The Hilariously Specific Career Options for Christmas Movie Heroines

Anyone hopping through any TV in America between late October and January—whether it’s cable-only or just Netflix—is virtually guaranteed to stumble across a rom-com with heroes annoyingly devoted to Christmas cookies. Often, it will follow the emotional journey of a woman working a corporate job in a big city as she slowly realizes, thanks to the power of a nostalgic family celebration, that she wants a slower pace of life with her high school sweetheart, which she never did. I completely forgot.

It’s a cliché at this point that the all-important lawyers and businesswomen in the made-for-TV Christmas movie will inevitably find themselves frustrated with their grueling career. The specifics of those occupations do not matter, and thus are ignored; What matters is that the job prevents them from slowing down and enjoying life with a Christmas tree farmer or birthday cake company owner. Discuss less: Jobs that the heroines of these films Act Owns. Normi ​​jobs with decent salaries and work-life balance Room and money for the passionate hobby of making Christmas village homes simply won’t do the trick. Instead, these films often feature fictional jobs that look more like Pinterest than any stats from the Department of Labor. The kind of action that makes the viewer build a fictional Vermont life brazenly around the concept as he melts on the couch in pajama pants, even if he’s never handcrafted a batch of cookies.

One acceptable career option is to be, specifically, a small town doctor who knows everyone, delivers every baby, and puts splints on every minor league injury before handing the pacifier to that bastard Timmy Sanders—but you never have to deal with an opioid epidemic. Or a terrible workplace injury at the local factory. in a Christmas treat, the emergency room doctor has to decide whether to take over her father’s clinic. in a Christmas under the coversCandice Cameron Bure’s prestigious fellowship fails and finds herself running a doctor’s office in Garland, Alaska. (In it, she ended up marrying Santa’s literal son.)

Then you have the retailers. Champions very vintage christmas And Very funny combination Private antiques stores. (heroine happy birthday match She works at her mother’s antiques store, but spends a lot of the movie planning a Christmas pageant in town and wondering if she should be a theater director instead.) Nantucket NoelShe’s the owner of a toy store and her shop too Nicely located on the quayside. Named very happily Very happy toy store The advantages of competing toy store owners – forced to work together to defeat a superstore. (played by Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez, no less) christmas with hollyThe hero has already given up her life in the big city after being left at the altar when she opened her own toy store.

Another entrepreneurial option: the event planner. Admittedly, sometimes they are big city party planners who will eventually decide to slow down, like our heroine. Christmas at Pemberley Manor, who enters a local Scrooge while helping to organize an annual Christmas festival in a small town. But in Christmas story And focus on loveShe just needs a little Christmas help from a guy who wants it Also Help her find love. Sometimes they plan Christmas events, like a heroine Best Christmas party ever, who’s planning a party – you guessed it – for a toy store.

The least crowded, but nonetheless important, category are the writers of dissimilar fonts – specifically, in the over-the-top touch, the romantic novelists. Which includes this year’s Brooke Shields appearance on Christmas castle, Beside Christmas Village—in which a romantic writer attempts to salvage the appeal of local living history, distracting from her professional concerns: “If my readers find out I’ve never been in love before… they’ll think I’m a fraud!” in a mistletoe lodgeAnd She is an aspiring romance novelist abandoned by a romance novelist about to publish. (strict.)

However, the ultimate Christmas party is the baker. Every class is possible of bakers, but in general a class that struggles whose problems will be solved by the magic of Christmas. We see: Christmas calendar, where you receive a special calendar of coming from a secret admirer; Princess SwitchIn which baker Vanessa Hudgens switches places with Princess Vanessa Hudgens while she is in Europe for a baking contest; Very Merry Christmas, where Melissa Joan Hart is a busy baker doing the romance of The Nutcracker. in a The sweetest Christmas, Lacey Chabert, a “struggling pastry chef” hopes to change everything by appearing in the American Gingerbread Contest. in a Christmas in loveShe works in a bakery that makes Christmas Kringles – but she really He wants to become a professional craftsman. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen this, so I can’t tell you how you plan to make this work in the world.

heroine Searching for Santa He takes the cake by owning, literally, a Christmas store.

