We See Your Christmas Prince and Raise You One Spirit of Christmas

Okay, so by now everyone has at least heard about the wildly popular made-for-Netflix movie, A Christmas Prince. The film made my heart overflow with the kind of good ol' fashioned Christmas joy that only an over-the-top, straight-to-streaming holiday movie can inspire. That is, of course, until I heard whisperings of an old Lifetime movie that blew that Christmas Prince right outta the water with a sexy, somehow corporeal, spirit of Christmas. Yes, you read that right — Lifetime has gifted us with a hot guy ghost who will fall for a living lawyer.

The Spirit of Christmas is a modern girl's historical romance fantasy come to life — the hot hero from Victorian times can actually appear in your bedroom! And so, I present to you why a sexy Victorian ghost just might be better than a Christmas Prince of a marriageable age. Let us count the ways!

Heroines: Journalist versus Lawyer


Source: Netflix/video screenshot by Kristin Stec


Source: Lifetime Movie Network/video screenshot by Kristin Stec

Tired and disillusioned of her job as a junior editor, journalist Amber jumps at the opportunity to cover a breaking story about the royal family of Aldovia. A run-in with a comically disguised man who is CLEARLY THE PRINCE sets the tone for Amber's day — she won't be learning anything about the royal family via traditional means. So naturally she fibs and allows palace staff to mis-identify herself as the princess's tutor. This leads to a "job" with the princess and an opportunity to uncover personal details about the prince, which he magically tosses around like beads on Mardi Gras.As a lawyer and executor of a prominent woman's will, Kate must travel to an old inn to oversee its appraisal. When she arrives, she witnesses her appraiser peeling out of the parking lot. The inn's current caretaker tell her that's because the establishment closes from December 13th through 24th each year to accommodate a ghostly visitor. Not easily cowed by folklore, Kate uses her keys to take up residence at the inn, where she winds up meeting the dangerously sexy, and somehow corporeal form, of Victorian ghost, Daniel.

Verdict: I hate to pit one woman against the other, but I must say that Kate the lawyer was much more on the ball with her work assignment than Amber the journalist. Amber's research is scattered and messy. She's not even careful with sensitive documents! She just leaves papers that could blow her love's life completely out of the water right on her bed where his enemy is able to find them! For that frustrating faux pas alone, I've got to give this one to Kate the lawyer.

Heroes: Prince ascending the throne versus an inn-owning Victorian ghost

Prince Richard of A CHRISTMAS PRINCE

Source: Netflix/video screenshot by Kristin Stec


Source: Lifetime Movie Network/video screenshot by Kristin Stec

Prince Richard is not ready to ascend the throne when his father passes. His hesitance is made worse by the fact that his playboy persona has caused the people of Aldovia to question if he's up to the task. Of course, we watch Richard interact with orphans, encourage and uplift his disabled sister and rescue Amber from wolves in a scene weirdly reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast so that we the viewers are extremely confident in Richard's ability to rule.Daniel's inn hit some hard times, forcing him to turn to a life of bootlegging just to keep the family business afloat. This decision made out of desperation winds up leading to Daniel's untimely death, and a curse that will bring his body back to earth for two weeks every year! Daniel is delightfully curmudgeonly, but also super hot in a way that I imagine most Victorian romance heroes to be. We don't see him with any orphans, but his willingness to open his inn to entertain patrons of the town's fire-damaged tavern proves that Daniel's got a heart of gold.

Verdict: This was a tough call. On the one hand, I have always wanted to be a real-life Princess. On the other hand, Lisa Kleypas's Ravenels series has made me wish that a Victorian hero could come back to life and appear in my bedroom. I cannot stress how much I adore the idea of a hot man-ghost I can freakin' touch. And for that reason, Daniel wins this one.

Location: European Castle versus a North Eastern American Inn


Source: Netflix/video screenshot by Kristin Stec


Source: Lifetime Movie Network/video screenshot by Kristin Stec

The fictitious country of Aldovia features some seriously Alpine-looking architecture and is snowy AF, adding to the film's holiday mystique. As I mentioned earlier, the location makes it possible for Prince Richard to rescue Amber from wolves, cementing his status as a macho man.While Europe has castles, the U.S. boasts impressive examples of Colonial and Victorian architecture. The inn from this story is classic New England, and I for one would love to spend the night. I'll even leave my key in the door in case Daniel wants to stop by.

Verdict: Since I've been to plenty of North Eastern inns in the U.S. before and could return pretty much any time I want, the castle in Europe is the clear winner.

Obstacle: Duty versus The Curse


Source: Netflix/video screenshot by Kristin Stec


Source: Lifetime Movie Network/video screenshot by Kristin Stec

A prince's "duty" is often presented as the obstacle to him finding happiness. Whether Prince Richard wants to rule or not, duty requires it. Then there's the pesky little problem of him falling for a woman who's not just a commoner, but a foreigner as well, leaving Prince Richard buried up to his eyeballs in "duty."

Daniel is "cursed." Although Daniel is dead and ostensibly a ghost, each year from December 13th through 24th he returns to his human form. That's right, Daniel is a sexy Victorian ghost WHO CAN TOUCH YOU and his body has not deteriorated one bit. Though Daniel is developing feelings for Kate, her argues that she deserves more than a man who can only be present two weeks out of the year.

Verdict: The curse wins, obviously! As more royal families welcome "commoners" into the fold, the argument of "duty" over happiness feels tired and played out. A curse that keeps your love from you for all but two weeks out of the year is a far more original obstacle.

The winner is clear: Lifetime's The Spirit of Christmas is superior, and it is also available to stream on Netflix. You can also rent it on Amazon and iTunes.

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