Hello everyone! Can you believe this is already our year-end episode?

We are keeping it light and indulging in a long Me Time episode today. Get ready for a cozy chat about my guilty pleasure- Hallmark holiday movies and some of my end of the year rituals that might add a sprinkle of magic to your year’s end.

Diving into Hallmark Holidays

The magic of Hallmark movies entered my life during the holidays of 2014 while I was finishing my second Master’s degree. I was feeling burnt out and in need of an escape. Fueled by a desire for easy and predictable entertainment, I found solace in coloring and watching these charming films. Over the years, my relationship with Hallmark movies has evolved from escapism to a more nuanced understanding of their tropes and occasional pitfalls.

Unpacking the Hallmark Experience

Initially, I reveled in the simplicity and escapism Hallmark movies offered. As that familiarity grew, so did my ability to discern underlying messages and shifts in genre, and my viewing experience got tinged with moments of skepticism. The charm started to wane, and I became more attuned to issues of diversity and contrived plotlines. Yet, despite those observations, I held onto the joy these movies provided, and I learned to find the balance between critique and appreciation.

The Evolution of Taste: From Hallmark to Netflix

Netflix, with its occasional forays into holiday films, added a new dimension to my viewing habits. Those movies, though fewer in number, offered a breath of fresh air with higher production quality, recognizable actors, and less reliance on tired tropes, and I began gravitating toward Netflix alternatives.

Favorites and Flops: A Year-End Movie Recap

Some of my favorites from the 2023 holiday season were Christmas at the Biltmore, and the heartwarming Merry Scottish Christmas. I also watched Crown for Christmas, about a royal romance, and the comedy Holiday Hotline. While my tastes have become more selective, these movies still remain a cherished part of my holiday ritual.

Year-End Reflections: More Than Resolutions

A nuanced approach has been embraced to conclude the year. Some of my rituals are acknowledging the highs and lows of the year, recognizing the cup-fillers, and contemplating my big audacious goals without feeling any pressure to achieve them immediately. It is about fostering gratitude for what was, understanding the why behind my desires, and embracing the wisdom I gained from my unmet goals.

Year-End Reflections and Realistic Desires

Often, realistic solutions emerge as I make small changes. Small changes make a tangible impact without demanding overwhelming adjustments. My closeout rituals extend beyond clutter, and involve introspection on what I want more or less of, what worked, and the things that brought me joy in the past year. As I contemplate my big goals and their outcomes, I recognize the wisdom I gained. That sets the stage for a meaningful transition. My realistic desires and those with small, impactful changes remind me that with transformation, there is no need to be grand.

Cheers to New Beginnings

Congratulations to the listeners for navigating the twists, turns, and challenges of 2023 with success. I hope all my fellow Hallmark enthusiasts enjoy my festive movie suggestions. I encourage you to nurture your audacious goals, realize your desires, and share the wisdom you gain along the way! May your journey into the new year be filled with joy, contentment, and fresh beginnings.

See you on the other side!

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