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Carol Perkins: Reason Hallmark Classic movies are happy

Guy thinks the reason families in the movies are always happy may be because they are always drinking wine.
Talk to Carol Perkins 10am-12pmNoonCT, Tues 17 Nov 2015 on The "Susan & Carol, Unscripted" show, live. FM 99.1 radio
Next earlier Carol Perkins column: Carol Perkins: Nothing as important as good name

By Carol Perkins

Guy and I were watching a Hallmark Classic Thanksgiving/Christmas special last weekend. You know the ones where families gather for a huge meal around a dining room table and are joyously happy? Grandpa is at the head of the table and raises a glass of sweet tea to toast to the meaning of Christmas and family. Little kids sit mannerly next to their parents rather than at a different table, and no one has a cell phone.


The dishes are perfectly prepared and garnished. As for the turkey, I have never seen a "real" one so brown and perfectly formed. The legs are not sliding off the side of the serving dish, showing the ghostly white insides with too much loose skin flopping. I honestly think Hallmark uses one fake turkey for all its shows. Check it out.

Does anyone carve a turkey at the table? I have never been in a setting where anyone carved the turkey on the spot. There is a reason for that. People don't want to wait for the process. Slap that turkey on a platter and leave the carcass on the stove but cover it because the remains will take away any appetite.

Seldom will the family scrape the dishes at the table. This is considered ill mannered, so remember that this Thanksgiving. The plates are gathered and taken to the sink where the family clears the kitchen that wasn't much of a mess anyway. My kitchen looks like a war zone when I cook, so if I don't clean it up quickly before company arrives, no one would want to eat.

The Hallmark living rooms are cozy with a fire popping in the fireplace and easy chairs placed so everyone can listen to stories and open presents (on the Christmas movies). The trees are always real and in most of the movies, couples find each other at the tree lot picking out the perfect one. I have never bought a tree at a lot. My real ones came from a hillside. The front of the house is overly bright and cheerful. "Guy, what if I asked you to do all that?"

"You could ask." He really does help me decorate every year but never without telling me I have overdone it. For forty-eight years I have been overdoing Christmas so he should be used to it.

Before bedtime, Daddy reads the Christmas story as Mama sits on the arm of the chair. Nothing makes a noise except the sound of his voice as he plays the role of Santa. If Guy ever read the Christmas story, the children would be in shock. One year I tried to do this but none of them would listen. They wanted to play. I began to make up parts of it to get their attention. "That's not the way it goes!"

In my Hallmark movie, snow falls Christmas Eve until every bush and tree are covered and icicles drip slowly as they cling to gutters. Only a few tracks show through the frozen highway.

I looked at Guy and said, "That is what I thought Christmas was going to be like when I grew up."

"It isn't?" We both laughed.

In the real world, I am convinced that there are very few Hallmark moments.

However, I also know that every person with any spirit at all wants to have one. What stops us?

Guy says they are always happy because they are drinking wine. He could have a point.

This Thanksgiving we will be thinking of those who are not safe and will not ever have a chance at a Hallmark moment. At least we can still dream and know that the only people getting in our way is ourselves. I'm going to try for a Hallmark moment more often.


This story was posted on 2015-11-18 15:30:10
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