To some, television is a waste of time.

For others, it is a way to escape from reality. But even for romantics, Christmas Romance Movies can be puzzling if not taken with a spoonful of salt.

On occasion, this writer binge-watches defunct television series. Otherwise, if you become hooked on a show while it airs, your life is scheduled around the series.

In the grand scheme of things, nothing in this world is worth that kind of commitment except the love of your life and family. In the interest of full disclosure, “Game of Thrones” and baseball were the rare exceptions to the no-series rule.

Of course, from the moment this writer discovered the Hallmark Channel and other networks offering sigh-worthy holiday-themed movies, she was hooked. Every December, Hubby patiently sat through an evening of holiday romance movies without a word of complaint.

Perhaps it was because, over the years, his wife watched and re-watched countless westerns with him.

Binge-watching creates problems.

You cannot stay up every night on a work night until two or three in the morning when the alarm goes off at four. Such over-indulgence leads to bags under the eyes that hang to your belly button and require baggage handlers, also known as plastic surgeons.

After viewing a PBS program on facelifts and nearly puking, the plastic surgery is too disgusting to contemplate. The procedure is like skinning a chicken, then pulling and tying off the loose skin at the ears. If you have an expressive face, a bug-eyed vacant look is not becoming.

Since retirement, binge-watching romantic Christmas movies are an annual occurrence every December.

As you might have noticed, when filmmakers crank out romantic movies, with the finesse of a butcher grinding ground beef, perfection and credibility is merely an option. The plots tend to run along the following lines: girl goes back to home town for Christmas licking her wounds – a breakup with her boyfriend or she lost her job.

Miraculously, she runs into an old flame, and after a few missteps, they get back together and find true love. Or, she meets someone she immediately dislikes, but within a few days, they fall in love. This particular scenario was part of the plot for “The Christmas Wedding Planner.”

She ably plans her cousin’s wedding. No matter what glitch reared its unwanted head, the planner handles it with aplomb. Although, her first reaction to a crisis is panic and a temper fit. However, there was one problem that was not an easy fix. The bride’s former boyfriend shows up at the engagement party.

It turns out someone hired him to investigate the groom. The planner becomes embroiled in helping the P.I. with his investigation. They cannot find anything on the groom, and the wedding commences. At the last minute, a pregnant former maid of the groom’s family contacts the private investigator. They manage to stop the wedding as the bride and groom begin to exchange vows.

By the time the brouhaha of tears, accusations, and denials end, the private investigator reveals that the bride’s recently deceased father hired him. The P.I. also confesses his love for the wedding planner.

When the bride leaves to send away the guests, the investigator stops her. He proposes to the wedding planner, and even though she says, “We hardly know each other,” he replies, “I look forward to a lifetime of doing so.” They replace the original bride and groom and get married.

And yet, the catalyst for today’s column was a disaster called “The Holiday Engagement.”

Amidst pressure from her mother to bring the elusive fiancé home for Thanksgiving, she also loses her job. Then, her fiancé dumps her. Desperate to placate her mother, the woman hires an unemployed actor to pretend he is her fiancé.

The fake engagement leads to the mother planning a Christmas wedding. Then the ex-fiancé shows up. After the actor leaves, the fake couple realizes they are in love. They marry Christmas Day, facing a future without jobs.

Caution. Before you sit down for an evening of Christmas romance stories, suspension of disbelief is not only necessary but required.


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