The Restorative Properties of Hallmark Movies

Today, I curled up in bed, exhausted from Thanksgiving and Black Friday and ready to dive into a good book. My 50-pound mutt climbed up in the bed with me and snuggled up (don’t tell my wife. We don’t allow dogs in the bed.) I didn’t like the silence, so I turned on the Hallmark Channel to have playing in the background. 

Freddie, my big mutt, is my snuggly companion.
My snuggly companion

Soon I realized, however, that I was not reading my book at all. Instead, I was totally immersed in Christmas in Evergreen: Letters to Santa, one of this year’s Hallmark Original Christmas Movies. The plot is as cheesy as you can imagine, the acting is on par with every Hallmark Original Christmas Movie. The storyline is contrived. Nothing about this movie was a masterpiece, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t stop everything I was doing to watch the entire movie.

And I loved every minute of it. There was nearly no diversity in this small town and it was a little suspicious that everybody in the town believes in writing letters to Santa. And there were more questions than answers. But I didn’t care. I watched every minute of it, as if it were pure cinematic gold. Was the store going to sell? Who was going to buy it? Was Lisa going to save the general store, and ultimately Evergreen? Would Lisa and Kevin finally kiss?

Finally, Christmas in Evergreen: Letters to Santa ended and I found myself drawn into Christmas at Graceland, in which Kellie Pickler’s character must and I mean absolutely has to practice singing Silent Night several hundred times in preparation for a pending performance. This will totally shock you, I know, but Christmas at Graceland is very formulaic. A business woman comes home to try to land a deal, runs into a childhood friend (sweetheart?) and suddenly questions her life’s choices. It’s so bold. It’s so different.

And you know what? I still loved it. It was just as contrived as Christmas in Evergreen. And it’s just as contrived as every Christmas movie on the Hallmark Channel. But that’s part of why I love them so much. There’s something about the charm and the magic of a Hallmark Christmas movie that makes me feel better when I’m as tired and rundown and uninspired as I am today. They’re a refreshing spring after a long hike. They’re the fountain of youth in the jaded world. They’re special and I am happy to fill my every spare minute with these formulaic, uncomplicated gems.

So here’s to many, many more Hallmark Christmas Movies to rejuvenate me at the end of my day. When I’m worn out and worn down, may Lacey Chabert–princess of three separate kingdoms–bring the magical songs of Santa and cookies to me in my times of need. 

And may you find your own rejuvenation in your own exhaustion. Self-care is important. Find your happy.

The Plucky Reader

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