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Better Than I Thought: My Life as a Christmas Movie

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December 18, 2019

This time of year, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, whether you are romantic or not, whether you watch television or not, there is no avoiding those television Christmas movies. Love them or hate them, you’ve probably seen at least one. I love to tease my mom for watching them but I’ve also been known to let one play in the background as I work around the house during the season. They create a sense that things could be easier and less complicated. All the puzzle pieces could fall neatly into a beautiful picture that suddenly comes clear. It’s the version of life they present. We know it isn’t real but it’s sometimes soothing to pretend it could be.

It occurred to me recently that most of us could have a “Christmas movie life” if we could do what they do: take out the unpleasant, messy, and un-cinematic bits of daily life and then stylize the rest. While there are definitely times in our own lives, and those of people around the world with troubles and hardships we cannot gild away, many of us can find the gold in the mud of daily chaos.

To prove this theory to myself, I decided to “Hallmark-ize” a busy day from a few weeks ago. It had a lot of good but a whole lot of the annoying inconveniences too.

Scene 1

Saturday morning

It is the morning of the big soccer championship tournament. My youngest comes in to snuggle and chat. As I cover him with the blanket, he sighs and says, “Oh that’s so warm.”

Set dressers would have cleared the pile of laundry at the end of the bed. To give it that “seasonal” feeling, they’d probably also put out a few of the holiday decorations I’ve been meaning to get to but haven’t touched.

Not shown

  • The clock that read 6 AM which is practically toxic to this night owl especially on a Saturday.

Scene 2

A few hours later

A montage of a team,
all matching in full uniforms with the same jersey, shorts, and socks, running,
scoring, laughing and cheering. This includes a fabulous moment when my kiddo
scored a goal over the heads of the defenders and I jumped up, screaming like a
maniac. Of course, the clips end with a triumphant team walking off the field
after two big wins.

Set dressers would definitely have to do something about the pouring rain that didn’t stop the entire day, or at least have given the spectators a really solid covering rather than a leaky canopy. They would also chuck the half-eaten egg left in the car that the kid insisted on but was too nervous to eat!

Not shown

  • The hour late the night before that my husband and I searched for that one missing uniform sock that somehow disappeared and the electrical tape we used to make another sock stay up instead.
  • The third quarter of the second game when we were all convinced they weren’t going to win, causing headaches, disappointment, and the beginnings of a few ulcers.

Scene 3

Saturday evening

Me hugging several dear friends I haven’t seen in a while, as I head into a truly fabulous Christmas concert that I love every year. Inside, my parents and brothers wave me over to the seat they’ve saved. 

Costumers would definitely need to work with my outfit,
which was the same thing I wore at the field with a sweater over it. My hair
had been styled by the wind and rain.

Not shown

  • Three unused tickets because one kid went to spend the night at a friend’s house, the other invoked teenage prerogative to not come, and the husband fell fast asleep after reffing three games in a downpour.
  • The coffee I guzzled before I got out of the car because I didn’t want to doze through the concert.

When I read the “scenes” from that day, I remember all of the joy and fun. So many great things happened. It could have been from Hallmark. Those seasonal Christmas movies might seem unreal and simplistic, but for many of us, with the help of set dressers, costumers, and highly selective editors, we’re not that far off of perfect!

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