It’s that time of year again, the month we can shamelessly watch the cheesiest movies of all time and chalk it up to the “Christmas spirit.” I put up my Christmas tree early partially because time has no meaning anymore but also because I needed some joy and twinkle lights. Before I settle down for a long, much-needed winter’s nap, I’m going to indulge in three of this year’s latest and greatest Hallmark/Netflix Christmas films and take you along for the ride. My mug of mulled wine & I are more than ready to get lost in the question of the century: will the long-lost high school sweethearts be able to save the family tree farm after returning to their small hometown?? Only time will tell.
Movie: The Princess Switch 2 (Netflix)
Overall: This one is a sequel to, you guessed it, The Princess Switch, which is excellent in that it stars Vanessa Hudgens and her terrible British accent. However, the second film had actual drama and even caused me some minor stress (not what I’m looking for in my mindless Christmas movies). The chaos wraps up in the last ten minutes of the movie, but you’ve been warned—it is a wild ride.
Best line: “Minions, I need more champagne!” (I’ll let you wonder about that one)
Rating: 7/10 (always love Vanessa, but lost points for stress caused)
Movie: A Christmas Catch (Netflix)
Overall: This movie employed a welcome shift on a predictable plot line, though it did include some cliché classics (e.g., Christmas tree lot employment). The unique storyline, accompanied by a relatable lead, was genuinely entertaining. They also managed a plot twist even I didn’t see coming!
Best line: “Are you Christmas? Because I’d like to mErry you.” *insert cringe here
Movie: Merry Kissmas (Hallmark)
Overall: This is one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies. It has all the Hallmark classics: a baker, a writer, and an all-knowing Santa Claus. Added bonuses: a man confessing his love to an elevator, and the theme song is one of the cheesiest Christmas tunes of all time.
Best line: “You can shoot for the stars and still appreciate the earth.”
Unsurprisingly, celebrating Christmas this year is going to look a lot different than a Hallmark movie. 2020 Christmas will be a bare-bones, back to the basics holiday. No obligation parties, no flocking to the mall to collect gifts. Less scrambling around only to sit in holiday traffic. Instead, I have been challenged to trade holiday chaos for a slower, more bittersweet season.
Time spent together—if you’re lucky enough to have it this holiday—won’t be taken for granted during one of the loneliest years of our lifetimes. A year when seeing your grandmother wave through a warmly lit kitchen window sparks unspeakable joy and equal pain. A year when we’ve swapped warm hugs for FaceTimes and Zooms wrapped in cozy blankets, supporting each other from afar until we can be together again.
And bittersweet it is. Devastation and beauty exist simultaneously, daring us to choose a side. As December continues, I see the light and life promised by the original Christmas remains unwavering, even in a time when all we knew was turned on its head. We may feel unsure of our Hallmark-happy ending, but my hope rests in this: that the glimmers of light will prove stronger than the underlying darkness.
And with that, I’m off to eat too many Christmas cookies in front of a crackling fire and go to bed at 8 p.m. Let’s hope the drama of 2021 more resembles the predictable plotlines of Hallmark movies rather than the very off-script energy of 2020. And to all, a good night.
Olivia graduated from Calvin in May 2018 with a double major in business and writing. She now works as an editor in Nashville, Tennessee and is eating her way through the restaurants of her new town. She enjoys weekend trips with friends, petting other people’s dogs, and drinking coffee like a Gilmore Girl.