All Moms want for Christmas You Can Find in a Hallmark Movie

woman sitting watching Hallmark movie with feet propped up on tableI rampaged my house looking for our Christmas Elf yesterday. I was in tears when I couldn’t find it. My youngest just turned 10. I don’t think she truly believes in Santa anymore, but I am too afraid to ask…and she loves that elf. My 12 year old plans all the adventures of the elf because in her own way, that’s how she holds on to the magic. My oldest will be 16 in 3 months, in 3 years I will be waiting for him to come home for Christmas and everything will be different. Therefore, I am holding on to childhood with a fierce, white knuckled grip.

I put up the trees and hang all the sentimental ornaments. Lights are all aglow in the house. Our days are planned with Christmas fun. The birth of Jesus and the Nativity sits at the heart of our home. I hold on tight to our family and traditions; the weight and the glory rest on my shoulders. I am a mom and it’s all part of the job.

My gift to me during this season is Hallmark Christmas Movies. 

This time of year, when all every mama wants is a little bit of comfort and joy, is why Hallmark makes Christmas movies. 

In fact, this is how the meeting to create Christmas movies went…

Some female producer, more than likely a mother who woke up that morning to make cookies for her daughter’s class and needs to be out of this meeting asap to get to her sons soccer game says, “Can we just do something simple, pretty and hopeful? I don’t think I can handle more shows about the dating lives of 20 somethings or another NCIS. It’s Christmas, it’s already complicated, so let’s just give the ideal!”

“What do you think that looks like?” asks a male producer who was previously thinking about buying his wife one of those robot vacuums for Christmas. 

“Pretty people, lovely town, accommodating and kind in laws and snow. Whatever the plot, the story has to have those things somehow.”

Done. 

And ya’ll, let’s be real, despite the fact that we always know how the story is going to end…a kiss and snow…it’s perfect. 

It’s everything we weary mamas need at the end of every year during the most wonderful and stress filled season of the year.

All I want for Christmas you can find in a Hallmark Christmas Movie

Pretty People and Pretty Lives

From the couple to the townspeople, every person in the Hallmark movie is pretty. They have pretty and perfect hair. The clothes are stylish. Every aspect of the homes are decorated to perfection. Everything is pretty and pretty is important. Why? Because ya’ll, I don’t wake up pretty. I am many times not very pretty with my children. Encounters with the Karens of our towns are ugly and this world is rarely pretty. 

I want to see pretty people on the sparkly, silver screen. Pretty people give me hope for a prettier tomorrow. I know, that’s just dumb, but it’s true! We deal with reality everyday and all I want for Christmas is something pretty. In our idealistic, want everything to work out and be beautiful kind of minds, we don’t want characters struggling with reality, we want pretty people with pretty lives. That is why we think Simon Basset is beautiful and perfect and can do little wrong, and while we love Daphne, we want to cut off those ridiculous bangs! Give me the pretty people for Christmas! 

The Perfect Christmas Town

When I was a little girl my mom had a Christmas town she would set up. The town had a bakery and a church, a little grocery store and a skating rink and a horse drawn carriage. It was beautiful and I would imagine all the stories and lives of the people in that town. A perfect town where there were no fires or heartaches or sadness and the worst that happens is too much snow and closed roads. It was Christmas all the time. That’s the beauty of childhood imagination. Hallmark captures that sentimental, childhood hope and captivates our hearts with it. And well, all us mamas want for Christmas is childhood wonder. That’s why we fill the stockings and make the cookies and hide that stupid elf every day!  

Traditions, Friends and Family

What if we all just got along? Wouldn’t that be a wonderful world! What if all we had to worry about during the season was how to win a gingerbread house decorating contest and finding the perfect Christmas gift?

The reality is that this season can be full of grief, anger, old hurts and discontentment. Usually we are rushing from one family to another, or hearing the passive aggressive comments about how we spent that one extra day with this family on Easter, so why we are leaving so soon after Christmas to be with the other family is simply not fair (Insert eyeroll here). 

But when we enter a Hallmark movie, everyone gets along. Christmas Eve is one big Christmas party with everyone together. Families and friends shop together and bake cookies together and sit around the fire and drink hot chocolate. My heart breaks a little just thinking about how wonderful even one aspect of this would be for so many of us. So we put on another movie and enter into that world because it gives us a glimmer of hope that maybe, someday...

A Predictable Ending with Snow

My husband comes into the room and glances at the TV, then looks at me in my fuzzy socks, Christmas PJ’s and mug of hot chocolate and says, “I’ve seen this one. The guy and girl get together, then there is a misunderstanding, but in the end it all works out and it snows.” 

He’s so clever. Yes, add some details like the ones above and you have the basic plot. Isn’t it glorious? Some people really get offended by these simple plots, but it is the predictability that makes these movies wonderful.

Huh? Yeah. Let me explain. 

I can’t predict what is going to happen next year. I can’t pretend as if everything will work out and I don’t know what life will hold. The only things I can guarantee are changes, joy filled moments, uncertainties and maybe some sadness.

During this short Christmas season, where lights twinkle all around and all my Christmas planning is for the hope of joy and laughter in my children’s eyes, I am grateful for the predictability of a Christmas movie.

So, mama’s out there, I see you running around this great big city, checking on all your amazon deliveries, staying up late to wrap the hidden presents, tripping over the ottoman at the crack of dawn because you forgot to move that darn elf again.

To all you mamas praying everyday that you’ll remember these days, that you will cherish the moments, that you will be present among the presents, that you will treasure it all, I encourage you to take a moment this Christmas and breathe. Put on your Christmas PJ’s, make a cup of cocoa with one of those hot chocolate bombs you made, put on some fuzzy socks, sit by the fire and watch a Hallmark movie with pretty people in a pretty place, full of family and friends and traditions culminating in all that is happy and perfect and of course, snowflakes. Enjoy and be “in-joy.” 

And maybe, just maybe, You can revel in a touch of that kind of hope this season. That is what believing is all about, right? Hoping and believing that whatever God has for us this next year, it will culminate in sprinkles of falling grace and joy. That is my prayer for all of  you because I know, that is all us moms really want. 


 

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Andrea is a true Houston native! Other than her college years at Baylor and a few summers with family in Guatemala, she has lived around the Houston area forever and cannot imagine living anywhere else. Especially because of family nearby as built in babysitters, so many friendships built throughout the years, and the great people of this city, Houston is so dear to her heart. In junior high her family moved to the Sugar Land area, but she attended a high school in town and spent as much time as possible at the Galleria in the 90s! After graduating from Baylor University with a degree in Secondary Education, she married her high school sweetheart, Orlando, and they moved to the Richmond area where they have been ever since and where she homeschools their son and 2 daughters, ages 15, 12 & 9. Andrea is very active in Women’s ministry at her church and in her community. She began writing for more therapeutic reasons when the kids were small and soon began writing publicly, remembering her love for writing and realizing the gift and calling that it was in her life. She published her first book, Breathless: Prayers from a Mother Learning to Exhale in 2018, a devotional last year and is currently working on a few new projects. In her down time, Andrea loves alone time, especially because she’s an enneagram 4! She also loves coffee, hanging out with her family and friends, traveling, New York City, musicals, especially Hamilton, fair trade jewelry, and charcuterie boards! You can find her writing at www.andreaportilla.com or follow her on Instagram @dreaportilla and on Facebook.

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