The Beauty of the Hallmark Holiday Movie

Abby Thomas '23, Sports Editor

A couple of weeks ago, I was eating lunch in the commons with Assistant Head of School Mrs. Gabriele and Cessa Lewis ‘23, and Mrs. Gabriele asked a question that really got Cessa and me thinking: What about Hallmark movies is so appealing and why do we watch them over and over again even though they’re all so similar?

There is nothing that captures the holiday spirit quite like a Christmas movie or television show. You have the classics — Home Alone, A Christmas Carol, Love Actually, Elf, A Charlie Brown Christmas — and hundreds of holiday-themed tv-episodes. But I believe, and so would Mrs. Gabriele, that the beauty of a Hallmark movie cannot go unnoticed. 

There is something so comforting about turning on the Hallmark Channel and watching whichever movie fate has put on the TV that day. If you are unable to tune in, let me paint a (predictable) picture for you:

The opening credits begin, with (hold on to your hats) lights being strung on a tree and snow falling from the sky. As the credits fade, the camera slowly zooms in on a woman (probably) named Rachel.

Though Rachel lives in a big city and works a demanding corporate job, she returned home for the holidays to help her great-aunt keep their family bakery in business. 

While walking around the minuscule town, with some obscure name ending in “Falls,” Rachel ends up running into her old high school best friend whose name is (probably) Jake. 

Not only has Jake grown more handsome since the last time Rachel saw him, but she finds out that he’s already been helping out her elderly aunt with the bakery.

One night, Jake asks Rachel to go to the park. On their date, they ice skate, drink hot chocolate, watch the local town’s Christmas tree lighting, and exchange longing stares. 

However, the sappy romantic montage does not last forever, as the lovers later have some unreasonable fight for no reason (usually about her going back to the city).

Distraught, Rachel confides in her great aunt, who gives Rachel some cheesy piece of advice, along the lines of, “Life is like making a batch of cookies. You can make them on your own, but they are so much better when you make them with someone else.” 

The advice proves life-changing, as Rachel realizes she doesn’t want to leave and, in fact, wants to stay in “something Falls” with Jake. But, before Rachel can go find him, he appears on her doorstep! 

In typical fashion, Jake references a corny inside joke, and they share a lovely kiss underneath the mistletoe. To end, the camera pans away from the two of them to show the Christmas tree in her window.

You can probably tell from this detailed description of a Hallmark movie that they are all quite predictable. So, why would we (or I) want to watch these every year when we already know what is going to happen?

After talking to Mrs. Gabriele and Cessa, I’ve concluded that Hallmark movies are enjoyable because of their familiarity and comfort. 

There is something beautiful about following one of these love stories, knowing that there will be rough patches, but that the main characters will always come out the other side. There is a lot of unpredictability in the world, and these movies bring us hope during the holiday season.

Bundling up on your couch with a blanket, a cup of hot chocolate, and the Hallmark Channel has that level of predictability that simply provides comfort. 

The movies might not be totally realistic (we don’t all have a handsome guy from our hometown to take us ice skating), but they give us a little extra spark of joy during the holiday season and hope that there are happily ever afters. 

If you find yourself wanting to watch some Hallmark classics, here is a list of some of my favorites: The Nine Lives of Christmas, A Timeless Christmas, Enchanted Christmas, Holly & Ivy, and A Royal Christmas.