Here’s a little secret about me: I love the Countdown to Christmas Hallmark movie presentations. It’s true, I cannot get enough of these formalistic films where everyone has problems that can be solved by the end of the movie. Films where families are healed and created by the perfect golden retriever who brings the stray members together for one last Christmas in a magical home. One of my favorite films in this genera is called A Season For Miracles.
A Season for Miracles centers around a woman who has to go on the run with her nephew and her niece Their mother, you see, is a drug user and is in jail. The kids are about ready to be taken, at Christmas time no less!, by the children protective services. The sister, the greatest of all aunts, will have none of this! With almost no money, and a crappy car, this rather depressing band of spirit broken individuals become abandon when their car breaks down in a town, protected by an angel. With no money, no where to go, and it being a very cold night, they settle in a house that has been abandon, light a fire to keep warm and hope no one finds out. People find out, and quickly. Are they the long lost relatives, the rightful heirs come home finally? The town assumes so, and the broken family takes advantage of this assumption to settle in just long enough to get the car fixed (they plan to be out of there before Christmas Eve. At least, that is their hope! But our female lead falls in love with the town sheriff, the kids fall in love with the town, the little boy starts to talk again, and when the truth comes out, chaos emerges. However, Christmas magic and an angel’s help heals all. What a perfect small town this is.
I have a simular love affair with The Good Witch (2008). A magical woman, Cassandra Nightingale, settles into a small town and her family’s estate. She brings with her magic to stir up this little town, to wake it up, and bring it back to life. She is indeed the good witch, the keeper of all wisdom and perfect herbs for any occasion. She runs and shop and, did I mention, she’s hot and sexy – and the sheriff likes her as well. This particular movie was so successful that it was created into a series of films, all centered around the holidays – all representing Christmas like (pagan) miracles. Woot!
What these movies, and many more, all have in common is this perfect town. The perfect Hallmark town. Let’s call this town Hallmarkville. In this perfect small-town there is often the wise, lovable sheriff – usually single. The citizens of Hallmarkville are unique and also typically conceded. There is normally one terribly conceited woman who gets her nose up in everybody’s business. It’s always a woman mind you, never a man. In the Good Witch, this character was perfected by Catherine Disher who played Martha Tinsdale, the mayor’s wife who is oh so very, very “know it all” endowed. This stock character often provides the challenge that the main character, our dear protagonist, needs to conquer.
Hallmarkville also has the absolutely perfect café. That’s right, something right out of 1952, but with waitresses exhibiting a little bit of the attitude, like one would find in the TV show Alice. Seriously, who didn’t love Flo, chomping on her gum?
The schools are not over filled with students in Hallmarkville, and teachers earn enough to have a nice place of their own. They also have free time to do things like date or go to the local dance, serve on committees or save a child from ruin. The newspaper is altruistic in nature, keeping the news creed of unbiased and fair (no Fox News in Hallmarkville). Neighbors actually talk to each other in Hallmarkville, and disputes are not too difficult to solve, mostly because everyone is willing to chip in and help. The weather is also ideal in Hallmarkville, with all seasons having their moment in time. Hallmarkville also has an angel, or an angel like being – someone/something magical that helps make all the major wrongs – right somehow.
Hallmarkville is not too small, but it’s not too big either. Everybody knows each other, but only occasionally puts their noses where they do not belong (some reality must exist in Hallmarkville, after all). Almost everyone has a job, or if they don’t have a job, there is one waiting for them. Hard work = success in Hallmarkville. Hallmarkville is beautiful.
I want to live in Hallmarkville. Can you blame me? So does my husband. There is only one problem, even if we get rid of the magical elements, and we marry off the sherif, there is no Hallmarkville in America – at least none that I know of, and I have looked! Seriously, I have spent a lot of time looking for Hallmarkville. – this mythical American Town. My husband and I even sold every thing we owned, moved into an RV and went driving across the country looking for Hallmarkville.We looked high and we looked low, we snuck into town and broke down in a bunch of them. We found some contenders and even some “personality” types that makes Hallmarkville, you know, Hallmarkville … but the actual town does not exist.
So, I feel rather despondent as I sit down nowadays, watching my Hallmark Christmas movies (Well, this year only Hallmark like Christmas movies. We can’t afford cable any more so we don’t get the Hallmark channel, but I bet we could afford it in Hallmarkville!). I am even ruined for a nice average town, simply because of my love and longing for Hallmarkville.
If anyone knows where I can find Hallmarkville, please let me know!
PS. One town that came close was Port Gamble, WA. Sadly, there are not jobs to get there and the town is actually owned by a company (one of the last company towns), so it falls short. Still, gorgeous and fun to visit.