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‘Under the Christmas Tree’ is Lifetime’s 1st holiday lesbian romance

Lifetime Under the Christmas Tree

Lifetime unveiled its 2021 holiday movie schedule Tuesday, including the channel’s first lesbian romance. The movie is called “Under the Christmas Tree.” Photo: Lifetime.

Lifetime unveiled its 2021 holiday movie schedule Tuesday, including the channel’s first lesbian romance.

The movie is called “Under the Christmas Tree.”

Here’s the official description.

Marketing whiz Alma Beltran (Elise Bauman) and Christmas tree whisperer Charlie Freemont (Tattiawna Jones) cross paths when Charlie finds the perfect tree for the Maine Governor’s Holiday Celebration – right in Alma’s back yard. While they initially spar, romantic sparks soon begin to fly between the two women as the enchanting tree and some Christmas fairy dust from the town’s pâtissière extraordinaire (Ricki Lake) bring out the best in them and spark each other to take leaps of faith and fight for love and Christmas magic.

The “Under the Christmas Tree” will debut Dec. 19. as part of the network’s “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” lineup, which will premiere Nov. 12.

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Last year, Lifetime broadcast “The Christmas Set-Up” centered on two gay men. It was the first LGBTQ Christmas film for the network. It followed Hugo, a New York corporate lawyer, who gets set up by his mom, Kate.

“Hugo and Patrick’s attraction to each other is undeniable and it looks as though Kate’s well-intentioned Santa-style matchmaking is a success. But as Hugo receives word of a big promotion requiring a move to London, he must decide what is most important to him.”

The decision to green-light a holiday movie centered on LGBTQ characters comes after Lifetime made headlines in 2019 for featuring its first same-sex kiss in the holiday movie “Twinkle All the Way.”

Lifetime’s decision is in stark contrast to its direct Christmas movie competitor, Hallmark Channel, which was denounced in 2019 season for pulling a Zola ad that featured a lesbian wedding. Hallmark later reversed its decision and apologized. Its parent company CEO Bill Abbott stepped down following the backlash.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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