I Suffer, You Enjoy, Children are Fed

I am romance-averse. I don’t read romantic books, or watch romantic television shows, or go to romantic movies. Even rom-coms, the lighter and (theoretically) funnier sibling of undiluted romance, usually leave me cranky, cynical, and underwhelmed. Yes, there are exceptions: Truly, Madly, Deeply (1990); Return to Me (2000); Away We Go (2009). More recently, this year’s Long Shot was enjoyable. But generally…whatever gene causes one to enjoy onscreen romance, I lack.

And therefore, until a few days ago I had never seen a Hallmark Christmas movie (or the knockoffs popping up on Netflix and Lifetime). I deliberately avoided them, yet felt like I knew them just from what I’d heard. Big city career girl is stuck in small town, has meet-cute with rugged local handyman, falls in love, discovers importance of small town values. Also, Santa, trees, snow. Maybe a dog. Many, many people enjoy these movies, and God bless them. I do not judge. It’s probably me. Perhaps my heart is two sizes too small to embrace the formula without rolling my eyes and gagging.

Several days ago I had a crazy idea. What if I binged as many of those Hallmark-ish movies as I could handle as a fundraiser. There’s a wonderful non-profit near me that feeds thousands of hungry children year-round. What if friends pledged per movie, thereby supporting a great cause and having the hilarious experience of watching my brain melt in real time. One of two things may happen: either, I will be destroyed – like Superman eating bowls full of Kryptonite – or I will be transformed. I will emerge from this endeavor softened, chastened, believing that a small town girl living in a lonely world really can have her Christmas miracle. Don’t stop believing.

I’m going to share the capsule reviews of the movies I watch with you, dear Zeke readers. Maybe I’ll pick up some life lessons to share. At the very least, I’ll be accountable for doing what I said I’d do. My intention is to watch 50 – yes, 50 – Hallmark-ish holiday movies before Christmas day.

If you’d like to join this endeavor as a financial backer you’ll receive no tote bag, no t-shirt. no mug. But you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping feed the hungry, and enabling my self-destructive behavior. Surely that’s a win-win!

Follow this link to learn more about Twigs, the great charity you’ll be supporting. And here’s the link to the public Facebook event, where you can see more details about what I’m doing, and drop a comment making a pledge-per-movie. Thanks!