TWICE UPON A CHRISTMAS (pax, 2001)

Why was it such a misfit?

If you're anything like me, you're sick and tired of Christmas movies that come up with a son or daughter for Santa Claus and think they're SO ORIGINAL. I've seen that same concept at least twenty different times by now; it's way beyond old hat. But when I heard the plot for the early 2000s TV movie Twice Upon A Christmas, everything changed:

TWICE UPON A CHRISTMAS (2001) Kathy Ireland. Santa's evil daughter plots to destroy the yuletide holiday.

An EVIL daughter? Played by 90s supermodel Kathy Ireland?? SIGN ME THE HECK UP!!!

As the film began, my expectations were raised even higher when the PAX logo appeared at the corner of the screen. I actually found a TV movie produced for PAX about Kathy Ireland as the evil daughter of Santa Claus. THIS IS GOING TO BE LEGEN....WAIT FOR IT....DARY.

But as I kept watching over the next few minutes, I was kind of let down. For one thing, Santa has two daughters, and Ireland is playing the good one. I really wanted to see her take on a campy, vampy anti-Christmas vixen, but instead she plays a being of spotless purity who recites all her lines in an airy voice much like a nanny cradling a baby. That's a fine waste right there.

Second, this is actually a sequel to a previous TV movie called Once Upon A Christmas, which I don't have. But the opening narration over the clouds got me up to speed pretty quickly: Santa was once thinking of retiring, believing humanity had lost the Christmas spirit. The bad daughter, who wants to destroy Christmas, encouraged him to hang up his hat. The good daughter insisted it wasn't true, and to prove it she would stay with a specific dysfunctional family in suburbia and prove she could restore the spirit of Christmas in them. But there was a complication along the way: she fell in love with widower Bill. If she chose to stay with him, she would sacrifice her immortality AND lose her knowledge of being Santa's daughter. She choise him anyway, and her act of selfless love convinced Santa to hold off his retirement. Also, the good daughter is named Kristin, and the bad daughter is named Rudolfa.

....Rudolfa? That's almost the same name as that one deer they've got hanging around. Why would they give her almost the exact same name? Wouldn't that be confusing?

Anyway. That's the first movie, and I'm sure glad I didn't have to sit through it. (Update: a recording of Movie #1 turned up one day before the publication of this post, but....you can't make me!)

One year after that happened, Santa's workshop is gearing up for another Christmas Eve, and everyone's happy...except Rudolfa, who's stuck shoveling reindeer dung in the stables. After that she'll be forced to clean the birdcages of ALL the birds...the seven swans, the six geese, all the way down. She can't stand it. So when Santa enters the stable to ask if she's learned her lesson, she'll say anything to get out of there. She plasters a smile on her face and crows about what a reformed woman she is.

"I'm glad to hear it," says the Claus. "You see, since Kristin isn't here...."
"Yes, Kristin left, but I stayed behind! I WOULD NEVER ABANDON YOU, DADDY!"
"Well, since she's not here, she can't perform any of the tasks that kept us on schedule....and we're getting dangerously behind! I need someone to fill in, and I'm hoping it's you..."

Rudolfa eagerly accepts. This time, if she's working from the inside, dismantling Christmas will be easier than ever.

Meanwhile, at the Wholesome House Of Wholesomeness, Bill and his two kids Kyle and Brittany are at the dinner table. Bill tells Kristin that the potatoes are done, and she walks off to pull them out. Once she leaves, Bill leans in across the table and tells his kids, "Okay, once she comes back, that's when I'll do it." The movie hasn't revealed yet what "it" is, but it's not hard to guess. Sure enough, once Kristin re-enters, Bill proposes marriage. And of course, Kristin's expected reply is "I can't."

----wait, can't? If anyone's surprised it's Bill. After he begs her for answers, she says that he doesn't know her birthday. He replies with the fact that she hasn't even told him. "Exactly, because I don't know either!" she says, and then confesses the reason she can't marry him is because she doesn't know anything about herself. Amnesiacs can NEVER GET MARRIED, I guess.

Kristin would prefer to get married on Christmas, but won't take the plunge unless she can figure out who she is, which sets the family on a fruitless quest to solve the mystery before December 25. They don't stand much of a chance, considering the truth.

Rudolfa seeks the aid of Wahoo, the one elf who will still talk to her. She throws snowballs at his apartment window until he responds. She tells him to grab a hammer and chisel and come down, so she can explain her hot new plan.

