I know that this is a deviation from our normal topics of special needs parenting and adoption, but I can’t help myself. Even though it’s not yet Halloween, Hallmark Christmas movie season starts today.
So get your comfy clothes and your cozy blanket and your peppermint mocha latte (pumpkin spice is so yesterday) and your DVR remotes ready. As we gear up for 24/7 Christmas on two different channels, here are the top 10 things you can learn from Hallmark Christmas movies.
- There are a crazy number of single princes looking for love at Christmas.
They’re all from faraway lands with magical names. They’re all handsome and ready to change their playboy ways. But be careful – they always have an obstacle you have to overcome in order to win their heart. A promised engagement to another royal? A mother who thinks commoners are too low-class to marry her princely child? Pesky castle staff that just can’t mind their own business? We’ve seen them all. Luckily the princes always make the right choice when it comes to marrying for love. And if you can’t declare your love at Christmastime, when can you?
- Every small town loves Christmas. Passionately.
You’ll see this in the crazy amounts of decorating, baking, festivals (oh, the festivals), tree-lighting ceremonies, and dances that each town holds. Want to find a place to disappear and just hope Christmas passes? You won’t find a nook or cranny in these small towns where there aren’t Christmas cookies and ornaments and twinkling lights and garish displays. And their outfits? Let the ugly sweater contest begin. (But are they really ugly if the person wearing it is so Christmas-obsessed that they don’t realize it?)
- The whole town will also come together for Christmas celebrations.
These town activities will bring EVERYONE out for the celebrations. Why? It’s a tradition. And all small towns love all Christmas traditions.
- It always snows for Christmas.
No matter where the story takes place, snow will happen. There are no disappointed children waking up on Christmas morning to 45 degrees and rain, no sir. It’s all snow, all the time, everywhere. Lots of fresh powder to make all your white Christmas fantasies come to life.
- If you’re traveling during the holidays, you’re going to get stranded someplace where Christmas exploded.
You won’t ever get stuck in the airport, sleeping on several adjoining seats. You won’t ever get stranded someplace warm. You’re only ever going to get detoured or stuck in a place that LOVES Christmas (see #2), has lots of snow (see #4), and only one room mysteriously left at a gorgeous B&B with over-the-top lights and decorations. Bonus: The whole town will not only welcome you, but they will fall in love with you and you with them. Oh, and it’s only a short walk from your B&B to the Christmas festival.
- When a girl bakes Christmas goodies with a boy, she will get flour on her face.
Pies, cakes, cookies, breads – it doesn’t matter. The heroine of the film will somehow manage to get a very well-placed flour streak on her cheek every time she bakes. Every. Time. And her boy friend (still two words but soon to be one) will be there to wipe off said flour in a romantic, thumb-gently-caressing-the-cheek gesture. Every. Time.
- Someone will have to overcome tragedy.
It could be the loss of a loved one or a job. It could be that someone has lost their Christmas spirit because they never really had a family to spend the holiday with. Big or small, someone will have something in their past that they have to conquer before the happy ending can take place.
- The Christmas spirit is contagious.
Even the Grinch himself would have had his heart grow three sizes about two weeks earlier than it did if he had been in a Hallmark movie instead of over on a network. No one is immune to the simple joys that add up to form a ginormous, life-overtaking Christmas spirit.
- All problems are resolved by Christmas.
Family separation? Mistaken identity? Crazy misunderstanding? Bad business deal? No worries. Like Cinderella’s dress and glass slippers, those problems and issues (like #7) will disappear at the stroke of Christmas. On Christmas morning, everything starts fresh – most of the time with a new love.
- Love wins. Every time.
No snarky comments on this last one. After all, it’s the real reason why most of us tune in to see these movies.
There are 37 “new” ones debuting this year. I use the quotes because are any of them really new? If you don’t think that all 74 hours of those movies will follow the same basic plot, that all of the characters will overcome obstacles to find love, that we’ll see all of the same actors we’ve grown to love pop up in different places, then you’re not watching Hallmark.
But here’s the thing. It’s the holiday season, and 2018 has been rough for a lot of people. There has been a lot of bad news to absorb. Isn’t watching love come alive at Christmas what draws us to these movies in the first place, what gives us back a little bit of the hope that we lost during the year?
So this year, embrace the sameness. Embrace the cliches and the spirit and the joy that come in these simple movies.
Let’s let love win. Thanks for teaching us that lesson again this year, Hallmark. 37 times.