"These movies, with names like If I Only Had Christmas, A Very Crafty Christmas, Time For Us To Come Home For Christmas and Dear Christmas, are a staple of the extended American 'holiday season,' which essentially stretches from Halloween to New Year’s Eve," says Emma Gray. "In 2020, networks like Lifetime and Hallmark and streaming services like Netflix are releasing more than 100 original holiday movies, the majority of which follow a romantic comedy formula infused with lots of holiday (read: Christmas) spirit. During a pandemic that has halted and delayed many productions, the made-for-TV holiday movie machine has managed to function smoothly, an apt metaphor for pop-cultural products that exist devoid of political and cultural context. Christmas in America is as much a capitalist fever dream as it is a familial and religious celebration. Christmas isn’t just a day, it’s a season. And that season has a whole set of accompanying decorations, gift exchanges, foods, outfits and parties. The holiday movies that populate Lifetime and Hallmark are, as my colleague Claire Fallon wrote in 2018, fundamentally 'fairy tales about consumption.' The end result is an aesthetic deemed to have wide commercial appeal; one that resists risk, personality or specificity of any kind, instead leaning into visual cues that signal only the blandest brand of New England, suburban, upper middle-class whiteness — age, geography, race and socioeconomics be damned!"
TOPICS: Countdown to Christmas, Hallmark Channel, Lifetime, It's a Wonderful Lifetime, Christmas, Holiday Programming