Countdown to Christmas: Hallmark Holiday Movie Bingo!

Listen. I know they’re cheesy and all so similar, it seems like you’re watching the same movie over and over and over, but when I started watching theses movies a few years ago at Christmas time when my babies were napping, it fed my soul. Now, I plan out my dvr weeks in advance and watch them when I work from home as I eat lunch or when we have some downtime on the weekends.

You don’t need to roll your eyes or give me grief, maybe this isn’t for YOU. Not everything is for everyone. I’m here to proclaim my love, in a non- apologetic or sarcastic way for these holiday movies. I am of the mind that if it’s not harming anybody and we find some joy in it, WE ARE ALLOWED TO LIKE WHAT WE LIKE.

All that being said, there are things that happen in every single movie that I cross off in my head while watching and often want to stand up and shout BINGO! but nobody is there except for Bella and she gets mad if I make any sudden movements as to bother her warm slumber on my belly.

I made a bingo chart a few years ago for a post, but decided to update it just a bit. I do admit to missing the big ol’ canister of Folgers that they had for a season or two that showed up right in front of the camera. THAT was a good square to get in bingo.

Play along with me, won’t you? I find it best to use peppermint Hershey kisses as bingo chips… me.

You can click on this image to take you to the full-size version.

When I’m looking for simple holiday goodness, I can go to the Hallmark Channel for these movies. There is an app this year, people. AN APP. It’s called Countdown to Christmas and it’s by Hallmark and it lets me track my movies on both the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries and I swear to god I don’t know how I even lived before this day. NO you cannot watch the movies on this app, but it gives me great satisfaction to check them off as I watch.

Here’s the real talk. Since I had these babies, I cannot stomach a whole lot of things on film. I’ve changed. What I can watch has evolved into needing something light and hopeful a lot of the time.

I’m not religious but I believe in the human spirit and in these movies, there are nuggets of the goodness I see all around me, amplified on the screen – coated in sugar and sweetness and simplicity that we rarely get in real life. I WANT IN THIS FANTASY if only for a little chunks of time.

This year in particular, Hallmark has upped their game. They have (correct me if I’m wrong) 5 movies in which the leading roles are played by/about women of color along with the supporting cast being many people of color. Now, I (and you too please) just have to keep tweeting at them to keep it up and to include some LGBTQ folks as well. But hey, in just a couple years they’ve upped their diversity game and also started using the word “divorced” a lot more rather than the old “widowed” to get more with the times.

It’s fluff. It’s simple. It all makes sense and gets tied up with a bow at the end of each movie. Even after all the shenanigans and misunderstandings and seemingly unwinnable situations, these movies make it work and give me the happy ending I crave. Life and the holidays are never this simple. The emotions are too big and the baggage too heavy and hey, not everybody wants to find a mate and JUST GET MARRIED OK but there are plenty of us who like to watch the pageantry of it all. In all it’s imperfect perfection, I am thankful for these movies each season.

My daughter likes to watch them with me as well now but I make sure and tell her over and over that SHE DOESN’T NEED A MAN TO MAKE HER HAPPY SHE CAN FALL IN LOVE WITH WHOMEVER SHE WANTS EVEN A LADY AND SHE DOESN’T NEED TO EVEN GET MARRIED EVER IF SHE DOESN’T WANT TO and she looks at me like, yeah ok mama you tell me this all the time I get it now when do they kiss already and look at that pretty dress and can we make cookies like those?

Some of the stories are just not that great. But some are really good. My favorite movie so far this season has been Christmas Everlasting. It’s just delightful and such a great story and made me cry like 5 times. LOOK WHO IS IN THIS MOVIE! (Are you watching Queen Sugar yet, because you SHOULD BE WATCHING QUEEN SUGAR). Ahem.

Netflix is doing a bunch of these holiday movies now as well, Holiday Calendar is particularly good, in my opinion. But there’s something nostalgic and comforting about the Hallmark Channel and their formulaic goodness. When everything can feel out of control and unmanageable, for 90 minutes I can find simple goodness and feel my feelings along with these actors in their perfectly matched outfits covered in fake snow but without any cat hair on them whatsoever.


Next year all our troubles will be out of sight – LIES!

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