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I’ve been pretty honest about teasing family members who watch Hallmark movies. Tbh, I also laugh at them for reading romance novels and watching sappy reality television shows. That was until life became complicated. I needed a distraction between the pandemic, politics, and the constant divisive vitriol. First, it was one Hallmark movie. And yes, sure, they are scripted and unrealistic. Combined with a nice glass of red wine, I found myself smiling at the tv (that may have been the wine).
2022 was my first Hallmark Movie Countdown to Christmas experience. I had no idea they had a whole arsenal of movies. There were winter-themed movies, Valentine’s Day, Spring, Summer, Wedding, Fall Harvest, and the anticipated Countdown to Christmas. Theoretically, I could spend an entire year sucked into the Hallmark Channel vortex. Two years later, I am excited for Hallmark’s 2022 Countdown to Christmas.
In a moment of weakness, I shared with a few friends that I was watching and recording Hallmark movies. Some have stated they are doing the same thing. A few have laughed at me deservingly. Those of us, Jewish, minority, or LGBT, recognize that Hallmark has added more diversification in some of their movies. I’m sure that decision was somewhat complicated, considering their roots.
Although there is only a small selection of more diversified movies, I appreciate their steps. It almost appears to be somewhat of a nod to “we know there are viewers that do not celebrate Christmas or are Christian, so here is a movie for you. And yes, I know Hallmark is a Christian corporation, but I hope this diversity continues.
As a result, they have faced some backlash. In 2020, the CEO of Crown Media Family Networks stepped down. Some say it was backlash over an ad for Zola’s wedding planning and registry company. It showed two women exchanging vows and later kissing to celebrate their nuptials. Conservative group One Million Moms attacked the ad for not being “family-friendly.” After it was pulled, Hallmark faced an outcry. According to an article in Deadline.com, it is believed that people familiar with the internal discussions and many people at the network expressed their preference for restoring the ad quickly. At the same time, Abbott went against their wishes and kept it off the air.
Other Christmas Movies
Hallmark does not have the lock-in on holiday movies. There is Lifetime, GAC (Great American Family), and Netflix. You may have seen the previews for the new Lindsay Lohan Christmas movie, Falling For Christmas.
GAC is where you will find many former Hallmark actors who left Hallmark, including Danica McKeller, Candace Cameron Bure, Jen Lilley, Jessica Lowndes, and Trevor Donovan. GAC will also be airing the When Hope Calls series featuring Lori Loughlin.
Here is a list of the Christmas movie schedule:
I’m Still Watching
I am happy to see an improvement in the scripts, even if it is still scripted. Typically, when watching with a friend, within the first five minutes, they’ll sarcastically say, “do you think they will end up together?” We laugh because, of course, they will. Last year, my friends bought me a Hallmark-watching shirt, socks, a wine glass, and Hallmark monopoly. They also And yes, I am still watching because it has the message of treating people with kindness, compassion, and hope.
Throw In Some Drinking Games
I can’t say my friends are as enthusiastic about Hallmark Christmas movies. However, I found a way to make it fun for them by adding Hallmark Bingo and some wine. It’s a win-win. I get to watch, and we laugh and drink wine.
Gifts for Your Hallmark Holiday Movie-Loving Friends
Hallmark Christmas movies are a thing. So much so that people are throwing viewing parties complete with holiday recipes, Hallmark t-shirts & sweatshirts, bingo, and more. I’d even include some of your more skeptical friends. Throw in some holiday sugar cookies, popcorn, and wine. And don’t forget the bingo prizes. I’m thinking of Hallmark-themed gifts, such as a wine glass, a coffee/hot cocoa mug, a sweatshirt, or anything and everything Hallmark Christmas.
I have never been, but for the biggest Hallmark Christmas movie fans, you could take a trip to Enchant, presented by the Hallmark channel. This is touted as the world’s largest Christmas Light Maze and Village. It opens on November 25th in nine cities.
Happy Holidays! 🎄🎅🏻