Who doesn’t love Hallmark movies…Okay, I know not everyone likes Hallmark movies. So if you don’t like cheesy holiday cheer, this isn’t the blog for you. If you’re one of the people who likes Hallmark’s holiday classics (or someone who doesn’t publicly share their Hallmark fandom) you’re going to want to keep reading.
Now, before I continue with this article, I fully acknowledge that Hallmark movies are not Oscar-worthy films. Almost all of them feature over-the-top acting, quirky characters, overused clichés, and the same predictable plotlines. However, that formulized narrative is what makes them so appealing. “The human brain loves patterns and the predictability is cognitively rewarding,” explains Pamela Rutledge, Behavioral Scientist, Director of the Media Psychology Research Center and Media Psychology faculty at Fielding Graduate University. “Those predictable story arcs that draw on the standard patterns we recognize from fairytales offer comfort by presenting life as simple and moralistic…The movies provide simplistic solutions to all those stressors that the holidays can bring: family conflict, isolation or financial pressures.”
That suspension of reality, as with any entertainment, is a form of escapism for viewers. So, while I may not inherit millions of dollars from a long-lost relative and move to a small town, and then proceed to save said small town from from financial difficulty, all the while meeting the love of my life during the Christmas season—I can reduce my stress level by getting lost in a fictional reality full of hopeful optimism.
While Hallmark is famous for its “Countdown to Christmas,” and Lifetime for “Its a Wonderful Lifetime,” many streaming platforms have also begun to produce holiday-themed films and mini-series that mirror Hallmark’s movie format. We all celebrate the holidays differently, and if Hallmark movies, or similar films, are part of your festivities—embrace and enjoy the cheesy cheerfulness. If not, make some hot chocolate, change the channel, and find another movie that will help you decompress.
If you prefer the page to the screen, try reading a book (or two) that Hallmark films are based upon this holiday season:
- Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe by Melissa De La Cruz (2018)
- A Bramble House Christmas by C.J. Carmichael (2016)
- The Christmas Train by David Baldacci (2018)
- The Angel Tree by Daphne Benedis-Grab (2014)
- Engaging Father Christmas by Robin Jones Gunn (2008)
- A December Bride by Denise Hunter (2013)
- Maggie’s Miracle by Karen Kingsbury (2014)
- A Family Under the Christmas Tree by Terri Reed (2016)
- Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale (2018)
- Mrs. Miracle by Debbie Macomber (2017)
- A Christmas Bride by Hope Ramsay (2016)
- The Christmas Town by Donna VanLiere (2016)
- Silver Bells by Luanne Rice (2008)
- The Mistletoe Secret by Richard Paul Evans (2017)
- A Christmas Home by Greg Kincaid (2012)
- Finding Fathers Christmas by Robin Jones Gunn (2008)
- Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas (2010)
- Christmas Camp by Karen Schaler (2019)
- The Christmas Cottage by Samantha Chase (2015)
- The Christmas Club by Barbara Hinske (2016)
Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. Her favorite Hallmark Movie is The Christmas Card.
References: Page, D. (2019, November 16). Here’s why it feels so good to watch those Hallmark holiday movies. NBC News. Retrieved November 19, 2021, from https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/here-s-why-it-feels-so-good-watch-those-hallmark-ncna1080841