It’s raining today. I’d love to be home in front of the fireplace, watching corny Christmas shows on television. You know the shows I mean, the predictable, schmaltzy family and love stories where the boy gets the girl, the orphan gets a home, the old guy who thinks he’s Santa turns out to be right. Such schmaltz is as predictable on Christmas as mistletoe and egg nog. But that doesn’t mean we don’t like it.
Many of these television shows feature Santa Claus, e.g. the old guy who thinks he’s Santa Claus and turns out to be telling the truth. Lately there’s a slightly new twist, i.e the guy who becomes Santa Claus by some kind of magic. There are some slight variations on the general theme. In 1960, in an episode of “The Twilight Zone,” Art Carne was a Department Store Santa Claus and also a drunk. He finds a magical bag of presents in some snow-filled alley. The bag has an inexhaustible supply of presents and supplies everyone’s wish. Art Carne therefore not only redeems himself but also saves Christmas.
Tess loves the corny love-shows with Christmas themes, like the woman who wants and gets a new boyfriend for Christmas. There’s always some young son involved, who is all hurt and damaged from the death of his father, who resists the new suitor but ultimately accepts him. Or, there is a falling out between the beau and the damsel, with the youngster acting as the go-between and savior of the relationship. Lots of “Awwwwww” factor there.
Another common twist is that one of the lovers is visited by an old flame who wants him or her back and who makes the other lover jealous and upset. However, the treachery of the old flame is soon revealed and the lovers embrace each other while rejecting the former suitor.
It might be a fun and profitable exercise to invent some new Christmas story scenarios. We are all getting a little bored with the standard themes and some new twist would certainly be welcome. But the old guy who thinks he’s Santa has to be Santa. Let’s not mess with the formula too much. It may be corny and predictable but we love it that way.