Thanksgiving is still a week away but already I am fighting the urge to put up my Christmas decorations. Normally I am the first one to mock Christmas displays going up in stores before Halloween and the last two years they have been sneaking in at the end of September for Pete’s sake! I have a long held belief that no halls shall be decked, no trees will be trimmed until the day after, or possibly the evening of, Thanksgiving. Period.
I’m usually so busy this actually means sometime closer to December 15th – talk about in the nick of time – but definitely NOT prior to the annual turkey fest in November. But this year my heart is filled with so much Christmas cheer that I keep eyeing that corner of the house that holds the holiday decorations wondering what the neighbors would think were I to bust them out early.
I blame it somewhat on the Hallmark Channel Christmas movie palooza. Although technically I think I am watching the Hallmark Movies And Mysteries Channel. Close enough.
Now let me explain why, as an artist, having a Christmas movie marathon running in the background is important as early as July. Even working with virtual stock, as I do, in my virtual Print On Demand stores, an artist and designer needs to be looking forward many months to the next season or holiday just like manufacturers and brick and mortar stores. So, it is not uncommon for myself and others to begin new Christmas designs in the summer. Trust me, it’s not easy to feel jolly and full of Ho Ho Ho’s sitting in a tank top while the temperature climbs into the 90’s. Thus, off season Christmas movies can help get an artist into the holiday mood.
This is why I have had the Hallmark Movies And Mysteries Channel on for a good chunk of each day since October when they started the all day, every day, Christmas programming.
Besides, these Christmas movies are all rated for families and are full of uplifting lessons and happy endings. Yes, some are a little silly or sappy or full of so much romance you might think my more geeky side would summarily dismiss them and grab the remote to find something more palatable. But no. I keep them on, even when they are repeats that I’ve seen several times before. I listen as I work on the computer, more than I actually watch, and all that good cheer and magic and love is soothing.
Life has thrown me a few speed bumps this year. I haven’t felt settled and entirely myself since August and the future looms closer than I like. For some reason, listening to the same Christmas stories running in the background keeps me from freaking out. I don’t know why it is having this effect on me, but I’ll take it.
Except for that one movie. Christmas on Honeysuckle Lane. Alicia Witt is in that film and fans of The Walking Dead will remember her as Paula, a really bad Savior who captures Carol and Maggie in Season 6 Episode 13. She plays a perfectly lovely character in Christmas on Honeysuckle Lane but just hearing her voice takes me back to 2016… “But are you going to live through it? Anyway, that’s cute. Babies are the point. Children are our future. Making bite-sized snacks for the dead. The point is to stay standing.” *shiver* Alicia Witt was brilliantly evil in that part on TWD. But I digress.
Anyway, if you are feeling sad or unsettled or even a wee bit blue, I highly recommend a Christmas movie marathon filled with sweet and sappy stores that are actually quite charming. It matters not if you will have large gatherings to attend or parties to plan or gifts to purchase or family near or friends to spend time with. The holidays are so much more than that. Christmas, even when it comes early, is about hope and love and faith and happiness and miracles. Especially miracles.
I don’t feel one smidge of Scrooge or the tiniest bit of Grinch in my heart right now. So I thank you, Hallmark Channel, for starting your Christmas movie programming in October. Some will mock it but this year in particular I am simply grateful.
I’m going to go eye those Christmas decorations again. Watch out neighbors.