A Very Charming Christmas Town

A Solvang story for Jul


Set in Solvang, Calif., the most Danish and the “Most Christmassy Town in the USA,” A Very Charming Christmas Town may be a little corny, but it sure will get you in the holiday spirit.

John Smistad
Olympia, Wash.

Synopsis: City girl and travel blogger Aubrey goes to the cozy little hamlet of Solvang for her holiday blog piece after it’s voted “Most Christmassy Town in the USA.” There she meets Sawyer, a community coordinator and chocolate shop owner assigned to show her the town. At first the unlikely pairing is at odds, but soon they start to fall for each other amid the twinkling lights of this magical Danish-style village. 

My estimable and erudite editor-in-chief with The Norwegian American, Lori Ann Reinhall, tipped me off. After asking me to review the Danish-centric holiday film A Very Charming Christmas Town, she added this qualifier: “It’s pretty corny.”

As usual, Lori Ann is right on the nose. In this case, the red nose. Here we have a flick veritably steeped in corn. However, she also posited that “maybe corny is good these days.”

Either that makes sense to you or it doesn’t, I suppose. Nevertheless, many are bound to join me in the camp of the former. After all, a lot of what we do during the Yuletide season can, at least to some degree, register somewhere on the bromidic meter, can it not?  And, truth be told, would we really have it any other way?

With this in mind (and heart), here’s my review…

A Very Charming Christmas Town is a Lifetime TV channel holiday season production. As such, you know full well what’s coming. Gorgeous gals and guys meet under inauspicious circumstances. Immediately they loathe each other. Over the ensuing two hours the ice shall thaw. And, alas, the couple ultimately tumble head over heels in love.

Thus is the tried and true tale here. L.A. lady Aubrey intends to compose a cynical story for her travel blog, exposing the quaint California Scandinavian Christmas-themed burg of Solvang as little more than a tourist trap of holiday halls decked out in festive facade. Along comes the dashing long-time local Sawyer, bent on bursting her bah humbug bubble.

How the holly will this pair ever come to a collective consensus of Christmas spirit?

Leave it to a store chock-full of chocolate Danish delicacies, paired with a sweet as peppermint syrup song tugging snugly at the heartstrings, to result in a ready-made romantic solution to what began as a stalwart stalemate. And, yes, there is a nisse hunt, too.

Aw, come on, oh ye scrooges. Ain’t nothin’ platitudinous about true love now.

Nor never, ever, “… and on earth peace, goodwill toward me,” ladies and gentlemen both, and in equal measure.

A Very Charming Christmas Town is available for digital purchase on Amazon Prime Video.

To read about Lori Ann and Travel Editor Cynthia Elyce Rubin’s trip to Solvang see: “Solvang, a little piece of Scandinavia in California,” in the Dec. 2, 2022 issue of The Norwegian American.

This article originally appeared in the November 2023 issue of The Norwegian American.

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John Smistad

John Smistad is a published author of short stories, poems, essays, and movie reviews. He lives and loves with his family and cat in the Puget Sound area of Washington state. He is the fiercely proud son of a native Norwegian dad. (He loves his mom, too.) You can follow him as on his blog at thequickflickcritic.blogspot.com.