‘Tis the Season for Hallmark Movies!
There are many different activities and traditions that people enjoy every holiday season. Baking cookies, going to a Christmas tree lighting, or decorating your house for the season are just some of the activities you can do with your family. Another tradition that many consider near and dear to their hearts is watching Christmas movies. While many enjoy Christmas movies that are fun for the whole family (looking at you, Home Alone), many others love Christmas rom-coms, specifically Hallmark Christmas movies.
While Lifetime and Netflix have also capitalized on the Christmas rom-com trend, Hallmark movies remain the favorite of many viewers for how classic and nostalgic they are. Some may believe that Hallmark movies are cheesy, unrealistic, and have unconvincing acting, but they have a dedicated fandom of people who love them for the romanticized version of Christmas they portray and the memories they bring back.
Hallmark produces about forty holiday movies each year, each filling different niches. However, there are some Hallmark Christmas movies that are better than others and stand out from the crowd. The following are some of my recommendations for this holiday season.
For those who love the idea of falling in love with a prince, One Royal Holiday is a wonderful choice. The charming small town the characters live in as well as all of their holiday traditions will warm your heart and get you in the spirit of the season.
Some prefer the childhood-best-friend trope, in which the female lead who has been living in a big city returns to her hometown and realizes she has been in love with her best friend all along. One movie that takes a unique spin on this trope is Next Stop, Christmas. The movie features a heroine who is given the opportunity to time travel by train and correct the mistakes she made at Christmastime ten years prior. She originally believes that all she needs to do is accept her ex-boyfriend’s marriage proposal, but discovers that there was a greater purpose behind her mission.
Finally, for those looking for a more diverse holiday movie, look no further than Boyfriends of Christmas Past. It features a Korean woman and her South Asian love interest, with a Christmas Carol-esque spin, with the woman’s ex-boyfriends acting as ghosts of past, present and future.
Our very own 9th grade assistant principal Mrs. Stevenson is also a fan of Hallmark movies. She worked as a Hallmark store manager in college and always enjoyed hearing the joy that Hallmark movies brought to her customers, who were often older women.
Mrs. Stevenson loves Hallmark movies because “you don’t have to think about what will happen, or how it will end. It’s just nice to sit and watch a cute love story set in really pretty holiday backdrops. You can also walk away and come back missing absolutely nothing crucial to the storyline.”
She adds that they “aren’t complicated, and this time of year can be very complicated for tons of reasons. I would encourage everyone to take a moment and get lost in the lights, snow, music, and magic that is a good Hallmark movie!”
Mrs. Stevenson’s top five Hallmark movie recommendations include: Christmas Under Wraps, A Royal Christmas, Crown for Christmas, Christmas in Evergreen, and her new favorite Christmas at the Golden Dragon.
While there are many positive things to say about the Hallmark Channel, they have often been criticized for only featuring straight, white, and Christian couples in their movies. This year they are taking steps to correct that with more diverse movies. They are debuting their first movie with an LGBTQ+ main couple, The Holiday Sitter on Dec. 11, 2022. Christmas at the Golden Dragon and A Big Fat Family Christmas will feature Chinese-Americans and their holiday celebrations. Hallmark will even be releasing their first Kwanzaa movie, Holiday Heritage, this year. The channel began creating Hanukkah movies in 2021, and this year Hanukkah On Rye will grace our television screens. I hope that Hallmark continues to produce more movies that are inclusive for all those who watch their channel.
I must also mention that the Hallmark Channel has movies for all four seasons and deserves more recognition for their summer movies in particular. My personal favorite Hallmark movie is Love Strikes Twice, a summer movie with time travel and a fun heist scene.
Hallmark movies provide us with a respite from our daily lives, portraying a simple, romantic representation of life and the holiday season. They can be beneficial to enjoy during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season in order to take a breath and remember what matters in life: spending time with the people you love. I hope that everyone reading has a wonderful holiday season as we close out 2022!