Hallmark’s Hallmark

Well, after watching, approximately 12 Christmas movies over Thanksgiving break, I am a) officially in the Christmas spirit, b) a firm believer that a well-timed snowball fight is the sure fire way to fall in love, and c) positive that there are certain things that we can learn from those Hallmark movie tropes.

I mean, how many movies do I have to watch, where the Type A, big city ingenue that’s chained to her calendar, completely shifts course because of love, or finding a new passion in a small town, or realizing what’s truly important in life.

I mean, it is every storyline. It’s the hallmark of a Hallmark movie. The feel good, back-to-basics, foundation of joy, that somehow we’ve lost sight of along the way.

Their secret is that they are open to life’s redirection.

A spontaneous stay at an African elephant sanctuary? Sure. Switching lives with a princess? Sign me up. Opening one’s heart to a new romance with the hometown baker? Of course.

The thing that makes these movies so magical — and frankly, so interesting — is that the characters respond to life with a resounding yes!

Sure, the driving force behind these secular Christmas movies is the “magic of Christmas” but we can really take a lesson from their openness.

God is always opening doors for us, but they often will disrupt the “plans” we have declared for ourselves.

However, that openness — that receptivity — to His plans, even if they may seem to shift our lives wildly off course, it is the quality that allows a divinely abundant life to unfold.

I’m at a time in my life where I’m really searching for His direction. In lots of areas: career direction, where to put down roots, heck – my love life. Maybe you can relate. But I have so many shifting puzzle pieces, so it’s no wonder that a Hallmark movie, where everything is tied up in a nice little bow after 90 minutes, is so appealing.

Me and my nephew 🙂

But the sentiments aren’t so outlandish.

I don’t think we have to have a sweeping life overhaul, complete with “B-roll” and cinematic montages a la Hallmark, in order to be open to life’s – and God’s – redirection.

I think sometimes, we get so married to this idea of what our life should look like. Those influences can run the gamut – from fulfilling dreams, to “keeping up” with others, etc. But we can be grasping so tightly to our own life plans, that we cannot recognize a slight nudge in a different direction when it happens.

Prayer is a big part of this. Being connected with God, and allowing for an open line of communication. And I say that knowing full well that that is an area of my spiritual life that needs work.

At the end of the day, God truly does want the best for us. He is our Father, and wants to delight us. Wants to unfold for us an abundant life full of joy, purpose and passion.

But we’ve got to be open to the path that it takes to get there. The path that might seem to take us wildly off course, or in a direction that seems completely contradictory to our own navigation.

The thing about these movies is that, come hell or high water, at the end of those 90 minutes, the story will be complete — signed, sealed, delivered, with a happy ending in tow. But life is not like that. God’s timing is not aligned with “movie magic” – and sometimes, seasons can be stretched, and trying and seemingly desolate.

But we can trust Him. We can trust the path He has us on will eventually lead us to where we’re meant to be.

And if this sounds like a bit of a motivational self-pep talk, well maybe it is. Maybe this is just what I needed to hear tonight, as I search for purpose and direction on my own path.

I think sometimes, waiting is part of the process. It is the waiting that allows for the yearnings in our hearts to develop and deepen. For our patience to mature. And our sole reliance on Him to become our lifeline and source of hope.

Whatever the case – I pray that during this season of Advent — as we are awaiting the coming of Christ on Christmas, may we keep our eyes and hearts open to any gentle pushes of redirection God may be trying to give.

May we be open, and receptive, and enthusiastically joyful about such a surrender of control!

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5

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129 responses to “Hallmark’s Hallmark”

    • Thanks so much John! So glad you enjoyed It! hope you have a great night! Hugs and love xox

    • Hi Karen! Haha oh gosh I LOVE hallmark movies!! Thanks so much! Have an awesome night! Hugs and love xox

  1. This statement in your post got my attention b/c it’s the central focus of my own blog post tomorrow: “waiting is part of the process. It is the waiting that allows for the yearnings in our hearts to develop and deepen. For our patience to mature. And our sole reliance on Him to become our lifeline and source of hope.” Hope you get a chance to read it.

