Hallmark Christmas, Gym Greetings, and Nintendo Switch: Holiday Recap

Well hello there. It’s been a minute, hasn’t it?

The holidays are officially over. While I’m sad to see decorations come down, I’m thrilled that the holiday “everything-is-an-emergency-but-not-really” pace is finally coming to a close.

At the beginning of December, I got a part-time job at a fancy, private gym/club that feels more like a country club (minus the golf course) than a gym. I’m a professional gym evader who thinks merely having a membership makes me a healthier person. At the very LEAST it makes me health conscious. You know, conscious that I need to be healthier.

My job at the club consists of greeting members, turning away kids non-members, listening to people complain about the lack of parking, and maintaining a smile only a crowbar could remove (sorry, that’s dad-ism). But the perks include free membership to the club, occasional free tickets to Trail Blazer games, and constant character inspiration!

Look how close we are sitting with free tickets!

After a few days of standing for over five hours each day, the only thing I wanted to do when I got home was lay on the couch and indulge in my favorite December event: Hallmark Holiday Movie Marathons. I’ve watched a number of these movies in the past, but 2017 definitely required more sugar-coated, Santaland fairytales than usual.

Guys, I watched a lot of them. It would be a disservice to you all if I didn’t share the bits of wisdom I learned from each movie. Much like every Nicholas Sparks’ story, the plot of each Hallmark Christmas movie is a tried and true, well-oiled machine.

Here’s a list to make sure you have a perfect Christmas worthy enough to put on the Hallmark Channel:

  • Cook or bake as a way to build trust with a Christmas cynic.
  • Find a self-righteous person who hates Christmas and spend weeks trying to reveal their deepest Christmas fears as a way to convert them.
    • Bonus: Find a person who has unrealistically high expectations of Christmas tradition. Introduce them to the person above. They will mellow each other out in the last 30 seconds of the movie.
      • Extra bonus: After three weeks, they might get engaged. You’re welcome.
  • When “stranded” in a tiny Christmas town, overstay your welcome at a stranger’s house, crashing all of their holiday outings and traditions, even though there are numerous ways to leave.
  • Misconstrue a message about Christmas from your childhood that shapes your entire outlook on life.
  • Use a happy elderly couple as your spiritual guides.
  • Give up on your dreams and follow your parents’ dream of running the family Santa hat shop.
  • And finally, mention your dead parent(s) every chance you get.

This list also works really well as a drinking game, especially with hot toddies. And if you’re sad that you missed the Hallmark Christmas season — fear not, friends! Hallmark announced Winterfest which started in January. I’m assuming my list still works for Winterfest movies, but I’ll watch some because… research.

Hallmark Christmas Movie

In between Hallmark Christmas movie binges, I made time to sneak away and visit the jolly man himself. Portland is hipster headquarters and it’s where Hipster Santa visits all the little hipster boys and girls. We waited in line for an hour, but it was well worth it to sit with the big guy. Our friend, Emily, wasn’t home from California in time to meet Hipster Santa so we did our best to include her. I made a “Flat Stanley”-style cut out and took her with us to the mall 🙂

Hipster Santa with Hannah
Doing our best to fit the Portland stereotype with our finest flannel and boots.
My brother, “Flat Emily,” and myself with Hipster Santa
“Flat Emily” is having the best day ever!


“Flat Emily” loves the Coach store. And unicorns. And gold glitter.

And, finally…

*drumroll please*

…the visit to Santa worked because I unwrapped a Nintendo Switch on Christmas morning! It’s beautiful, fun, and incredibly addicting. Mario Odyssey absolutely blew me away with its level of creativity and it should win all the awards. I mean, c’mon, you can transform into a t-rex!


Mario Odyssey T-Rex

Bottomline, I’m obsessed and I want to bring my Switch everywhere just in case there’s an emergency only Mario and or his kart can solve.

I hope everyone had a great holiday season — let me know what you did in the comments below!

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