Rudolfa gleefully lays out the situation. In the past, Kristin always put a stop to her evil schemes, but now she's not only absent from the North Pole, she doesn't even remember who she is. That gives Rudolfa the widest opening possible. And has she got a scheme to take full advantage of that! She tells Wahoo to start hammering away at a wall.

Countless villains throughout the ages have hatched plans to destroy Santa's workshop. None of them have succeeded, but they've been wide and varied, big and small, loud and sneaky. So what's the hammer and chisel for? What mega-large plan is this first stage building up toward?

Folks, I hate to tell you, but you're looking at it. Rudolfa's plan is one of the stupidest I've ever heard. She is going to destroy Santa's workshop by...slowly chipping away pieces of it until it's not there anymore. I am not kidding.

The elf points out the obvious: "Won't someone notice?" Rudolfa says she's got that covered. She'll simply slink around Santa and whisper in his ear that his headquarters is vanishing because no one believes in Christmas anymore. Okay, that MIGHT work....on just him, but where exactly is she going to put each piece of the North Pole that she breaks off? How is she going to make sure no one notices the large mound of debris rising behind the village parking lot?

Well, the plan is simple from there. She's going to sell each piece on live television.

I repeat: SHE IS GOING TO SLOWLY DISMANTLE THE NORTH POLE AND SELL THE PIECES ON AN INFOMERCIAL AND NO ONE AT SANTA'S IS GOING TO NOTICE THIS!

The campaign must cost billions, because it reaches everyone. Rudolfa instantly appears on CRTs all over the world in a sparkly dress, and starts crooning:

"Hello my friends, Rudolfa here,
With the ultimate in Christmas cheer.
A perfect gift, yes it's true,
I'm not the person who would lie to you!
And because it is the season, Christmas spirit is my goal,
Just for that very reason I am selling the North Pole!
Pay what you can, don't think twice!
We don't care about the price.
Isn't that NICE?
Buy a PIECE OF THE POOOOOOOOLE."

The movie only has one song, and it's this, and it's repeated at least seven times throughout. It'll unavoidably get stuck in your head should you ever decide to watch Twice Upon A Christmas (good thing that's not going to happen).

Brittany writes down the number at the end and tells Kyle "I just saw the most interesting commercial. They're selling off real pieces of the North Pole! You send in what you want, and they send you...a chunk of brick, it looks like. It would be the perfect gift for Kristin!" How?

To help broadcast her commercial around the world, Rudolfa has enlisted the help of Mr. Glitch, a mischievous imp who delights in breaking things. When electronics futz out, when battery-powered gizmos break, when anything unexplainably weird happens with something you just bought...that's Mr. Glitch spoiling your day, because he gets a kick out of it. Cyberpunk 2077? All him. So what use could he possibly be to Rudolfa? Because, as she puts it, "It stands to reason if you're good at breaking things, you should be good at fixing things." I dunno, lady.

But she doesn't have any issues with Mr. Glitch; he gets her cameras rolling and he could possibly be the reason she's able to air this ad everywhere in the first place. Also, Rudolfa has one other helper, but we'll get to him later.

Rudolfa's sales pitch was so effective, Brittany and Kyle are buying several Pieces Of The Pole for Kristin. "Get some for Dad too, get a bunch!" Kyle commands. He's not alone...everyone in the entire world is buying a Piece of the Pole. EVERYONE on Earth, including every Jewish person. Britney Spears bought one. Charles Manson bought one. You bought one. Trust me, you did.

You would think bricks, mortar and debris wouldn't be very appealing, but as Kyle puts it, "they're real authentic pieces of the North Pole," which means everyone's gotta have one. But for that to work, everyone would have to believe they're real pieces of Santa's workshop, which would mean everyone would have to believe in Santa, and the movie has already established that isn't the case. So how is this happening?

No one is more delighted by the sales success than Rudolfa. She turns to Wahoo and says "You know....why stop with the buildings? Why not start selling Santa's possessions? His clothes? HAHAHAHAAA!!"
Okay, if you sell Santa's CLOTHES he is DEFINITELY going to notice THAT is happening, right? ...Right?

Wrong. When Santa can't find some of his suits he frets that they couldn't have just disappeared. Rudolfa creeps from around the corner and tells him it's true. "I've heard that Santas get replaced eventually....and the new Santa gets to pick his decor and what he likes! And the accoutrements of the old Santa just....disappear!"
"There can be no other explanation!" agrees Santa. Wow. How is she this convincing?