    • Oh wow I can’t wait to read your post tomorrow! Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂 hope you’re having a great night! Hugs and love xox

  2. Love and hope is all around us. Hidden behind the commercial drive that seems so prominent at this time of year lies that true message. One that can be all too easily forgotten.

    I am a big advocate for spreading the message, sharing the love. And changing the world through one act of kindness at a time. After all if we can change just one person, bring a little light into their heart have we not made the world a better place?

    I wrote about it a few days ago.


    • You’re so right-it’s all around us. Thanks for sharing that! I’m right there with ya! Hugs and love xox


    ◇ – Diamond Hard – ◇

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    ◇ – Diamond Hard – ◇



    ◇ – Diamond Hard – ◇

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    ◇ – Diamond Hard – ◇



    ◇ – Diamond Hard – ◇

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    ◇ – Diamond Hard – ◇



    ◇ – Diamond Hard – ◇

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    ◇ – Diamond Hard – ◇

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    ◇ – Diamond Hard – ◇


  4. Dear Caralyn, I feel you tonight in the whole question of direction, and nudges, and more. I’m trying to figure out how to express what I’m thinking, so please bear with me.

    You know I’m not a young guy. I’ve had a good life so far, but I’ve suffered 4 brushes with death and devastating losses. Those weren’t so much of a nudge as a push off a cliff toward a new life. If not for those, I’d still be in Ohio, doing the same stuff. And I liked it there. But I would never have started blogging without this move to Memphis and needing…something…to find some personal fulfillment. I wouldn’t have Pastor at church who has been encouraging. I would never have met you. I feel like I’ve gone from a sort of mentor to you to a peer and now being mentored by you!

    I’m working on putting together an audition tape to complete the submission package as some agencies require it. I know it isn’t a stall, because I’m really getting juiced about having everything in place and pulling the trigger!

    Point is, I left acting 30+ years ago. I lost everything 10+ years ago. It’s taken a little more than 90 minutes for things to come back together! As you said; “sometimes, seasons can be stretched, and trying and seemingly desolate.” A lot of good things have happened along the way, and even now I see the possibility of more good things. As you wind your way along your path, I hope my experience can encourage you that you will indeed find your way for career and more. Some people’s paths have those things earlier, some later. Thank you for letting me help you. Thank you for helping me. And rest assured that at some future date you will look back and see just how well everything was engineered!

    • Thanks for sharing that Jeff. Your story is definitely an inspiring one, and one that God is still writing as we speak. He has led you to the beautiful existence you have now, and will continue to provide for you. He knows the longing of tour heart and longs to delight His kids 🙂 im cheering for you Jeff. I have a feeling you have some exciting adventures in store 🙂 big hugs to you and yours xox

  5. Oh girl! I needed this tonight. I’m walking through trauma from years (decades) ago that I’m finally opening the door on so I can finally heal. I’ve been hoping for a Hallmark ending yet not allowing God to properly prepare my heart. I’ve called this stuffing my feelings or “I’m fine” or “that was years ago” but old un-dealt-with trauma will almost never yield a Hallmark moment. There is hope in surrender. Sometimes healing hurts all over again, but to get to where God is taking us, we must be open to the way he wants to heal us.
    Blah blah.
    Great blog. As ever.
    Love and hugs my friend.

    • Hi Melissa! Oh I’m so glad this hit home with you. I’m so sorry that you had to endure trauma, but I’m thrilled to hear that you’re healing. Amen – hope in surrender. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your heart. Know that you’re in my prayers 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  6. I love this!!! I never thought about all the movies wrapping up so well because the characters say “yes.” And I love how you link it to God’s redirection! Great observations!

