All she wants for Christmas is to be a Mrs.
It's the most wonderful time of year, when there are parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting, and Lifetime Christmas movies always ready to go. I've mentioned that I have a strange fondness for cheesy Christmas movies, and this obsessions disturbs me more than a little. My tolerance for the unimaginative writing might say something about my lack of artistic intelligence, and my excuses for the bad acting probably has more to do with the fact that I am paying more attention to the Christmas decorations and winter sweaters than the characters themselves, but what I cannot so easily dismiss is the premise that coupling always results in happiness--specifically, when the coupling involves a damsel in distress who meets her Prince Charming.
All of the movies share the same plot: an overworked and under-appreciated woman desperately wants to be married and needs to find a man who will help her stop to smell the roses and find contentment. Usually the movie ends with a proposal or wedding.
What I want to know is: Why do we think all women want for Christmas is a ring? Do diamonds and weddings and life partners complete Christmas in the same way as do Santa and sugar cookies and snowflakes and holiday music? Why is it not okay for a movie to end with the characters single--happy, but not engaged or married or even necessarily in relationships? Or a relationship between a woman and a woman and a man and a man (now that would be a bold step for Hallmark and Lifetime!)?
This concern has been voiced before and comes up in one form or another with the release of every new Disney princess movie and the major box office films. If the women has a leading role, it is because she needs a man; otherwise she supports and remains off in the background. Lifetime and Hallmark's only twist is conflating the holidays with couple-dom: being coupled completes a woman, yes, especially so during the holidays.
Of course, I believe (and find it ironic that) part of the reason the focus shifts so much to relationships completing the leading ladies in these holiday films is because the screenwriters seek to combat materialism. It never is money or the big promotion or fame that ultimately gives the characters happiness; it is true love. It's just funny that the true love almost always needs a diamond in order to take.