I’m that person.
I’m the one holiday individualists loathe for celebrating Christmas too early and not enjoying monthly autumnal festivities before beginning the December celebration. Waiting to decorate until the day after feasting only provides a solid month’s worth of enjoyment of my most favorite decorations, music, and—dare I say—seasonal holiday movies.
Yeah, that’s right. One thing that brings me sheer happiness is curling up on the couch by the warm glow of our Christmas tree and letting the steam from my piping hot mug of hot apple cider envelope each breath while watching my beloved (albeit clichéd) holiday Hallmark movies.
To all the haters of the world, I get it. Each movie is essentially a reincarnation of another. Right now, though, it’s a nice escape from basically anything else 2020 related. Even still, I have come to the realization that Hallmark’s annual tropes have served up routine lies to me over the years. And my friends, they’ve lied to you, too.
As you embark on the Hallmark train this season, keep your defenses up and watch out for these common myths occurring in your favorite flicks.
The Four Lies of Hallmark Christmas Movies
Lie #1: Romance Is King
Let’s face it, we all know the two characters will always get together at the end. And why wouldn’t they?! I mean, every single girl is getting swept off her feet and put on a pedestal. Not to mention the party scenes where the couple locks eyes from across a crowded room, shares a knowing gaze, and somehow everything seems to stand still. In reality, we are either too tired or too heavy for sweeping, the pedestal gets rusty, and the only connected glances across the crowded room are hostile expressions of I told you so. I still incorporate these flicks in regular husband training even though no man could live up to the Hallmark romance standard. Let’s just say he’s still learning.
Lie #2: Career Goals: Wicked Boss and Quirky Sidekick
At least 50% of holiday romance movies depict one person working in marketing trying to save a company or store from closing at Christmas. I’m no different—I work in marketing too (see, Hallmark isn’t all lies!). But even as the VP of my department, I don’t have that best-friend assistant who is waiting for me at the door to take my coat, fetch my coffee, dictate my calendar of appointments as I briskly walk down the hall to a giant corner office covered in windows, and help me fix my dramatic personal challenges. Or even that wicked boss you love to hate. I’m not complaining about this lie, though. I prefer a cool boss and managing my own calendar anyway.
Lie #3: Big City to Small Town Life
Pick any Hallmark movie at random, and odds are you’ll see one of the two main characters travel from a big city to a small town and fall madly in love with a local, only to decide to move there. While a nice dream, it is not for everyone. I would know. I married someone from a small town and my own state’s motto is Nebraska. Honestly, It’s Not For Everyone. And that rancher you fell in love with? They’re actually working 80+ hour weeks with little time for romance and wooing. There are a lot of people who would be happy to move away from the hustle and bustle. Then again, there are a lot of people who claim they want to move away from it, but once they realize there is no Target or Starbucks within a 30-minute drive, panic sets in.
Lie #4: Weather Isn’t So Frightful
Hallmark showed me I could look adorable in blustery temps while having a starry-eyed snowball fight with my main squeeze, all the while large fake-looking flakes land softly on my uncovered, manicured hands. Nebraska weather showed me the polar opposite. Literally. With temperatures dipping in the negative digits each winter, there’s no way Midwest girls will ever look like a character in these films. When the wind is whipping across your face and body at a negative windchill, you’re often too busy wondering why you live in a place where the elements cause physical pain than pausing to flirt with a handsome stranger.
I love an escape from reality, which is likely one of the many reasons I enjoy the falsehoods of Hallmark. They’re part of the formula that keeps us coming back for more. For what it’s worth, Hallmark can lie to me all day, every day, for the rest of my life. I’m a sucker for all things Christmas, and that includes the network’s seasonal romance clichés.
Bring it on Hallmark. I’m ready for you!