The Southern Obsession with Hallmark Christmas Movies

In July, I called my mom to find that she had been sucked into a Hallmark Christmas movie marathon.  (You know, Christmas in July.) Sometimes they get me too! Binging cheesy Christmas movies made by Hallmark, Lifetime, and now Netflix who is in the game is a favorite holiday pastime.  

There is something about the low budget, predictable movies that get me in the Christmas spirit.  Life is never really like one, but we love to believe it can. These cheesy films have a special place in the hearts of southern women.  My friend Kacey captured our feelings exactly last month when she posted this statement: 

“We’ve officially reached that time of year when I have to choose between watching college football or Hallmark Christmas movies on Saturday.”

Hallmark Christmas Movies
We all enjoy some sweet and savory treats while watching Christmas movies!

Why Do We Love Them?

There is no doubt they are popular.  Hallmark’s first 2019 original film Winter Castle had 3 million views!  This year, Hallmark is releasing 40 new Christmas movies.  That is a whole lot of festive romcom!  

They already have a good thing going for them by setting them during America’s most nostalgic holiday.  It isn’t hard to find a cute Christmas town off any major highway. (More on that later.) It also does not hurt that the leading men are often great eye candy!  I mean their acting skills may be questionable, but they are always nice to look at.  

I like them most because I can check out for an hour and a half.  They do not require much emotion or brain power to enjoy. Cheesy Christmas movies offer me a great escape from the realities I face.  No need to worry about lesson plans or even laundry. Just enjoy the holiday fluff!  

Gulf Coast Hallmark Christmas Movie Towns 

Some towns along the Gulf of Mexico have been used to shoot actual holiday movies!  Others just look ready for their Hallmark Movie Debut. Here are some to check out locally!

Bay St. Louis, Mississippi 

This town is so picturesque with the harbor and old oak trees.  Go have a drink at one of the waterside restaurants and enjoy the lights.  Go during 2nd Saturday for night markets and a more festive atmosphere! 

Ocean Springs, Mississippi 

It has continued to flourish since Katrina.  The few new buildings that have gone up since then match the architecture already existing.  You can find a vintage inspired soda shop, French Kiss Bakery that serves beautiful little cakes, and legendary donuts at Tato-Nut.  I am shocked that Hallmark has not come to film under the massive snowflakes hung at Christmas time.  

Downtown Gulfport, Mississippi

Gulfport’s downtown has experienced a facelift recently with their facade project.  They also have the Harbor Lights Display at Jones Park across Highway 90 every Christmas.  Several locations including Fish Bone Alley were used in the Hallmark film Christmas in Mississippi.  You can enjoy all of these places in the month of December.  

Laurel, Mississippi

I have made a few day trips to the cute little town.  It is the location of the HGTV series Home Town and their shop Laurel Mercantile.  There is a beautiful art museum, a historic downtown, and a neighborhood that looks like it is in Savannah, Georgia.  Check out their city website for local events and festivals.  

Fairhope, Alabama 

Fairhope has already starred in a Lifetime movie called Coffee Shop in 2014.  My high school band used to travel there every Mardi Gras to march in their night parade.  It is a delightful town that is located only about 45 minutes south of Mobile. Check out the little shops and alleyways to find all kinds of antique treasures.  

Hallmark Christmas Movies
Deck the Halls and watch Christmas movies!

Girl’s Christmas Sleepover

Why not embrace the addiction?  Call or text some like minded friends for a merry little sleepover and Hallmark Christmas movies.  Our friends at Country Living even came up with a drinking game!  You can serve poinsettias, champagne with cranberry juice with holiday cookies.  

Look up movie night and see some beautiful set ups on Pinterest of twinkle lights and air mattresses.  Some engineering people have fashioned beautiful blanket tents to go long with the sleepover theme. Add all the movies to your Netflix  playlist or subscribe the Hallmark App for FireTV to have viewing pleasure all night! 

Hallmark Christmas Move Party
Make watching these movies a social gathering with your nearest and dearest.

 ‘Tis the Season for Sentimental Movies 

Unless you subscribe to the Hallmark Channel, now is the time to enjoy the holiday silliness in its full glory.  Use it as time to relax and enjoy all of the holiday movies.

Just keep a list so you don’t repeat them like I have before.   

What is your favorite holiday movie?  

Hallmark Christmas Movies
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