If I had to pick a favorite week of the year, hands down it would be the last week of October. It’s the week of Halloween, and you know what that means, right? It means handing out Halloween candy amid Christmas trees, Christmas decorations, Christmas music, and Hallmark Christmas movies!
Not what you were expecting to read, huh?
I live for Hallmark Christmas movies (like, literally, they’re my lifeblood). And when the last week of October rolls around, it’s a sure bet you can find me parked in front of my television ready for the first premier of the season.
I have my Countdown to Christmas premiere list, and I check it twice (or 10 times). My DVR is scheduled and ready to work overtime. Between the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel, I can record upwards of 40 new holiday films to peruse each year. And this year is the 10th anniversary for Countdown to Christmas, so there are even more events scheduled than usual.
And just in case I miss a movie, or I’m looking for some feedback before I watch one, I have a group of friends that are more than happy to fill me in. We have a group chat set up, ready to discuss plot lines and casting choices, and, in true Siskel and Ebert fashion, whether each film gets a thumbs up or a thumbs down. I’ve even scheduled watch parties with some of my friends who treat this time of year with the respect it deserves.
It’s an obsession, an addiction, really. I’m pretty sure I would just be wandering around aimlessly with a mysterious twitch for two months if I didn’t have Hallmark Christmas movies to watch. I know this because it actually happens when I haven’t watched a movie in a couple of days.
Yes, They’re Cheesy—What’s Not to Love?
Yes, they’re mushy and sappy and make me happy-cry sometimes. But with all of the sad, violent, and promiscuous tragic news and programming on every other channel, it’s not even a question in my house as to who and what gets top priority with the remote. With the exception of sporting events and the occasional Friends re-run, October through December is reserved for Countdown to Christmas.
Now, not everyone in my house is as enthusiastic as I am when it comes to Hallmark Christmas movies (my husband… ahem). I don’t usually complain about my husband’s TV programming choices, but his apathy towards my hobby this time of year doesn’t exactly earn him any brownie points. He is constantly rolling his eyes and sighing and saying things like, “Oh, Hallmark is on. Guess I’m going to bed.”
He complains that the plot lines are always the same, just with different actors. He bemoans the sap and the love stories. He’s a regular Hallmark Grinch. (Don’t miss this fun article, 3 Things That the Movies Got Wrong About Love!)
Recently, my husband traveled to Michigan with some coworkers for business. He stayed in a smaller suburb of Detroit, and the first text message I received from him read: “Walking around a bit. There have been a few comments already that the downtown area looks like a Hallmark movie… I threw up a little in my mouth.”
Once back to his hotel room, he then texted me a picture of his TV screen (on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel), with the caption: “The first channel that came on the TV when I turned it on.”
The next day followed with more of the same. I received a few pictures captioned: “Downtown,” and “Hallmark,” and “Random Hallmark picture.” I told him it was good for him, but he didn’t respond. Clearly, he needed some masculinity in his life, because later I received: “A big group of us went out to play some pool and darts.”
The next day, I sent him a meme that said: “A moment of silence for all the big city, suit-wearing guys who are about to get dumped by their girlfriends/fiancées for a small-town guy wearing flannel in Hallmark movies this holiday season.” This was a definite mistake because he proceeded to claim I just proved his point about all the movies being the same.
On the day of his return, my husband texted from the airport: “Last night, I had steak and lobster. But they overcooked my steak. Hallmark Land does not know how to cook steak,” which was followed by an Internet link that read: “Christmas in These 9 Kansas Towns Looks Like Something From a Hallmark Movie,” and a, “Don’t even think about it,” pre-emptive warning, knowing I would ask to visit said towns.
Sometimes We Need a Happy Ending
But I just can’t help it. I am standing up in defense of a Hallmark holiday, whether or not he likes it. People’s problems are solved, love always wins, and neighbors help neighbors, all under the backdrop of Christmas lights, mistletoe, and potato-flake snow. Does it get any better than that?
If I have discovered anything in the last 10 years, it’s that everything you need to know can be learned from watching Hallmark Christmas movies. They may be corny, but Hallmark movies have become a staple of my holiday season. They are my joy—my feel-good vice—amid the chaos and stress this time of year can bring. And recently, my mother-in-law pointed out that psychologists agree: Hallmark movies can be good for a person’s mental health. People can escape reality for a couple of hours and enjoy wholesome entertainment that also allows for the release of oxytocin and dopamine, the so-called “feel-good” hormones which fight low mood and anxiety.
So, there you have it. Doctors even recommend Hallmark Christmas movies. And I’m not one to go against doctors’ orders, even when it comes to guilty pleasures.
In wrapping up this holiday piece (see what I did there?), I would like to remind everyone reading this who has related to every word that you are not alone in your affinity for clichéd holiday love stories. So, go ahead, make some popcorn and park yourself in front of the tube for some good, old-fashioned Christmas fare.
And don’t be sad when January rolls around and the festivities come to an end. You only have to wait six months until Christmas in July…
For more articles to bring you Christmas cheer, start here:
Here’s How to Create Christmas Magic as a Boymom
Why We Never Have to Be Home Alone at Christmas Again
Feeling Funky? 9 Ways to Fight the Christmas Blues
Special Gifts for Her that Will Make a Big Impact, Too
Good News for Naughty Girls this Christmas
The Holidays and My Martha Heart
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