*This story is a satirical piece based on the real life events of Kerry McKim. This written work is meant to be humorous. This story is not affiliated in any way with the Hallmark Channel though some may argue that it should be. Currently there are no plans to be affiliated with the Hallmark Channel…yet.
While the shopping began weeks ago, this years Christmas Story began last weekend. I was home visiting my parents and I decided that it was going to be the day where I get to live in a Hallmark movie.
All the enlightened guru’s say that we create our own realities. Let’s face it, I am bouncing back from a shitty period of my life. I always feel good when I watch Hallmark movies so why not make it my reality.
I have a lot going for me. Let’s look at the facts.
I am a widow ✔
I have a cute kid ✔
I was in my hometown, which is a small coastal Maine town ✔
It’s Christmastime ✔
Now I just to need find one of these single, good looking, successful,
emotionally available middle aged men that seem to be wandering around Small Town America.
The “emotionally available” part if very important. I know a lot of these Hallmark Christmas Men have chips on their shoulders. I can handle that. But he needs to be emotionally available. I am the widow who needs someone to show me that love still does exist and it is all around.
I will note that I did have a few things working against me-
❌ I was not there to save the Christmas parade. It seems like I was not needed. The Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce seems to be handing it just fine.
❌ I was not here to save the family business. There is no family business. Unless you count the postal service and I don’t have have the super powers of Candice Cameron Bure or Lacey Chabert to go against that bureaucracy.
❌ I came to realize that nothing needed to be saved. My family home is safe and we don’t have a family farm to save.
❌ I don’t own a vintage red pickup truck. I own a red Subaru Forester and a blue pickup and my father has a new red pickup truck. But no vintage red pickup truck. This is problematic because in addition to the cuteness factor of an old red pickup truck, many Hallmark movies involve a Hallmark Christmas Man rescuing a damsel in distress due to her unreliable vehicle. My late husband made sure I had the safest winter car there is and I have been maintaining the vehicle. Hallmark Christmas Man will have to find another way to help me.
❌ I also don’t have a high school ex-boyfriend. I wasn’t cool enough or pretty enough I guess.
(I really need to get over this emotional block considering I am in my 40s now).
Since I didn’t need to save a business, a home, a farm or Christmas in general, I decided to go to the local Christmas parade.
I got to town about a half an hour before the parade. My daughter is in that phase where any unit of time that isn’t “right now” is “a very long time” so I didn’t want to be standing there waiting.
I was worried about parking. I was having trouble locating a spot and then I see a man directing cars into a Baptist church parking lot. I was excited. I did not attend that church when I lived there because I am Catholic but I had cash in my pocket and my adopted New York ways just assumed I would to pay to park anyway. I tried to hand the attendant some money and he seemed surprised and he declined the cash. He did invite us to cookies and hot chocolate at the church after the parade.
Cookies and hot chocolate at a small town church did seem like something that would happen in a Hallmark Christmas movie. But I am still mad at God and I didn’t want my Hallmark Christmas movie to be one where I find God. Especially if that meant that I would have to convert to another form of Christianity to meet my Hallmark Christmas Man.
My Hallmark Christmas Man is going to have to accept my “It’s Complicated” relationship status with Catholicism
I knew that my Hallmark Christmas Man could have been there eating cookies and drinking hot chocolate but I was willing to take that risk.
I went looking for a friend of mine. She was convinced Hallmark Christmas Man and I were going to go after the same piece of candy that was thrown at the crowds. Our eyes were going to meet. I was going to blush. He was going to say “I haven’t seen you around here before.”
Though that moment never happened. Turns out my daughter is perfectly able to fend for herself when it comes to candy.
As I was looking for my local friend, I saw an old friend of mine. She lives in Florida and I hadn’t seen her in about fifteen years. We had lost contact. She was in town because her father had passed away. She has been on my mind a lot lately and I do believe we were meant to bump into each other. I gave her my contact information and I do hope I hear from her.
I finally found my local friend right before the parade started.
My Dad was in the beginning.
My daughter on the lookout for candy.
I thought I was smart because I grabbed a plastic grocery store bag to hold candy. Turns out it had a hole. Luckily there was enough freebies like a local newspaper and frisbees that I was able to plug up the hole and still be able to use the bag for candy.
There were lots of floats from the community.
I told you, the parade didn’t need saving.
Since my father was at the beginning of the parade, he was able to make it back before the end of the parade.
Santa! I know him!
After the parade, I took my daughter to the office of the local newspaper, The Ellsworth American because they give each kid a book. They had tables set up by age group and each kid could choose a book. My daughter chose a Snoopy book because her teacher likes Snoopy.
It is worth noting that the local newspaper didn’t need me to save it (though it did just get bought out by the Portland Press Herald) and Hallmark Christmas Man was not there.
My daughter had to use the bathroom so we stopped at the VFW Post that my father belongs to so we could use the facilities. My daughter was hungry so my father and the other VFW members invited us to crash the cub scout pizza party they were hosting.
I felt a little awkward but my daughter made friends with the kids and I saw a few old friends of mine. It was great to catch up.
Hallmark Christmas Man was not at the pizza party. But my father, my daughter and I headed up to the Christmas Tree lot to look for the Perfect Sullivan Family Christmas Tree.
And maybe Hallmark Christmas Man would be there. Maybe we would both pick out the same Christmas Tree and fight over it. That seems to happen a lot.
That didn’t happen.