    • Thank you so much! Yes! It’s a powerful word and leads to beautiful things 🙂 glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  7. Hi C! I loved this part, “I think sometimes, waiting is part of the process. It is the waiting that allows for the yearnings in our hearts to develop and deepen. For our patience to mature. And our sole reliance on Him to become our lifeline and source of hope.” You hit the nail on the head. It reminded me of a song by Twila Paris, especially the bridge and final chorus:

    “Could it be that He is only waiting there to see
    If I will learn to love the dreams that He has dreamed for me

    “Can’t imagine what the future holds
    But I’ve already made my choice
    And this is where I stand
    Until He moves me on
    And I will listen to His voice”


    All the plans I had that I thought were so wonderful could never compare to what He has in store if I’ll only surrender. And like Twila sings, maybe the waiting is for me to realize that and learn to love His best instead of settling for my less-than-the-best. And the excitement that anticipation brings is beyond imagination. 🙂

    My goodness! Your nephews are adorable! I don’t understand how y’all will handle the cuteness overload when they and your nieces get together this Christmas. 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Oh thank you so much 🙂 I will have to check out that song!! Thanks for sharing that 🙂 hahaha cuteness overload for sure! Hugs and love xox

    • Aw thank you so much Tiffany!! I’m so glad this resonated with you:) sending you the biggest hugs xox

    • Thank you so much! Patience really is a beautiful skill and yes takes practice for sure. Glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

    • Aren’t they so heart warming?! I think that’s so important too 🙂 thanks Liz for stopping by!! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  8. OMG, I just finished watching “Christmas at the Plaza” in NYC and thought of you. Then, I open my emails and found your post, so I’m reading it ASAP. Can’t wait! 🎄

    • Awwwww!! You are too sweet!! Thank you for thinking of me! I think i need to see that movie! Is it a hallmark gem?? 💛 hope you’re having a lovely evening! Hugs and love xox

  9. Enjoyed this very much. I can agree, I saw a funny meme where it had different characters, their careers and situations lined up. You could pick and choose differently and it would still resemble a hallmark movie. I am guilty of not watching a lot of them but when it is playing at work, I seem to understand the outcome.

  10. Caralyn, you made an excellent point about the Hallmark movies saying yes to life. God does open doors for us and it our choice whether to go through the door or not. Whether we embrace life and say, Yes, or play it safe.

    Psalm 139:16 says: “You saw who you created me to be before I became me!
    Before I’d ever seen the light of day,
    the number of days you planned for me
    were already recorded in your book.”

    God has a book of all the things he has planned for us but we get to choose. Love the Hallmark movies! Love and hugs! xoxo

  11. Ah, I know well waiting periods with the Lord! Have experienced many of them in my day. I’m 41 and sometimes *still* sorting out my purpose in the Lord, in fact, though I can say He’s showing me more and more the further I walk with Him. May He reveal more and more to you as you seek His answers for your life and may you rest in this lovely Advent season in knowing He’s got it all in hand. I know He’s got great things for you. You have a lot to give. ☺

    • The waiting periods are what help us grow in trust with Him! Thanks for sharing that, and for your kind words of encouragement! I do believe you’re right! And same for you!!!! 🙂 hugs xox

  12. When I worked in hospice a bunch of nurses liked the Hallmark Christmas movies. A couple were, uh. Football cheerleaders. Previous. I’d just, hang out in my wing with the widowers and bachelors during the holidays. Maybe it’s escapism. It’s just, a really busy time for older people and lots of them like to pass during the holidays. I wish, I had that connection to story like you do. You always, see the good in things.

    • Oh wow what a powerful line of work. Yeah the holidays are incredibly challenging, I’m sure, for those in hospice. Thanks for sharing that. Hugs and love xox

      • I never saw it as powerful. Before. Just, tons and tons of empathy and humility. It reminded me of when you’re little and make friends immediately with someone at an outdoor event. You guys, hang out all day. Then, you never see them again. It was all, bittersweet.

  13. Hallmark movies.. My house has been filled with sound of Hallmark movies playing one after the other from my sister’s room. The past couple of weeks, mom and sis have been watching them nonstop. About 20 of them in a day, even to the point of repeats. You ask them the title of any one, they have no clue.. LOL

    Reading your article I certainly get the appeal. Probably too mushy for a guy’s taste, but then this guy is also a hopeless romantic. So I tend to enjoy such stuff to a degree. 🙂

    • Haha yes! Oh my gosh that’s so true – I never know the titles but I know the storylines and actors and honestly they’re all the same!! Haha Yeah they definitely appeal to the romantic inside! thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  14. Thank you for another thoughtful and inspiring post Caralyn – a key to trying to be in step with God’s plan for us lies in your comment:. “Being connected with God, and allowing for an open line of communication.” That is the challenge that I and I know many others grapple with every day. My prayer is that in 2020 we will all work harder on our prayer life and strive to be closer to Him.

