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Blog Post 121418

A Hallmark Christmas

December 13, 2018

Just before the holiday season began, my daughter tagged me in a FB meme. In essence, the meme posed two questions:

Does every Hallmark Christmas movie have the same plot? Yes                     

Will I watch them anyway? Yes

OK. Guilty as charged. I cannot deny my love for these Hallmark Christmas movies. I know I am not alone.  With this year’s launch of twenty-two Christmas movie premieres, the network continues to attract viewers in record numbers.

To be honest, many plots of Hallmark movies (even the non-Christmas ones) can be summed up as follows:

Successful woman faces a decision.                                                                 

Blinded by past hurts or present fears, she alone cannot see what she should do.                                                                                                               

Intervention, sometimes magical, sometimes divine, pushes the woman to make the right decision.                                                                                               

The woman sets off on a new course, one sure to bring her lasting happiness.

The plots are simplistic, even trite, as some reviewers express. So I have to wonder… what makes these movies so endearing and attractive?

In a recent interview, Candace Cameron Bure cited nostalgia as one of the appealing factors. These movies remind people of how wholesome TV programming used to be, when families watched shows together and never worried about being offended. While I don’t disagree, I believe there is another reason.

Personally, I appreciate the predictability of the plots. We live in a tumultuous and rapidly changing world. Advances in technology alter how we work, shop, and interact with others. Recent thoughts in the field of public education warn we must prepare our elementary students for jobs not yet created. (um…how do we do this, exactly?) Most distressing, however, are the too often instances of once unimaginable, random acts of violence.

So I definitely appreciate the ability to escape these realities and live for a short while in Hallmark land. I love watching even the most brittle character soften under continual kindness and positivity. But it is the happy ending I find so reassuring. In these movies, right always wins. In spite of barriers and detours, the heroine returns to the correct path and completes her destiny.

At Christmastime these movies become even more attractive. As the holiday approaches, people begin to consciously think about Jesus. And to be honest, the plots of these movies parallel the message He brings us.

We all like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the inequity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6 NIV)

All of us, at one time, have strayed from the path that leads to true happiness. Jesus is the divine intervention who leads us back to where we belong. But He also warns us the road will not always be easy:

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.  (John 16:33b NIV) 

Just like the Hallmark characters, we will face challenges of many kinds. We will experience peaks and valleys as we walk with Jesus. But He promises us a happy ending-one that He Himself will deliver. Good will prevail over evil and we will live with Him forever in heaven. Hallmark has two hours to tie up loose ends and bring a story to a satisfying conclusion. The story Jesus writes of our lives will last our lifetime. 

Just like the world around us, the holidays can be unsettling at times. We can feel festive or frazzled, lighthearted or lonely.  Wherever you are during this holiday season, I pray you can see the divine intervention of the One who came to lead you home.  

Remember Jesus-the author of our story and the anchor for our soul.

God bless!

A Hallmark Christmas

December 13, 2018

Blog Post 121418

Just before the holiday season began, my daughter tagged me in a FB meme. In essence, the meme posed two questions:

Does every Hallmark Christmas movie have the same plot? Yes                     

Will I watch them anyway? Yes

OK. Guilty as charged. I cannot deny my love for these Hallmark Christmas movies. I know I am not alone.  With this year’s launch of twenty-two Christmas movie premieres, the network continues to attract viewers in record numbers.

To be honest, many plots of Hallmark movies (even the non-Christmas ones) can be summed up as follows:

Successful woman faces a decision.                                                                 

Blinded by past hurts or present fears, she alone cannot see what she should do.                                                                                                               

Intervention, sometimes magical, sometimes divine, pushes the woman to make the right decision.                                                                                               

The woman sets off on a new course, one sure to bring her lasting happiness.

The plots are simplistic, even trite, as some reviewers express. So I have to wonder… what makes these movies so endearing and attractive?

In a recent interview, Candace Cameron Bure cited nostalgia as one of the appealing factors. These movies remind people of how wholesome TV programming used to be, when families watched shows together and never worried about being offended. While I don’t disagree, I believe there is another reason.

Personally, I appreciate the predictability of the plots. We live in a tumultuous and rapidly changing world. Advances in technology alter how we work, shop, and interact with others. Recent thoughts in the field of public education warn we must prepare our elementary students for jobs not yet created. (um…how do we do this, exactly?) Most distressing, however, are the too often instances of once unimaginable, random acts of violence.

So I definitely appreciate the ability to escape these realities and live for a short while in Hallmark land. I love watching even the most brittle character soften under continual kindness and positivity. But it is the happy ending I find so reassuring. In these movies, right always wins. In spite of barriers and detours, the heroine returns to the correct path and completes her destiny.

At Christmastime these movies become even more attractive. As the holiday approaches, people begin to consciously think about Jesus. And to be honest, the plots of these movies parallel the message He brings us.

We all like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the inequity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6 NIV)

All of us, at one time, have strayed from the path that leads to true happiness. Jesus is the divine intervention who leads us back to where we belong. But He also warns us the road will not always be easy:

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.  (John 16:33b NIV) 

Just like the Hallmark characters, we will face challenges of many kinds. We will experience peaks and valleys as we walk with Jesus. But He promises us a happy ending-one that He Himself will deliver. Good will prevail over evil and we will live with Him forever in heaven. Hallmark has two hours to tie up loose ends and bring a story to a satisfying conclusion. The story Jesus writes of our lives will last our lifetime. 

Just like the world around us, the holidays can be unsettling at times. We can feel festive or frazzled, lighthearted or lonely.  Wherever you are during this holiday season, I pray you can see the divine intervention of the One who came to lead you home.  

Remember Jesus-the author of our story and the anchor for our soul.

God bless!

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