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Tag Archives: TV Christmas movie

The Christmas Contract

Image credit: The Christmas Contract, 2018

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.

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!

Christmas Perfection

Christmas Perfection

Image credit: Christmas Perfection, 2018.

“Okay campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties ’cause it’s COOOOLD out there today…” Wait, wrong movie. I got confused because Christmas Perfection (Download) is basically a Christmas-themed version of Groundhog Day. If it weren’t for all the charming accents, I’d start to wonder if this actually takes place in Punxsutawney instead of Ireland.

Christmas Perfection is a delightful surprise within a crowded holiday landscape of milquetoast heroes and low-stakes plots. Our hero Brandon has a scrawny, Ben Whishaw appeal, and it’s easy to picture him standing beside you in a real-life grocery store, looking for the herb goat cheese. Our heroine Darcy is the classic STRESSED AT THE HOLIDAYS-type; a perfectionist who can’t handle it when her holiday doesn’t align with the picture she had in her head. Through the powers of a magical miniature holiday village, she’s transported to a small town in Ireland, where every day is Christmas, and it’s the perfect Christmas she always dreamed of. Except, even perfection gets old after a while. A girl can only take so many gingerbread cookies, cute red-headed children, and Lego-haired Stepford boyfriends; eventually she needs something different. Enter Brandon, her lifelong friend who also transports to the Irish village and helps her see that perfection isn’t everything. I was skeptical about this hero at first, but the actors’ chemistry is off the charts, particularly in one steamy foot-rub/yule log scene. Things get worse before they get better, and there’s even a Groundhog Day-esque moment with the smashed alarm clock (alas, no Sonny & Cher), but eventually Darcy realizes the most perfect Christmas is an imperfect one.

If you’ve got a bottle of Bailey’s sitting around, here is your chance to use it. The thing I’ve noticed with these TV Christmas movies is that there’s usually romance, but never any sex. If you want an Orgasm, you’ll have to make it happen yourself with this cocktail.

Orgasm

1 ½ oz Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur

1 ½ oz Amaretto

1 ½ oz Coffee Liqueur

Aztec Chocolate bitters

Combine Bailey’s, Amaretto, and Coffee Liqueur in a shaker with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into a glass with ice. Top with Aztec bitters.

Orgasm

I’ll admit, I saw a lot of myself in this heroine. I too like to play with miniatures, and go to painstaking efforts to decorate my dollhouse exactly the same way every year. I enjoy creating a world where everything is perfect, where not even a tiny Christmas card is out of place. Meanwhile, my real house is full of chaos and warmth; of memories and mistakes. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Cheers!