    • Thank you so much Andrew! Yes – there is so much power in prayer. I love that – I’ll join you in that prayer! Hugs and love xox

  15. Nice piece and have a good Christmas – and I hope you do find lots of contentment and happiness in following the Way you have chosen and a life partner as well…

    • Thank you so much Mari! That’s so kind of you to say 🙂 I hope the same for you! Christmas is always a beautiful time to reflect on all of that! Hugs and love xox

    • Hahha thanks Jack! Im a huge fan of snow ball fights too – just so long as there’s a cup of hot tea and a fire waiting with extra blankets afterwards! Haha I don’t like the cold one little bit!! Hugs and love xox

    • Oh awesome! Thanks Madeline for passing that along! I look forward to checking that out! Hugs and love xox

    • Aww thank you so much, what a kind thing to say. I appreciate you stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  16. Love this! I always enjoy a good Hallmark movie and I love how you focused on the message of being open. Sometimes I feel like I drag my heels when a redirection happens in my life (not the biggest fan of change). But your blog post was a great reminder to approach life with open hands. Also, I’m in a period of seeking direction as well and I just ordered a book by J.I Packer about seeking God’s direction for decisions called “Guard Us Guide Us: divine leading in life’s decisions.” That may be a book that you’d enjoy reading as well!

    • Thank you so much Rachel! I feel you there – I like my routine and find comfort in the familiar for sure. Amen. With open hands. That’s a beautiful way to put it! Ooh I’ll definitely check it out! Thanks for the recco!! Hugs and love xox

  17. Great post as always, Caralyn! I too have recently been on a Hallmark Movie recorded “catch-up” marathon, (THAT was a mouth full,) as I recover from a recent auto-accident at home. And all I have to say is, “WHAT happened to SAVING THE KISS UNTIL THE END???” Hallmark movies ALWAYS saved the kiss between the main characters until the end of the movie. BUT this year there have been two premiere movies where the first kiss has occurred BEFORE the end!! Next “pet’s heads will be falling off!!” (Movie quote.) I’m officially starting the hash-tag #savethekissuntiltheendhallmark Sheesh! And I’m definitely posting on this very soon!! (giggles.)

    • Thank you Dawn Marie!! Hahaha a fun catch up!! But oh my gosh an accident!!? I’m so sorry to hear that!! I hope you’re okay and that your recovery is quick!! Hahaha I haven’t noticed that but i will definitely be on the lookout now! Love the hashtag! Hugs and love xox

    • Thank you so much 🙂 oh yes – they get you in the Christmas spirit too! Hugs and love xox

  18. Caralyn, I love and enjoy your post. You offer you thoughts and feelings without worry. You are truly a great person with a life that should be all young ladies should strive to emulate. The best to you..

    • Thank you so much!! And same to you!!!! I hope you have a beautiful Advent season! Hugs and love xox

  19. That’s an interesting take: they all say “yes” to what life throws at them. That’s also a compelling argument that the movies offer a little bit more than feel good entertainment. I don’t hate the movies (I’m glad there’s clean programming available) but if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. Dare I say it? You might have elevated my respect for them.

    • Thanks so much C! Haha you’re so right about that – you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all!! Hahahah oh wow – high compliment there! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  20. I also enjoy Hallmark Movies! Recently one of our pastors commented on Hallmark movies! The comments were all negative! Thanks so much for gleaning the positive in everything you write about!You are a great blessing to all your readers and remember there are a host of readers who never comment on your posts but still reap the benefits. God has richly gifted you as a writer! Here’s an Idea! Put together a collection of your best post and yes include pictures in a devotional publication including an appropriate scripture reading appropriate at the beginning! Hows that for a nudge forward!

