, and your star emcee just dropped out due to a COVID exposure

3. Your confidante is…

  1. Your best friend, who is hundreds of miles away and—because you crashed your car in a snowbank—she is only available for advice through FacetimeThe sassy owner of the town diner who gives you a piece of her mind while pouring your coffee
  2. The only person of color in town, who pops up to dispense wisdom and encourage you to tell your frenemy-turned-Christmas-love how you really feel

4. Your father is played by…

  1. A jolly, white-haired character actor who has played Santa in a dozen other of these
  2. A popular actor your Boomer Mom lusted over in 1970s TV Guides
  3. Barry Bostwick

5. There’s always a precocious child. Let’s pick one!

  1. Your child, who hasn’t said much since they witnessed your spouse die in that horrific wood chipper incident
  2. The lead in the school’s Christmas pageant, who you overheard tell Santa that all they want for Christmas if for their one parent to return from Iraq, where they’ve been deployed since LAST Christmas
  3. The cynical widowed business person’s child, who is THIS close to giving up on Christmas, but just needs one more miracle to restore their faith in holiday magic

6. Is there a gay character?

  1. Nope. Jonathan Bennett was busy that day
  2. Yes. But they are non-threatening and in no way, shape, or form the lead. The only reason you know they are gay is a passing reference to being “gay in a small town” or their same-gendered ex-partner

7. How does it end?

  1. The aforementioned Annual Christmas Festival, where the person you’ve been resisting your feelings for saves the day by single-handedly fixing the town’s power grid after it fails and causes a blackout across all of downtown, 10 minutes before the traditional tree lighting. You kiss. It starts to snow.
  2. The Christmas Ball, where you only overhear half of the conversation between your childhood sweetheart and their ex, so you think they are still in love. And you attempt to leave town, but they chase after you. They confess their feelings for you, you kiss, it snows, and your mute child finally says something… you know, after that bloody woodchipper fiasco.
  3. You are denied the promotion for a six-figure marketing career, which is totally cool, because you’ve decided to stay home and run your parents’ bed and breakfast so they can retire and you can be closer to the person of your dreams, who somehow manages to earn a living even though they run a niche, Christmas-themed business which can really only turn a profit between November and January. There’s a kiss. It snows.

And there you have it.

Your favorite Christmas guilty pleasure, written by you, a Prompt reader.

Raise a glass to Candace Cameron Bure, some random, handsome Canadian actor, and cliché holiday plot lines… and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Eric Mochnacz

A wizard of pop culture. A prince of snark. A delightful addition to any dinner party.

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