Before I continue, I must share this with you all first.
Judging by the title of this post, I’m sure you can figure out why I voluntarily stamped my own card. I should have done it a long time ago but I wasn’t emotionally ready to do so until now. I feel so much better now that it is out in the open and thank you in advance for your understanding.
My name is John and …
I love sappy holiday movies.
Take a minute to allow that to soak in …
I can’t get enough of the fabulously cheesy holiday fare that is put out by Lifetime and the Hallmark Channel each year.
That’s right, you heard me. Not an ounce of sarcasm either. I’ll put it right up there with listening to the Peanuts Christmas soundtrack, eating cookies and watching the kids open their presents on Christmas morning.
I’ve kept this a secret for years running with the only one aware being my holiday-movie- watching-confidante, Mrs. M. She warned me of the repercussions of this announcement but I went against her better judgment. Even if I’ve influenced only one of you to sit through one of these sappy holiday movies, I’ve done my service for the season.
Starting mid-November each year, we blindly DVR each and every holiday themed movie without reading the description. No initial judgment is passed. Many are movies we’ve enjoyed in the past with a handful of newly introduced titles included. Within days, the DVR is 97% filled and we can kick our plan into motion.
After the kids are in bed, we retire to the boudoir and hit “play” on the very first move on the list. We then agree to give it at least 15 minutes before rendering a decision. If after 15 minutes we’re not feeling it, it gets erased from the DVR and from our memory all together. We don’t take notes for the next year. It is too much fun to reevaluate the same movie again and again for years to come.
If the movie does pass the 15 minute test, we’ll keep watching it and often times it may take three viewings to get through it. Since we initiate the process at a later hour now that the kids are getting older, we often fall asleep during the movie. A joyous falling asleep I must add. It’s even fun to reconnect in the morning and remember the last scene we were still awake for.
“I remember when she hired the fake boyfriend to come home with her at Thanksgiving.”
“And I remember when she found out that her job wouldn’t allow her to travel back home for the holidays and her parents were devastated.”
How is each movie evaluated you may ask? While it is tough to quantify, here is just some of my criteria (my wife will have to post hers under separate cover):
- No supernatural stuff (wishes granted, manger scene coming to life, etc.) unless it is imagining how a different life may have panned out (even if you have to climb through a dryer to get there).
- Only a light tone will work. There can be, there must be, a serious message underneath, but I am looking for whimsy.
- While all locales are an option, the preferred is to start out in NYC and then work your way home to an unnamed town that looks like it fell out of a Thomas Kinkade Christmas painting.
- Anything with Joey Lawrence and I am in (whoa).
- An all knowing Santa that doles out sage advice at the local Christmas Tree Farm gets me every time.
- I cannot get enough of the aforementioned hire fake boyfriend/girlfriend and then really fall in love arc.
- Speaking of preferred arcs, give me bah humbug corporate hack that doesn’t get the true meaning of Christmas until he or she meets a hopeless Christmas romantic every day of the week (especially if she runs a Christmas hat store).
The criteria is ever evolving so I will have to keep this updated as each and every holiday season continues to pass.
And of course when you are a Hallmark Channel aficionado, you reserve the right to be critical from time to time. So if you executives/script writers are listening, here are a few tips, free of charge, from this sappy holiday movies watching veteran:
- No more exes running into each other unexpectedly in their hometown without knowing what the other had been doing for years now. It is called Facebook stalking and everyone does it.
- Stop with the struggling actor/advertising rep/young writer who lives in even a decent apartment in Manhattan. That one burns me to no end. No one can afford to live in Manhattan, please relocate them to Queens or even Hoboken.
- Please up the acting standards for the quirky best friend. There is a fine line between quirky and really freaking annoying. You know the difference.
- Less whiny children as well. In fact, let’s eliminate kids completely. My guess is the budget for these movies doesn’t allow for the hiring of kids with much talent so let’s not bring down the overall quality by subjecting people to the little ones’ lack of talent.
Faithful readers, if you are looking for recommendations, please feel free to email me and I will break them out by category/story arc if you so desire. Thanksgiving movies are very underrated and there are some beauties out there right now.
Or, do yourself a favor and check out some of the movies listed here. It will change your entire outlook on the holiday season.
You are welcome.
From: Your sappy holiday movies expert.