My Addiction to Hallmark Christmas Movies
When I asked Eric what I should write about recently, he said “your addiction to Hallmark Christmas movies”. Did you sense some sarcasm in that? Me too. Actually, it’s not a bad idea though. I’ve got to be honest. I really am addicted to Hallmark Christmas movies! Sadly, he’s not lying. I admit it. I’m a full-blown Hallmark junkie.
I’m a huge fan of the Hallmark channel and their original movies, albeit cheesy and predictable as they sometimes are. Maybe it’s the predictability that I like? I always know they will tug at my heart strings. Even if they have some sad parts, I can also always count on a happy ending. Real life doesn’t always have happy endings, so the certainty of watching one can be enticing.
Maybe the movies are an escape too? That might be where the “addiction” comes in. Addictions are often an escape from something else aren’t they? Hallmark Christmas movies can offer an escape from an often stress-ridden and drama-filled holiday season. In the movies, we can see the picture-perfect holiday season, traditions, memories and romance.
Where conviction and moderation come in
Many years ago I discovered that I was developing unrealistic expectations and discontentment in my marriage due to my obsession with romantic movies and books. I felt a strong conviction that I needed to overcome this struggle (that I previously didn’t even know I had). To overcome this, I had to start watching my intake of “romance”. When I started noticing discontentment, I knew I needed to limit how much I was reading and watching. I had to start practicing moderation (or sometimes even eliminate them completely for a while).
If I’m not careful, I can do the same thing with these Hallmark Christmas movies. It can be easy to develop unrealistic expectations of what a Christmas holiday should look like. Real life might start to pale in comparison to fictional films if I fixate on them constantly. I might start to think, “Man, my Christmas stinks compared to the picturesque traditions and moments they have.” Without caution, I might forget that…THEY AREN’T REAL!!!
My conviction may not be yours
There’s nothing wrong with entertainment. It’s when it becomes the substitute for real life that there’s a problem. I think it’s also important to note that not everyone has the same “addictions” or “substitutions”. Just because a person enjoys watching all of the Hallmark Christmas movies does not mean they are doing anything wrong. Another person may not struggle with developing unrealistic expectations like I do. Everyone has different convictions. Personally, God has convicted me in this area. This does not mean that everyone will be convicted about this same thing.
The not-so-Hallmark moments
Instead of watching the movies for the warm fuzzy feelings, perfect family moments and idyllic romances, I can be creating my own. Really I should stop living in fantasy land and spend the time making memories and not missing out on the REAL moments. I don’t want my only Christmas memories with my family to be watching Hallmark Christmas movies. Maybe we can “live” them out instead.
Now, I know they won’t look like they do on TV, but they will be ours. They won’t be perfect, but there is some beauty in that too. For example, there’s an opportunity for a fun, yet imperfect, memory of going to see the Nutcracker ballet with your husband, and he falls asleep…because “how could (he) not when it’s so hot in there and that classical music is playing”? Memories people. Memories.
Another amusing memory could be when you have your annual family tree decorating party, but then your dog Lucy decides to climb on the kitchen counter and eat a half pound of prosciutto. Yes indeed, good times. Then, one more flawed, yet unforgettable, memory might even include an annual “sacrifice” of a nativity animal or two by your wonderful dogs who apparently like to chew manger scene livestock. Lastly, who needs those warm, fuzzy moments when you could have your two children fight over whose turn it is to move the Christmas countdown candy cane on the snowman’s scarf calendar. Every. Single. Morning.
None of these are “Hallmark” moments, but they sure are memorable nonetheless!
There are unflawed moments too
Amidst all the imperfect times, there are some pretty delightful ones too. If I spent ALL of my free time watching Hallmark Christmas movies I would miss out on reading “A Shiloh Christmas” to my kids at bedtime. There wouldn’t be time for making, decorating, and eating Christmas cookies. I might miss out on teaching my kids to lay under the Christmas tree and look up through the branches at the lights and ornaments because that’s what I did as a kid.
There are so many moments to treasure. What a perfect time of year to remember to follow the example of Jesus’ own mother, Mary. She treasured and cherished all of her memories of the original Christmas in her heart.
“So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:16-19 (NIV)
Take Some Practical Steps If You Too Are Addicted To Hallmark Christmas Movies:
- Ask yourself if you are using them as a frequent escape or a substitution.
- Consider limiting your exposure or at least the frequency of them. If they are taking away from the time you could be making your own memories instead of observing them on TV, it might be time to cut back.
- Look at the movies for what they are—entertainment. Don’t compare your own holiday experiences to them. These movies are not a standard to live up to. They are performances to be enjoyed.
- Remember to make your own moments and memories, and don’t rely on Hallmark Christmas movies to do it for you. Don’t just hole up and watch movies. Get out into the real world with real people!
- Don’t overlook the imperfect memories…for those just might be the most memorable and cherished moments that you and your family will talk about for years to come.
- Treasure the memories in your heart and ponder them often like Mary did. Consider writing them down or discussing them with your children and grandchildren to be passed on and kept alive by future generations.
Now, go make some Christmas memories…even if they are imperfect! 🙂
Are you addicted to Hallmark Christmas movies too? Do you have some not-so-Hallmark Christmas moments? Tell us about it by leaving a comment below.
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