During the 14 years I wrote a monthly newsletter and writing this blog since 2009, I have always tried to be open and honest, never holding back a thought, if it would benefit readers. Yet, today – as I type these words – I am hesitant.
There is so much divisiveness in our country. People are hunkering down on the side that best represents their belief system. The past three weeks have added additional fuel to the fire. So, today – as I type these words – I am hesitant.
I know that withholding my opinion doesn’t help anyone… and I have an earned trust with readers to share my perspective. Yet, I know that what I’m about to say will upset half my audience. So, today – as I type these words – I am hesitant.
Nonetheless… I’m going to do what I always do: write what I feel.
So here goes.
I absolutely love watching Hallmark Christmas movies.
It’s a holiday tradition Kathy and I started a few years ago, and we renewed it a few days after the first feature – Jingle Bell Bride – aired on October 24.
OK, I get it. Every single Hallmark movie is the same…
Open with snowy aerial shot of big city or small town
Introduce main characters living in separate worlds – typically longtime single or recently widowed/divorced; work in ad agency or run store inherited from deceased parent
Paths cross fortuitously. Instant connection. Work together on last-minute project like annual Christmas Eve pageant or gathering donations for overseas military
Underlying conflict around having to return to big city unexpectedly because boss requires starting new position the day after Christmas or just not ready to start relationship. Usually a misunderstanding because someone eaves-dropped on conversation
Mother gives ‘do what your heart tells you’ advice. Couple finally embraces under mistletoe/stars/during formal Christmas Eve dance where woman arrived in stunning dress and man nattily attired
Kiss. Wide Shot. Tilt up. Roll credits
(Of course, there are also scenes with: cookie baking, ice skating, snowball fights, hot cocoa, former relationships, Santa in disguise, wreath making, tree decorating, sleigh rides, opening gifts, visits to faraway places like Rome and Vienna…. and – in 5-4-3-2-1 – lighting of the giant Christmas tree on the town square.)
I realize this thing we refer to as ‘schlocky Hallmark Christmas movies’ isn’t for everyone. For us, though, it’s a welcomed disconnect from everything going on in the world – and what’s the alternative: watching a midweek college football game or a show like “I See Your Voice”? We’ll stick with ‘stars’ like Lacey Chaubert, Luke Mcfarlane, Candace Cameron Bure, Brennan Elliott, Danica McKellar and Andrew Walker.
Note: We cut the cable this summer and didn’t’ think we’d be able to tune in this year. However, we discovered a little know streaming service – frndly TV – that has all 3 Hallmark channels and 12 other networks. It’s eight bucks a month for HD, unlimited cloud recordings and you can cancel anytime. There are a dozen Christmas movies still to air, so why wait?