Meanwhile, Connor is loudly practicing his “ask Santa for his daughter’s hand” speech in a common area of the house, where anybody could walk in. This guy isn’t the brightest nose on the Rudolph, that’s for sure. He later raids the sherry and gets sucked into an alternate dimension. Normally that happens AFTER you drink enough of it, not when you just open it. Turns out he is now in the elves’ workshop. “Oh no!” Holly exclaims convincingly. She explains that her parents run a factory. Very, very slowly, it dawns on Connor that, holy shit, this is legit SANTA up in here. “I need a sherry,” he responds. That went well!
Holly and Connor discuss the implications of this in the barn, and Connor is actually psyched. “I’m gonna marry Santa Claus’s daughter!” he says over and over. He is greatly concerned that he won’t be good enough for Santa. I would give Connor $1,000 in American currency if he would acknowledge that Santa isn’t technically supposed to exist, but…the magic of Christmas!
Connor nervously asks Santa for Holly’s hand, and he says yes. Connor wastes no time in proposing! Best. Christmas. Ever! But this can’t resolve all the conflict, because we are only 45 minutes in. Indeed, Mrs. Claus and Holly talk in the kitchen about how it’s been the women’s job in the family to prepare their chosen men to be the next Santa. Wow, a matrilineal Santa Claus arrangement! How anthropologically interesting. I wonder what would happen if any of them had a son instead of a daughter. Anyway, Holly and Mrs. Claus decide that a good start is to test Connor with a cookie-eating contest. Jack Frost shows up again and shows Connor up with this particular job requirement. Same with “chimney sliding.” Go away, Jack, you are such a creeper.
Connor the Bad Toy Maker is still trying to make this “wooden dog on wheels” happen. I’m sure this plot point will eventually go somewhere. Meanwhile, the whole Claus family keeps putting Connor through not-so-subtle Santa Tests, and I wonder again whether Connor will figure this out on his own.
Connor tells Holly they should get married this Christmas, and a lurking Jack Frost (go away! Good lord!) angrily throws his mistletoe to the ground. The Claus family decides that if Connor can pass the sleigh-handling test, they can get married. Okay, has it occurred to nobody that they might want to TELL Connor that he is being tested for the Santa job? Or that they might be able to train him? I know I ask this all the time, but seriously, do I have to think of everything? Anyway, Connor blows up the sleigh, of course. “Holly, I flunked Rooftop Parallel Parking seven times,” says Santa, Likely Voice of Reason.
Connor needs aspirin, and Jack Frost shows up (go away! Dear sweet Jesus on the cross!) and hands him a bottle. Do not take pills from this man, Connor. Jack does Connor the favor of telling him that he will need to become Santa. Naturally, Connor finds this idea a bit distressing.
Later, Jack is continuing to push his obvious agenda of entering into a fraudulent marriage with Holly just so he can become the next Santa Claus, and I don’t know why anyone else puts up with this self-serving asshat, who is clearly not interested in Holly romantically (hello? The sweaters?!). But they do enjoy singing Christmas carols in harmony, making Connor feel inadequate once again. He packs his bags and leaves. This is the most depressing scene involving “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” in film history.
Jack Frost presents Holly with a giant garish snowflake ring and proposes. She talks to her dad about it, and once again, Santa, Likely Voice of Reason, tells her she should do what makes her happy, without worrying about who will make a better fucking Santa Claus. (I am slightly editorializing.) Meanwhile, Connor is back at work and sees a kid playing with his wooden dog on wheels toy. See! He isn’t the worst toymaker on Earth! And it turns out he can eat a ton of donuts! He can be Santa!
Meanwhile, Holly finally figures out that Jack Frost is a dick, and kicks him to the curb. Holly decides she can be Santa herself, dammit! Sisters are doin’ it for themselves! Except Connor shows up, ready to marry her, pass the tests, and be Santa. Crap. This movie was so close to being the ultimate feminist manifesto.