Wednesday, December 16, 2020

2020 Christmas Movie Challenge

Last year I watched a Christmas movie on November 6th.  

I immediately felt full of the Christmas spirit and wanted that feeling of joy and hope to continue.  So I watched another Christmas movie.  And another and another and so on and so forth.  Thus the 50 Christmas Movies in 50 Days Challenge was born!  The plan was to average watching a Christmas movie once a day for a span of 50 days that would culminate with watching A Christmas Story on Christmas Day.  

2020 has been a year where normal is not normal as we are living during a time of pandemic.  So many people started putting up Christmas decorations earlier than ever before because they were looking to embrace that same joyous holiday feeling during a year that has been filled mostly with despair. 

So how could I improve upon last years challenge?  Not that bigger is always better, but the definition of a challenge is that it should be, well, challenging.  Without a notion of a plan, I watched my first Christmas movie on October 27th.  Quickly I realized that it was exactly 60 days until Christmas.  And thus the 60 Christmas Movies in 60 Days challenge was born.
Last year I just one simple rule -- that I had to watch 50 Christmas movies in 50 days -- no more, no less.  This year I expanded on that with just one more rule, which is more of a guideline.  I want to try to not be more than 2 movies ahead (or behind) schedule.  The rationale was that this was not about binge watching eight or 10 movies in a weekend and lapsing until the following weekend.  This is because I want to embody the season on a daily basis, not in mass quantities and then lapse back into despondency or gloom for days at a time.

Last year I was scouring Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu and toward the end of the challenge the quality of movies was very poor.  This year the quality of movies vastly improved as I invested in the frndly app which includes the Hallmark family of channels. 

