I have never attempted to hide my love for the Christmas season. Now don’t get me wrong, I am a good, Advent-loving Episcopalian, but part of preparing for the coming of Christ, for me, involves putting up a tree, decorating my home, listening to Christmas music (though I tend to lean more Over the Rhine than Bing Crosby), making seasonal baked goods, crying over stupid TV commercials, AND watching Christmas movies of the bad Hallmark variety. You know the kind—so bad they’re…well, not good, really, but satisfying in their own special way.
It was my fondness for these sort of movies that made me decide I needed a DVD collection of 10 (!) such movies—I went with “family & romance” over the straight “romance” category and the “faith & family” category because…well, just because. And, even though I have yet to watch any of the movies (it is also the end of the semester for me), I have used my extensive knowledge of the genre to rank them in order based on the covers and (occasionally) cover copy, in case you should find yourself in need of a sappy Christmas fix.
- 12 Days of Christmas Eve. Groundhog Day meets While You Were Sleeping, which sounds exhausting, and the cover also makes me feel tired.
- Merry In-Laws. I think “Peter’s” parents might be Santa and Mrs. His fiancée loves them, but her family is overwhelmed and/or they’re just terrible people. This cover also makes me feel tired.
- Holiday Baggage. Just your average estranged couple who find love again while trying to divorce. Hence the baggage.
- Annie Claus Is Coming To Town. You know this one will be decent because it’s an actual Hallmark movie. About Santa’s daughter Annie, obviously.
- Holiday Engagement. Another actual Hallmark movie. It’s about someone who gets a fake fiancé to come home for Christmas with her. I think I might’ve seen this one, but I can’t be sure because this is the exact same plot as at least three other Christmas movies.
- Moonlight & Mistletoe. Candace Cameron Bure is basically D.J. as an only child pairing up with her dad to save Santaville. It’s Hallmark and the tagline is “A little town. A little romance. A little miracle.” so it’s basically got everything.
- The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. If the enchanting snow and badly-photoshopped Christmas tree don’t get you, maybe the descriptors like “uplifting” and “laugh-filled” will. Apparently includes a spoiler about Santa, so watch at your own risk.
- A Christmas Proposal. A ski town, a legal battle, and a broken down car—that’s definitely my formula for “heartwarming.”
- The Christmas Pageant. An over-the-top Broadway director is forced to direct a Christmas pageant, then presumably falls (again) for her ex-fiancé and gains an insta-family? Sign me up.
- Christmas in Canaan. Billy Ray Cyrus plays a concerned-looking cowboy in a Hallmark classic based on a book co-written by Kenny Rogers. I don’t think I need to say more, but also there is a sequel so it obviously was awesome the first time.
So there you have it. Everything you need for your own personal Advent preparation, or one really crazy binge day. And you know in what order you should watch them, because I’m just that good. Yeah, you’re welcome.
Alissa Goudswaard Anderson (’10) lives with her husband Josh in New York City, where she is earning her Master of Divinity at General Theological Seminary. Alissa enjoys private kitchen dance parties, big Midwestern thunderstorms, and perusing other peoples’ bookshelves. For more, find her online at www.episcotheque.wordpress.com or tweet her @episcotheque.