The holidays are stressful. But, somewhere among the cancelled flights, family drama, overcrowded kitchens, and awkward run-ins with exes, we manage to find that one thing keeping us counting down to the next holiday season. For some people, it's buying, wrapping, and opening gifts. For others, the season's magic is found in quiet, often-overlooked moments when the family is all together. But, for this author, it is the made-for-TV movies. When my family meets in the living room with blankets and hot chocolate to watch the latest movie from Hallmark, ABC Family, or Lifetime, I know the holidays are truly here.
Yes, they are awful. They have overly simplistic plots, really awkward children actors, grown actors who have yet to master...acting, and ridiculous story devices like traveling into snow globes and clocks stopping time. We readily admit these things. And, we watch them anyways. These holiday movies provide the right mixture of silly escapism and heartfelt hope, making them the perfect antidote to any holiday stress. And, if they are done right they leave you feeling hopeful, with a childlike belief that something wonderful and magical could still happen this holiday season.
But, beyond providing a bit of fantasy, these movies have taught us a few lessons over the years. From how to kidnap and then fall in love with a boyfriend by Christmas Day to how to stalk someone after reading their Santa letter, the following life lessons are taught exclusively in these annual specials. These are the top-10 things we have taken away from all of the made-for-TV specials, for better or for worse.