It has been suggested that perhaps I watch too much ID TV; I have also been advised that instead of watching murder and mayhem I should start watching YouTube videos of puppies and kittens. I’m told it will make me smile and make me think of happy things.
Let me set the record straight. I haven’t been watching much TV at all, much less ID TV. Nonetheless I was intrigued by the ads I kept seeing on Facebook. They were advertising sweatshirts that read: This is my Hallmark Christmas movie watching sweatshirt. So I took the plunge and I made the switch.
Can I just say it has been magnificent? Yes, I frequently fell asleep. What do you expect when you watch a movie late at night? Yes, they use a lot of the same actors. Yes, you can predict the plot line a mile away. I didn’t care. I loved it.
It wasn’t without its bumps. My first foray into the madness that is the Hallmark Channel was about a young girl who fell in love with an Army guy. Her mom was against the romance because she, too, had fallen in love with a military man, the girl’s father, years ago. Sadly, he died in the line of duty. She wanted to save her daughter the heartache.
Anyway, the story is moving along the way you expect it to when suddenly they’re reading off names of the service people in the area that have given the ultimate sacrifice. The choir director is going down the list and before you can say, “Merry Christmas” she reads the name Tyler Sloane- the main character’s love interest! WTF, Hallmark? I’m watching you because I’m supposed to be getting happy and being uplifted! What kind of bullshit is this?
I’m thinking it must be a case of mistaken identity but as the story continues the girl is inconsolable in her heartache and grief. I’m watching this with my mouth wide open. I was all set to give this movie a scathing review on Facebook and to warn others who might think that the Hallmark Channel was a marvelous place to hang out. I was livid! How can they kill off the title character’s love interest? What kind of uplifting Christmas love story is this? Bah humbug!
Surprise! At the last minute she picks up an ornament, goes to put it back on the Christmas tree and is stunned speechless. She calls for her mother. There’s a knock on the door. There’s Tyler! It had been a case of mistaken identity! He had been injured but after letting his mom and sister know he was alive he hobbled his way back to her house. Merry Christmas, everybody!
There was a subplot with the mom and how she had closed herself off to love because it hurt too much. Then she ended up opening her heart to a longtime friend. Everyone found love and was happy.
Like I said, I fell asleep to a few others. I did manage to record three to watch on New Year’s Day. I was hoping to finish watching A Bramble House Christmas but it didn’t appear to be in repeats. I’m pretty sure I know how it ends though. So I settled on Christmas In Angel Falls, A Small Town Christmas, and Northern Lights of Christmas.
While I think Rachel Boston is cute as a button and I liked the whole community coming together on Christmas In Angel Falls my favorite movie by far was Northern Lights of Christmas with Ashley Williams.
I loved this movie! I teared up. I cried. It made me feel all sorts of feelz. I know it’s fantasy. I know it’s completely made up, but I want that kind of life!
She’s a pilot (okay, I don’t want to be a pilot) who is hoping to buy her own plane. Gus, who was like a grandfather to her, leaves her his ranch, complete with two reindeer. The ranch is up in Aurora, Alaska where she grew up. She’s now living in Seattle and her parents have retired to Florida. Anyway, the ranch is gorgeous of course and comes complete with a hot handyman. Hot for Zoey, not for me. I’ve got eyes for the mobster only.
Anyway, she goes back there to sell the ranch, believing Gus left it to her so she could realize her dream of buying her own plane to start her own charter business. Everyone knows her. Everyone is so happy to see her. She decides to put on the Christmas Festival at the ranch to attract buyers. The Christmas Festival is something that Gus and Ida put on every year until death and illness stopped them. This balloons into having the craft booths, the hardware ring toss, and the dance afterwards. Lots of happy memories ensue. Ultimately Zoey decides to keep the ranch, stay in Aurora, and have her best friend and her husband help her run a B&B out of the ranch. She also ends up leasing Gus’s old plane and taking over his flight route which he had sold to a guy named Jeff who’s wife just had a baby. Oh, and of course, she and Alec end up together.
Bonus- they end up with three reindeer because the new reindeer was actually part of a pair and the two of them frequently escaped to meet up at the airstrip, which resulted in fines for Zoey since she was the new owner. She and Alec ended up taking the third reindeer, Sadie, so she could be reunited with Palmer and Holly, the original reindeer.
Plus, Anya found Ida’s famous secret Christmas cookie recipe; her cookies were a hit at the festival. It was almost like Gus and Ida were there.
One of my favorite parts though that got me right in the heart was when Zoey and Alec were decorating the trees with lights and Zoey commented on how Gus and Ida would plant a Christmas tree for every year they’d been married. I cried. OK, it was more of a tearing up rather than a full on bawling spree, but I was choked up and couldn’t speak and I thought it was beautiful. Now the mobster knows we have to plant trees in honor of our years together. It will work out well though because he likes Christmas and I’m sure he’ll love having fifty or so Christmas trees in the backyard.
I so want to live that life! I know; I know. It’s completely made up. Plus, she was from this small town and was coming back. I would be a stranger in a small town. But I would love to have a gorgeous ranch with reindeer (and some goats; I really like goats.), Christmas trees planted for the mobster and I, throwing a huge Christmas festival on my ranch every year, and running a bed and breakfast. I will have to settle for my annual Ugly Christmas Sweater party which will begin whenever the mobster makes the move up here.
Now, as much as I love these movies, cheesy as they are, I have made a few observations. First, they are always in cold, snowy places. You will never find Christmas in Miami on the Hallmark Channel. They’re always quaint little towns, filled with charm and decorated to the hilt. These towns are complete works of fantasy. It is always snowing. It’s the nice kind of snow- not the wet stuff. The snow is always white, never black or dirty. As a person who lives in an area that gets lots of snow I can vouch for the fact that the snow does not remain pristine and beautiful for long.
It’s also always sunny. I know living in Utah we got a lot of cold, sunny days, but here in Indiana and Michigan the overwhelming color is gray. In fact, we frequently go a month without seeing the sun. Years ago when my oldest wasn’t more than 4 or 5 we’d had so many gray days that when the sun finally shined through the clouds one of my kids asked, “Is that God?” It’s never gray on the Hallmark channel.
Also? As crazy as it sounds they don’t wear hats. Even in Alaska. Zoey and Alec would wear gloves, even a motorcycle helmet. Never a hat. As a person who only recently discovered how incredibly warm a hat keeps you I find it hard to believe a person from Alaska would not wear a hat. But none of them do. I’m not sure their coats were sufficiently warm for the weather.
Those are small quibbles though. I loved it. Like I said, some movies were better than others. All were fairly predictable although that first one really threw me. I’ll be back next year, crossing my fingers that something can possibly top Northern Lights of Christmas.