Better than Hallmark

There are some 20 new Hallmark Christmas movies out right now, which means we have multiple chances to escape into the comfortably familiar rom-com plots and characters.

You know the drill: The career woman who needs to flee the city to slow down. The hometown hero, a handsome widower who knows what is most important in life. The charming child who just wants her dad to be happy. The supportive parents in the background making sure the holiday gathering is perfect.

In these shows, the names and the precise settings change, but not much else. And it’s how we like it: Pretty actors, pretty sets and pretty lights. Family-friendly, tender, and sweet.

There is a problem, though.

Hallmark isn’t life. Not even close. And if you compare your own scrappy, bumpy, not-so-sweet reality to the TV plots, you might feel you’re coming up short.

You may have spent Thanksgiving alone this year, or with a family divided, which can be acutely painful against the backdrop of an idealized feast. Maybe you are the only one in your family who wanted to celebrate the day with the Holy Mass, or who remembered to say grace over the meal. This may be the first holiday season without a much-loved parent, spouse or child, and the grief is deep and wordless.

The good news in the mixed bag of our lives is that there is Good News. There is an ideal higher than Hallmark, and it’s available for all: the grace of God, pouring forth into every imperfect life. The drama of a Heavenly Father whose mighty and eternal love is drawn down exactly and precisely by our brokenness and misery.

This is the story we tell at Catholic Exchange.

We explore the riveting tale of the Risen Jesus abiding with us in the sacraments to heal, to restore, to strengthen. We share all the varied and beautiful ways that the Holy Spirit breaks through, like light into all the colors of the spectrum. Catholic Exchange tells about real love that does not distract us from our troubles, but carries us through them, and brings us Life.

You’ve experienced this with us, and you’ve shared us with others. Now we need your help so we can continue to tell these holy, true-to-life stories.

We are reaching a big audience, and we do it on a tiny budget – a grain of sand compared to the beach of TV entertainment.  Your gift to support us – of any amount – makes an outsized difference for us, more than you can imagine.

We don’t have big advertisers. We really do rely on your help to run our online platform, pay business expenses, and offer stipends to our amazing writers.

What we spend, versus the eternal value of what Catholic Exchange provides, is an amazing ratio. Your gift is what I would call a good investment!

Will you please keep us going into 2023?  Will you make a generous tax-deductible gift to Catholic Exchange today? Can you donate $250 or $500, $1,000 or $5,000?

Or could you give $25, $50, or $100?  We need all gifts. We need your gift.

As a reader who has been blessed by even one article in Catholic Exchange, who has shared one article with a friend (and likely more) – please support this apostolate.

I hope, and I pray, that you will consider making a gift today to keep Catholic Exchange going. Help us continue to speak – not of Hallmark fantasy – but of real grace coming  into real lives today and through the coming year.

Kristen Van Uden

Photo by Mourad Saadi on Unsplash

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Catholic Exchange seeks to enable all to be enriched and strengthened in their Christian faith as proclaimed by the Catholic Church. By offering accessible articles and helpful tools for spiritual growth, we seek to make saints in our own time — especially among those who live busy lives but still seek to grow in friendship with Christ.

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