Jean Smart and Candace Cameron Bure in A Shoe Addict's Christmas
'Tis the season! It's the most wonderful time of year, indeed, and nothing gets us in the mood like feel-good holiday programs to cozy up with. Writer-producer Rick Garman has had a hand in bringing many holiday movies to life on television. He gives us his five essentials that make a holiday film a classic:
1. A Winter Wonderland
I'm not saying you can't set a yuletide classic in a tropical locale, but even those who eschew the pitfalls of winter for their own holiday celebrations seem to demand it for their holiday movies. Whether it's the classic Americana of a tree-lighting ceremony in a snow-covered town square or the hustle and bustle of the big city streets lined with colorful store windows, you can't go wrong if you "let it snow, let it snow, let it snow."
2. Treasured Traditions
Including moments like building a gingerbread house, making a snowman, or putting up lights may seem like clichés, but when done right they can provide sweet backdrops for your characters to get to know each other a little better while participating in activities that give everyone the warm-fuzzies. And you can mix it up with traditions from your own family or culture, like lighting luminarias instead of a tree or baking Irish plum pudding instead of baking cookies.
3. Merry Music
Nothing says Christmas like a good, old-fashioned "fa-la-la-la-la!" Send your characters out caroling, give them a "Deck the Halls" moment as a family around the tree, or put them in the audience at choir performance (bonus points if the choir is filled with cute kids!). A little holiday harmonizing will warm even the Grinch-iest of humbug hearts.
4. A Little Bit of Magic
You don't need to include flying reindeer and merry elves working at the North Pole, but leave a little room for the possibility that Santa is real, angels really do get their wings when a bell rings, and that the holidays are a time for miracles. Even if it's just a wink and a nod, offering up a little merry magic will give your story the boost it needs.
5. A Happy Ending
Let's face it, in times like these we could all use a little "comfort and joy" in our lives. The yuletide season is when we look forward with hope that all our dreams and wishes will come true, so giving the heroes of your holiday story a "happily ever after" is exactly what audiences need.
Rick Garman has written and produced more than a dozen holiday movies including A Shoe Addict's Christmas, It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas and Enchanted Christmas to name a few. Visit rickgarman.com to learn more.