Friday, December 23, 2016

The Perfect Hallmark Christmas

I'm a big movie person.  Sadly, with two small children, this often entails TV movies rather than the actual theater.  1 1/2 hours, if I forward through the commercials, seems to be just about as long as I can stay awake before I start to nod off in my chair.

The kids are in bed, so I make my tea or hot chocolate and settle in for another movie with a guaranteed happy ending.  This year, Hallmark has taken over my viewing while the couple of shows I normally watch are on hiatus for the holidays.  I have watched most of the 2016 Hallmark movies and I have to say that I've noticed a trend.

This year's favorite plot line seems to entail a youngish woman who works too much and focuses solely on her career.  She starts out on a journey and gets sidetracked or has an accident, landing her in "Christmas Town" or some version of the sort.  At first she is annoyed.  How will she continue to work in such a middle of nowhere place?  But as she notices the decorations, the holiday traditions and the handsome man she bumps into while looking at Christmas trees, things start to get interesting.  She more than likely will fall in love and realize that the spirit of Christmas is family, traditions and love. She'll ultimately decide to move to "Christmas Town," and the movie will end with a kiss!

I love it. I eat it up, because I love Christmas, I love romantic comedies, and some days I just want to experience a happy ending, even if it's just on TV.  Of course, after watching so many and figuring out the plot line, I do get a little bored at times.  A friend said she had to take a break from them and go back to her crime series.  My husband began questioning why I watch them and why I need to see such "perfect" Christmases play out?  He has started to wonder whether he needs to dress more like the Christmas Town hunk.

It's a fun holiday tradition, but I know that real life is not a Hallmark movie.  Real life is messy and exhausting and doesn't always end up the way we wish it would.  To be honest, Christmas is a lot of extra work.  Especially for a mom with two kids under five, equaling approximately seven loads of laundry each week, daily dishwasher emptying, cleaning and much more.  Buying, wrapping, decorating, finding the perfect Christmas photo.  (See past posts!)  It all takes time and has really prevented me from taking time to think about the reason for the season.

I'm realizing that I'm ok with messy.  I'm ok with a Christmas that isn't perfect.  But what I will take away from my Hallmark binge watching is that the spirit of Christmas is what's important.  God's son Jesus brings us love, peace, joy and hope for the future.  He reminds us that love and family and a future with him are what is most important at Christmas and throughout the year.

Blessings to you this Christmas.  May Christ meet you in the mess and lead you to peace abundant.

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