    • They’re really great movies aren’t they? An escape of sorts! And wow you’re so kind to say that! And what a fabulous idea!! A nudge for sure!! THANK YOU!!! 🥰 have a beautiful weekend! Hugs and love xox

  21. I used to laugh at my sisters for binge watching Hallmark Christmas movies even in June! But I have to admit, the movies aren’t so bad — how can you not love Christmas even more after watching a Hallmark Christmas movie?! And you’re right the main characters’ openness to possibilities and change is something that we can learn from. 😉

    • thank you so much Therese! they really are so heartwarming! your sister was on to something 🙂 hugs xo

  22. God is always opening doors for us, but they often will disrupt the “plans” we have declared for ourselves…#truth! Another wonderful reason to stay connected to Jesus, so our plans become His plans. Wonderful post, Caralyn.

    • You’re right about that! Thanks Terese! Amen! being connected to Jesus is the way to be! hugs xo

  23. Such perfect timing, only a God thing :). As I am so future-orientated as I am always looking forward to events that are coming closer and as I look back and reflect on my past, I am proud to say, that I feel like I have found my purpose( an amazing answer, to so many prayers)! As a junior in high school, I have begun to start the long process, and never-ending question, what will I do with my life? With that being said, as I am starting to learn to love how to love myself, and see myself in the beautiful young woman he has created me to be, he is slowly starting to reveal, his plan for my future. I just have to listen and be attentive, to them, but more importantly, be obedient. Growing up I also felt called to be a teacher, but I was little and most people have no idea when they are so young. So I always said that I didn’t know, what I wanted to be, up until recently, as I begin to dig into my past to figure out the root of my disorder eating, I have really been asking God to open and close doors for as to where he wants me, and for him to make it apparent. I never like doubting, and with my purpose, I was to be sure.
    Knowing my Enneagram helps tremendously. Yet, I was always very apprehensive about “hearing from God due to my dad, and his personality disorder. Thought, my long deserved, and much need me time [I’m an extrovert, but I’m also and internalizing(for the better), it a weirdo combo] I have come to conclude that it was God all along telling me when I felt God leading me in the direction of teaching. I have been resonating on that, and am glad to say that I am satisfied, kinda, then I had this thought about how I could see myself being someone like my principal, who is amazing and I admire so much, so I have started the processes of looking into school administration, and I feel this fire and passion towards it. It is very similar to the fire and passion I have when I talk to people about God, and Jesus being my savior. As I begin to brainstorm ideas about how I can make the whole education system better, and the fire just starts to ignite in me, It gives me hope, for my future. And to be honest it wasn’t until just now, while reading this blog, that I was able to make that conclusion. Something about the reading how we just need to surrender to Him and trust in his timing, and for the path he has for us, was the confirmation,  to be honest, I didn’t even know I needed. It just goes to show, the power of so many prayers, by me and for me, and the blessing and gift of being the most introverted extrovert( aka an internalize/ reflector) that I am able to find and figure out all of this in the past year,  what takes most people a lifetime to achieve. Thanks be to God!! Also, thanks, because now I have the inspiration, to write a new blog 🙂

    Big Hugs and Lots of Love

  24. Great post 🙂 I mean we all know Hallmark movies are not 100 percent accurate to real-life, but I think their appeal lies in a sense of feeling. Everyday men and women alike are bombarded with a vibe that most people are either uncaring or otherwise. It is not until they choose for themselves to connect with a social group whether it be in person or on social media (yes, social media can be every bit as comforting as it is discomforting) 🙂 People develop friendships (distant or close) and realize that their actually are a lot of people who care about that particular man or woman (aside from family). I hope I made sense with this theory 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    I have a few links to give you speaking of Hallmark movies 🙂 Did you ever see Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas from a few years back? It is a really touching entry I believe, If you have never seen it, here is a link to both the trailer and where you can buy it


    Here is the link where you can buy it


    Also, here is a Christmas tune that I really love and I think you will love too 🙂

    • Thank you so much John! I love that tune!!! thanks for sharing. And I haven’t seen signed sealed delivered! i can’t wait to check it out! hugs xo

  25. Yes, I like being single these days, but the holidays can definitely be lonely. I gave up dating women I met at bars 25 years ago, along with alcohol. As someone who is only 5’10”, I have noticed all the guys in these movies tend to be tall hunks. What are your thoughts on men now feeling pressure to look and be ‘perfect’ that only women previously used to face? The two Christmas movies with Meredith Hagner are pretty strong. Of course, Diehard is probably still the greatest Christmas movie of them all.

