Sometimes, I get a little tired of all the fake snow and knitwear in my television Christmas movies. The truth of the matter is, a great number of people do not live in a cold climate (myself included). Christmas in my adopted city of Austin, Texas means tamales, holiday markets, and maybe a light jacket. It does not mean sleigh rides and puffer coats. This year, like a lot of us, I’m staying home and not traveling to a beach or snowy winter wonderland. To get myself ready for a down-home, Southern Christmas, I decided to watch The Christmas Contract (Disc/Download).
Set in Lafayette, Louisiana, this charming flick centers around web developer Jolie (Hilarie Burton), a recent dumpee who finds herself on the precipice of seeing her old flame at the annual hometown holiday celebration. In order to make everyone think she’s not sitting home alone crying every night, she ropes her best friend’s brother (Robert Buckley) into accompanying her on the trip. Jack agrees to the holiday relationship scam because he’s seeking inspiration for a romance novel he’s been hired to ghostwrite. Of course they hate each other, and of course they grow to not hate each other by the end of the movie. Initially, I worried I would be annoyed by a man trying to explain how horrible romance novels are for ninety minutes, but to my relief, Jack quickly grows to understand what makes the genre so appealing. It makes people happy, and what’s so bad about that?
As Jack and Jolie dance under twinkle lights, attend campfire sing-a-longs, and go for romantic strolls along the bayou, the scenes reinforce what I love about Christmas in the South. It’s full of good, spicy food, lots of alcohol, and you don’t have to wear a ton of layers. One of my favorite holiday memories is the year my family all decided to meet in New Orleans. On the way there, I stopped in Lafayette for that great Louisiana beverage, the frozen daiquiri. Let’s give it a holiday spin with this Gingerbread Daiquiri.
1 ½ oz Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur
1 ½ oz Dark Rum
1 ½ oz Gingerbread Liqueur
½ cup Vanilla Ice Cream
1 cup Ice
Whipped Cream and Grated Allspice (for garnish)
Combine all ingredients in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth, then pour into a glass. Garnish with whipped cream and a pinch of Allspice.
There are some fun supporting players in this, including Cheryl Ladd and Jason London (aka Randall “Pink” Floyd, for all you Dazed and Confused fans), and even some stellar live music that belongs on the set of TV’s Nashville (RIP). If you’ve always wanted to see what a Southern Christmas is all about, from the gumbo to the frozen drinks, give The Christmas Contract a watch. Cheers!