I Watched Christmas Movies For Three Days Straight. Here’s What Happened.
by Esme Addison
I like Christmas romances. I really do.
But I had no intentions of watching Christmas romcoms before Thanksgiving. Possibly after Halloween if I was forced. But I don’t like this trend of rushing the holidays. I enjoy the fall. Let me enjoy autumn. I want to watch all of the fallharvestautumn movies. Give me all of the leaf changing-falling, sweater wearing, latte-sipping, pumpkin-decorating movies.
I want Halloween movies. I want Thanksgiving movies.
And I want Christmas movies after Thanksgiving.
I’m methodical. I celebrate one holiday at a time. I shop for one holiday at a time. I decorate for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. I begin my shopping then too. And that’s preferably when I begin watching Christmas movies too.
Then I want all the Christmas movies. All the tropes. All the cliches.
But all that went out the door when I visited my parents who have actual cable channels – I don’t. And their television alternates between Hallmark, Lifetime and Great American Family who all recently began showing their Christmas movies. Completely against my will, I watched Christmas movies 24-7 while I worked remote from my parent’s dining room.
I thought, I’m not going to watch. But they were on and the next thing I know I’m watching a sweep of military-themed Hallmark Christmas romances designed to pull your heart strings. Darn you, Hallmark. *waves fist at the air*
So this is what happened
First, I cultivated a desire to bake. All the cakes. All the pies. I’ve already planned out my holiday baking for the year.
Second, I started feeling really happy. Good natured. Smiley. Looking forward to the next movie.
Third, I started Googling movie titles, confirming plot synopsis, reading up on cast bio and credits and getting interested who who wrote the screenplay and where was the movie produced. (Canada, usually) I’m a writer, so I began predicting dialogue and plot points. It’s a parlor trick I do for my parents.
Fourth, I started checking the live schedules of Hallmark, Lifetime and Great American channel! Look at me, planning in advance and trying to determine based on those cute yet simplistic titles which one I want to see.
Fifth, I surrendered to the fact that I’m watching Christmas movies before Halloween. And I was okay with that, though part of me had a tiny bit of anxiety that Halloween hasn’t come yet and there’s still much to do for Thanksgiving. But I”ll just take a deep breath… and relax.
Sixth, last and possibly most important, watching Christmas movies made me think positively about family, recalling past Christmases and my parents who were in and out of the living room, occasionally sitting down to watch and would chime in with funny stories about past holidays.
My parents love their movies and are harsh critics. We all wait for my mother to watch the first few minutes and make a judgement: “I really like this one!” or the deathknell. “I don’t know… it’s kind of slow. I’m getting sleepy.” My mother doesn’t realize it but she knows her pacing. The editor in me is proud.
But today she was pleased with the choices. We watched Hallmark’s Five More Minutes based on North Carolina native Scott McCreery’s song of the same name. This particular movie was set in Fayetteville (right up the road from us!) and even thought they got simple things wrong like the name of the airport with a glaring sign that says: Durham International Airport – It’s Raleigh-Durham International Airport! They kept referencing southern traditions, in which case my mother would point her finger at the screen and say, “That’s right!”
Christmas movies in October? No problemo – she’s all in. For context she shops for Christmas year round and loves Christmas in July (don’t get me started). As I write this article, she’s online searching for fruit cakes to purchase. She’s also told me – several times – that she wants me to write a couple of Christmas movies too. (Okay mom, I’m on it.)
But watching the movies raised the vibrations in the room, and I have a checklist of Christmas movie premiers I’m rearranging my life around so I can watch. Now where are my fuzzy socks….