Hallmark Moments, TV Pablum, and Star Wars

I think I’ve somehow gained five pounds. Since Thanksgiving. This does not bode well for the rest of the holiday season. I am overweight, but my weight is stable, and my diet is generally healthy: almost no processed food, low salt, made from scratch cooking, mostly fresh. We follow a gluten frugal diet and rarely consume sugar. Frozen items are fresh foods I portioned and wrapped and froze myself. I hydrate appropriately. I frequently get up from my computer and move, although the steps-tracking app on my phone has disappeared somehow.

To what do I have to blame this aberration? The Hallmark Channel. I confess, I am becoming a TV Pablum aficionado. Is there a twelve-step program for sappy movie addicts? Taking a break from the NY Times, NPR talk radio, the check-out-line-shouting headlines, my husband and I watch Hallmark or Lifetime or Hallmark Mystery. Our typical Sunday night routine? I indulge in the import PBS series of the season: currently Outlander, snuggled deep in bed pillows with the cat. My husband lounges in the living room channel-surfing between Gears, and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, with the occasional foray over to House Hunters International or Property Brothers.

This season? All Hallmark all the time. The cat now executes her “thunder runs” up and down our thirty-foot hallway, trekking between the two rooms, the two TVs, and her two glazed and numbed caretakers. Oh, that’s right, we are not cat owners, we are staff.

We took a little break last night, pulling up “The Force Awakens” from On Demand in preparation for the latest Star Wars new-movie-issue due out on Thursday of this week. On this viewing, my emotions did not rise at the playing of the opening theme music. Nor did my heart quicken at the first appearance of Han Solo, or when the fighter pilots made their last-ditch approach to take out the planet-destroying-death-gizmo. Instead, I teared up as the little droid BB-8 entreated R2-D2 to come out of hibernation. I sniffled when Daisy hugged Finn for rescuing her. I sobbed when Han and Leia’s son struggled between the pull of the Force and the Dark Side. In other words, I experienced my Star Wars Hallmark movie.

Somewhere, deep in my pantry, I harbor a Star Wars Millennium Falcon cookie cutter. Time to soften some butter and grate some ginger. I wonder if we have any molasses? Maybe tonight, Hallmark will show again that film about the baker’s niece who has to resurrect the annual Christmas Eve cookie competition and rekindles a long ago lost love? Maybe if my husband and I watch the same movie, I can get some steps in by chasing our cat on her thunder runs down the long hallway. Better yet if I can avoid eating the cookies.

Wishing you all a merry Wookie holiday.

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