My father picked out the Christmas Tree, not me. And there was no Hallmark Christmas Man fighting with my Dad for the tree.
I will say, it was nice to pick out the Sullivan Family Christmas Tree with my father. (Think of these as flashback sequences in my Half-Assed Hallmark Christmas).
The first reason was because we always had an artificial Christmas Tree growing up but my Sullivan grandparents always had a real tree. My father would tell stories of going to every Christmas tree lot in town with his father (my grandfather). Apparently my grandfather was very particular about his Christmas Trees. Though I have memories from some Christmases of my childhood and I remember those trees.
I could tell my father enjoyed remembering his father during the process.
The second reason has to do with “das stand.”
The story of “das stand” started in 2010 when Bryon and I moved into a townhouse in Albany and we were planning on getting our first Christmas tree. We both felt strongly that we wanted real trees. On a trip to Maine that fall, I bought a $2 Christmas tree stand at Marden’s.
What a bargain!
Only we couldn’t get our six foot Christmas tree to stand up in that stand.
We decided to cut our losses and we went to Wal-Mart and we invested in a $15 Christmas Tree stand.
We used that Christmas tree stand a couple of years.
Bryon and I always left our tree up until Epiphany. We were good Catholics like that. Right before Epiphany in early 2014, two things happened. The first was that I found out I was pregnant with our daughter and the second was that Bryon came down with H1N1.
Epiphany was on a Monday that year and between my early pregnancy exhaustion and Bryon’s flu, the tree didn’t come down. Thursday of that week, we woke to a crash. Our cat had got into my knitting and somehow wrapped the yarn around some tree branches and pulled the Christmas tree down.
By the following Christmas, in 2014, Bryon and I had moved to our house and our daughter had been born. Between the cat and a future toddler, Bryon was adamant that the Christmas tree was not going to come down.
So he bought a Krinner XXL that he affectionately referred to as “Das Stand”.
Bryon and “Das Stand” spent two Christmases together.
The first Christmas after Bryon died, I didn’t feel like having a Christmas tree but I felt like my daughter still deserved one. I got one up with the help of a friend.
The following year, I got the tree up all by myself. It was a “I am widow, hear me roar” moment. I know that because it showed up in my Facebook memories.
Since I am travelling this Christmas, I got an artificial tree at my house (I know, so wrong and not Hallmark at all) and I brought “Das Stand” to Maine for the real Christmas Tree there.
(End of flashback scenes)
I hadn’t unpacked “Das Stand” from my car and my father asked me to go get it so he can have an idea how the 8 foot trees would stand in it. I retrieve “Das Stand” from my car and the boy working (the Boy Scouts were running the Christmas Tree lot) says “Wow, I have never seen anyone actually bring a Christmas tree stand.”
I let the kid think we take our Christmas trees very seriously.
As my father and the actual adult working the lot put the Christmas Tree into the car, the man says “now THAT is a Christmas tree stand.”
I feel like wherever Bryon is now, he would be proud. He might be dead and gone but “Das Stand” lives on.
When we get home, my father saws off the bottom.
And we prepare to get the Sullivan Family Christmas Tree into “Das Stand” while my daughter watches Fancy Nancy or Vampirina or something on Disney Junior.
I cringed as my father cut away the twine. I was nervous that the branches were going to break through the living room window but my fear was for nothing.
I inspected the tree for squirrels but did not find any.
We were leaving the trimming until the next day because we wanted the branches to have a chance to fall.
I was heading out to an exciting night out in my small town. I was excited to have dinner with my friend Charlotte.
And maybe we would meet Hallmark Christmas Man. Maybe he would be out having a drink.
We went to a local favorite, Finn’s Irish Pub.
We had beverages, Irish Nachos and sandwiches. I forgot to take pictures of the food. But we saved room for dessert. I love the Guiness Cake with Bailey’s Frosting.
I didn’t find Hallmark Christmas Man.
Or really…Hallmark Christmas Man did not find me.
But I got to spend time with one of my good friends.
I mean, as Leslie Knope says “Uteruses before Duderuses”.
The next day was freezing rain so I stayed at my parents house. I knew the odds of Hallmark Christmas Man actually just showing up at my parents house were slim.
We watched the Patriots beat the Vikings.
My daughter made a gingerbread house. It was from a kit. It was standing and not all the icing made it into her mouth.
I consider it a success.
We, I mean she, needs to bring her “A game” for her gingerbread contest, I mean, school assignment. It’s not really a contest but a lot of Hallmark Christmas movies have gingerbread contests so a non-competitive school assignment might have to do.
Right now it looks like we need a Christmas Miracle to meet Hallmark Christmas Man. Though Kimmy Gibbler reminded me that sometimes Christmas Magic begins to work closer to the holiday when there is a time crunch.
So where is Hallmark Christmas Man?
So far it seems like a Hallmark Christmas Mystery.
Will the widow’s daughter have an amazing gingerbread house for school?
Will the widow’s daughter stay on Santa’s Nice List?
Will the widow continue to be haunted by memories of “Christmas Past” and by the ponderings of “The Christmases That Should Have Been?”
Will Hallmark Christmas Man- in the biggest plot twist ever in Hallmark Christmas History- show up in Albany, thus confusing the widow since Hallmark love only happens in one’s hometown?
Will “Das Stand” continue to hold up the Sullivan Family Christmas Tree?
Where will Charlotte and the widow go to dinner next time they see each other?
Stay Tuned for Part 2!