What are some observations for what comprises a Hallmark Christmas movie?  It will contain 3 or more of the following scenarios.
  • A successful business person working in the big city returns home and stays there to work
  • Someone rediscovers the Christmas spirit after having a reason to be swear it off 
  • A single parent who had shied away from love, finds it again
  • A famous country movie star returns to their home town incognito 
  • Some sort of festival, parade, fund raiser or holiday event needs to be planned and there is likely only a matter of weeks to pull it all off
  • A kiss happens between the two main characters in the final 30 seconds of the movie, though they may have attempted to kiss earlier only to be interrupted 
  • A struggling small business in financial hardship is saved just in time for Christmas
  • A young 30 something person is up for a promotion that they are far from qualified for at that age
  • There is a snow storm that forces people to remain in town for longer than planned
  • Will be filmed in Canada, but have a plot that includes New York City + (Vermont, Tennessee or Montana)
  • Will feature a former child star, a soap opera actress or someone who has appeared on How I Met Your Mother or an extra on CSI including Candace Cameron-Bure, Lacy Chabert, Sarah Lancaster, Erin Cahill, Brooke D'Orsay, Ashley Williams, Brooke Nevin, Erin Krakow,  or Rachel Boston
  • There will be plenty of hot cocoa drank and seldom will there be alcohol 
  • It will only take (as many as) 12 days to fall in love, spanning the 12 days of Christmas
  • Either a snow man or a snow angel will be made
  • There will be a Christmas tree lighting ceremony
  • There will be an inn or lodge that may be in financial hardship, be passed down in the family or have other sentimental value
  • There will be a man who looks just like Santa Claus and may even serve as Santa for the town this season and you are lead to believe he is the real Santa but will mysteriously vanish on Christmas Eve, assumedly heading back to the North Pole to deliver presents
  • Son inherits fathers company and either struggles to find himself in his fathers successful shadow or must pass a series of challenges to prove he is worthy of taking over.
  • With their relationship in the budding stage, the lead female will uncharacteristically become clumsy and fall into the arms of the lead male and create an awkward moment in which they both realize that they are falling in love with each other and should kiss, but are preempted by the females former love interest.  
Additions from collaboration with Gina DeMuro Zeafla
  • There will be a misunderstanding approximately 20 minutes before the end of the movie which pulls the two love interests apart, leaving little time for the reconciliation and falling in love at the final scene.
  • The frequent “impossibly beautiful but stubborn daughter trying to save her family’s farm or small shop from bankruptcy, only to be annoyed by the rich business man who came to most-likely develop the land.”
  • Handsome widower with permanent 5-o’clock shadow and one bitter 11 year old daughter learns to love again after perky corporate climber is forced to come to small town to sell the family bed and breakfast after the death of her estranged father.
List of Movies Watched (so far)
  1. Day 1: Oct-27 Christmas in Evergreen: Tidings of Joy
  2. Day 2: Oct-28 Christmas in Evergreen
  3. Day 3: Oct-29 Chateau Christmas
  4. Day 4: Oct-30 'Tis the Season for Love
  5. Day 5: Oct-31 Christmas in Evergreen: Letters to Santa
  6. Day 5: Oct-31 Christmas Scavenger Hunt
  7. Day 6: Nov-01 Christmas Tree Lane
  8. Day 8: Nov-03 Nostalgic Christmas
  9. Day 8: Nov-03 A Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas
  10. Day 10: Nov-05 Rocky Mountain Christmas
  11. Day 11: Nov-06 Fir Crazy
  12. Day 11: Nov-06 On the Twelfth Day of Christmas
  13. Day 12: Nov-07 It’s Christmas, Eve
  14. Day 12: Nov-07 Small Town Christmas
  15. Day 13: Nov-08 A Merry Christmas Match
  16. Day 13: Nov-08 Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Sweater
  17. Day 14: Nov-09 Christmas in Love
  18. Day 15: Nov-10 Most Wonderful Time of the Year
  19. Day 17: Nov-12 Christmas at the Plaza
  20. Day 18: Nov-13 Christmas Connection
  21. Day 18: Nov-13 A Cookie Cutter Christmas
  22. Day 20: Nov-15 Miss Christmas
  23. Day 23: Nov-18 A Timeless Christmas
  24. Day 24: Nov-19 A Godwink Christmas
  25. Day 25: Nov-20 A Wish for Christmas
  26. Day 25: Nov-20 A Christmas in Tennessee
  27. Day 26: Nov-21 Christmas On Ice
  28. Day 26: Nov-21 Feliz NaviDAD
  29. Day 27: Nov-22 A Royal Christmas
  30. Day 27: Nov-22 Let it Snow
  31. Day 28: Nov-23 Christmas In Vienna
  32. Day 31: Nov-26 The Christmas Cure
  33. Day 33: Nov-28: Just in Time for Christmas
  34. Day 34: Nov-29: With Love, Christmas
  35. Day 34: Nov-29: Return to Christmas Creek
  36. Day 34: Nov-29: Holidate
  37. Day 35: Nov-30: Christmas Made to Order
  38. Day 37: Dec-2: Christmas Homecoming
  39. Day 38: Dec-3: Check Inn to Christmas
  40. Day 39: Dec-4: Northern Lights of Christmas
  41. Day 40: Dec-5: Sharing Christmas
  42. Day 41: Dec-6: Sleigh Bells Ring
  43. Day 42: Dec-7: Two Turtle Doves
  44. Day 44: Dec-9: A Godwink Christmas: Second Chance, First Love
  45. Day 45: Dec-10: Enchanted Christmas 
  46. Day 47: Dec-12: A Godwink Christmas: Meant for Love
  47. Day 47: Dec-12: Christmas Next Door
  48. Day 48: Dec-13: Christmas On My Mind
  49. Day 48: Dec-13: Christmas Incorporated
  50. Day 48: Dec-13: Time For Us to Come Home for Christmas 
  51. Day 51: Dec-16: Unlocking Christmas 
  52. Day 52: Dec-17: Sense, Sensibility & Snowmen
  53. Day 53: Dec-18: The Sweetest Christmas 
  54. Day 54: Dec-19: Christmas Waltz
  55. Day 55: Dec-20: Christmas Land
  56. Day 57: Dec 22: The Mistletoe Secret
  57. Day 58: Dec 23: Christmas Under the Stars
  58. Day 59: Dec 24: Project Christmas Wish
  59. Day 59: Dec 24: The Family Stone
  60. Day 60: Dec-25: A Christmas Story