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The Anatomy of the Lifetime Holiday Movie

Of the many television channels that take programming advantage of the holiday season, my all-time favorite is the month-long schedule on the Lifetime channel (this includes LMN). Their entire lineup changes from movies about women in transition who need a good man to women in transition who need a good man around the holidays. I spent a hungover Sunday watching hours upon hours of the Lifetime channel, and I think that I have discovered their formula.

When In Doubt, Use the Plot from A Christmas Carol There are at least ten holiday-themed movies on the Lifetime network that are the exact same movie, and that movie is A Christmas Carol. Each of these versions is slightly different, but not really. A strong-willed professional woman who is just "too busy and career-oriented" to care about Christmas is visited by ghosts, old friends, talking animals, coworkers, whatever, in an attempt to convince her that women should not care about their occupation and they should care about wrapping paper. Where these movies stray from the original Dickens version is that Ms. Scrooge really just needs a man in her life to make her a good person, which is defined as someone who puts up a Christmas tree and donates to charity.

I presume there is one screenwriter for all of these movies locked in the basement of the Lifetime network offices, and he uses A Christmas Carol Mad Libs to write his scripts.

If Possible, Use Holiday-themed Names for Main Character Holly's Holiday. A Christmas Carol. All About Christmas Eve. Comfort and Joy.

They are saving up names like Mary, Rudolph and Nic(ole) for later dates.

Attempt To Revive Old Stars' Careers I think this is a rule of thumb for all Lifetime movies, but the holiday movie stars take the fruit cake. Love At the Christmas Table, which I was just forced to watch this weekend because my headache prevented me from changing the channel, brought back the likes of Danica McKeller (The Wonder Years), Lea Thompson (Back to the Future), Scott Patterson (Gilmore Girls) and Alexandria Paul (Baywatch), plus many more that I had to Google. I'm guessing Lifetime gets a break on washed-up celebs. Maybe they get two-for-one deals on any celeb that was on Melrose Place and Beverly Hills 90210 and Dean Cain.

All Anyone Really Needs for Christmas Is a Boyfriend Well, duh!

The Man of Your Dreams Was There All Along and Holy Crap It's Christmas Any professional woman knows that the one guy who has been in front of her the whole time is destined to be the guy she ends up with. But when you are all wrapped up in your job or that "other guy," it's really hard to see this for yourself. Luckily, you have a sassy or gay best friend who can put the idea in your head and you can watch that guy from afar while he lovingly builds a snowman with your neighbor's kids or some orphans.

And then when the guy saves your life/saves your job/saves your cat, you will finally realize that it was him all along and he was hot the whole time too.

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When You Trip and Bump Your Head, You Will See Visions Of Your Life Let me say this without any embarrassment whatsoever: I fall all the time. I presume many of us do, especially when we are wearing our Louboutins and running through a crowded city street, our arms filled with presents for our sister's children because we are too lonely and career focused to have any of our own. Yet despite the multitude of times I have slipped, I have never bumped my head and come to in a world where a handsome stranger (who I made up in my mind) was standing over me in a Burberry scarf. Fingers crossed this happens soon!

You Can Easily Book a Christmas Wedding in Less Than 24 Hours and People Will Come Not only is it quite simple to find the man of your dreams around the holidays, but it also takes just one phone call to book the nicest restaurant in whatever town you live in and slap together a wedding. Plus, you can easily pick up that wedding dress in that store window that you had admired earlier in the week and it will fit you perfectly. And none of your friends or family members will have anything to do (why should they, it's only Christmas) nor will your church have any services going on. Everyone in the entire world is just waiting for you to decide to get married today. Hooray!

It's Not Just You That Will Find Love On Christmas It would be terribly unfair and not the "new you" - a person who believes in the kindness of strangers and that your job is not the most important thing in your life - to be the only one to find love on Christmas. Your mom, dad, sister, best friend, boss, cousin, uncle, stranger that you just met that day or homeless person that is really a wise, rich person pretending to be homeless to teach you a lesson can find a kiss under the mistletoe too.

And you will watch this love fest while holding hands with your new boyfriend that you got for Christmas from the angel that you met earlier that day.

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