Every Hallmark Christmas movie is plagued with a mundane plot, repetitive storyline, and predictable outcome. The cheesy movies with the awful titles seem destined for failure. So, why are they so popular? In 2019, 50 million people tuned in to Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas to watch 40 new festive movies of the season. Most of the movies contain a cliché storyline about a big city business executive returning home at Christmas, rekindling a relationship with a childhood sweetheart, and rediscovering the true spirit of Christmas. Despite their generic nature, Hallmark Christmas movies are immensely popular because they provide a sense of comfort, put people at ease, and get them in the Christmas spirit. 

Although the holiday season is meant to be full of joy and cheer, many individuals experience stress that the Hallmark movies can reduce. Holiday stressors including family conflict and financial issues prevent the enjoyment of Christmas especially as an adult. According to behavioral scientist Pamala Routledge, “The reliable Hallmark holiday movie plot formula takes us on an emotional journey that can be especially beneficial during the stress of the season — which keeps us coming back for more” (Page). Depression and anxiety can be high during the season, and the merry moods of the characters help people form a more optimistic view on the holidays. Because the movies portray life as simple and cheerful, viewers are able to take a break from the chaos caused by Christmas. 

Hallmark Christmas movies allow viewers to be submerged into a simple world without politics and social struggles. People experience stories of ideal Christmases where conflict is always resolved. In Hallmark movies, there are no political tensions or even signs of socio-economic differences (Dulle). The movies are simply an escape from reality for those who wish to avoid societal issues. Because of the unity portrayed in the movies, people witness over and over again the Hallmark Christmas utopia.

Hallmark Christmas movies, like other Christmas movies, help people get ready for the holiday. They give us “some visual candy in the realm of decor that speaks to our spirit” (Peart). The festive music, decorations, and lights produce an environment that make the viewers more excited for Christmas. The visuals of the movie appeal to audiences because they are nostalgic and comforting. People are reminded of the Christmas joy and excitement that they experienced in their youth. The movies increase peoples’ Christmas spirit and are addictive to watch.

Hallmark Christmas movies continue to grow in popularity despite their cookie-cutter nature. Whether the next movie takes people to picturesque Christmas Town or predictable Hollyville, Hallmark is sure to please its viewers this season. Even if people do not want to admit to watching Hallmark Christmas movies, millions will certainly be watching every minute of Countdown to Christmas.

Dulle, Colleen. “Yes, Hallmark Christmas Movies Are Cheesy. Here’s Why We Still Love Them.” America Magazine, 14 Dec. 2018, www.americamagazine.org/arts-culture/2018/12/14/yes-hallmark-christmas-movies-are-cheesy-heres-why-we-still-love-them. Accessed 2 December 2020.

Page, Danielle. “Here’s Why It Feels so Good to Watch Those Hallmark Holiday Movies.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 16 Nov. 2019, www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/here-s-why-it-feels-so-good-watch-those-hallmark-ncna1080841. Accessed 2 December 2020.

Peart, Taniver. “Experts Reveal Why Hallmark Christmas Movies Make Us So Happy.” CafeMom, 24 Oct. 2019, cafemom.com/entertainment/222174-why-hallmark-christmas-movies-make-us-happy. Accessed 2 December 2020.

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7 Comments
  1. Brendaly 4 months ago

    Dear Lauren

    I am pleased with your post “ Everything About a Hallmark Christmas Movie Is Predictable Except It’s Success,” because I agree that these hallmark movies have a Repetitive storyline but like you said it does really help with the stress and worry the holidays may bring people

    One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “The reliable Hallmark holiday movie plot formula takes us on an emotional journey that can be especially beneficial during the stress of the season — which keeps us coming back for more ” This stood out to me because I didn’t know that it was providing help to a lot of people experiencing stress during these seasons.

    Another sentence that I liked was“ Depression and anxiety can be high during the season, and the merry moods of the characters help people form a more optimistic view on the holidays.” This stood out to me because it’s nice to have something that can help you ease your depression or anxiety and get you in a better mood .

    Have you watched or seen any of these hallmark movies? And do you find that it might have helped you with stress or anxiety?

    Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because I love the way you explained the benefits these movies have had on alot of people.

  2. Anna 4 months ago

    Lauren, I was intrigued by your post title since I also believe all Hallmark movies are annoyingly predictable but I cannot help be drawn in anyway. I liked how you included the Countdown to Christmas example as it shows how successful the movies are. I really liked the quote “Hallmark Christmas movies allow viewers to be submerged into a world without politics or social struggles” because to some amount, I feel like Christmas has become centered around that, and Hallmark movies grant a break from that. The ‘always resolved conflict’ is a good support to this piece of evidence and fits in well with the paper. Many family celebrations always bring up some sort of passive aggressive commentary, debate, or drama, and the hallmark movies help to remove some of that tension, like you said. Thank you for writing, and I hope to read more of your work in the future as your writing style and distribution of evidence is something to be admired.

  3. Maddie 4 months ago

    Lauren,
    I agree with how Hallmark movies bring joy to the holiday season and how Hallmark movies are an escape from what is going on in a person’s life. Sometimes the predictability of Hallmark movies can make it fun and it helps many people focus on the good things in life.

  4. Julia G. 4 months ago

    I liked how you mentioned that Hallmark movies are an escape from reality because Hallmark movies allow us to envelop ourselves in a simple plot with a predictable storyline. Even though the movies may be cheesy, those watching get attached to the characters and are happy for them when everything works out in the end. I found your post interesting because it does not praise the storyline or sub-par acting of the movies, rather it describes how one can find comfort in the movies.

  5. Maggie 4 months ago

    Lauren, I totally agree with you! My family and I were just talking about how predictable Hallmark movies are. I really liked how you added the point that the cheesy movies reduce stress. At a time when we are all overwhelmed and filled with stress it is relieving to know that Christmas movies can help. Overall, this is a really strong post and I think you clearly explained your thoughts well.

  6. Molly 4 months ago

    Lauren, I agree with your analysis of how Hallmark movies bring joy to so many during the holiday season. I really like your title and your picture because my attention went straight to your blog post. Your quotes added to your argument and gave relevant information to the reader. The facts that you used were super interesting and helped to keep the reader engaged. I like how you pointed out that individuals are inclined to watch Hallmark movies because they are a relaxing and stress free way to enjoy the holiday season.

  7. Claire 4 months ago

    I really appreciated the topic of your blog post. This is very unique and definitely relevant to the season. I don’t think I would honestly change anything about your post. I felt captured by this topic and found it interesting from beginning to end.

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