An attractive young professional woman running the rat race in New York or Chicago is summoned to a small town (sometimes her hometown), where she meets a handsome eligible bachelor and discovers that the true joy of Christmas can be found after one week with said bachelor in said small town.
Recognize the plot? Becoming accustomed to women named Holly, Joy, or Eve? Then you are a Hallmark Movie Channel aficionado who has spent countless evenings losing yourself in the Countdown to Christmas. Since November 1, Hallmark has run its popular litany of Christmas movies, bringing great joy and comfort to people of all ages. The formula – always with a happy ending – works. Viewership increases every year, and the audience – previously older women – has increased and diversified to include young people and men.
Beginning in 2010 with only six movies, Hallmark was the first cable company to offer holiday programming. This year, it debuts 29 new movies, a testament to its popularity and audience demand for more. Original movies run every Saturday and Sunday night throughout the season, and old favorites, including the most popular, Christmas Under Wraps, run continuously throughout the week.
Why are Hallmark Christmas movies so popular and why do people watch them night after night? Here is a sampling of comments from devotees.
They are sappy and loaded with warm, fuzzy Christmas feels. They make me happy in my core. It’s nice to get lost in a good Christmas movie. Justin Everson
This is my feel good place, year after year. Hope Stern
They are so calming… like good background music. Barbara Lee Cochran
My kids make fun of me every year for watching them, but I love them so. It’s nice to escape every once in a while, kind of like a fairy tale when I was a child. Patti Kaminski
Hallmark movies always touch on the very basic feeling of Christmas: love. Lisa Gunter
The good guy always gets the girl. Rob Thompson
In a world of so much hate, chaos, shooting, and bad talk, a Hallmark movie makes you feel good about family, love, and happiness. You can count on them to teach kindness, respect, and love. You always end with a smile and a warm fuzzy feeling that there are good things and people in the world. Kim Boone
Most people want to make sound investments with their money, something they know will pay off. Likewise, a Hallmark movie is a sure thing when it comes to the time investment made. People know there will be a satisfying, happy ending. Life has so many question marks that sometimes it’s nice to know what’s coming. There’s no gamble, no real risk. Susan Matthews
Hallmark’s tag line – The Heart of TV – seems to be fitting. Why change the formula when everyone, it seems, is craving the warm, fuzzy feelings they get from a good Hallmark Christmas movie?