The job parade in these films reminds us a bit of the romantic genre of the ’80s, when each month seemed to bring in a group of heroines with interesting and sometimes totally bizarre jobs. She owns a chain of bread shops! She works in advertising sales for a radio station! She’s a truck driver! She’s a ballerina! This was partly because the romance publishing business was in a streak of explosive growth, creating tremendous pressure to do something new and different, and partly because so many new professions were opening up to women. The Harlequins and Silhouettes of the ’80s weren’t just a fantasy of an attractive man—often, they offered a fleeting glimpse into interesting kinds of work, and testified to the thrills in the air meaning all the possibilities that might be open to women.

However, Christmas movie jobs seem to involve very little actual labor. Instead, they’re about making the heroine warm, nourishing, and dedicated to Christmas as defined in these films – family-focused, locally festive, and safe for kids. Think church queens’ processions and city parades, not the big clowns. Jobs are often mainly excuses for the heroine to engage in some kind of unbridled romantic Christmas trick. in a very vintage christmas, the old shopkeeper played by Tia Mowry—”hopeless romance Who loves all things antique” – you find a chest of romantic memorabilia and are committed to finding the original owner.

From one angle – if you stare – you can see the made-for-TV Christmas heroine as a rejection of the GirlBoss spirit. Maybe even reject the concept of work altogether! But these jobs are very aggressive, even oppressive, especially Hallmark shows. In production 2017 Marry me on ChristmasFor example, the heroine is the owner of a wedding dress store that branches out to wedding planning. She’s about to lose her shop, but she’s doing it because she really wants to help the bride out in a time crunch. The bride’s older brother turns out to be a movie star – but our heroine He refuses Taking advantage of his name for free publicity may save her store, even as her business partner insists with greater urgency. In fact, you agree to take the job without even thinking about how much you should get paid. Even when she knows a hugely successful movie star is picking up the tab, she’s afraid not to overburden him with what is, again, a quick job that usually requires sharp coding. Her job exists as an odd way of describing her as self-sacrificing and nurturing.

The truth is, running a small business like a bakery is a serious and demanding profession that involves dozens of skill sets, from marketing to supply chain management. But the reality of these jobs has nothing to do with the fantasy of the Christmas movies, and, at some point, the implications of all these imaginative bakers’ smiles over their cute aprons and their pots full of perfectly decorated treats–especially when set alongside all the grown-ups–the town’s barristers–are expected to Women spend their time decorating Christmas, making cookies, worrying about other people’s feelings, and meeting everyone’s needs.

The rules differ subtly from platform to platform And the formula might seem to change a bit. Unleashed for Christmas, a lifelong production from 2019 where a pretty yellow lab tries to reunite its owner (played by Vanessa Lachey) with her huge ex-boyfriend, and concludes with a sweet, but never successful, decision as the hero (custom) heads to his small-town vet clinic. And the heroine (a big-city lawyer) apparently agree to split their time between the two regions. It won’t happen before Covid hits, and maybe even then, but still — not a blanket rejection of the idea of ​​a woman with ambition. Hallmark production this year Next stop, Christmas Ironic for her decision to turn a MetroNorth train for Yonkers into a magical second chance to time travel in love – the only adventure on the Hudson Line in rush hour is whether or not you’ll get a seat not next to the bathroom – but the heroine is allowed to maintain her grueling career as a neurosurgeon . It is the love interest that turns into a more caring job, choosing family law rather than corporate practice, thus enabling the heroine’s sister to adopt her second child in time for Christmas. (Please don’t try to analyze the magical logic of this movie; you will get a migraine.)

Let’s face it, these ridiculously specific fictional jobs are pretty entertaining; Half of the reason for his tuning is the joy of knowing someone’s job is to run an actual Christmas store and plan a Christmas parade in town. The metaphor for this kind of literature is nostalgic and thus almost conservative by definition, but it helps when you don’t simply get hit over the head with gendered expectations, and guys become professional Christmas bakers too. Everyone should have their chance at a silly, unrealistic, fanciful career and comfortably nourish it – isn’t that, after all, what is Christmas?

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