Hallmark Moments

It seems like Hallmark Christmas movies have been around since Clement Clarke Moore wrote The Night Before Christmas. In the same way that Clement Clarke Moore’s poem gave us an idea of what St. Nick looked like, the Hallmark movies show us what Christmas decorations should look like. If you’ve got a lot of money and a lot of time, that is, because as you all know, there is no skimping on decorations in Christmas in (Fill in the Blank).

In fact, the first Hallmark Christmas movie appeared in the year 2000, perhaps to celebrate the fact that the world didn’t explode at midnight on January 1, when the 20th Century became the 21st Century. However, it wasn’t until 2009 that Hallmark realized that they could make a lot of money bring people a lot of joy by airing All Christmas Movies All The Time, beginning just as you’re putting away Junior’s Halloween costume.

I think early on, binge-watching Hallmark Christmas movies was kept secret, much like telling your doctor that you only drink alcohol occasionally. At some point, and for reasons I can’t explain, it became de rigueur to admit that you watch Hallmark movies. The Hallmark addiction comes from unexpected quarters. For example, our Vermont family members proudly admit to being Hallmark movie watchers. They are both serious, professional women, who not only admit they watch Hallmark movies but will likely never speak to me again since I’ve spilled their secret to my tens of readers.

I know many other people who enjoy watching Christmas movies. I am choosing, however, to share no more names because I have to have a few people left who like me and will speak to me. It is, as it happens, almost Christmas. Perhaps the most surprising admission was from my sister Bec’s pastor, who used a Hallmark movie as his reference in a recent homily. Go Hallmark. You’ve apparently received the blessing of the American Catholic Church!

I am not loathe to admit that I enjoy a good Christmas movie. I haven’t turned on Hallmark this year for two reasons: 1) it would require that I go on my guide and try to find the station number for Hallmark; and 2) I don’t like commercials, and it would stress me out to have Hallmark movies recording ad nauseum. Christmas is stressful enough as it is. That’s why we watch the Christmas movies.

I do, however, watch all varieties of Christmas movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. I’ve only turned off one of the many movies I have watched. I seriously can’t remember the name of the movie, but the overwrought woman coming from the big city meets her man early in the movie. She is surprised that he is her tow truck driver, her mother’s electrician, the elementary school’s maintenance man, the volunteer fireman, etc. etc. It was when he finally showed up to fight the fire that I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter (with me for watching such a stupid movie), and turned it off.

On the other hand, my favorite thus far has been Christmas in the Bayou, which not only had pretty scenery and a not bad storyline, but Ed Asner as the Santa figure. It doesn’t get much better than Ed Asner. I also admit to enjoying a Hercule Poirot Christmas movie called The Theft of the Royal Ruby. My love for British television was confirmed with a line from this movie in which an aristocratic woman asks Poirot, “It’s this tree I’m worried about. Is it vulgar enough yet do you suppose?”

You simply can’t outdo the Brits.

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