    • thanks so much John for sharing that! I think men definitely face pressures to look a certain way, just like women. But it’s what’s in the heart that counts! Never seen Diehard! hugs x

      • Offhand, I can’t think of anyone I know in Virginia who hasn’t seen Diehard. Have you seen Roadhouse, Point Break, or Tuff Turf? One rare good thing about being the dreaded 56 is we had a great 1980s.

      • Haha haven’t seen roadhouse point break or tuff turf either!!!!!! Haha oh gosh looks like I have some work to do! Hugs

      • By the way, the original Red Dawn movie is free on Youtube right now. You just have to put up with some annoying ads. The first fifteen minutes of that movie is absolutely classic.Also, I think I noticed you ‘liked’ one of my trivia videos. What do you think of the format? I have a pretty low-budget production, but it’s sort of fun to make those videos.

  26. Another inspiring post, you wrote “….
    I think sometimes, waiting is part of the process….”
    You’re right, sometimes it is, Jacob waited & worked for nearly 2 decades for his family, Moses spent for 40 yrs tending livestock before the I Am spoke to him.

    Many have had to wait, some though, like Saul of Tarsus have to be knocked to the ground before they can see. Samson had to lose his hair & both eyes because he tried things his way, Jonah got a long bath in a fishes gutlet full of stomach acid, being vomited out buck naked & bleached albino like before he followed God’s will.

    Thing is, have patience, but don’t wait too long or you’ll miss the chances the Lord puts before you.

    A nuance here, inference there, hint at this or a still small voice in your heart, don’t discount those because they may disrupt your life, they may infact lead you to the life the Lord has planned for you… maybe that “Christmas magic” working.

    God Bless. xxoo

    • oh gosh thank you so much — you’re right about that — patience, but don’t become too comfortable waiting!! glad you stopped by! hugs xo

  27. I bought a Hallmark DVD set some months back, and watched the three episodes. 👍🏼

    We don’t have the channel in Australia…

    I used to watch BBC Shakespeare DVDs in my mid 20s. That was my equivalent, I think. 🤔

    I agree with your closing words….

  28. Wow reading your blog definately made me feel something. I want one day to be swept off my feet by some handsome entrepreneur to be whisked off to gay Paris. Some may think Rom Coms are cheesy mushy to good to be true flicks. And you know what? Maybe they are, but as you mentioned it doesn’t have to be the action, but the way you feel. You have opened my eyes to once again dream and hope for my love. You have a gift and cannot wait to see what u write next. God has definitely blessed u with the power of word.

  29. Love watching the cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies! It stirs a sense of wanting the best scenario- which is satisfaction in life and love. God is the only one who fills that vacuum – yet it is still fun to dream. Your post hit exactly what my change in direction in my life is about- submitting to God’s will and desires in my life instead of what I think is best. It has been quite the change but He is blessing the writing journey He has me on. Keep trusting and seeking Him- He will direct your path. (Prov 3:5,6).

    • Thank you so much! you’re right about that — God is the ONLY one who can fill our hearts completely. Thanks for the wonderful encouragement! hugs xo

  30. We all enjoy a happy ending . . . in our lives or in a film. In reality, we always have our Lord behind us when the going gets tough. He is always ready to get going!

  31. Years ago I used to hate Hallmark movies. Now, they are part of my weekend escape. Thank you for this great blog. I think sometimes we need to pause and smell the roses.

    • They really are such a great escape, aren’t they?!! Thanks for reading Ada! Hugs and love xox

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