Let’s get one thing straight: The last thing I’d ever believe is that you could get an entire town full of people — hopelessly, maybe even DESPERATELY filled with holiday spirit — into an elementary school gymnasium, waiting with baited breath to see which 3rd grade teacher wins the Holiday Cookie Baking Contest.
Come on. No way. Not ever.
YET, if you think I won’t spend 6-8 hours on a Sunday in December, engulfed in shame under a pile of Dorito crumbs while Alan Thicke mulls over tiny bites of opposing Classic Gingerbread and Peppermint Drop cookies to decide who’s taking home the Holiday Cookie Baking trophy … well then, you’ve got quite another thing coming.
That’s right, you heard me: I’m a Hallmark-aholic. I can say it out loud now.
Some people hoard boxes of newspapers in their basement until they reach the ceiling. Some people keep a Ziploc bag full of their toenail clippings in a nightstand next to their bed. This is my thing. Waiting to see if the “couple that’s pretending to be a couple while problematically falling in love” wins the snowman building competition at the Christmas Festival is my thing, OK? Take your judgement elsewhere. Only God can judge me.
My obsession for The Hallmark Channel didn’t start until my dad, of all people, turned me onto their Christmas in July movies a couple years ago. There’s something so cavity-inducingly sweet about them, you don’t mind suspending disbelief for a few hours. If you can let yourself believe that two people can fall in love over the all-consuming, intense engineering of a reindeer ice sculpture to win at the town’s Winter Carnival, you might just be a Hallmark-aholic too. Here’s how you can tell:
1. They make you wait for the mush … and you’re totally fine with it.
Many times they’ll hold off on the love interests kissing until the last 1 or 2 minutes of the movie. And it works. I’m all in. Picture it. Some major snafu almost derails the female lead’s parade float for the Holiday Jamboree and all hope is lost until the male lead saves the day, and alas … a long awaited kiss just before the credits roll.
2. You have your favorite (and least favorite) actors on recall.
You’ve seen enough Hallmark films to know that you’re partial to Candace Cameron Bure or Lacey Chabert. Or maybe Alicia Witt rubs you the wrong way and you turn the channel as soon as she comes on, destined to wait 2 more hours until the next movie in the rotation.
3. You have Hallmark friends.
You’ve bared your Hallmark soul to one or two trusted friends and you LIVE TEXT each other through your favorite titles. For example:
Me: “Seriously, how many times will they stare longingly into each other’s eyes under the mistletoe without kissing?”
My friend Sarah: “Yeah, really. Let’s get on with it HOLLY and NICK!?”
4. You set your DVR for all the new movie premieres.
How else are you going to have a life, while simultaneously being kind of a loser? Whatever. Don’t act like you haven’t done it. This is who you are now.
5. You’ve got no problem watching repeats (for the millionth time).
I don’t care who you are, when Christmas Under Wraps comes on, you watch it again no matter how many times you’ve seen it. I MEAN, THE OWNER OF THE TOY FACTORY IS SANTA, YOU GUYS! COME ON!
6. You’ve watched three or more Hallmark movies in one sitting — easy.
If the only marathon you’ve competed in lately involves sitting your butt on the couch snorting pretzel sticks and watching Danica McKellar become a princess, then a wedding planner and then manager of an iconic department store at Christmas time, then you can be on my running team any day, mate!
Listen, Hallmark movies might not be for everyone; but if you’re looking for a little light-hearted escape in the midst of all the holiday madness, don’t fight it. I’m one of you and there are other people like us who you can turn to. If you or someone you love has a problem with obsessively watching Hallmark movies this time of year, please know that you’re not alone — my best advice would be for you to join them, and to live your best holiday movie life. Trust me, it’s better this way.