I have gathered here today to praise you: the one, the only, Hallmark Channel. For you see, it's that time of year again. Halloween has passed, and though Thanksgiving has yet to arrive, you have brought the magic of the holiday season far earlier than other platforms. Unfortunately, your decision to do so will once again mark the rise of annual criticisms. It's THAT time of year again when the "Countdown to Christmas" brings out the occasional Scrooge in a fluster of feisty phrases. "Life is not a Hallmark movie", how many times have we heard that one? Well to those Ebenezers I say, life may not be a Hallmark card, but a countdown lasting this long surely deserves a countdown of its own. So here's to you, Hallmark. We have much to thank you for.
1. Thank you for bringing the cheer so early every year
I'm sorry, Freeform, I love you, I really do. But "25 Days of Christmas"? It just goes too fast. Hallmark, however, can't help itself, as this year's "Countdown to Christmas" began on October 29th, two days before 'Christmas (November) First'. For some, that may feel premature. For others, this day ends the anticipation that has lasted since December 26th, 2015.
2. Thank you for the escape
Call me corny, but my Christmas wish is for life to resemble that in a Hallmark movie. In true holiday spirit, the characters find themselves with names like "Nick" or "Holly, and the same goes for the town. Only in Christmas Town or Cookie Jar are there perfectly fluffy snowflakes, impeccable decorations, carols that play on repeat and stunning singles with stable careers who find love in a matter of days. While this bliss is far from realistic, each day of "Countdown to Christmas" brings a sense of comfort to our own realities. Our hometowns may be unbearably freezing and we might be concerned by our career track, but with the help of Hallmark, all our cares melt away, if only for a moment.
3. Thank you for raising our expectations
Picture this: a cold-hearted corporate head gets tasked with the demolition of a popular Christmas attraction. Upon her arrival, she becomes acquainted with the darling family who owns the property. At the hands of the eldest son, she remembers what Christmas is truly about: grace, friendship, thanks, and giving back. As the warmth in her heart continues to grow, so does her love for their son, and her lack of interest in the demolition. Though this was the Hallmark movie featured last night, each plot shares the common motifs of love, loss, comfort, and the need for change. We're commonly introduced to characters with shmuck fiancés, impossible love interests, families both difficult and perfect. And while we might not fall in love in two days, or repair broken relationships overnight, Hallmark reminds us of all we can aspire to. We don't need to go for the schmuck. Instead, we can fight for the surreal love sure to last a lifetime. We don't need to spend Christmas alone. We can spend time with those we love, and remind them of how much they mean to us. We don't need to dread the end of the holiday season because Hallmark has given us months to enjoy it <3