Must be a self-centered dude living in a fast-paced metropolis.
He resides alone, in a high rise in New York, Los Angeles or Chicago, and it’s not uncommon for hot one-dimensional characters/supermodel-like babes to wake up to the blaring noise of his smoothie blender on most days.
He needs to display an overwhelming fear of commitment at all times.
If and when a hot one-dimensional character/supermodel-like babe acts lovey-dovey, he must be assertive to let her know that at this time he can’t get involved with anyone. There must be some sort of backstory to this fear. Or not.
Career choice: Mergers and Acquisitions, or a sector that’s sophisticated yet vague for the masses.
His work takes precedence over everything else, period. There must be talk of him making Partner/SVP in the washroom/elevator by bro-worker/lady boss.
Must be emotionally blackmailed to visit home for the holidays.
Sibling/dad/stepdad’s email must pop up with bad news about mom’s failing health and quite possibly her last Christmas right in the middle of a Merger and/or Acquisition. And, he must have no choice but to visit the shithole town of his past.
Shithole town hatred is mandatory.
Upon arrival, he must incessantly cuss about shithole town’s slow pace and limited cellular service. The poor network resulting in flaky GPS will accidentally lead him to shithole town’s all too familiar old bar. He’ll notice nothing has changed here: middle-aged white dudes playing pool and a jaded veteran giving our city boy the stink-eye.
Needs to bump into the one that got away at bar.
Of course, the childhood sweetheart must be the bartender, who, unlike him, has had zero career goals or life goals. After hearing him rant about the slow pace and limited cellular service in shithole town, she must remind him of his roots; of a time when he had soul, etc. They will argue over this and he will storm out of bar. Later that night, he must watch his family’s holiday home videos in the basement and bawl in solitude. And this somehow must become a defining moment.
He must get back to his roots and lay down roots of his own in shithole town.
He must make it up to childhood sweetheart in an elaborate way that involves the entire shithole town population at the old bar on Christmas Eve. He must also abandon/toss his perpetually buzzing smartphone in a garbage can/waterbody and give up the big city life for good. He must marry, have kids, etc. And, yes! Christmas miracle: Mom will live.
There must be enough legs for a sequel for next year.
The year is 2039, we open on a young city boy who looks like he’s lost his way and enters the old bar in shithole town. He’ll notice nothing has changed here: middle-aged white dudes playing pool, a jaded veteran giving our city boy the stink-eye who says, “Your mom will be delighted to see you… Merry Christmas, son.”