Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Why I'm Glad My Life Isn't A Hallmark Christmas Movie

The end of November is soon upon us. Which means that days will get shorter, nights will get colder, and we can all get cozy and gather around the TV for Hallmark Christmas movies. Now, for the second year running, my roommate and I have hunkered down for our favorite tradition. This means that all other TV watching is temporarily suspended as we become engrossed in cheesy romantic story after cheesy romantic story. At first, I was worried this would have some negative psychological effect; I remember one of my family processes professors warning about the dangers of idealization that can come from unrealistic expectations. After my 3rd movie last night though, I realized that these movies offer no threat of this. In fact, they make me grateful for the life I do have.

Now, this is not some thinly veiled braggey "seriously, so blessed" posts. My life is great, mostly because of the people in it. I've had some accomplishments, but no more than most others. Even if nothing works out, and I end up spending the majority of my life in a snuggie jumpsuit, I'd still kind of love it. I'm not unambitious or lazy, it's just that honestly when something doesn't work out, I'm ok. Get laid off my job? Break up with someone? Contract the flu? It's really alright. Just gives me one more day to do something fun like hike a mountain, or sit around in my pajama jeans and snuggie and look at pictures of cats. Then, pick up with my life and keep moving, usually with a smile, or at least a hearty chuckle.

Snuggie Jumpsuit
People in these Hallmark movies though, are miserable. They hate their lives, jobs, and can't relate to friends, family, or significant others. It takes the arrival of Santa, Mrs. Claus, elves, ghosts of christmas past/present/future, or an attractive and emotionally available member of the opposite gender to right themselves. Now, I am all for watching people fall in love; I'm a girl, I like love and happiness. It's just that I wish people in these portrayals could be happy enough without it or the huge righting miracle in their lives. They shouldn't have to dramatically change everything about themselves to suddenly bring about joy. They could just make the small personal decision to be just a little kinder and optimistic. In real life, if we had to wait around for a huge catalyst or Christmas miracle to turn us around, would it really have a lasting impact?
Pajama jeans. Yes, I actually do own both these items. And I'm proud of it. 
With that said, I will continue to watch them, because yes, I'm a sap. I secretly love cheesiness. But, only for the end of the movies. I honestly want to just grab the characters when they're being their morose, dour selves at the beginning and be like "look at your beautiful house and wardrobe. be happy now!". 

For now, I'll probably just go throw on my forever lazy and see which sad person gets their life saved by Christmas next.