A Hallmark Die Hard Christmas

By Dawn Brown

A Hallmark Die Hard Christmas

Those of you who have followed my blog for years know the up-and-down roller coaster I’ve been on by having a son in the Army.  It seemed crazy to be sending our 17-year-old off to fight for his country right out of high school.  It felt surreal when a short two years later we were mailing Christmas presents to Afghanistan.  But this year is different! Last month, Dalton got his honorable discharge from the Army and is now back home. PTL!  So, I get to enjoy a Christmas with all three Brown men this year. To say that I’m overjoyed would be an understatement. What’s above Cloud 9?  Is it Cloud 10?  Because that’s where I am!

But one detriment to having Dalton home is that now he and my husband can make fun of my Christmas obsession with Hallmark movies.  They are relentless in their teasing.  Questions like, ‘So, is the lead character’s name Nick, Chris, or Holly in this one?” or “Have they had the misunderstanding yet?”  Ok, ok, I know that Hallmark has approximately 16 actors, five settings, and one plotline—but I don’t care!  These happily-ever-after, predictable, feel-good movies make me happy! In fact, I recently found a picture online that depicted the Hallmark Movie Plot Generator and I had to laugh because it’s not wrong.


What’s important to note here is that Hallmark actually started running their Christmas movies in October this year.  October!  And I don’t know if you noticed it in your neighborhood or not, but on our street the Christmas lights appeared immediately as Halloween ended. October 31st we saw jack-o-lanterns and November 1st we saw Christmas lights. It literally happened overnight! I’m assuming there was some Thanksgiving turkey in the middle there, but you wouldn’t have known it by driving down the streets of Grant County.

So, why is that?  Well, I have a theory. It’s been a doozy of a year and we’ve never needed Christmas—the holiday, the feeling, the warmth–more than we need it now.  Social media isn’t very social these days. Social engagements are few and far between as restaurants are short-staffed and can’t accommodate the numbers or the hours like they did in the past. Social distancing, masks, and quarantines are still a thing. Ugh.  We just need our hearts to be filled with some ooey-gooey Christmas spirit stat! I get it.

Although I hate to have to write about it, Covid is really to blame for much of this. Many people have lost a lot.  Jobs. Security. Civil discourse. Hope. Loved ones. Physical health and mental health are both at risk—maybe more than ever before—and it’s showing.


Relationships are breaking down. Trust is deteriorating. Dreams are fading. This happens when life gets hard—or harder than normal. But I’m here to remind you that all is not lost. If Hallmark can do its part by bringing Christmas to us two months early, then we can do our part, too.

Many years ago, I heard a speaker talk about the age-old story of the glass being half-full or half-empty. We’ve all heard that story and, in the end, most of the time it ends with it all being about whether your general attitude is positive or negative. But this speaker had a different take on it.  He said it really depended on if you were pouring something into the glass or drinking from the glass. Ponder that for a moment, won’t you? Are you giving or are you taking?

You see, in smaller communities (maybe in all communities) this really matters. If you are practicing generosity by donating your time, talent, treasure, network, or knowledge into the very community in which you live, then you begin to see that the glass is getting fuller.

The reason so many people feel such despair these days is because a lot of the good parts of life have been stripped away from them in a myriad of ways for a myriad of reasons. And it’s really hard to remember the joy of giving when the situation in which you’re living is cloaked in scarcity. Oftentimes, the big difference-maker here is simply knowing you’re not alone.  Ultimately, the difference between illness and wellness is ‘I’ vs. ‘We’.  I = alone. We = together.

All this to say that this year the holidays might be a bit harder for a lot more people than usual. So, if you happen to be one of the ones reading this that’s thriving right now, I hope you’ll think about a year-end donation to help support those who aren’t. The Community Foundation uses our Give To Grant Collaborative Fund to do this. This a collaboration of many funds that we knit together to make much larger grants than any one of use could make if we tried to impact our community independently. We use these funds to make grants to nonprofits across Grant County that serve your friends, neighbors, and colleagues in ways that holistically help them to thrive in ways you would want your own family to thrive. Won’t you consider donating to help those who are on the front lines of helping others? I can’t emphasis how important giving locally really is. While national charities have their place, giving where you live supports your local economy, your local workforce, and your local citizens. When we combine all our local donations together we can make a significant difference so that everyone here can love where we live.

Yes, this Christmas will be filled with a bit more joy this year at the Brown Bungalow.  We are blessed. We’ll have a few meals together. We’ll laugh a lot! We’ll surprise each other with the perfect gifts. We’ll probably even wear matching pajamas. And I can promise you that I’ll hear more smack talk than Santa has elves from Jerry, Dalton, and Griffin about Holly, a baker, returning to her small town at Christmastime to inherit something, when she magically falls in love with a single dad and his precocious child while pondering if the only old man in town might actually be the real Santa Claus. And I’ll embrace every sarcastic joke they make because they’ll be sitting in our family room by the fireplace watching right along with me. Then, I’m sure at some point we’ll watch Die Hard, because apparently that’s a feel-good Christmas movie—or at least that’s what my guys tell me. Bruce Willis plays John McClane in this “Christmas” flick. Oddly enough his estranged wife is named, wait for it… Holly. Maybe it is a Christmas movie after all.

Happy Holidays, dear readers.


1 Comment
  • Sherri Rush
    Posted at 17:17h, 10 December Reply

    YAAAASSSSSS! I agree, Die Hard IS a Christmas movie…my husband disagrees. Great blog, Dawnbrown!

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