OPINION: Hallmark movies offer sweet escape from Christmas materialism


Photo courtesy of Caleb Woods/Unsplash

By Alessia Contuzzi, News Editor

Christmas is a word thrown alongside presents and gifts and stress. Getting stuck in this whirlwind of Christmas materialism is easy. Being a kid in a world centered around “wanting” things, I realized that Christmas is made out to be a holiday only for gifts and decorations. Nothing else. It makes sense: a largely celebrated holiday where families gather and give gifts, a perfect opportunity for major companies to make money, right? 

What these people fail to realize is that life is not revolving around what everyone “wants.” It is nice to get something you like, but it is not needed. Many major companies roll around in the idea that Christmas is a marketing opportunity, making it a money-centered mess. Their brains are programmed to only care for money and to exclude what Christmas is really about: love. 

Hallmark Channel’s “Countdown to Christmas” is a sweet escape from the materialistic, advertised fake-spirited Christmas season that big companies make it out to be. Every movie follows the same perfect love story; a big city girl meets a small town boy, they fall in love, get into an argument, and then realize love overrules all. Corny, yes. Fake, no. Although it is almost impossible to live life like a movie, the morals and values that are taught throughout the films are easy to apply to real life. 

The first Hallmark movie I have ever watched was with my mom during Christmas time when I was thirteen years old. My stubborn mind thought these movies were “stupid” and “boring,” which I quickly learned they were not. Several hours after watching that first movie I was wishing my life was like those in these films. 

The way the families in the movies act so real yet are so perfect amazes me especially because of how one person’s actions can cause such a big change. I watched how these characters interacted, and then applied it to my own life. 

The ability to find what you need to complete you as a person is rare, but sometimes, it can be sitting right in front of your eyes. Literally. I believe in watching the Hallmark Channel, in the way it teaches you to love. It is easy to want a life like the characters, but it is harder to actually change who you are and apply the morals they show. They made it possible for me to become a better person and to show love to those I care about. 

If there’s any positive lesson that 2020 has to offer, it’s that we cannot understate how important it is to remember the real meaning of the season: family and love. Without these two things, Christmas (or any holiday, really) would not be nearly as valuable as it is to us. Physical gifts should not be the centerpiece of the season; good health and love are the greatest gifts of them all. Although the holidays are much different this year, it’s important to stay hopeful for the next.