We all know that this is the most wonderful time of the year–the time for cheesy holiday movies! But why just watch a movie on Hallmark or Netflix when you could be the star of your own charmingly goofy love story?
I’ve developed a few fill-in-the-blank romance plots that use the tropes of our favorite movies to help you live your best cheesy holiday life. Use these templates to fill out, mad-libs style, as many times as you’d like!
Want to make your best friend smile? Insert them in the story, and fill in the gaps with their name and favorite details! Or, just make yourself laugh by inserting the silliest options possible!
Scenario One: Big City Baker Bliss
Blanks: woman’s name, baked good, small town name, man’s name, sexy job
Ready? Read the story!
You are (woman’s name), a successful professional at a big-city marketing firm. You’re endlessly devoted to your job, and have all the staples of a city gal: a trusty digital calendar, a personal assistant, and a no-frills professional wardrobe. The only thing that keeps you grounded to your small hometown background? You’re still able to make the perfect batch of (random baked goods) based on your granny’s recipe!
When Granny calls you because she’s sick at Christmastime, you put your BIG WORK PROJECT on hold and go back to (Small town name) for Christmas. But when you get to Grandma’s house, she’s looking quite well—she just conned you into coming home for the holidays for the first time since you moved to the big city.
After walking a block to the coffee shop on main street, you bump into (Man’s name 1), your high school boyfriend whose heart you broke when you moved away to pursue that marketing degree. He’s still here in (Same Small town name) working as a (sexy job for a dude to have). You banter about how nice it is to see one another—his smile is still so charming! He brings your attention to a flier about the town’s Christmas bake-off to benefit the local school’s choir competition. Too bad you’re only planning on staying the night before lovingly chastising granny and heading home!
But—surprise!—there’s a gigantic snowstorm that makes it unsafe for you to travel back to the big city! So you spend your days re-connecting with grandma, going to the Christmas tree lighting, and, of course, playfully bantering with (Man’s name 1) about how you’ve lost your small-town roots. “You probably don’t even remember how to bake anymore!” he says…But you’ll show him! You plan to win that bake-off to give back to the town and prove you haven’t lost your connection.
The more time you spend snowed in in your hometown, the harder it is to imagine going back to your big-city job! You feel the romantic pull of attraction after standing under the mistletoe at the town-s Christmas-Carol-athon, and a single kiss makes you wish you could stay!
The day of the competition comes and your (baked goods) win handily! The victory is bittersweet, because you’ll be leaving soon, but then your hunky hometown beau says that he wants you to stay and put your marketing know-how to use by promoting his (sexy job) business! You accept and give him a chaste kiss—and Grandma winks at the camera!
Scenario Two: Princes for Christmas!
Blanks: man’s name 1, made-up country name, sport, hobby 1, hobby 2, man’s name 2, holiday decoration, holiday baked good, -ing verb
Ready? Read the story!
You are Prince (Man’s name) of (Made-up country name 1). Your favorite activities are (sport), (hobby 1), and (hobby 2). And there’s no one you’d rather do these things with than your best friend, and prince of your neighboring country, Prince (Man’s name 2). When your parents, the king and queen, are on a worldwide “Christmas Happiness Abroad” tour, you decide to spend your holiday in (Man 2)’s country! But you soon discover that his palace is sorely lacking in Christmas cheer and take it upon yourself to bring the customs of (Made-up country name 1) to your best friend’s life!
Soon, you’re filling his palace with (holiday decoration), baking your favorite (holiday baked good) together, and (verb ending in -ing) in the snow! And as the holiday spirit blossoms, your friendship with Prince (man’s name 2) starts blossoming into a full-fledged romance with stolen glances and proclamations of tender love. But how will you two let your love show after the holiday season, when international politics with your closest neighbor are at stake?
Luckily, your parents’ holiday tour ends in your beloved’s home country. After they see how smitten you two are, your parents and (man’s name 2)’s parents declare a special holiday proclamation of a 100-year alliance between your two nations: a promise to share equally in partnership with one another because tiny obscure countries must stick together!
At that news, you and (man 2) embrace under the mistletoe and–surprise–start proposing at that exact moment to one another! A double royal wedding is in the future, and all the kings and queens beam happily upon you during your kiss!
Scenario Three: Jingle Bell Jam
Blanks: name 1, name 2, unique item that can be handmade, Christmas song, virtue, warm holiday beverage, second handmade item
Ready? Read the story!
You are (Name 1), successful owner of the best jam-making business in your region. While you operate year-round at your local farmers’ market, the holidays are your most booming time. That’s part of what led to your best-loved product: Jingle Bell Jam! You rely on the fact that you’ve won the “best small business in the region” award at the yearly BIG HOLIDAY FAIR four years in a row. A fifth year would solidify your status as the best jam-maker and business-owner in your local area.
But—what’s this?!—A new business owner has rolled into town and makes it clear that they’re excited to compete for “best small business in the region” too! This business owner is (Name 2), and they specialize in making and selling customized (unique item that could be handmade). Their (unique item) can even be made with monograms, special messages, and all kinds of personalization! How can your jam compete?
You are prepared to hate this new business owner, but then they charm you by bringing you your own (customized item). As you two spend more and more time together at holiday events leading up to the BIG FAIR with the BIG PRIZE, the ice you felt toward this person continues to thaw!
Of course, this includes a montage of all your attempts to out-sell one another at various craft fairs, while (jaunty Christmas song of your choice) plays in the background. And as the weeks roll by, you realize that the Christmas season is about (insert virtue of your choice), so maybe winning the contest for the fifth year in a row really isn’t that important!
The night before the BIG FAIR, your business rival knocks on your door, calling a truce with tumblers of (warm beverage for the holidays) in hand. You invite them in, and spend a cozy night talking and laughing in front of a roaring fire.
The next morning, you wake up on different couches—this is a bizarrely chaste genre after all—and realize you have BOTH slept in and are late for the BIG FAIR!
In a surprise twist, NEITHER of you win. Small Business Sally, with her stand of (other kind of handmade item) wins the day. But that’s okay—you realize the true prize is the LOVE and COMPANIONSHIP you’ve found from your business competitor!
Fast forward to ONE YEAR LATER—and you two have a combined booth, selling your jam and their items in a perfect synergy of holiday commerce!