I have reluctantly admitted my guilty pleasure of watching Hallmark Christmas movies. I thought at first it was just an easy feel good moment, but recently a friend posted a picture of her with a popular Hallmark actor and I was shocked at how many of her friends admitted to watching them too.
Now, I dont mean to be unkind to all the people that work hard to make these movies possible. After all, we are watching them. The Christmas Movie Season is the Super Bowl of chick flicks. There is even an app this year, so, you don’t miss any of your favorites, but why is it a guilty pleasure? Perhaps it is the standard dialog and reused sets. Maybe the blown in now or worse, cotton batten. The slightly hokey titles and product placement doesn’t add much virtue either, so, why do we watch?
Hope. Hope that the season will finally be what we wish it to be. Hope that our childhood memories will bolster our melancholy. Hope that maybe this year that miracle will arrive. Hope that things will turn out just the way they should. It is the possibility, the hope of the future- the believing- if only for a moment, that life will be like a Hallmark movie. That everything will magically fall in to place.
Just like a steady diet of Hallmark movies would not nourish the brain, a steady hope of all being well would not nourish the soul. We wish for things, hope for things to be perfect, but in truth, they never are. Nor, would I want them to be. Our lives are lived through our perception. You can be happy with little and depressed with much. You might get what you thought you wanted, and realize too late, it was not what you wanted at all. It seems there is always something just on the other side of hope that we wish for and it is the striving, the overcoming of obstacles, the climb that makes us feel most alive.
Hope moves us forward. It has a sneaky way of multiplying into bigger and bigger hopes. It is the coal that fires the train of our dreams. The life we choose to live and the purpose by which we live it. Without hope, the train derails or rusts on the track. Dreams are lost or put on the back burner. The spring in your step disappears. The glow fades into dusk. Hope is as important as breathing.
The holidays can be a difficult time for many of us and it is an important time to practice self- care. If your new version of a perfect Christmas is take-out and a movie, then do it. If you need some time to gaze in to the fire and let the melancholy take over, then do it. Buy yourself a gift, have a pedicure, take a bubble bath- whatever works and as often as you need to. We spend so much time doing for others that we burn out, don’t enjoy any of it and then wonder why we are disappointed with the season.
So, if you need to, put on those fuzzy jammies, make some hot cocoa, and in the sparkle of the fairy lights watch a schmaltzy Christmas movie--even the comedic holiday movies are heartwarming enough to bump up the hope quotient.
I see the flurries starting outside my window, and like a child my heart races. I hope it is a white Christmas. Even though it is unlikely, I still hope. Christmas is a time for miracles and anything is possible.
I wish you and yours the happiest of holidays and a peaceful season in the New Year.