• Daily Life

    Countdown to Christmas: Week 2, December 8th to 14th

    Day 8

    Day 9

    Day 10

    • Bought a real wreath and poinsettias!
    • Bought candy canes and some ingredients for Christmas goodies.
    • Found a way to watch current Hallmark movies (that way is NOT Halmmark NOW, that doesn’t have any or many current videos, it is a TV channel option (here). So I scheduled some recordings.
    • Got Bjorn’s Christmas bow, can’t wait to put it on him!
    • Read more of A Christmas Carol.
    • Slept through the storm and tornado warnings and sirens (more on that later).

    Day 11

    • Bought 2 trees, more lights, and more stuff for Christmas candymaking (and marshmallows, heretofor I had been having hot chocolate w/o marshmellows)
    • Watched Episode 9 of Lauren’s Christmas Vlogmas.
    • Started getting out Christmas decorations.
    • Hot chocolate WITH marshmallows!
    • Started a Hallmark movie, Making Spirits Bright.
    • Bought 2 more Christmas gifts.
    • Tested my new lights in the dark which really gave me a jolt of cozy Christmas spirit, warm (not too warm) white Christmas lights make me so happy.

    Day 12

    • Finished the Hallmark movie Making Spirits Bright.
    • Worked more on putting away Autumn and getting out Christmas.
    • Put lights, ribbon, cinnamon men and a few ornaments on my tiny tree in living room.
    • Hung my wreath.
    • Watched another Hallmark, Eight Gifts of Hanukkah
    • Decorated my sideboard/bar area with my nativity.

    Day 13

    • Finished decorating my little living room tree and mostly my bookcase.
    • Watched a Hallmark, My Christmas Family Tree.

    Day 14

    • Watched Ruby Granger’s Christmas Vlog.
    • Watched her Christmas gift ideas video.
    • Read half of John Grisham’s Skipping Christmas. I thought it was funny, but then they end up caving. This sounds like I’m a Scrooge, I’m not usually, I’m just contrary. And is anyone really this conformist about Christmas?
    • Watched another Hallmark, Christmas in Tahoe.
    • Finally got a tree stand and put up my tree in my bedroom.
    • Read more of A Christmas Carol and opened the package for page 75, spiced caramel popcorn. This box is SUCH a treat!

    I’ve since decorated a bit more, and I have a few more things to put up, and then I think I’ll call it done and will take photos for Instagram.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Have a Happy Hallmark Holiday

    Most movie watching we do around the holidays is Hallmark. I’ve been rather burned out plus Hallmark seems to be turning out quite a few busts. I felt a lot of films were blah if not worse this year, many we (even my mom who’s usually willing to finish more) didn’t finish. This year the younger girls didn’t join in as much either. Anyway, I think the ones below are worth watching. I watched the first three more than once. And of course we watched most of our old favorites that we own or had taped (ha, recorded) as well.

    Road to Christmas. Adorable and funny with little drama, my idea of a perfect Hallmark recipe. Also Chad Michael Murray (thinking this out I wanted to say Chad Dylan Cooper, probably NOT a coincidence Disney).

    It’s Christmas, Eve. Sweet and no drama, gorgeous singing. A bit of humor

    A Shoe Addict’s Christmas. Hilarious guardian angel, looking at past choices.

    Christmas Joy. Sweet (and Matt Long is really cute).

    Someone told us almost all Hallmark movies are filmed in Canada. I know all the actors aren’t from Canada, but lately we’ve sort of been playing “spot the Canadian” noticing all the Canadians via the vowels.

    As far as the other movies, we watched The Grinch (original animated) before Christmas,¬†White Christmas on Christmas Day (I was a little distracted what with trying to get ready) and A Charlie Brown Christmas (and another extra Charlie Brown Christmas on the DVD) after Christmas. I don’t love¬†It’s a Wonderful Life or Christmas in Connecticut, but I might try some from this list of old Christmas movies next year.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Hallmark Holiday Movies

    So, we started rating our Hallmark movies favorites (probably kind of started because we rate the guys :/). I decide I wanted to rate them myself. So I put them in an Excel chart like a dork.

    Also, some horrible ones thrown in for comparison, and to vent outrage. And, some of these are not Christmas or even holiday, but they fit in with the holiday spirit. When I update, I will probably only include more favorites.

    Movie Rating
    The Christmas Card 9
    Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade 9
    A Season for Miracles 8
    Window Wonderland 8
    Half My Heart 8
    Love by the Book 8
    Hitched for the Holidays 7.5
    Let it Snow 7.5
    The Best Christmas Party Ever 7
    The Thanksgiving House 7
    Fir Crazy 7
    The Most Wonderful Time of the Year 7
    The Nine Lives of Christmas 7
    Call Me Mrs. Miracle 6.75
    Naughty or Nice 6.5
    The Three Gifts 6.5
    Christmas Under Wraps 6.5
    Snow Bride 6.5
    Tis the Season for Love 6
    A Bride for Christmas 6
    Matchmaker Santa 6
    Trading Christmas 6
    Royal Christmas 5
    A Princess for Christmas 0
    One Starry Christmas 0
  • Culture and Entertainment

    Hallmark Christmas Favorites

    Edited and re-posted.

    These are a few of my favorite things, somewhat in order of favoriteness.

    1. Christmas Card and Thanksgiving Day Parade. I think the latter kind of counts as a Christmas movie because of the parade. These are a cut above the average Hallmark film because of the acting, humor, characters, sweetness, etc. We own these on D.V.D.s. We watch Christmas Card several times each Christmas season.

    2. Hitched for the Holidays and Let it Snow. The first is so funny and features better acting but does have considerable angst. I actually re-watched it after writing most of this post, and I think it might be closer to my top favs. The second is super cute and the romance occurs before the end and the angst is familial not romantic; the story is a bit more complex than your average Hallmark. Also, awesome headband and Christmas traditions.

    3. The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Fir Crazy, Window Wonderland, A Season for Miracles. These are more regular Hallmark quality, and the first and last are super funny. The second one is on this particular favorite tier because two cute guys and the line “get a clue cuz.” I think I could put the last one between 2 and 3. This film is super sweet but has considerable angst and is an older one, one of the Hallmark Hall of Fame movies.

    4. Snow Bride, Call Me Mrs. Miracle, and Naughty or Nice, pretty cheesy but fun.

    As to new movies for this year, I do not think any really made higher than than 4. The Nine Lives of Christmas is cute (or rather he is cute) but more average Hallmark on the scale of sweetness, angst, acting, plot, and humor. A Royal Christmas is about the same on ranking, though again the guy was super cute plus British. At least the film was better than A Princess for Christmas which was painfully embarrassing to watch. I thought Angels and Ornaments was awkward and embarrassing, except for the Angel and his story which were sweet. I saw a tiny part of North Pole and this film and the other previews do not look overly interesting.

    Here is our “baby” cat Mumford “watching” with us.