Adding a dash of realism to Hallmark Christmas movies

Wow. It’s December 2021 and we’re still in a pandemic. I know. I know!

WFP Movie Night

You know who is not — and has never been — in a pandemic? The Hallmark cinematic universe. No siree. In the Hallmark cinematic universe, social distancing isn’t a thing. There are no lockdowns, no masks, no “mysterious illnesses” — except for in one 2021 offering called You, Me & the Christmas Trees, in which some sort of tree plague is killing a Christmas tree farmer’s firs and noted evergreen expert Danica McKellar has to get to the — you know where this is going — “root of the problem.”

But as we wondered last year, what would it look like if Hallmark did address COVID-19? Here are some new Hallmark Christmas movies for the not-quite-post pandemic normal, or whatever we’re calling this point in time. (Disclaimer: This is satire and these movies do not exist — yet. I would be willing to write them for a price, H-Mark.)

Lea Coco (left) and Lacey Chabert would be perfect in Christmas Before COVID. (Ricardo Hubbs / Crown Media files)

Christmas Before COVID

Angela (probably Lacey Chabert) is devastated when a new COVID-19 variant threatens to derail her holiday plans — again. She bites into a magical gingerbread man and is transported back in time to Christmas 2019 (it’s a cookie, not a time machine), which was marred by a longstanding feud between her brothers (those guys from that thing). She tries to warn everyone about the importance “making this Christmas really count, you guys” — and not, you know, the impending arrival of a deadly plague, but OK, sure, Ange — but will anyone listen?

Ho ho no!: The Santa Shortage

Nick (definitely Travis Van Winkle) has actively hated the holidays ever since his dad walked out on his family one Christmas morning and never looked back. But when Annie, Nick’s high school sweetheart/one who got away, asks him to fill in as the Gazebo Santa in their hometown after the pandemic caused a professional Santa shortage (this is a real thing that’s happening, look it up), he finds himself getting into the spirit of the season.

Connie, played by Candace Cameron Bure (right), in A Very Vaccinated Christmas, where Jen proposes Connie and her friend (played by Susanna Fournier, left) worry Connie’s new love interest is an anti-vaxxer. (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press files)

Connie, played by Candace Cameron Bure (right), in A Very Vaccinated Christmas, where Jen proposes Connie and her friend (played by Susanna Fournier, left) worry Connie’s new love interest is an anti-vaxxer. (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press files)

A Very Vaccinated Christmas

Now that the world has reopened, Connie is finally meeting, in person, Chad, the dreamboat she’s been long-distance Zoom dating over the pandemic, and has been excitedly planning a Christmas trip to his hometown (might stay a week, might stay forever). But his perfect white teeth have distracted from a major red flag: he’s “just asking questions” on an awful lot of internet threads about vaccines. Is he… an anti-vaxxer? And can Connie convince him to get his jab before she quits her stressful C-Suite job and moves across the country to be with him? Or did he have his vaccine all along? (Buckle up: this one’s a rollercoaster.)

Christmas Unmasked

Despite dealing with some intense re-entry anxiety after basically self-isolating for two years, Alison (Candace Cameron Bure) is looking forward to a new-normal holiday season — especially after a meet-cute with Dave, the guy who accidentally picked up her eggnog latte from the counter instead of his but then she couldn’t touch her own cup after he touched it because COVID and it was a whole thing. Alison knows Dave will be at the socially distanced Snow Ball, and she has an important decision to make: is he worth unmasking under the mistletoe for?

Marshmallow World

Before the pandemic, Jack Frost (absolutely not his real name) was a hot-shot restaurateur with an impossible-to-get-into concept in the big city called Ice, which the Times (not that Times) called “hot and cool.” When lockdowns and ongoing supply-chain issues shutter his restaurant right before Christmas, Jack finds himself back in his small town — a place he’s been socially distancing from for quite some time — where he takes it upon himself to make Marshmallow World, the beloved holiday dessert tour in the town square, “cool again.” Will he ruin a tradition or remember why he fell in love with food in the first place?

Christmas Under The Christmas Tree Because It’s Christmas

Socialite Brittneigh is vaxxed, relaxed and, unfortunately for her, credit-card maxed. She’s forced to look for her very first job — she’s 30 — and the only place that will take a chance on her is the local Christmas tree lot, which is run by Josh, an aw-shucks guy who, according to Brittneigh, is “hot in like a Sears catalogue kind of way.” When the lot is quickly cleared out by panic-buyers worried about the 2021 Christmas tree shortage, Brittneigh decides to take matters into her own hands — and she must be stopped.

Twitter: @JenZoratti

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Jen Zoratti

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