Thing #13 – Hallmark Friendship

“Gosh Jenna, you must LOVE Christmas if you’re watching these incredible Hallmark films so much!” Meh, it’s quite the opposite. I don’t really consider myself a Christmas person. Decking the halls feels like an obligation, parties trigger my social anxiety and shopping is my most hated chore (other than putting gas in my car).

I do, however, love tradition and family. I love coziness and warm drinks. And when I immerse myself in these Hallmark characters who are SO into Christmas, I become a Christmas person by proxy. They’re doing the heavy lifting while sit back and live vicariously through them.

My friend Gina has a love of Christmas so immense and pure that she is basically a Hallmark character. In her home you’ll find more than one tree showcasing her collection of ornaments. She twinkles when she talks about her decorating routine and her Christmas traditions. It only seemed fitting that we spend the day together like two Hallmark characters might.

Scene: Two 30-something nonprofit executives in large Midwest city sitting on bench lacing Read the rest

Thing #12 – Hallmark Life Lessons

In reviewing the notes I captured in the “conflict” and “resolution” columns of my Hallmark Movie spreadsheet, I found a goldmine of important wisdom. How dare I keep it to myself! My belated Christmas gift to you is to share verbatim notes from my spreadsheet and connect them to important life lessons you can use in 2019 and beyond.

“Sometimes if you choose business over love, you will regret it. So don’t go to Paris, and instead make out with the artist guy and take a new job that keeps you in town.”  

I mean, my advice would be to do Paris AND the artist guy if possible. But the essence here is, life is too short to constantly prioritize work over important relationships in your life. So, stop working so damn much and go home and spend quality time with your spouse watching TV on the couch in silence.

“Ditch the fiancé and tell the guy you met two days ago that you’re in love with him and then get married.”

Here’s a hot Read the rest

Thing #11 – Hallmark Movies

I remember it clearly. It was a Sunday in early December 2016. I was flipping through channels and stumbled upon a Hallmark Christmas movie. I’d never watched one before. Within three minutes of allowing myself to be transfixed by a redhead grappling with her department store career, I was trapped.

I watched until the last 20 seconds when the couple climbed into a sleigh and shared their long-awaited first kiss while – weirdly – their family and colleagues watched in approval. It was terrible. The plot was predictable. The Christmas spirit felt pushy. The fact they could persevere through all those romantic situations and wait until the last minute to kiss proves 1) they have extraordinary willpower or 2) I’m way more of a make-out slut than that redhead.

How could anyone think this was actually good? These people were too Christmassy! I was annoyed. Even so, I was on the couch in tears. I wanted to feel this mix of warmth, annoyance and Christmas spirit again as soon as possible. Plus, I was genuinely … Read the rest