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How to Write the Perfect Holiday Movie

Think winter movies could use a little more wonderland? Write your own perfect film for the holiday season.


  • Step 1: Flaw the hero Create a hero who's too greedy or too jaded to appreciate the holiday season. Surround them with a supporting cast who embrace the peace and joy that comes with family gatherings and gift exchanges to further highlight your hero's flaws.
  • TIP: Include a character under 12 years old -- no one understands the holiday spirit like children.
  • Step 2: Make it seasonal Sprinkle in seasonal and cultural references related to the holidays and a few lines that exemplify the holiday spirit to melt even the coldest viewer's heart.
  • Step 3: Set up the problem Create a seemingly insurmountable problem that threatens to make your hero's holiday a living hell, particularly since they don't know the true meaning of the season.
  • Step 4: Change it up Take your hero through a series of events that helps them see the error of their ways. Then, just as your hero is enjoying a spiritual awakening, introduce an incident that compounds the original problem and threatens your hero's newfound faith.
  • TIP: Use a journey through time or an alternate universe to give characters perspective on their behavior.
  • Step 5: Feel the love Write a climax where the hero uses their new understanding to handle the crisis and make the holidays better for others -- it's a miracle! Then, film the movie, and wait for it to join the Yule log in a syndicated-television marathon.
  • FACT: In 2009, a man bid $4,200 to spend 2 nights sleeping in the house used to film A Christmas Story.

You Will Need

  • Hero
  • Supporting cast
  • Problem
  • Seasonal and cultural references
  • Faith-testing crisis
  • Holiday miracle
  • Character under 12 (optional)

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