I have a deep and abiding love for Hallmark Christmas Movies. I even subscribed to a weird little streaming service that lets me ‘record’ them (with commercials, unfortunately) so I can watch as many as possible this year after missing out for the past few years because we’ve cut our cable subscription. There’s something exceptionally comforting about watching a movie with the same basic plot with slightly different details.
When I was going through a bad stretch of depression, I watched Hallmark movies from my couch every day after work and it was the only thing that gave me a little bit of comfort. They were something that didn’t have any surprises, I didn’t have to wonder about the outcome, and my brain could just coast while they were on. It was all I could do to get through my work day, and Shane was working until late at night so I didn’t have him there, so I would sometimes watch 3 movies in an afternoon/evening and ignore the laundry or the dishes or whatever other chore I should have been doing.
Now that my depression is a far less frequent visitor whose stays are far shorter, and I have much better coping mechanisms, I don’t rely on Hallmark movies for comfort. So I’ve changed from watching all the Hallmark movies to restricting the Hallmark marathon to Christmastime. Though this year I extended that into November since 2020 has been a hawt mess and we all deserve a little extra Christmas time.
The movies can be problematic, for sure. The criticism around that is super valid. We all know that some people are just happier as career women, big cities are not the devil, small towns can be stifling instead of comfortable, etc. and these movies definitely tend toward the ‘traditional’ gender roles and place family above all. The past few years, though, have seen some changes. There are same sex couples (at least 2 that I can think of – which is not enough, but is a start), people move to the city to be together, women don’t always give up their careers, and there are a bunch of movies where the leads actually knew each other before the movie started. Lately, it seems as if there are enough changes that make things more modern, but still with the comfortable predictability I love. It feels like there’s an emphasis on finding happiness instead of just a boyfriend. But they definitely always end up with a love interest, otherwise would be pure insanity.
I wish you all the comfort this season – whether Hallmark Christmas movies are part of that or not. This is a year to be kind to yourself and stay as cozy as possible.