An Ode to Ye Olde Hallmark Channel

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'Twas a month before Christmas and all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a louse (thank you baby Jesus, no more lice...)


There were piles of clothing all around the dryer,

And the kiddos were mostly sleeping, even the crier.


The dishes were piled on the counter (because who cares?)

Kids' boots thrown in the mudroom, damp snow pants on the stairs.


I was in some preworn sweats I'd grabbed off the floor,

And pa was in his armchair, beginning to snore,


When I grabbed the clicker and began to click.

Looking for something, perhaps a chick flick?


Not news or sports, or reality TV,

Not Netflix or Amazon Prime, with their addictive series,

Not Animal Planet, Shark Tank, or Tiny Homes,

Or stuff it's too late to start, like Game of Thrones.


I wanted something sweet, mindless and sappy.

I wanted something so stupid, it'd make my tired brain happy.


Then I found the answer, every hour ending with a kiss,

Shows called Mistletoe Love and Santa's Holly Promise.


Each featuring a B-list actor like the less famous Duff

Or Seth McFarlane's hot brother (I'm not making this up.)


And every scene in a town so cute it ain't right,

With snowfall in the mountains, every character Frosty white.


Because I guess you caught me, sitting on my duff

Watching the Hallmark Channel. What a load of fluff!


Story lines unfolding with no moment of surprise,

No sex or violence, and no one ever cries,


Just the romantic trope, an impossible love,

A meddling elf, a bet, or intervention from above.


Because something goes wrong until something goes right,

Then the couple reunites, every ding-dang night.


It’s Hallmark heaven I tell you, like living in a card,

Where even the really hard stuff ain’t really all that hard.


With few commercials at the start, as each sweet romance blooms,

But then more more more, as capitalism looms,


For products like adult diapers and laxatives so yummy,

Cough syrups, psoriasis creams and diabetes meds that flatten your tummy.


Movie, commercial, commercial, then back to the show,

Then commercial, commercial, commercial! What the ho?!


Which made me start to wonder, who are they marketing to?

Old, heavy, scaly white women at home with the flu?!


Is Hallmark Channel for lame-os seeking guidance all season?

Or hopeless romantics with no ability to reason?


We know better, you know. We're smarter than this!

But this sugared icing flan, who can resist?


It's the place I find myself every darn November,

With back to back viewings of Magical Evergreen December.


It sticks to my teeth better than leftover Halloween candy.

It makes me notice my snoring hubby, it makes me randy.


It's the way the heroine makes a nasty mess just fine,

How she manages bad bosses, burnt cookies, kids who whine.


Because if she can do it, then maybe we can too!

Who cares if everyone has croup or a cold or the flu?


Us in our pjs, exhausted moms on the couch,

We can fix anything, too, even our dump of a house.


We'll wrangle our kids, buy the gifts, volunteer,

Decorate trees, do snow removal, all with good cheer.


Teacher gifts, Secret Santa, wine club for our aunt,

Gifts for every niece and nephew, for the neighbor, how 'bout a plant?


We'll make sure the Elf keeps hiding, perched just out of reach,

Finish addressing cards with the family photo from the beach.


We'll kick this holiday's butt! We'll punch it in the throat!

We'll channel our inner Duff and smile 'til we gloat.


And Hallmark Channel makes it possible every single year,

So here's to you, Hallmark Channel, thanks for delivering the cheer.


Countdown to Christmas, you're a habit I can't fight,

So Happy Jingle Elf Hearts to all, and to all a Merry Holly night.



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Author: Jen Groeber

Jennifer Groeber is a mother of four, artist, writer, and blogger. You can read about her escapades parenting, reliving her childhood and obsessing over Bruce Springsteen at jen groeber:mama art

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