Part 1 – The Addiction
I’m 55 years old. You can call me ‘Peter.’ And I’m addicted to Hallmark Christmas movies. I can’t help it. It’s the creepy seductive pull of the smell of baking gingerbread cookies, the turn of hackneyed holiday greetings into a joyous carol of overpowering sentimentality, the strong warm embrace of a cup of hot chocolate with mini marshmallows after choosing a tree in the snowy weather.
Oh, and it doesn’t matter where on the planet the film takes place. If it’s Hallmark, there will be snow at the end of the film. Whether it’s by miracle, by magic or by man’s invention, Snow = Christmas in every Hallmark equation.
Sometime the movies are like delicate Fabergé eggs, or a Norman Rockwell portrait. And just as often, some have truly abominable storylines and dialogue. You will still reach for the Kleenex, and brush away tears. They’re stupid, sappy, saccharine and silly and I can’t help myself – I watch them every night from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve.
Every problem is solved (or glossed over and forgotten), Love conquers all, Santa delivers, Angels work miraculous coincidences, the poor become less so, everyone gets fed, clothed and a gift or ten. It’s peaceful, beautiful, calming, and utterly false. That’s right. This year, this addict has had it!
Part 2 – The Danger
Did I mention that there is always snow in Hallmark Christmas movies? Well, snow is not the only thing that is white in the Hallmark movie universe. Because 99% of the characters, towns, offices and worlds in Hallmark holiday movies are white, straight, and (if in a leading role) physically perfect in body & looks. Now, I happen to know that America is not 99% white, that most of America has given the green light to same-sex marriage, and that there are people who are physically challenged.
So, where is there a Hallmark Holiday movie (and I’m not talking about Black History Month) that features even one Leading character that isn’t white, etcetera? People of color have been represented in this year’s Hallmark movies as: the best friend, the boss, a neighbor…and I think that is all. One Christmas Eve, starring Anne Heche, featured one person of color, two (?) Latinos and one Asian American in supporting roles. I suppose Anne Heche could be Hallmark’s first token bisexual (in RL only.) Look at the Hallmark Company website, and they pride themselves on their hiring of personnel from diverse ethnicities, but this generosity is strangely absent when it comes to holiday movie scripts and casting.
It’s important that people see themselves in these movies. I find myself being unable to relate to these films because there are no people like myself – or even my friends – in them. I’m seriously considering starting a campaign to get Hallmark to be more inclusive in their choosing of scripts that represent Americans – all of us. Maybe I’ll write a story about a Goth Christmas, or one where Video Gamers save Christmas…are you with me? Oh, wait, “A Season For Miracles” is starting…gotta go!
Author’s Note: This represents the opinion of the author ONLY. In no way does it represent the opinion of Chaos Theory Free Company or its members.