Hallmark Christmas movies may have a reputation of lacking substance and being predictable, but this only makes them more entertaining. Through their cliché storylines, these lighthearted movies are intended to comfort viewers and get them into the holiday spirit.
There are many common tropes that appear throughout these holiday movies, such as the enemies-turned-lovers and the cold-hearted big shot who doesn’t care for Christmas but who ultimately changes their mind about the spirit of the holiday. If these spark any interest, then these personal favorites are an ideal watch.
First is “A Christmas Tree Grows in Colorado,” which has the perfect enemies-to-lovers sequence. This movie is about Erin, who is organizing a holiday event to attract tourists in order to generate money for the town and happens to be the daughter of the mayor. She then stumbles upon Kevin, a single father and lieutenant firefighter, who has the perfect spruce tree for the event right in his front yard.
Erin tries to convince Kevin to donate his tree and things take a turn when he refuses as he is opposed to the upcoming event because he believes the money should go to the fire department. The two come to an agreement that Kevin will help Erin with the holiday event under the condition that Erin will stop asking the tree.
As anticipated, the two fall for each in classic Hallmark fashion through a series of decorating cookies and making snow angels. Although this movie follows the stereotypical scenario the audience is used to seeing, it still provides a great story to get invested in — even if the ending is predictable.
Next is “An Unexpected Christmas,” which possesses a twist on the enemies-turned-lovers trope. In this movie, Emily, a rising star at her marketing firm, runs into her ex-boyfriend Jamie, who is a speechwriter for the governor, along with his family.
Since Jamie has not told his family that the two had broken up, he makes a deal with Emily to pose as his girlfriend for the next week under the condition that he will help with her marketing campaign by getting the governor to deliver a Christmas Day address.
This movie differs from the rest of the Hallmark collection since the main characters were lovers before enemies. Even though the “acting-like-a-couple-even-though-they’re-not-a-couple” storyline has been done numerous times, this film is unique for Hallmark as they experimented with a different trope.
Last is “If Only I Had Christmas,” which follows Darcy, a publicist from Kansas City, who travels to Emerald Educational Trust to help Vice President Glen Goodman assist a charity in time for Christmas.
In this movie, it perfectly mixes the enemies to lovers with the work-obsessed big shot who has forgotten the meaning of Christmas. While Darcy exudes a cheerful attitude towards the Christmas project, Glen has a more serious approach. However, after spending time together working on the project, the two realize that they have more in common than they assumed.
As predicted, at the end of each movie a kiss between the likely pair serves as an anticipated conclusion.
For many — especially college students — the holidays are a time to unwind and decompress, which is why these movies are a perfect watch.