Hallmark Movies For January

Tim Sniffen
3 min readJan 3, 2022

Jeanine is a Manhattan advertising exec who seems to have it all, but can’t shake the feeling that something’s missing. On a lark she visits her childhood home of Graham Corners, Wisconsin. In January.

Jeanine proposes a tractor ride around the family farm with her dad, but the equipment is stored for winter and he’s in the middle of a lengthy battle with Patagonia over some polar fleeces he bought online that never arrived. Her mom is occupied with a new post-holiday tradition of “binge-napping”.

Jeanine takes a nostalgic stroll through the town square, managing to catch the eye of Dusty, the rugged, restless mayor of Graham Corners — could this simple-hearted man be the answer Jeanine has been seeking…? No, he’s waving her away from the area where a street crew is removing decorations.

When Jeanine is nearly bludgeoned by a sparkly Mrs. Claus silhouette being lowered from a street light, then gets a text from her boss that reads, “Gabby says ur on vacation?? Didnt u just have 2 weeks off??” — she finds her car and leaves. On her way out of town, Jeanine realizes what she’s been missing: an extension cord for her blender to make margaritas in bed.

Carol’s life as a small-town photographer gets turned upside down when she receives a letter declaring her the long-lost princess of a Bavarian fiefdom! She need only walk three blocks to the post office and reply. Three long blocks. In January. Waiting in Bavaria for her reply is Walter, the shy, golden-haired Minister of Royal Transitions.

Carol then hears about SnuggleIn™, an app that delivers soup and a good book right to your door.

A few weeks later, the Bavarian fiefdom successfully transitions to a representative democracy.

Nathan hasn’t so much as looked at his cello since the accident. Without Nathan’s music, his Blue Ridge log cabin grows ever darker and more lifeless… until a local animal shelter begs him to foster a premature Labrador puppy named Tempo for a few weeks.

Bolstered by his furry friend’s courage, Nathan shakes the dust from his bow and takes a seat before his instrument. In the valley below Nathan’s cabin, the townspeople, sensing a miracle, gather to listen.

Tim Sniffen

Writing: Work In Progress on Showtime, The New Yorker, NPR’s Live From Here, Hello From The Magic Tavern, McSweeney’s, Jackbox Games | Twitter @MisterSniffen