There’s a point in every Christmas movie where something so ridiculous happens that you have to pause to laugh so you don’t cry. That’s exactly what happened as we were listening to Jason Sparks (Steve Lund) talk about his perfect sparkle trees while basically insulting tree farms. We’d like to have a word, dude. What’s more frustrating, readers, the corporate tech man who doesn’t know how to take a day off, or the woman? (I’ll give you my answer. It’s the man.) Still, Lifetime’s Six Degrees of Santa is fun, even when you’re cracking up through the antics.
The idea of Six Degrees of Santa is a delightful twist on the White Elephant and Secret Santa exchange solely because of how much our heroine, Harper McNevin (Kathryn Davis), cares about gift-giving. If it weren’t for her sentimental drive, it’d be easy to turn off the film and not even bother seeing where it goes. But as someone who’s an absolute sap, she got me through to the end with a sweet romance that’s pleasantly surprising.
Naturally, in a film like this, a corporate dude-bro is going to have some solid motives, and Jason quickly reveals his when he’s the sixth delivery with a copy of Harper’s favorite book, Northbound Elf. As it turns out, the book is also a childhood favorite of Jason’s, and because he lost his copy, he takes the gift as a sign to search for his person, Ms. Santa #1. This delightful twist on a man believing in signs works, allowing Jason’s motives to make sense later instead of coming from left field.
He’s not a rich dude-bro trying to modernize Christmas, but Sparkle trees are born from the fact that when his uncle got sick and couldn’t get a tree, he wanted to make the delivery process easier. Still, I could’ve done with a little less social media conversation, even when it’s a prominent part of the story. But then again, in today’s day and age, it doesn’t surprise me.
The appeal of Six Degrees of Santa comes from the detail that the romance happens naturally. While Harper lies about being Ms. Santa #1 as her neighbor goes on dates with Jason, the two get to know one another organically without the added pressure of dating. As they spend more time together, Harper realizes she was wrong about him being shallow, and at the same time, he realizes that everything is more effortless with her. Life is safe, fun, and better when they spend time together, which makes their getting off on the wrong foot to gradually becoming lovers romance a quirky delight.
Where there’s a romance that relies on learning from one another to improve their careers as they continue to flourish, we’ll always give credit where credit is due. As a couple, Jason and Harper’s relationship stands as a partnership where helping each other becomes a priority that will improve both their lives.
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There are a few scenes where, as cheesy as it is, the chemistry works enough to make the relationship feel like one worth rooting for. It’s also easy to appreciate the detail that there’s not a blowout argument after he learns the truth about Harper’s identity as Ms. Santa #1, but instead, the two find themselves finally leaning into the romance fully.
Six Degrees of Santa is now streaming on Frndly TV.