Back in Perfect Town, Kristin is taking driving lessons. She doesn't remember if she knew how to drive a car before, she just knows she can't now. You would think a seasoned driving instructor would have seen it all, but this one finds Kristin just too much to handle. "Okay, you don't need to put the car in Park every time you stop at a light," she reminds her. A car honks behind Kristin and she rolls down the window to communicate with him. "I'M SORRY! YOU SEE, IT'S MY FIRST DAY!" she shouts in a polite manner.

"WILL YOU MOVE ALREADY? IT'S ALMOST CHRISTMAS!" the angry man yells back. "YES, I KNOW, ALL THE MORE REASON TO--" She's cut off by the instructor flooring her own pedal and getting them out of there. Kristin manages to pull off her next task, pulling into a driveway....until she taps the gas a little too hard at the end and rams into a pole. "Have you EVER driven anything in your life??" the instructor says exasperatedly. "A reindeer sleigh....." Kristin says cluelessly, which is strange, because she's not supposed to remember that.

At this point, the family has exhausted all leads in their search for Kristin's family. Their uncle Johnny has been helping and hasn't turned up a thing. "There are people with the Claus surname in Portland, Ohio, and several in Alaska, but none connected to anybody named Kristin." Johnny has only one theory left: Kristin is either a clone created in a government lab, or an alien from another planet. Brittany inadvertently hits the nail right on the head with her response: "What if she's the daughter of Santa Claus? She's got the same last name." The others scoff at this, and Johnny says "At least clones actually exist."

It's time for Rudolfa to activate the final stage of her plan. The pieces of Santa's workshop are selling rapidly, but she's got to make sure the place stays gone. So she's going to sell the entire lot to a land developer! But what kind of developer would take part in such a dastardly scheme? Who would willingly agree to do something so heartless as to destroy Christmas forever? Rudolfa's OTHER accomplice would...

"Why, HELLO Donald! ....May I call you Donald?"
"You just did. Who is this?"
"Hey, you know that Piece of the Pole campaign? It's been a huge success. And at the rate they're selling, by Christmas Eve the whole area will be vacant...with a TREMENDOUS amount of real estate potential!"
They both say it at the same time: "HIGH-RISE TIME-SHARE CONDOS AT THE NORTH POLE!!"

Yes, Rudolfa's secret accomplice is none other than the future forty-fifth President of the United States. You know, up to this point, this movie has completely baffled me, but now suddenly everything makes sense. How is Rudolfa convincing everybody to buy bricks and talking Santa out of seeing what's right in front of his face? Because she learned from the master, that's how!

Now think about the fact that this movie ran on a family-friendly network with a red, white and blue logo, which most likely meams everyone involved was right-leaning. THERE IS A MOVIE OUT THERE, MADE BY REPUBLICANS, WHERE DONALD TRUMP IS INVOLVED IN A PLOT TO DESTROY CHRISTMAS.

And really, who are we to question such a genius? If Trump wants to destroy Christmas, then Christmas must GO!

"I was thinking we could call it 'Rudolfa's North Pole Hotel And Casino'," she suggests.
"YOU MEAN TRUMP'S NORTH POLE TOWER!" he shouts back. Did she really think she'd get her name on this?

Back in Pleasantville, Kristin senses a disturbance in the Force. "Something's...wrong..." she cryptically tells Bill. "With what?" he asks. "With Christmas..." she tells him.
She gets even stranger feelings when she happens to tune into one of the many Piece of the Pole ads on TV. She slowly stirs a bowl of pudding in the kitchen while looking quizically at Rudolfa's face...

Rudolfa has not only been shipping off Santa's things as Pieces of the Pole, but Kristin's old things as well. Kristin's childhood doll winds up at Bill's house. If this hadn't happened, Rudolfa would have won. A slip-up of that magnitude couldn't have possibly happened with Donald Trump in charge, so we have to assume the Democrat-leaning postal service, led by the Deep State, was paid off by George Soros to wreck Rudolfa's plan.

But it did happen and when Kristin grasps the doll, a flood of memories come rushing back. "I......I remember!" she gasps. "I'm...I'm Santa's daughter! And I lived at the North Pole....and I have magic powers!"
The TV just happens to be showing one of Rudolfa's commercials at that moment, and Kristin recognizes her too. "Where did you say you got this doll?"

