Every year as the seasons change, I wish to live in a Hallmark Channel movie.

I want to be the busy career woman who is forced to move to a small apple orchard or Christmas Tree farm.  Or perhaps a failing B&B because of a family inheritance and learn to embrace the slow pace of life and fall in love.

I Want to be The One Who Saves the Town

I want to be the one that walks into the local coffee shop at 10 am before work to be greeted by locals and a warm seasonal drink.  I run into the old high school flame that recently found out he was a prince..  Or who somehow created a wildly successful business while still having time to stop by the local coffee shop at 10 am.

Okay, so maybe in reality, I don’t want to be forced to move to an idyllic small town (wait… did I kind of already do that, honestly?).  I don’t have any use for high school flames, even if they did become handsome widowed lumberjacks. I already have my own elementary school PTO craft fair on the calendar to save this year… as well as our own fledgling B&B.  But I would like that cozy feeling of a Hallmark movie.

The predictability.

The traditional.

The cozy vibe.

The lack of worry about anything else but the plot problem at hand.  So I ask myself, how do I create that for myself?

Create the Illusion of Time

We are so overscheduled and over committed but I decided that okay because really it’s all in how we develop our plot.  Hallmark heroines are busy saving towns and farms all the time. That’s the plot. They just add the cozy to it, which makes it seem like they have more time on their hands than you do.

How You Can Add the Hallmark:

  1. All the candles.

    First, get all the seasonal scented candles.  I really am obsessed with the Huntington Home brand  (that you can often get for outrageously low prices at Aldi).  Also, check out the Sunset Scents because they actually give off lovely smells when they burn.  Then, light them whenever you are home. You could be washing dishes or paying bills but the gorgeous lighting and the inviting scents will make you feel like you are doing it in a Hallmark movie.

  2. All the festive warm drinks.

    Time to set aside a few hundred calories a day for the hot chocolate with dollops of whipped cream, for the eggnog or for the caramel brulee lattes.  Every Hallmark heroine has a holiday themed drink in her hand for every tough conversation or pensive moment.  She isn’t worried about the calories, so you shouldn’t be either! Coffee makes everything better to begin with, and if you can make it festive, so much the better.

  3. All the baking.

    The Hallmark channel movies always have baking. Whether it’s the cute bakery on main street owned by the childhood best friend, or the typical holiday baking scene; baking is part of creating the vibe.  You are really going to have to break out your grandmother’s sugar cookie and make it a thing.  Just for one day. Pick a day. A day you have nothing else on schedule because yes it’s a pain to roll out things and ice them and clean it all up. But if you prepare yourself, and gather at least one person you love (although the more the merrier obviously),  it’ll be fine! Get your cookie cutters and fun aprons. Then take lots of pictures, and embrace the mess. That’s what they do in the movies.

  4. All the cliches.

    Or whichever one is the most easily available.  Ice skating is a great one (and you don’t have to be good at it, because they usually aren’t in the movie which makes for a great meet-cute).  Fall festivals or apple picking in the fall. Pumpkin patches (even if you secretly buy the pumpkins at Trader Joes, you can still get some cider and get on the hayride at the pumpkin patch)!  Winter craft fairs where you can buy special gifts and buy hot chocolate with all the toppings are doubly good as a consumer and small business supporter.  Choose one. Make it happen.

  5. All the community.

    One of the above “cliche” or traditional events might double up as a community event.  Buy from local artists at the craft fair, meet the local pumpkin or apple farmer.  So much the better, though, if you can really ingrain yourself by volunteering for a festive event. Not only is it a great way to give back to the community, it’s a way to experience the tradition at a deeper level and connect with the participants. It actually might feel great to run the cake walk at the local fall festival!  Give it a try, recruit the family or a friend, and have fun!

Warm Fuzzies

At the end of the day, the warm fuzzies are all about the connection. So whether it’s community, family, co-workers, or whoever you spend your days with, make that connection count this fall and winter.  Do something festive with an old friend, or make a new friend.  Gather family and reach out to help someone through volunteer work.  Add a festive drink and a candle and poof!  You are your own swoon worthy heroine!

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Gia is a native Californian who has lived all over the state from San Diego to Trinity County, plus Washington DC for a short time. She recently relocated to Ventura County with her family to build a compound property together with her sister’s family so that they could always share wardrobes and parenting responsibilities for their 5 combined children at home. Gia graduated from UCSB with a degree in Linguistics (which she thinks entitles her to make up words). It took her just three years, as she was eager to graduate early to go live with her long distance boyfriend and his toddler daughter at the time. That seemed to work out, as the boyfriend got promoted to husband years ago and her step-daughter promoted her to grandmother recently! Gia’s husband is from East Africa and runs their Bed and Breakfast in Tanzania from near and far. Gia is a Human Resources Director who has a major obsession with watermelon and eggnog lattes, depending on the season.


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