Hallmark Channel movies and W Network are once again launching their annual “Christmas in July” campaign with a month of holiday-themed films to warm the cockles of your already sweating heart. They call it the “new summer tradition.” I call it “what-are-you-nuts?” crazy.
While I’m sprawled on my couch, hiding from the ever-rising humidex outside with a fan blowing nearby to offset my lack of air conditioning, Canada’s W Network is showing couples wrapped in sweaters and blankets drinking cocoa in front of a roaring fire. And I ask, “Why?”
In Canada, we have approximately three months where people don’t complain about the cold. I can say this with confidence having been accosted in the community just to hear people’s “good-natured” ribbing over last night’s weather forecast for 20 years. (Hey, at least they’re not throwing things at me like Nicholas Cage in The Weather Man.)
Unless it’s sunny and a balmy 24 Celsius, most people aren’t happy. It’s either too hot, too humid, or too cold. (Yes, even in the summer.)
Of course, in the winter, it’s worse. Regardless of what the normal temperature is on a particular day, people will complain. Loudly. It’s just in their nature.
But now, as of June 20, summer has begun. And it’s a hot one. Environment Canada has already issued heat warnings on multiple days throughout the country and it’s only the beginning of July. My nightly weather forecasts regularly include words like humidex, sweltering, sticky, UV Index, and sunscreen.
Does that mean fickle TV viewers suddenly want to see snow? Is this an example of always wanting what you don’t have? Tall people want to be short. Petite’s want a few more inches.
I think most of us are fine with waiting three or four more months before facing falling flurries in our recreation time.
However, that’s not really what these movies are about. The growing number of holiday made-for-TV films fill a desperate need for emotional warmth, kindness, and connection. Usually, that occurs during December when people notice they’re alone while others are celebrating together.
But this year, COVID hit. So instead of waiting until December, we’ve already experienced months of separation. We’ve been working from home and avoiding social gatherings with friends. So perhaps experiencing a little human connection – even if it’s on a television screen – isn’t a bad idea.
Of course, that could be done with the hundreds of other non-snow-related romance flicks in the Hallmark stable … where that sweaty, half-dressed guy shovels the hay and does his chores before leaping onto his stallion and sorry, where was I?
It’s nice that the W Network wants to bring joy and love to its viewers this summer. But Christmas in July?
Thanks, I’ll skip any connection to snow until I’m forced to unpack my shovel, scraper, de-icer, hats, mitts, scarves, hand-warmers, boots, and parkas. The closest I want to come to ice and snow right now is when I stick my head in my freezer to cool off.