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A Hallmark Christmas: Movies reflect the holiday season

Junior+Elaina+Gibson+dives+into+the+expectations+set+in+Hallmarks+Christmas+movies+and+how+each+film+impacts+the+holiday+season.+
Will Atchity
Junior Elaina Gibson dives into the expectations set in Hallmark’s Christmas movies and how each film impacts the holiday season.

As Christmas quickly approaches and merriness lingers in the air, I often look for movies to watch as I bake, sit by the fire and wrap gifts. Throughout my childhood, my mom and I developed an obsession with watching as many Hallmark Christmas movies as possible from October through January, and of course, a brief binge-watch in mid-July. 

Hallmark movies have long been known for unrealistic expectations of family, love and the overall Christmas experience. Sadly, my town doesn’t have a cookie crawl or a struggling candy shop in need of saving, and as I sit, watching on my couch I look over to my fake tree that was not purchased from a suspected love interest, and I wonder if Hallmark movies are only enjoyed because of the lack of reality that seems to play on the plot lines. 

There is obviously a not-so-secret formula to Hallmark Christmas movies. Sometimes it’s a big-city businesswoman who comes back to her small town and falls back in love with her high school sweetheart, or other times I watch a traveling writer reluctantly fall in love with a kind-hearted single widow. I have concluded that there is a basic template for how the movies go. Girl meets boy, they don’t like each other, girl realizes she likes boy, boy realizes he has always liked girl, there is some type of dramatic confession, kiss, the end. 

Although Hallmark movies are predictable, sappy and at times painful to watch, they take me to a much more peaceful place because I know no matter what, there will always be a happy ending. In today’s society with so much hate, and with finals looming around the corner making me anxious, escaping from reality for an hour and a half to a small snow-covered village full of Christmas magic is more than appealing. 

But what about the downside of hallmark movies? Do they instigate false expectations for women that no one could possibly live up to? In almost every movie, one person is more than willing to give up a noble profession to move back to a small town he or she spent their whole life trying to get out of. Let’s be honest, if I had to give up my multi-million dollar apartment in New York City and a job I just got promoted to, it would be for more than a Christmas tree salesman who volunteers at the animal shelter on the side. The sacrifices being made are too one-sided to feel completely right, leaving me doubting if the couple will make it to the next Christmas.

Despite the romantic relationship flaws, I think Hallmark does an excellent job addressing familial drama through their catalog of movies. Lost a loved one and having trouble grieving? May I recommend “A Christmas Love.” If my fiancé ever dumps me to marry my cousin, I think “December Bride” would be my best bet in helping me cope with the grief. All these movies deal with overbearing parents, resentment toward siblings, or having someone important not show up. Through all the picture-perfect houses, and perfectly done hair and makeup, at the core, the movies can have a little truth and advice on how to accept your loved ones.

The serenity that washes over me when I can finally relax and spend my holiday time off watching Hallmark Christmas movies is something I am greatly looking forward to. Whether or not a cheesy movie is your forte, I recommend going to the Hallmark channel and blessing yourself with watching people on screen be way too happy about their everyday lives.

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About the Contributors
Elaina Gibson, Web Editor in Chief
Will Atchity, Staff Writer

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