So if you’re anything like me and my family, then ever since October 31, you have been indulging in a two-month-long binge of Hallmark Christmas Movies.
We’ve been DVR-ing them for weeks now, and have a solid 14 or 15 of them saved on our TV.
I know, I know. They’re all the same. Same cheesy predictable love storylines. Same midwestern-looking actors. Every plot has a snowball fight (in fake snow), an overly-heartfelt montage of Christmas baking/ice skating/gift wrapping/etc., a clunky sponsorship shot of a Balsam Hill fake Christmas tree, and of course, a Santa Claus figure – played by a jolly old man that has eaten one too many Christmas cookies.
But you know what — I love every. single. minute of them. And truth be told, I have a cheesy smile on my face throughout the entire thing!
But I’ve come to realize, as I’ve causally let slip my affinity for all things Hallmark, that these movies have a bit of a cult-like following — albeit highly secretive. Whenever I mention Hallmark movies, people light up, and then express (with embarrassment) how much they love them too, and then sheepishly tell me that they have a number of them saved on their DVR as well.
People love ’em.
And over Thanksgiving, when we were tee-ing up our 3rd consecutive DVR’d Hallmark movie of the day, it made me question why.
Why do people love it so much? Because as a professional actor, I can tell you, it’s not from high cost cinematography, nor grandiose on-location sets, nor storylines that challenge the viewer.
Why? I think the answer lies much deeper than merely a longing for wholesome non-secular Christmas cheer.
I think at the end of the day, we’re all longing for a return to Christian humanity. An existence that isn’t fiercely divided along political party lines, nor cluttered with noise and judgement from a mainstream secular media with the sole agenda to undermine faith, and morality.
Hallmark movies transport you to an idealistic existence where family comes first, faith is not just respected – but expressed, and wholesome, monogamous relationships still exist.
Maybe that’s painting a bleak picture of what our world is like now, but I’m afraid I’m not too far off.
I have yet to see a Hallmark movie that involves a hookup dating app, or the culmination of a love story ending with a more-than-friends-but-unwilling-to-commit cohabitation situation with no ring in sight.
Nope. In Hallmark movies, neighbors love one another. Living for the good of others is the way of life. And families cherish time together.
We all have a deep yearning for that beautiful way of life. And for good reason.
We were created for community. God created us with hearts designed to love one another.
Mark 12:30 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Want to know the magic of a Hallmark movie? It’s right there. That is the underlying foundation upon which every cheesy storyline is built: Love God, and Love your neighbor.
It’s no wonder that we all are infatuated with these Hallmark gems: they reflect a world that exists as we were created to exist.
My challenge for us today is simple: right now, with all the hustle and bustle of getting everything ready for Christmas, let’s not forget the purpose of that Very First Christmas. Christ came to earth as a baby to love. To love us all the way to the Cross.
So let’s follow His lead. And let’s try to live our lives the Hallmark way: loving one another, and celebrating the true joy of Christmas, fake snowball fights and all. 🙂
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