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  • Writer's pictureJ J Hanna

The Twelve Characters of Christmas

It’s the time of year when we watch heartfelt movies about the holiday season. There are a few holiday movie stereotypes you can always expect to find in these movies. So, without further ado:

1. “Mr. Scrooge” from the Big City

This is usually the main character of the story, and they’re often rude and caught up so much in their own life that they’d rather the holidays just didn’t happen. By the end of the movie, this character has had a change of heart and understands love and generosity in a new way.

2. The Mentor

This character knew what was going on the whole time, whether the protagonist needed answers about their past, guidance for their future, or a nudge in the right direction, this character is the one they go to.

3. The Nice-List Poster Child

When they meet the protagonist, this person usually shakes their head and looks at them like all hope is lost, but over time, as this character gets to know more about the protagonist and the protagonist has a change of heart, this character not only becomes a friend but often becomes a love interest.

4. The Tipping Point

This character is often homeless or in need great need, and is the first person the protagonist reaches out to with the true spirit of Christmas, either inviting them to the Christmas party or giving them shelter from the cold.

5. The Instigator

This character sends the protagonist on their journey of discovery, seeing what they could become even though it’s hidden by all their grumpiness.

6. The Nightmare Fiancé

Usually, if the Christmas movie is of the romantic nature, the protagonist will be in a committed relationship with someone from their world, be it corporate, party, or otherwise. After the protagonist has learned from the Nice-List Poster Child, they’ve changed so much that the Nightmare Fiance no longer wants to be with them, or the protagonist no longer wants to be with the person they thought they could see themselves with.

7. The Ghost of Christmas Past

Often, this character is not actually in the movie. They are, however, very present in the lives of either the protagonist or the Nice-List Poster Child. For some reason or another, one of these characters was hurt at Christmas time, and the memory haunts the current character and makes them hesitant to love again. They are often the reason for how the character is in the present, either overly, perfectly nice, or cruel and heartless.

8. The Truth-telling Child

At some point in the movie, the “Mr. Scrooge” character usually needs to hear painful truths from someone who isn’t the Mentor character. Who better than to use a child to say the profound words of wisdom or show true love to the protagonist in their time of need?

9. The Wise Santa

Much like the Mentor, this character shows up and tells the protagonist exactly what they need to hear. Alternatively, they give them a knowing smile once they figured out what it was they were meant to learn. They’re usually identifiable because they’re dressed as Santa Claus.

10. The Christmas Cookie Mother

This character is often a baker, takes care of everyone else they meet, and gives selflessly. They often had a role in raising the Nice-list Poster Child, and see the best in the protagonist from the very start.

11. The Dependable Worker who Calls in Sick

Be it the maid, the taxi driver, or the cook, this necessary job must be filled by someone. Often, for the sake of comedy, this job falls on the protagonist who would never stoop to such levels until they’ve grown a heart.

12. The Suppressed Artist

Lastly, this character is one who had dreams of a creative nature and ignored them because they had to take care of their family or they realized they weren’t plausible for the current stage of their life. They’re usually spurred into the spotlight by the changed “Mr. Scrooge,” and often encouraged back into their passion through the help of the protagonist.

Just for fun, I've complied these characters into lyrics, meant to be sung to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas. Look here for that parody.


J. J. Hanna is attending Taylor University for a degree in Professional Writing. She has published multiple devotions and book reviews and is a beginning comic artist. She published her first book, Existence, in 2015. Look for it on Amazon.


The Nice-List Poster Child

The Truth-telling Child

#TheTwelveDaysofChristmas #Characters #Christmas

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