"It's one of the Pieces of the Pole. They're the hottest thing. Everybody has one!" Kyle informs her.
"But if everyone has a Piece of the Pole..." Kristin realizes, "then what's left of the original thing? We have to get to the North Pole! We have to get there now!"
Thanks to Kristin's newly rediscovered magic, she can teleport everyone there.

When they materialize in front of what's left of Santa's place, they're horrified to see the run-down, skeletal framework of what was a once bustling workshop. There's also a giant sign nearby that boasts of a giant casino building coming soon to the area, which will create thousands of American jobs at minimum wage. Kristin, being the daughter of a Communist who gives people things for free, won't stand for that.

Kristin angrily bursts into what was the main office, to see Rudolfa finishing up her phone chat with Our Supreme And Unquestionable Leader. She demands to know what's truly going on.

Rudolfa explains that her harebrained plan is actually more clever than anyone realized. How can anyone restore the North Pole this time, if it's been broken up into pieces and scattered all over the world? They can't even begin to gather them back up -- they're out of time, it's Christmas Eve. Why, you'd need to visit every house on the planet in one night, and that's impossible!

Even the reindeer are gone...sold to some guy in Ohio, Rudolfa explains. At least she didn't chop them up first like she's done with everything else, but I don't know what a guy in Ohio would do with reindeer besides eat them.

Lacking in ideas as to what to do next, Kristin notices one building is still intact and operational...and some familiar music is coming from it. It's where they're about to broadcast one last Piece of the Pole commercial.
Kristin suddenly has an idea....

Using her authority as Santa's daughter, she orders all the elves to vacate the premises immediately. Then she approaches the monitors and starts fiddling, and.....

....the ad is different! She's now selling a brand of home carpeting with the Kathy Ireland name!...No, wait, the movie just cut to commercials and the first one concidentally happened to star the lead. That was weird.

Here's the REAL hijacked ad. Kristin appears on every TV in the entire world instantly and gives an impassioned speech:

"I know everyone wants a piece of the North Pole. But the North Pole doesn't belong to any one person. It can't. It belongs to everyone who believes, and can only exist if everyone believes in the whole thing together."

Um.....I'm pretty sure the North Pole would still exist if no one believed in it. But who really believes in it anyway? The North Pole is a liberal lie invented by Democrats to promote the myth of climate change, so Hunter Biden can kidnap the nation's children and chop them into meat chunks to be devoured by Zoe Quinn. You almost got me, movie!

"Now listen. I want you to take your Piece of the Pole, and put it in your hand....and believe. Believe in the North Pole, and Santa Claus, and Christmas. Believe very hard. With everything you have in you. Believe! BELIEEEEEVE!"

Everyone in the entire world does just that, including every Jewish person, and Britney Spears, and every boy band, and Tom Green, and you. And it works! The pieces instantly dematerialize from their hands and transport to their original places at the North Pole. With buckets of dazzling special effects like the kind you'd see on "Sabrina" at the time, a tornado of magic whooshes through and restores Santa's workshop to its original, uncut glory.

And so it was that Kristin, an illegal immigrant from an area swarming with literal snowflakes, was joined in an unholy elf-human matrimony with Bill. In attendance were an angel, a snowman, and what appears to be Little Bo Peep in the back. Traitors to America, all of 'em!

So yes, Santa Claus won against Donald Trump, but only because he rigged the entire thing. In fact, if you ask me, Donald Trump DID destroy Christmas and they're just covering it up. There's simply no way he could have lost. This is not the end; I refuse to accept the outcome of this movie. Our only hope is the Liberty Freedom Patriot Freedom Liberty Oath Keeping Patriot Confederate Boogaloo Militia of the Star-Spangled Boxer Shorts, who wil restore this film to its Constitutional, Founding Fathers-intended Purity by kidnapping and executing every state governor they don't like and declaring martial law. It's what Washington and Jefferson would have wanted!

Why didn't it fit in?
When Christmas specials are THIS screwed up I'm usually told about them well before I cover them here. But its genre and its network doomed it to obscurity. I picked this up blind and boy, what a trip I had. The looney logic employed in this special is on another level and makes it one for the ages. I don't know how many people actually saw it in its day, or how obtainable it is beyond the home-recorded VHS I picked up from a thrift store, but I could see it going viral now for more reasons than just the obvious one.