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The Antelope

The Antelope

Hallmark serves batch of cookie-cutter Christmas movies

sugar cookies on a pan


It’s that time of year again when lights string rooftops, snow blankets the earth, and seasonal music dominates the radio stations. Thus, begins the annual loop of sentimental holiday movies created by the largest greeting card manufacturer in America- Hallmark. I am sure that most people are familiar with the mushy-gushy tone associated with the Hallmark Channel, but when regarding their Christmas films, I use cookies as an analogy. 

When making cookies (let’s make them Christmas sugar cookies for the sake of the season), the dough can be cut into any form, whether it’s snowmen, angels, or Christmas trees. But no matter what cookie cutter you use, the treat remains to be a cookie with the same flavor as the rest of the batch. Similarly, Hallmark movies have developed a trend over the years with different shapes, but the same flavor.

Let’s start with the first ingredient needed to cook up a proper Hallmark holiday film- the attractive love interests. One of them is usually a workaholic with an icy heart that puts their business before the festivities of the holidays. The other, is a small-town girl/soft-hearted cowboy with a loving family and a fun-filled lifestyle. Don’t be surprised if they hate each other at first or are recovering from failed relationships or have just experienced the deaths of loved ones.

Often times, a celebrity or a member of royalty may be in disguise, only to reveal their identity later and produce a Cinderella-inspired happily ever after. For some odd reason, another similarity may involve the woman or man falling into a coma while the other cares for them and gradually develops feelings.

The conflict might involve the girl already being trapped in another less-than-perfect relationship. Perhaps the prince cannot reveal his identity because he wants to experience a normal life outside of his kingdom. Christmas might cause dark memories to resurface, which is why it is rejected. The Christmas tree farm owned by the handsome woodsman is going out of business. The woman is more concerned with booking a flight than going Christmas shopping. You get the picture. 

While the conflict is in the process of being solved, the characters participate in various Christmas activities, which strengthens their newfound love even more. These activities may include directing the children’s Christmas pageant, caroling in the town square, ice skating while holding hands, or decorating a Christmas tree together.  

In the end, the love interests must overcome conflicts to reach what I call ‘perfect, Christmas nirvana.’ This usually occurs after they run into each other’s arms. Perfect Christmas nirvana refers to the moment when the lovers kiss passionately in the midst of snowfall with lights glowing and carolers singing in the background while they ride along in a one-horse open sleigh. 

Altogether, the plot, the scenery, the costumes, and the cast provide an aesthetic picture for the audience to experience while drinking eggnog in flannel pajamas with their family. If Hallmark movies are not your cup of cocoa, that’s perfectly acceptable. They are still a great opportunity to develop your sarcastic commentary. 

But if Hallmark movies are so cliché, why are they so beloved by the mass population? Let me ask you this. Even if a cookie is practically identical to the rest in its batch, would you still eat it? Of course, you would! It’s a cookie for goodness sake. In the end, people naturally want a happy ending, and the Hallmark Channel is full of warm, fuzzy feelings at Christmas time.

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