Hallmark—the master of sappy Christmas movies—is running its annual December marathon, easing our cabin fever with fresh mistletoes and crackling fireplaces. These love-to-hate and hate-to-love movies, which comprise a genre of their own, will shine through the usual winter doldrums and whisk in the holidays.

As TV networks—and Netflix—battle for Christmas flick supremacy, Hallmark still holds the crown. The well-known veteran continues to warm our hearts during the cold months with its undeniable, unabashed sentimentality that swirls through rom-com storylines like the rich hot chocolate usually paired with them.

For many of us, this beloved pastime is wedded in tradition. Hallmark movies give us nostalgia and reacquaint us with the faces of past soaps, ‘90s sitcoms, and singing legends. With the smiles of Candace Cameron BureKellie Pickler, and Lacey Chabert (who understands that quarantine is certainly not “fetch”), we can relax in familiarity. 

As traditions change in the year of social distance, the love rooted within these holiday specials can help see us through. In this G-rated world of made-for-TV movies, Christmas spirit oozes and brings even the most unlikely of friends and lovers together. 

It’s this togetherness that breeds hope. Rather than portraying today’s current climate, Hallmark offers a healthy escape, allowing us to sift through the cheer portrayed on screen as we sift the flour of our family’s famous gingerbread recipe. We witness every romantic comedy trope imaginable, knowing that tradition will pull us through these restless, uncertain times. 

The workaholic female protagonist, amidst her unwavering swear-off of romance, wakes up with a fresh face of salon-worthy makeup. Her perfectly assembled outfits are enough to make Pinterest fanatics red and green with envy, and her curled hair bounces its way to the ultimate kiss scene. Living happily ever after is the only option. We need this inspiration to brave the winter months as we say goodbye to outside company this Christmas.

Mix in flirtatious eggnog toasts, snowy carriage rides, persistent carollers, tree gatherings and decorations, fake snow fights between star-crossed lovers, and ugly sweaters all hinting towards the lovelorn souls uniting for that perfectly predictable chaste kiss, and you’ve watched the quintessential Hallmark movie. This trudge toward love and acceptance defines this jolly month in usual Hallmark fashion, drawing out a narrative that’s needed during our progressively sedentary, lonely, and worrisome Covid-19 existence. 

Hallmark lends us comfort and reassurance. Combined, these virtues help combat these bleak times and strengthens the familial themes emblematic of the holiday season. 

This greeting card company turned cable production emphasizes simplicity and breeds optimism during unoptimistic times. If Covid-19 brings families—in the same household—closer together, then Hallmark Christmas binges, accessorized by buttery popcorn and cozy blankets, ought to as well.

Bringing familiarity into our busy lives, along with a dash of sappy love, a drizzle of hope, and a few flakes of fake snow, allows the merry spirit to warm even the most untraditional of Christmases. Hallmark rejects unpredictability, making the holiday season a little merrier and the halls a little more holly.

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