or hurtful to your heart. How can this be? you ask. It would seem the opposite should be true. After all, the girl always gets the guy; the good guy, the right guy for her. Sure she was headed in the wrong direction when the movie started. But she comes to realize her mistake during the drama which always ensues. She then ditches Mr. Wrong, making her available for Mr. Right. Or sometimes Mr. Right is involved with the wrong woman, but he always wises up before it’s too late for true love. Oh, there are some twists and turns before everything gets straightened out, but the ending is always a happy one for all concerned.
Wish I could say the same for real life, my real life for example. And it always hits home at Christmas time when Hallmark Christmas movies are everywhere, twenty-four-seven. Yes, the Hallmark Christmas movie is a genre all its own. And there are so many of them! The settings may be different, the characters may change, the circumstances may vary, but the plots never waver. The right people always find each other and end up together, happily ever after, if you will. Hallmark Christmas movies are all variations of this familiar and predictable age old theme. (which is why we like them, they are comforting, they are hopeful, they are heartwarming)
Now I’m all for a little hope and comfort, but lately these movies leave my heart feeling less warm and more lonely than anything else. I guess I’m wondering, when’s my happy ending? I’m still waiting for the glass slipper to be found and fitted to my foot. Maybe I shouldn’t be confusing these movies with real life. Maybe movies are supposed to be a temporary escape from real life, not a beacon of false hope. Maybe I should stop watching? or stop comparing my life to the lives of these people whom I become so attached to as I watch them deal with their difficulties and find true love. Maybe from watching them I should take heart, hope and inspiration.
Maybe I need to look around and realize my life is not the only life that is NOT a Hallmark movie. Holidays are hard for anyone living with loss, recent or otherwise. (I still miss my mom holiday or no holiday) But holidays are memories and that could be why loss is felt more deeply at this time than at others. Maybe I should stop blaming Hallmark Christmas movies for my sad state (hence the hazardous to my health) Love is not absent just because it doesn’t manifest in movie format.
The saying that Love was born at Christmastime is literally true. God’s love for me and for you, a love that shares my pain and pays my price, wrapped in blankets and lying in a manger, entered earth’s history with Jesus’ birth. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) And that’s just what Jesus came to do and did. He left His pain free life in glory to walk miles in our pain filled shoes on our oh so broken roads. Now that’s true love! It may not look like a Hallmark movie but it’s REAL. I don’t know about you, but given the choice, I’ll take reality over fantasy any day. It may not be as pretty but it’s ultimately more satisfying and more lasting.
I think I’ll seek out the widow, the shut in, the alone and the lonely this Christmas. God’s true love is meant to be shared with others. Together we’ll make our own version of a Hallmark Christmas movie. So, Merry Christmas to all!
sincerely, Grace Day
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger’.” (Luke 2:10-12)