Experts Reveal Why Hallmark Christmas Movies Make Us So Happy

Bettina Strauss/Crown Media

Jen Lilley, Brant Daugherty Mingle All the Way
Bettina Strauss/Crown Media

With the air getting crisper and the days getting shorter, the countdown continues for Hallmark to air its coveted Christmas movies. The annual Countdown to Christmas on the Hallmark Channel and the Miracles of Christmas lineup on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, flood our DVRs with stories of love, happily ever afters, and cookie decorating that have us wanting more. Admittedly, Hallmark movies are addictive, and it looks like there might be a few reasons why self-professed Hallmarkies keep coming back to get their fill of holidays and feels.

  • Let's face it: Hallmark movies are fantasies that aren't exactly attainable but keep our interest.

    Jessica Lowndes, Michael Rady in Christmas at Pemberley Manor
    Robert Clark/Crown Media

    Will many of us inherit some inn that requires labor, tears, and some funding to get up and running again? Probably not. Do we all have the finances to deck the halls with all the holiday-inspired decor (wreaths, garlands, outdoor lights) in our current spaces, let alone a home that looks like Joanna Gaines worked her magic? No again.

    These movies don't always reflect our neighborhoods, and yet, we're still here for them.

  • Advertisement
  • There's a reason we keep coming back for more.

    Travis Van Winkle, Bridget Regan in Christmas Getaway
    Kailey Schwerman/Crown Media
    "Hallmark movies often feature an idealized story that still feels believable. They showcase the best that humanity can be," Lauren Cook, a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells CafeMom. "Conflict is resolved, compassion and kindness are encouraged, and resolution is present."

    With all the negativity and sad news plaguing the world (and social media feeds), it does feel good to zero in on something positive with a heartwarming ending from time to time.
  • Hallmark holiday movies provide an "escape" many of us need from reality -- even if for two hours or less.

    Michael St. John Smith, Colin Ferguson in Every Christmas Has a Story
    Ricardo Hubbs/Crown Media

    "Hallmark movies provides an escape from 'real life' and allow the individual to tap into their fantasies, which people often do not get the opportunity to do in daily life," adds Dr. Tamar Blank, a licensed psychologist. "They provide a sense that 'everything happens for a reason' and therefore elicit feelings of hopefulness."

    This definitely makes sense.
  • They also give us some visual candy in the realm of decor that speaks to our spirit.

    Julie Benz, Michael Shanks in Christmas Homecoming
    Ricardo Hubbs/Crown Media

    "Furthermore, the visual aesthetics of Hallmark are incredibly appealing. It's like a warm cup of hot cocoa for your eyes," Cook continues. "The scenes showcase beautiful decor, whimsical charm, and cozy details that invite the best nostalgia. Watching these movies often reminds us of a simpler time in our lives and instills a sense of hope for the future."

  • And as one expert notes, Hallmark holiday films can make people happy for an unexpected reason: the desire to be seen.


    Ashley Williams in Christmas in Evergreen
    Ryan Plummer/Crown Media

    "People want to be seen for who they are. In fact, people can sometimes feel as though they want to hide from the world, but in fact, they wish to be seen," Blank explains to CafeMom. "A movie with a character that someone can connect to can allow a person to be seen and give them a boost of confidence and an increased sense of self-esteem."

    We never thought about that, but it makes sense!
  • We can't stop smiling thinking about watching Hallmark Christmas movies, and now we know why.

    Tia Mowry-Hardrict in A Gingerbread Romance
    Kailey Schwerman/Crown Media

    We really do love them -- regardless of the time of year (don't act like there aren't at least two Christmas movies on your DVR right now) -- and can't wait to watch more. Hallmark is our happy place (outside of Target) that whisks us away to a beautiful place with beautiful people and beautiful decor.

    It's a trip we don't physically make, but one we love doing time and time again.

hallmark christmas movies