Think Hallmark movies are corny? You may be right but they may be truer to life than you think.
I confess. I watch Hallmark movies and right now the Christmas movies are out in full force. I have a friend who also watches Hallmark movies and I wait in anticipation of her pithy comments on each show. Here are just a few: “Tonight’s Hallmark tally: 2 more dead parents, 1 divorced and absent father. Mamas, don’t let your kids grow up to star in Hallmark movies.” “Forty-five minutes in and the wife of the main character is dead. Seriously, why isn’t the funeral home the center of activity in these small towns? ” “Tuned in late for tonight’s Hallmark Christmas movie premiere. Never fear: we have one dead mother. The love interest really should be an undertaker.”
While I laugh at her comments and agree that most of the movies are just rewrites with different characters, the fact is, there is something that keeps people coming back to watch them. That is probably the improbable but happy endings and the thought that maybe, just maybe, no matter how bad life gets, there is hope.
Unfortunately, people with happy, balanced, functional families are more rare than one would think. The Hallmark movies include parents and spouses who have passed away; dysfunctional relationships that have gone awry; cheating boyfriends, girlfriends, and spouses; all-consuming jobs and lying coworkers; poor choices; forgiveness issues; and a plethora of things we actually find in true life.
We all know tragic stories of young fathers and mothers whose lives were cut short by accident and illness, leaving young children to be raised by one parent. Many of the scenarios I have seen on the show, I have watched play out in someone’s life. Everyday life is messy, filled with unexpected challenges, and far from perfect.
Just in my own life I see examples of some of the occurrences in the Hallmark movies. My dad’s father passed away when my dad was 13. My mom grew up dirt-poor, with a father who was institutionalized for years of his adult life because of his struggle with manic-depression (which we now call bi-polar disease). I do not remember him at all. My husband’s father passed away when he was 16. I had a friend who was engaged, only to find out her new fiance was married. My life has certainly had bumps along the way. Sexual abuse as a child, self-doubt, marriage challenges, the death of a spouse, joblessness . . . all of these have impacted me.
I think the one thing that keeps people coming back to these movies (other than to critique them in a spirit of fun!) is that they ultimately let good triumph.
As a Christian, the truth is there is hope. I have been blessed with a wonderful family, strong friendships, and, most of all, a faith that sustains me and lets me know that no matter what, I have my happily ever after. In the end what matters is that I trust and believe in God’s promises. Even though life here isn’t perfect, what he has in store for me in eternity is. That will be my Hallmark moment.
4 He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever.
5 Then the one sitting on the throne said:
I am making everything new. Write down what I have said. My words are true and can be trusted. 6 Everything is finished! I am Alpha and Omega,[a] the beginning and the end. I will freely give water from the life-giving fountain to everyone who is thirsty. 7 All who win the victory will be given these blessings. I will be their God, and they will be my people.