12 stages of Christmas (movies)

hot coco and popcorn

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me full control of the remote control for a full season of Hallmark Channel Christmas movies.

As much as I love them for their sugary sweetness and pretty scenes, it is not lost on me that certain predictable nonsense populates the Hallmark world.

1) Wintry wonderlands are always pretty. It is never sleeting rain. It may snow giant fluffy and very DRY snow that somehow never frizzes hair.

I have never seen a single character wield an ice scraper. Instead, it is always picturesque yet never too cold to spend hours hanging around the town square caroling, partying, saving the toy factory or whatever.

2) More fantastic than believing in Santa (or that an entire town economy can be sustained on cookie baking and handcrafting wooden toys), one must also suspend disbelief when it comes to the schedules of townsfolk.

No one has an issue with a gathering that the entire town attends even at the cost of their own family Christmas events?

Town-wide parties, programs or company/town Christmas parties on Christmas Eve are very popular. Do none of these people struggle with how to manage one more stop what with all the extended family and in-laws?

3) A woman generally named Holly or Joy will either love Christmas with a passion far beyond what any adult should — or hate it with a passion that makes the Grinch seem middle of the road on things.

4) Small towns are the heart of all things. If we know anything it is that big cities are not to be trusted.

5) Ditto men in suits. Always choose the guy with the sweater. Obviously.

6) There will be a trip to a Christmas tree farm — or remote mountain. They will use a hand saw to fell the tree.

Apparently, no one in these towns owns a chainsaw? If the cookie or toy gig doesn’t work out they might consider investing in a power tool startup.

7) It has been said that most accidents happen in the home. Or the ski chalet, department store, community center or town square.

What they really mean is that most accidents occur in Hallmark Christmas movies. Someone is forever falling off a ladder into the arms of a waiting hunk.

Of course, characters are required to loathe each other prior to eventually having a ridiculous misunderstanding and then falling in love. That’s just how it is. I don’t make the rules.

8) Granted, some of the accidents might be attributed to the amount of flour that must be on the floors. Nearly every movie features a flirtatious flour fight during a baking session.

9) Having fought their way through the flour storm, grown folks will fight to the death — including sabotage and espionage — in order to win a cookie, cupcake or gingerbread contest. As you do.

10) If the old falling off a ladder trick hasn’t led to true love, the hiring of a fake fiance or boyfriend/girlfriend for hire will fix things right up.

In the real world, we call that prostitution. In Hallmark movies that’s just how you get a date and fool your family into getting off your back about your single status. Obviously.

11) People do tend to fall in love while ice skating — badly. One of them anyway. One is generally a former pro skater or nearly so.

The other is the bumbling owner of two left feet. What could be better than a date that involves one person risking injury and the other being embarrassed for them?

12) Finally, someone — if not everyone — will find the true meaning of Christmas through family, friends and true love.

Number 12 is ultimately why so many of us love these silly little movies despite the previous 11 foibles and flights of fancy.

In the end, we can always enjoy more of the warm glow of wonder, joy and love — and the perfect Christmas cookie.


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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.



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