Movie Recap: The 25 Days of Hallmark

“Life lies at the end of your comfort zone.” I KNOW I heard that somewhere. For all I know, that’s the slogan for some low-fare airline promising cheap vacations in paradise… or maybe I saw it online about a Zumba class? Or trying to get someone to go back to school? I mean, I could probably google it- it’s a good line. But I’m already making myself write this series of articles so even if it was Hillary Rodham Clinton herself, it’s not REALLY making this task I’ve arbitrarily set myself any easier.

You don’t know me … probably, but I’m a huge fan of Broadway- especially of one Ms. Patti Murin- star of Broadway’s Frozen, lover of dogs, Tweeter of all things Bachelor/Bachelorette (which I have never watched), and, most recently- Obsessor of all things Hallmark Christmas movies.

Photo: The Hallmark Channel/Crown Media Family Networks

I, however, adore a good chick flick/rom com. A good one. Pretty Woman? All day, every day. Debra Messing’s Wedding Date? I could (and may have) watched at least 4,000 times. While You Were Sleeping? Classic, should have won all the Oscars. What girl doesn’t want to swoon over a modern day Mr. Darcy in Bridget Jones’ Diary (let’s please not talk about that heinous but strangely satisfying guilty pleasure of the second part in that series); or even faint over a not-so-modern day Mr. Knightly in Gwyneth Paltrow’s Emma?

But I’ve never seen a Hallmark Christmas movie in my life. At least, not that I can remember, and definitely not a romance- maybe somewhere in there I accidentally glimpsed some kind of curmudgeonly old man who rediscovers the true gift of Christmas through the eyes of a young child kind of movie… but I couldn’t name it. And yes, I’ve actually been on record once or twice to having had a weird, but brief, obsession with When Calls the Heart on Hallmark, that I totally need to catch up on, I don’t think I’ve watched since they got engaged… but you should probably know I literally fast forward everything that ISN’T the Mountie and the School Teacher (and that’s NOT a porno… that I’ve seen… but I’d actually be shocked to my core if it ISN’T a porno… and being Canadian, probably a really polite one).

I feel like I’ve gotten off topic.

It’s been a weird/rough year for me. I lost a job that I loved. Found a new job… that I don’t love, but it pays the bills. My husband is in a weird work situation. I’m married, but live across the country from my complicated family… I’m not really sure what’s going on with my life,.  I’ve fought anxiety which sometimes feels like crippling depression, and I just need an outlet- I need a safe space where I can go and watch something ridiculous, but entertaining as hell … something that helps me escape the world I actually live in.

So, I’ve set a weird challenge for myself: I’m going to watch a Hallmark Christmas movie every day in December leading up to Christmas. 25 days, 25 movies… (25 bottles of wine/shots of tequila, don’t worry, I’ll try and share my pairings). I don’t really know what I’m in for, and I’m SUPER hoping they’re all included on Amazon Prime (not actually sure how to explain to my husband $100 worth of renting movies with titles like “Christmas Grace” or “The Christmas Switch”… I mean, MAYBE if they WERE porn I’d feel less weird…)

But I’m being snarkastic… I’m actually looking forward to this. Look, this is the time of year that we all used to believe that a huge fat man somehow made it into our house (weirdly with NO chimney, which I never questioned), ate cookies from strangers, delivered us presents… and then was gone, doing the same for millions of houses across the world. And that thought used to carry my 6 or 7 year old heart through the rest of the year, making me be nice to my siblings so I’d get presents, eagerly poring through the annual Toys R Us catalog in October to carefully determine exactly which toys were going to make the list of requests to the benevolent man… never actually realizing that I had seen the fabric of the dress my doll was wearing in my mom’s sewing room weeks earlier, or that the huge doll house looked vaguely more like my dad had built it than a sweatshop full of elves … And if 7 year old Meg could enjoy this time of year in that kind of hope and joy and simplicity, then maybe 25 days of cinematic equivalents- suspension of disbelief, hoping for romance and love to win the day, and just a soupcon of snark… maybe I too can have that kind of feeling this time of year again.

If not, there’s always tequila.

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Join me, @Somm_Bitch on Twitter, as I tweet about my viewing experience… and here, as I recap and review my experience making my way through the Hallmark Christmas movie list. Don’t forget to comment here or @ me on Twitter to give me your recommendations for the best ones to make sure I watch!

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