For years now I’ve said I should try a Hallmark Christmas movie, but I never seem to get to it. Every year I run the list of all the upcoming Hallmark movies, and I say, “this is the year!”
Well, 2022 was finally the year, and I have to say I didn’t hate it.
One of the biggest hurdles to me has always been choosing which one to start with. With dozens of new ones each year, it’s almost impossible to choose. Thankfully, Brandon Gray of the Deck the Hallmark podcast happened to reach out about us potentially working together on a promotion, and I took this as a sign that I should finally sit down and watch one. I asked him which film I should watch for this, and he immediately replied with The Ghost of Christmas Always.
Luckily the movie was released this year and was easy for me to find. I grabbed some family members and made them watch it with me, I wasn’t going into this alone.
… and you could hit me with a wet noodle, but we all enjoyed it.
The story follows a team of Christmas Spirt ghosts who each year get their assignment for the following year, and they spend the year preparing to visit their target the following Christmas. Katherine is the Ghost of Christmas Present in one such squad, but nothing about the visit goes as it should, and all of the rules must be thrown out, or else Christmas will be destroyed.
At the conclusion of the film, I sat there and wondered where the small town was. Where is the overworked woman with no time for anyone due to work? We’ve all heard the tropes of these films, but not one of them was to be found in The Ghost of Christmas Always. I turned to Brandon once again to thank him for the recommendation, plus to ask him about the change. “Hallmark is starting to move away from those classic tropes,” said Brandon. “They’ll have a handful of movies this year that’ll be your classic Hallmark, but they’ve started branching out.”
Are Hallmark Christmas Movies for Everyone?
Armed with the idea that things were changing, I dove in to watch a few older ones to see if this was new.
I turned this time to TV Insider’s list of the Best Hallmark Holiday Christmas Movies for guidance and jumped in with their number one film, Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade. I’m sorry, it was no The Ghost of Christmas Always. It was fine, but I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much. So I felt I should try another. Oh, look, Henry Winkler is in The Most Wonderful Time of Year from 2008, I’ll try that one.
Okay, this one elicited some out-loud laughs out of me. It was charming without being over the top. It did have the top of the overworked woman, but no small town, and… oh no…
I think I like Hallmark Christmas movies now.
I mean, I get it.
As I write this, I have watched seven Hallmark Christmas Movies, and I don’t mind telling you that. Not all of them are great by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s hard not to be charmed by them. There is a warmth and coziness to them that does bring forth some form of Christmas Spirit out of you.
Do I think I will watch more? Probably. But I’m not going to say they are for everyone. After the last few hard years we as a species have had, I feel as though I needed some comfort in my life, and these films have delivered that, and I welcome it.
But I agree with Brandon, start with The Ghost of Christmas Always.
Thanks to Brandon Gray at the Deck the Hallmark podcast for his assistance. As the podcast site says, “Join Bran, Dan, and friends as they attempt to watch and review made-for-tv movies! Just a bunch of pals…watching made-for-tv movies. What could go wrong?”