‘Mark Madness: Jolly Jobs Round

‘Mark Madness: Jolly Jobs Round

By Erin Phelps

Hello, Frolic readers! Welcome to the first ever ‘Mark Madness!

So, what exactly is ‘Mark Madness? Well, as many of you know, we are now in the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year. We are already in the season for Hallmark Christmas Movies! So, I have taken it upon myself to write up a March Madness-style bracket for many of this year’s new movies that are set to air on the main Hallmark channel during the holiday season!

If you want to read up on the descriptions for each of these new flicks, Hallmark has a slideshow that helps

Before we dive in and explore all the new offerings, here are a few notes and ground rules about this ruthless yuletide competition:

1. All Opinions Expressed Are My Own

There are a TON of new movies airing this year, and we are all bound to have our favorite. Some of these movies are already airing, so to keep things fair I am judging them solely on their descriptions. Will there be a Cinderella story? A major upset? Only time will tell!

2. Some Movies Will Not Be Featured

Each “conference” has a couple of movies that didn’t make the bracket, and I am choosing not to cover this year’s Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, the When Calls The Heart special. In the case of these last two, they have built-in big budgets and die-hard fan bases, so it would be like letting pros play against college teams in March Madness.

3. Get Involved!

Do you have opinions about the next great Hallmark classic? Is there a particular movie you’re rooting for? Tweet to @onfrolic and share your ho-ho-holiday movie joy with us!

And now, without further ado, I bring you the first crop of movies. This round focuses on eight of the movies that feature major job-related plots. The jobs could be unique, the hero’s reason to live (until love comes their way!) or just an important part of the story.


A Gingerbread Romance vs. A Shoe Addict’s Christmas

On first glance, A Shoe Addict’s Christmas has a title that makes me want to roll my eyes. But as someone who has worked retail for years, the idea of a Christmas Carol-esque story set in a department store warms my wintry heart. Plus, Jean Smart is in it, and I absolutely adore her.

That said, in this world of The Great British Baking Show, how could I resist the allure of a story about an architect who is tasked with making a life-sized gingerbread house? Plus, there’s something about the romantic hero being a hot single dad who is a professional baker that makes my brain say “YUM.”

If this were a sports game, it would be a real nail-biter, but I have to give this round to A Gingerbread Romance!

Road to Christmas vs. Entertaining Christmas

If this were a March basketball game, it would absolutely be between rival schools in the same state.

Both of these movies feature family conflicts and legacies around Martha Stewart-type media figures! In Road to Christmas, the heroine is a major television producer who hopes to make a splash with the hero and his domestic goddess Mom on a special filmed in Vermont.

Entertaining Christmas is about the daughter of a similar crafty media mogul who is trying to take over her mom’s business without having any particular talent in that arena.

Both of these stories have the unique job of being/working with a domestic goddess with her own media empire, so it’s a real nail-biter figuring out which one deserves the win.

When all is said and done, I think the win for this round has to go to Entertaining Christmas. It’s partly because I’m excited for the romance with the reporter who thinks something’s off, but it’s also because the summary sounds a lot like Christmas in Connecticut, one of my friend’s favorite holiday movies.

Mingle All The Way vs. Christmas at Graceland

While the last match-up had weird jobs that were very similar, this duo involves two super-different professions!

Mingle All The Way is all about someone who created an app (which shares its name with the title of the movie!) who needs a fake boyfriend for the holiday season in order to impress her family.

Meanwhile, Christmas at Graceland is all about a business woman who is reunited with her former flame…and the two of them just happen to have a history working together as a musical duo!

This matchup is tough! On the one hand, we have one of the top tropes of 2018: the fake relationship. On the other, we have something that reminds us of all the good parts of A Star Is Born with the potential for a happily ever after!

In the end, I have to go with my gut. I am personally more invested in the wacky fake relationship antics of Mingle All The Way…But you can bet I’ll be tuning in to Christmas at Graceland anyway!

A Midnight Kiss vs. Christmas At The Palace

A Midnight Kiss sounds super cute, and even a bit relatable for any of us who have worked in the service industry during busy holiday times. The heroine of this movie runs a catering company and develops a crush on a family friend who steps in to help during a busy event.

However, it can’t hold a candle to Christmas At The Palace. Ice skating? Made up countries? Royalty? Sign. Me. Up.

A Gingerbread Romance vs Entertaining Christmas

Both of these movies are pretty solid choices, and it really comes down to the weird job factor.

Fans of A Gingerbread Romance may argue that there’s nothing weirder than making an architect design a real house made out of gingerbread.

Folks rooting for Entertaining Christmas may protest that a domestic entertainment mogul-in-training is way more compelling than an architect.

Both sides would have valid arguments, there’s something about A Gingerbread Romance that gives it the edge in this race (full disclosure: it may have something to do with my sweet tooth). A Gingerbread Romance makes it to the top four!

Mingle All The Way vs Christmas At The Palace

Mingle All The Way was able to sneak by in the last round based on the merit of its incredibly popular fake relationship trope. However, if we’re being honest, royalty was also one of the top themes in romancelandia this year!

Christmas At The Palace has so much wacky stuff going on in its description. But in this case, that actually plays out in this movie’s favor. Sorry, app developers. Your cool techy job was no match for the allure of ice skating and castles!

So now we have our first two finalists in Frolic’s first ‘Mark Madness! A Gingerbread Romance and Christmas at the Palace win! Come back soon for the second half of the series, which is all about the small town charm that these movies are known for.

And don’t forget to reach out to us on social media to tell us which new Hallmark movies are on your personal can’t-miss-it lists!

All photos from Hallmark

About the Author

Erin Phelps just recently celebrated her first year anniversary as a romance reader! By day she works in a cool customer service job. By night she is a writer, pub trivia player and cat mom. Erin also loves a great new show on Netflix and any podcast that makes her feel like she’s hanging out with smart friends.

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