Sandra, the stressed-out Goldman Sachs analyst,
who got lost in Mistletoe Falls and fell for
Luke, the local handyman

After quitting her job and moving there permanently, she discovered Mistletoe Falls turns into a hunting camp each January. The same kindred townsfolk who taught her the true meaning of Christmas drive herds of animals to the base of Mistletoe Mountain where a makeshift slaughterhouse/tannery replaced Holiday Village. Sandra, who cleared $670,000 in 2016, earns minimum wage at Ye Olde Jerky Shoppe. Luke broke up with her. She sees him every Wednesday at fifty-cent wing night, after which she walks home alone through blood red snow.

Dean, the real estate developer
who checked into Holly Lodge with plans
to strip-mine 300 mountainous acres,
before meeting Jenny, the owner

After Jenny shared her holiday traditions with Dean, she shared a Christmas surprise — she was pregnant, possibly with his child, or maybe Mac Hinson’s, with whom she had a thing before Dean. Now the Hinson boys — there are anywhere between thirteen and nineteen brothers—are feuding with Dean for shoplifting one of their women. They slow roll pickups by Holly Lodge all night. Hundreds of Hinson kin living in the mountains, endless trucks. Dean wants to move back to Tribeca but the whole pregnancy thing. Also, he can’t chance leaving the lodge without encountering a Hinson.

Melissa, the yoga instructor passing through
Baker’s Bottom when she crashed her Mercedes

At the Pinecone Inn, she was greeted with cookies and afghans. There she learned Christmas camaraderie as the townsfolk assembled the annual cookie replica of Baker’s Bottom. Beginning Christmas Eve, it snowed for seventeen days. The locals had built up a tolerance to sugar and saturated fat, and could survive weeks on delicacies and afghans. Whereas Melissa, having led a vegan lifestyle to maintain her physique, soon developed a snickerdoodle addiction. They found her one morning gnawing on the cookie village, which would take days to re-bake. Melissa put on fourteen snickerdoodle pounds, and touching her toes was out of the question, so she decided to just live at the Pinecone Inn. Maybe she’ll open a yoga studio when it stops snowing. Afghans are more forgiving on the body than yoga mats.

Sean, the marketing executive,
who got stranded in Snowy Ripple during a ski trip

Following an enjoyable fling with Jess, the local skate sharpener, he bid the villagers goodbye and returned to Chicago. But they followed him. And not just Jess. The entire Snowy Ripple community—old men who taught him ice fishing, village matriarchs who stressed tradition, the O’Leary kids who probably instilled in him some important values he’d forgotten. Fifty Snowy Ripplonians outside his office, decorating his condo with Christmas lights deep into January. They met his cursing tantrums with patronizing nods — that he would come to his senses, quit his job, wed Jess and move to Snowy Ripple. Truth was he loathed Snowy Ripple. And Jess, while a fine lay, was too Republican for his tastes. Looking out his condo window, villagers singing carols around an illegal open fire, brooding Jess mindlessly sharpening a figure skate, he phoned the authorities, only to learn he could not take out a restraining order against an entire village. He would do Bali next Christmas. Skiing was out of the question.

Katie, the freelance writer from Pittsburgh,
who rescued wealthy but drowning Donny Utzenberger,
only to be mistaken for his fiancé

With Donny in a coma, one thing led to another, and she slept with his younger brother, Denny. The Utzenbergers loved her with Denny, not so much Donny, who they never said it aloud, it being the holidays, that he probably tried to kill himself like he did every Christmas. After Christmas, she stuck with the sad fiancé routine, and in an act of drunken bonding slept with the sister, Diana. And then Aunt Betty. And then the father, Don Senior. The holiday spirit upon her and the Utzenbergers so joyful and kind and insisting she stick around for New Year’s, she accidentally fellated a waiter at brunch. Donny came out of the coma to discover he was still alive and shrugged agreeably when Katie presented herself as his fiancé. The wedding is in June. Don Senior keeps mentioning a prenup but then they all laugh and pour drinks and forget about it.