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Hallmark movies get things right and wrong

Hallmark movies get things right and wrong Hallmark movies get things right and wrong

It is the time of year again when all true Hallmark movie fans have marked their calendars, and have known that from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, they will be able to enjoy one, two, three, or even more, Hallmark movies anytime, on any day. I am one ofthose Hallmark Christmas movie addicts, yet I believe I may have reached my saturation point in regards to Hallmark’s holiday spirit.

My heart has become a bit cynical as I question whether real life is anything like a Hallmark movie. After watching too many movies to count, I have figured out the not so secret recipe for a traditional Hallmark Christmas movie. The characters are always beautiful and not too thin or not too plump. The setting is always a beautiful, small, town filled with huge, gingerbread looking houses. The homes are perfectly decorated with no junk or clutter in sight. In the quaint, festive town there is always a Christmas festival with everyone enjoying sweet Christmas cookies and the always present hot chocolate. The plots themes are pretty basic. One plot idea may be a beautiful girl or handsome man who is looking for meaning in his or her life. A second theme may involve someone who has lost the Christmas spirit. A final theme is the always popular, finding love at Christmas time. The movie always ends with the main character finding meaning in his or her life, another beautiful person discovering the true meaning of Christmas, or the beautiful person who is surprisingly single, finding magical, true love. The movies usually end with the townspeople gathered together at the Christmas/ sugarplum/candy land/evergreen festival to celebrate with more Christmas cookies and hot chocolate. All is well in Hallmark Land.

Life isn’t always a Hallmark movie. Even though it is Christmas time, many people don’t live in beautiful winter chalets. Many people don’t have homes at all. Many people are facing financial difficulties that can’t be solved with a cookie sale. Many people are dealing with health issues that can’t be cured with hot chocolate. Others are facing loneliness or heartbreak over the loss of a loved one. Children may have stress and worries that can’t be solved with a visit from a friendly elf at the Holly Jolly festival. Real life is full of disappointment, uncertainty, stress, sadness and absence of love. As I continue to think a bit more about Hallmark movies, my cynical heart does start to melt a little bit. Hallmark does get some things right. In real life and Hallmark movies, one’s life may be impacted by the kindness of a stranger. All over the world simple acts of kindness often shown by strangers have impacted the lives of many. It might be a simple act of putting a few coins in a red bucket or providing food, clothing, and furniture to a family in need. It might be greeting someone with a friendly hello or welcoming the homeless with a warm meal and a smile. Hallmark also gets it right with the idea that sometimes a good cookie shared with family or friends does make everything a little better. Coming together in friendship and love, even if only for a moment, may take away a bit of the pain and sadness in someone’s life.

Finally in real life and in Hallmark movies, there is the awareness that we must always have faith and believe. Miracles do happen. It may be the miracle of falling in love, the miracle of making the perfect career change or the miracle of discovering one’s lost Christmas spirit. In Hallmark movies and in real life, we must always believe that love will prevail. We must believe. For the greatest miracle of all, happened, one starry night, thousands of years ago, when into this world, a tiny baby was born, to bring peace, justice, and love to all.

A Penny for My