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Today may be Christmas*, but I’ve been in the holiday spirit since the first weekend of November, when I decided that it was time to venture into the world of made-for-TV Christmas movies.

It’s been years since I’ve entered this world. I first happened across it during the holidays growing up, when ABC Family or Lifetime would tell me, no matter what had gone wrong, what lies were told or who you were originally dating, you would end up with the love of your life (or the person you think is the love of your life because it’s Christmas).

Friend Tammi calls them “emo chick porn,” and I can’t say this isn’t true. They are of varying levels of ridiculousness, and they’re very easy to predict. Yes, of course these two characters who have nothing in common (or who have everything in common) are going to be thrown together during the holiday season, and maybe there will be a horse or some mistletoe, but definitely there will be a falling out and 10 minutes before the movie ends, we still won’t have any sort of resolution but YES there is their first kiss in the final 45 seconds. Le sigh.

My love for these works of art — you can’t tell me they are anything else — has lain dormant since I left for college and then moved to D.C., mostly out of being too poor to afford cable.

But no more. This year, I watched 12 of these films. And because of the brilliance of friend Mackenzie, I now present what I hope will become an annual ranking of whatever ridiculous movies I watched this year. (Note: I’ve basically made my decisions based on what I would rewatch in the future and the fireplaces/mistletoe/white elephant/bourbon system was devised by Mackenzie. Further edits may be made to add her own thoughts.)

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Made for TV.

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