Thursday, December 4, 2014

Break out the Holly, Just in the Nick of Time, It's Holiday Movie Season Again: What to Expect and Where to Find Them

Ah, holiday movie season. It seems to start earlier and earlier each year. And, it's expanding like the universe. I used to be glued to Falalala Lifetime, now I find my home mainly on the Hallmark Channel, checking in on the weekends on Lifetime, clicking the Channel to Up every so often and tuning into the classics on ABC Family at night. Speaking of ABC family, it is just impossible to have watched the Home Alone or Santa Clause franchises too many times, and I will never get sick of Elf either. 

This year, I am also hearing commercials for holiday movies on Ion and TVone which just overwhelms me because not only are there too many movies enticing me to watch them on the channels I already know but I have no clue what numbers these other stations are. I already had to break out the cable guide to find UP and too much is just too much.

Besides, I can only watch two movies simultaneously using the "last" button on my remote but any more is just not fun anymore.

On top of that, it is the holiday season, which means even less time to watch movies because there is so much to be done. Shopping, decorating, cooking, planning, attending events and parties. That's why it is good to start watching them before crunch time.

So, I started watching the movies rather early this year, shortly after Halloween. I am not a Thanksgiving gal so bypassing any TV productions relating to that holiday (except the Macy's Parade) or even decorations with brown and instead breaking out the green and red is not a problem for me. I have gotten used used to the Christmas decorations at Kohl's the day after Halloween so why not add to the early festivities with a good does of holiday movies?

I have my favorites. Comfort and Joy on Lifetime with Nancy McKeon is numero uno. My sister likes Ebbie with Susan Lucci (feminized version of Ebenezer, get it?)  and Holiday Switch with Nicole Egger (time travel through a washing machine). Two others of note, The Christmas Shoes with Rob Lowe and The Christmas Blessing with Neil Patrick Harris are two of the most touching and complicated of the holiday season movies. They are must sees with a  box of tissues.

But, I really look forward to the new premieres. I always know that if I miss the actual premiere not to worry because it will be shown like a hundred times more. And sometimes if I fall asleep at night watching one movie I can wake up the next morning and catch the end of it. I cannot say that I have found an overwhelming favorite yet this year, something I would actually purchase the DVD of, but I did like A Royal Christmas with Jane Seymour so far. 

Some movies keep me glued to my perch. Other are good for background while decorating, baking or online shopping.

My favorite thing to do while watching these holiday movies is to see if I can figure out how the movie is going to end from the first three minutes. Come on - we all know how formulaic these movies are but we love them anyway. If there is a single female shown and a male either passing by in a car, putting up some  Christmas lights or working in another office, we all know the two of them will be joined at the hip in the last three minutes of the movie.

These are the names you will always find as a main or supporting character:

Chris, Christine, any derivative
Noelle (not as prevalent)
Bill (don't know why)

You will also find extremely handsome men in theses moves, attractive women and yet sometimes ordinary looking males and females. You will also find many entertainers you grew up with or know from other genres, like soaps and sitcoms.  Full House's Candace Cameron Bure gets the award for the most movies this season. You will also find a lot of red-haired actresses. Animals, elves, nannies and magic also populate this genre.

These are the plots you will always find:

- Single mom meets man of her dreams*
- Businesswomen/female entertainer finds man of her dreams
- Children without parents find parents of their dreams
- Single male finds woman of his dreams**
- Business is saved
- Christmas is saved
- Town is saved
- North Pole is saved
- It's a Wonderful Life Plot/A Christmas Carol-Scrooge plot- lead character finds out life ain't so bad after all or realizes how to live life differently

* Could be Santa
** Could be an elf

There you have it. That's every plot for every Christmas movie. There is one plot I did not list, which you might expect to be a plot in these sappy movies, but I did not list a plot being that people get cured (though they do come out of comas) because they more often die. In these movies  people start off dead and sometimes they get sick and they usually do die, but somehow someone always learns a heartwarming lesson or the spirit of Christmas from it.

Unless someone is going through an extremely difficult position, these movies will always lull you into a dull stupor. Don't try to get anything complicated done while watching them because they make your brain shut off. They're almost like wine.

So eat, drink up these movies, and be merry.

Links to Channels with Holiday Movies:

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