116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but Hallmark Christmas movies are already filling our screens. As someone who lives in a household with a wife and daughters who love Christmas and Christmas movies, I’ve seen more than a few.
The formulas in these films is pretty simple. Often, an accomplished woman returns to her picturesque hometown where she meets up with a former beau and maybe saves the family candy cane factory. In the end, we find the true meaning of Christmas.
A quick online search tells me that only one Hallmark Christmas flick was set in Iowa, “Christmas in Homestead.” Unfortunately, it was filmed in Georgia.
That’s a shame. Iowa is the perfect setting for a Hallmark movie. Here are some pitches.
Angling for a Miracle — A hot-shot, big city lawyer comes home for the holidays to her parents’ Northeast Iowa trout fishing resort. But all is not merry as the pristine trout stream is threatened by a large cattle feedlot upstream. She tries to persuade the Environmental Protection Commission on Christmas Eve to save the stream. Will the Christmas spirit triumph?
Critical Christmas Theory — A world-renowned scholar comes home to Iowa to finish her latest book on race in America. There, she runs into an old flame who has been elected to the state Legislature. When he introduces a bill to ban her books during a Christmas Eve special session, holiday sparks fly!
Merry, Merry Masking — A world-renowned doctor returns to her small Iowa hometown and asks the school board to protect kids by adopting COVID-19 mitigation measures. When they refuse, she runs for school board and against a Q Anon conspiracy theorist. A crowd gathers around her parents’ quaint Victorian home on Christmas Eve, as snow gently falls. But those aren’t carolers. (Introducing the new Christmas musical hit, “We know where you live!”)
A Newsy Noel — An award-winning big city journalist comes home to run his family’s small Iowa newspaper. When he writes editorials standing up to greed, discrimination and bigotry, the paper loses all of its advertisers and many subscribers. Will the Christmas Eve edition be its last?
Change the Subject to Christmas — An idealistic college student returns home for Christmas to find every TV in the house tuned to Fox News. Can he avoid talking politics with his MAGA father and survive Christmas break? Tucker Carlson guest stars as a spiteful Elf on the Shelf.
Let’s Go Christmas! — A former basketball star, Brandon Smith, comes home to Iowa after injuries cut short his NBA career. Feeling down in the dumps, he returns to his high school for the big game on Christmas Eve. In a heartwarming moment, the crowd chants “Let’s Go Brandon!” Then he learns the truth.
The Christmas Fire — A big city book publisher returns to Iowa for Christmas. When her mom, the school librarian, falls ill, she agrees to pitch in, only to be confronted by parents outraged by certain books. When she meets up with an old flame at an LGBTQ book burning and sleigh ride on Christmas Eve, she knows she must make a choice.
Weathering Christmas — A world-renowned climate change researcher returns to his parents small ski resort to show his kids a white Christmas. But on Christmas Eve, the temperature hits 70 degrees, severe thunderstorms form and heavy rain washes down the slopes. Will their snow dreams be fulfilled by an arctic bomb cyclone predicted for Christmas Day?
Christmas Packing — A world-renowned human rights activist is appalled by the working conditions for immigrant employees in her father’s meatpacking plant. Can she soften his hardened heart and convince him to rethink speeding up the processing line on Christmas Eve?
Shrimping Christmas — An Iowa farm girl befriends a Louisiana shrimper stuck at the airport in a snowstorm and invites him to her family farm. Love blooms as snow falls on the Christmas Eve parade. But will farm-fertilizer-fueled hypoxia in the Gulf smother their romance?
The Riches of Christmas — When a wealthy family wins the bidding at an auction, Gov. Kim Reynolds comes to their house for Christmas Eve. In front of the fire, with crystal mugs of eggnog, the governor tells them how the magic of Christmas, and the Legislature, will make them even richer next year.
The Reality of Christmas — A poor family on the brink of homelessness writes a letter to the governor detailing their struggles with disabilities, illness and putting food on the table. On Christmas Eve they get their answer: A form letter from the governor! Will they use it to start a fire?
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