I’ve been watching Hallmark Christmas movies since the day they premiered back on November 1st. If you come to my house there is a 95% chance a Christmas movie is on TV. I say 95% because one has to account for a few hours of sports and Netflix in there, too.
I feel, with all of the hours I’ve put in over the past however many years, that makes me somewhat of an expert on Christmas movies and why they are wonderful–and what we can learn from them. Which is why, when recording my last podcast episode pre-Christmas, I thought I would talk about my love for Hallmark Christmas movies and what we can learn from them–as one of the busiest weeks of the year stares us down from not that far away 😉
3 lessons we can learn from Hallmark Christmas Movies
For those who want to skip the podcast and get right to the point 😉 (I get it–we have less than 2 weeks until Christmas–time is at a premium!) here you go:
The people around the tree are way more important than the presents under the tree
Every darn Hallmark movie revolves around the lead character (usually a woman, but on occasion a man) who has to go to the town they grew up in/a small town/hire someone to help them/something similar where they meet someone who seemingly has different values than the lead and they immediately have bad vibes between them.
Slowly (or not so slowly) they realize that they actually get along really well, but all is doomed because the lead is going to go back to their big life in the city after the holidays/they are up for a big promotion, etc.
Then, at the last possible minute, the grand gesture is made and the lead chooses happiness and love over wealth and prestige. Sometimes, they even manage to figure out how to have both. Love, however, is always the most important factor.
Traditions are what make the holidays special
One of the ways the “I don’t like you, but–surprise–we are made for each other” characters connect is over some tradition. Either a family tradition or some small-town tradition. (Have you ever seen so many snowman building competitions, ice sculpture competitions, cookie decorating or baking competitions as you see in Christmas movies?) The traditions always seem silly, but that’s what makes them fun–they bring out the child in all of us and it’s that inner child that makes the holidays magical.
Have your holidays lost their magic? Maybe it’s time to introduce a new tradition or revive an old one. It doesn’t need to be anything extravagant. Sometimes it’s the simplest traditions that end up meaning the most.
Family is what you make it
Not everyone is blessed with a large family, or a family they get along with. That doesn’t mean you need to be alone over the holidays. If there is anything Hallmark Christmas movies have shown us, it’s that sometimes the family that you create is the best family.
Feeling alone this holiday? Reach out to a friend or neighbour who may also be alone and maybe you can create a new tradition by celebrating together!
Bonus lesson: But how would you do it if you had to?
Last week I was watching Cherished Memories: A Gift to Remember 2, and let me tell you, that movie is sickeningly sweet. So sweet, in fact, I declared it might be TOO sweet even for me–and that is saying something. At one point, one of the leads was working on a gift for another lead and was upset because they didn’t think they could get it done in time. Another character said to them, “But if you HAD to do it, how would you get it done?” They continued to insist it was impossible, but he asked again,
“If you had to get it done–how would you do it??”
In just a few minutes, the lead figured out how to get it done on time.
Now, there are times in life where we truly need to admit defeat or put something on the back burner, but then there are other times we find ourselves declaring something is impossible, while really what we need to do is look outside of the box to figure out how to get it done.
I’m making this a bonus lesson because while it does refer to a specific movie, when you think about it, many Hallmark Christmas movies have characters overcoming a problem by thinking outside the box and that is a pretty good life lesson.
So there you have it, 3+1 lessons we can learn from Hallmark Christmas movies!
I’ll end this on a Hallmark note by saying I hope you have the most wonderful holiday ever!
Looks like you’ve got the Hallmark Christmas Movie formula all figured out. The same recipe applies to romance novels as well. Well I haven’t read a romance novel in about 35 or 40 years, but I expect they really haven’t changed. This year you got me watching the Hallmark Movies and I have made a few observations myself, although mine seem less positive than your “lessons” I’ve notice that the ladies are always dressed like they are going somewhere important, and I believe it is necessary to have a red woolen coat, for the holiday season, but if you are desperate a white woolen coat will do. In most cases it is fine to wear 3 or 4 inch heels out in the snow. You won’t slip, you’ll be just fine. And while it is well known that the “star” of the show is especially good at everything she does, she really seems to spend most of her time doing absolutely nothing. While the couple seem to be heading in different directions through most of the movie, as the end draws nigh, they appear to be on the verge of marriage, or at least life long commitment after one luke warm kiss. They usually commit to changing their whole life or approach to life, and commit to their “new tradition” forever and ever. Dream on! But all the same, I am sucker to watch one of those movies after another. But family, friends, traditions, ingenuity, all good!
Yes! The same formula definitely applies to romance novels. It’s all about that formula!
Sarah Birch says
Really enjoyed this post, Suzi! Gotta love a good Hallmark movie!
Thanks! And yes Hallmark movies are a crowd pleaser! 😀