A Hallmark kind of mindset

By KIM LAMBERT
Posted 8/16/22

 Having just returned from an extended weekend in Pasadena, California — my mom, my daughter and I found the vacation to be quite enlightening.

Despite its close proximity to Los …

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A Hallmark kind of mindset

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Having just returned from an extended weekend in Pasadena, California — my mom, my daughter and I found the vacation to be quite enlightening.

Despite its close proximity to Los Angeles, we found our destination — the quiet, sedate town of Pasadena — to be breathtakingly beautiful and surprisingly uncommercialized.

The picturesque town, situated just 11 miles northwest of Hollywood, sits at the base of the majestic San Gabriel Mountains. It plays host to the New Year’s Tournament of Roses Parade; the Rose Bowl itself; and is home to the UCLA Bruins football team. The gum manufacturers, The Wrigleys, constructed their stately mansion just 1 mile from the stadium. Even the blockbuster hit, “America’s Got Talent” broadcasts from a venue there.

What attracted us to the area last weekend had less to do with its topography and more to do with Hallmark hosting its celebrity meet-and-greets. That’s right: We were allowed to hob-knob with those wonderfully talented stars from our favorite TV films.

Our three-generational entourage will attest our love for anything Hallmark. That could explain how it remains the No. 1 network, particularly among its female viewers aged 25 to 54.

Did you know Hallmark was incepted by the launch of two religious cable channels — the American Christian Television System and the Vision Interfaith Family Network?

And, yes, before you say it: We realize its movie storylines are quite predictable with their nine-act rudimentary screenplays.

During the first few minutes of any given chick flick, the lead actress has moved to the big city; she is handed down earth-shattering news that her family’s business back home has been jeopardized; and she’s requested to return home immediately.

Of course, upon her arrival, she inadvertently runs into her ex-boyfriend (who has aged gracefully) yet still feels slightly jilted when she left town to follow her career aspirations. That same guy wins her back once she discovers her big-city beau has become obsessed with his job or has entirely ignored her.

What’s highly improbable, however, is that every Hallmark break-up goes down quite smoothly. Have you noticed? Get this: There’s no yelling, frowning, crying nor throwing things. The two parties simply just smile, hug it out and realize things weren’t meant to be. Yeah, right … only in the movies!

The female lead not only resolves her family’s business woes, but she’s named CEO; she reunites with her always-available former boyfriend; she quits her job in the city; and they all live happily ever-Hallmark-after.

What’s even more refreshing than watching these lighthearted, wholesome movies, though, is actually meeting the actors who portray these characters. That was precisely what we did this past weekend.

Unbeknownst to us, the celebrities from Hallmark are truly some of the nicest, most genuine, down-to-earth folks we’ve ever met, hands down.

Not one of the approximate 25 who participated was the least bit conceited, stuck up or condescending to his or her fan base. Not one seemed at all disgruntled to pose for just the right photo or to sign another autograph book. Not one ever appeared unhappy, bored or impatient during the weekend long meet-and-greet.

We found the time spent in Pasadena as rewarding and refreshing. Perhaps the actors took a chapter from their Hallmark scripts to heart — imparting nothing but positivity, gratefulness and humility to those around them.

In troubled, complicated times in our world today, a weekend with appreciative and delightful folks like this made ours quite the hallmark of vacations.

 

Kim Lambert is a former reporter with The Daily Record and former editor of The Angier Independent.

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