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How To Celebrate Christmas Like a Hallmark Movie

The Christmas season means plenty of things – from gathering with family and friends to shopping for gifts, . And, for some of us, the highlight of the season is curling up on the couch with a cozy throw blanket, sipping a glass of wine, and getting lost in a Hallmark movie. It’s really my quilty pleasure!

Last week while I was indulging in my favorite holiday past time, I wondered what it would be like to actually live out a hallmark movie.

A girl can dream, right?

I brought up the idea of celebrating the holidays like a Hallmark movie with my oldest daughter, who is a Hallmark movie fanatic, and we decided it wouldn’t really be that difficult.

If you are wanting to live out your Christmas Season like a Hallmark movie too, here are some ways we’ve decided we can do it in Upstate New York.

Go All Out With the Christmas Decorations

Obviously, “more is better” is an idea that the Hallmark movie set decorators whole heartedly support. The homes and towns in Hallmark movies are always completely decked out in Christmas decor and props, and with good reason. According to this viral Bussiness Insider Article Psychoanalyst Steve McKeown explained that “decorating for Christmas brings up feelings of nostalgia and can evoke strong feelings of childhood” and “In a world full of stress and anxiety people like to associate to things that make them happy and Christmas decorations evoke those strong feelings of childhood.”

Here in Upstate New York, the days are short and dark, and I love filling the dark corners of my house with pretty twinkling lights, and festive decor. If Christmas decor is your jam, go for it! Drape every surface with garland and scatter the fairy lights thoughout your house. If you are a fan of Rustic Farmhouse style Decor, check out my 30 Farmhouse Christmas Amazon Finds for some inspiration!

Dine at a Main Street Restaurant

Hallmark movies always have friendly small-town diners, and cozy main street bistros, and lavish restaruants for the main characters to dine at. It’s so fun to enjoy local food and take in the ambiance and atmosphere the owners create. For the best small town diner experience head to Waterloo and check out Connie’s Diner, if you are in the mood for an elegant romantic evening, head to the Belhurst Castle in Geneva.

Set a Beautiful Table

When you would rather stay in, make your family meal a bit more special by setting a beautiful table. Table setting and decorating is often overlooked for daily meals, but the way you set a table contributes to the ambiance of a meal just as much as the food. You don’t have to go all out buying new china, a few small details can add a surprising festive touch to family meals. Utilize items you already have, votive candles, greenery sprays, clove studded oranges, and cranberries make a beatiful centerpiece!

Bake Cookies

No Hallmark movie would be complete without the main female character doning an apron and whipping up a batch of Christmas cookies. This year you can even buy the exact apron Candace Cameron Burre wears in A Shoe Addicts Christmas the Dough, A Deer – Flare Bib Apron . After you’ve spent the afternoon baking, why not share the wealth and Arrange a Holiday Cookie Platter Your Friends and Family Will Love.

Check Out a Holiday Festival

Often, the Hallmark Movies are set in small towns decked out for the season and filled with the kind of holiday festival frequently found in tight-knit communities. The Dickens Christmas weekends In Skaneateles, and The It’s a Wonderful Life Festival in The Real Bedford Falls, could have been pulled directly from a Hallmark movie. Start planning an epic holiday road trip and soak up the Small Town Hallmark Movie Vibes!

Shop At Locally Owned Shops on Main Street

Skip the craziness of the mall and browse quaint local owned boutiques and shops on main street for truly one-of-a-kind treasures.

Historic Palmyra is your go-to town for home decor gifts. With fun boutiques, beautiful antique stores and thrift shops all in close distance, there is plenty of prime shopping for everything from historic heirlooms to funky “junque” to add style and personality to your house.

Explore one of a kind locally owned stores in Canandaigua for toys, candies, and gifts made in America. Don’t forget to add Schoen Place on the canal in Pittsford on your list for gourmet foods from Honey Girl, jewelry at Bolton Jewelers, and handcrafted wood products at Harmony in Wood.


It’s fun to imagine a real life Christmas as Hallmark Movie, but a word of caution: I am not encouraging you to chase “Christmas Perfection”. Perfectionism sucks the joy right out of the season. With all the events, gatherings and errands that come with the Christmas season, it’s so easy to become overwhelmed.

Keep in mind, the real magic, beyond the fake snow and elaborate holiday decorations of Hallmark Christmas movies lies in giving us a sense of what we desire most at Christmas: To set our busyness aside for a while and connect with our community, and spend time with the people we love most.

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