So far, my holiday season has been pretty lackluster. Not only are decorations nixed because of ongoing home renovations, but I haven’t had time to watch a single made-for-TV Christmas movie. It’s a TRAVESTY, I tell you! But for the sake of this blog, I managed to carve out 90-minutes to watch a flick that kept taunting me from the Hulu home screen, screaming, “Watch me!” Finally, I listened, and hit play on A Merry Christmas Wish.
As I’ve probably said before, I could write an entire dissertation on the lackluster male leads populating holiday movies. I call them “Potato Men”, as in they look like someone stuffed a beige potato into a Rudolph sweater. Shapeless, colorless, utterly forgettable. So naturally, the first thing that drew me to MCW was the presence of Cameron Mathison, an All My Children favorite from way back, and someone far too good looking to ever be confused with a Potato Man. Here, he plays a small-town charmer who’s been looking after the farm of a recently-deceased man; the same farm that’s just been inherited by the dead guy’s city slicker niece (Jill Wagner). A high-powered advertising exec, she gives herself two weeks to clean out her uncle’s house and throw one last holiday market, the Winter Wonderland, without succumbing to the charms of small town life. Spoiler alert: she fails miserably when she realizes she likes the looks of both Cameron, and knotty pine walls.
Something I can’t help noticing is how similar this movie is to my other favorite NYC ad exec-out-of-water story, Baby Boom. MCW is basically that, without the baby. But where Diane Keaton turns her marketing prowess to gourmet baby food, Jill Wagner shines a spotlight on local honey. This rosemary honey is perfect in a cocktail, so while you’re watching A Merry Christmas Wish, I recommend drinking a Rosemary Honey Old Fashioned.
Rosemary Honey Old Fashioned
3 oz Whiskey
1 oz Rosemary Honey Simple Syrup (boil ½ cup honey + ½ cup water + 2 rosemary sprigs, then cool)
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
1 Rosemary Sprig
Combine whiskey, rosemary honey, and bitters in a shaker with ice. Stir to chill and combine, then strain into a glass filled with a large ice cube or ball. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary, and dried orange.
Tasty cocktail inspiration aside, A Merry Christmas Wish features so many things I love in a holiday movie. Cookie baking! Baby goats! Wrong-for-you boyfriend who wants to tear down the farm and build condos! But the thing I love most is that it doesn’t succumb to the tired enemies-to-lovers plot that somehow never lives up to the gold standard of The Goodbye Girl. For once, our hero and heroine are not mean-spirited grumps until the Christmas spirit moves them. They are kind, fun, and flirty, and the only impediment to them running off into the sunset together are their jobs, not their personalities. If you ask me, kindness, and a little whiskey, are the best examples of the Christmas spirit. Cheers!