in memoriam

The Hallmark Holiday Gazebo Is Dead, Long Live the Hallmark Holiday Gazebo

Photo: Courtesy of the Hallmark Channel/Crown Media

Even if you’ve never dabbled in the art of the squeaky-clean, delightfully soapy Hallmark Christmas movie, you’ve most likely still picked up on their distinguishing characteristics by Yuletide osmosis. A dead parent, a carousel of ’90s actresses, the heroine returning to her hometown to reinvigorate her loins? Obviously. A trip to a Christmas tree farm, a town square overrun with garlands? You betcha. And how could we forget about the gazebos, baby! Wooden gazebos, plastic gazebos, stone gazebos: Hallmark’s long-standing Big Gazebo alliance might seem a bit repetitive after the sixth proposal or the ninth lighting ceremony, but we’ll be damned if we don’t swoon whenever a man proposes to his lady with the help of pavilion architecture and a light snowfall. That is, until Hallmark’s 2018 holiday slate came around.

In one of the most shocking deviations from tradition in recent memory, there’s been practically zero gazebo content throughout Hallmark’s “Countdown to Christmas” celebration this year. Of all the films that have aired so far — as of press time, 16 out of a whopping 22 — nary a memorable gazebo moment has transpired, nonetheless one that screams romance. These poor fellas have been essentially relegated to measly background stand-ins.

The Yuletide tragedy begins with the very first film on Hallmark’s holiday slate, Christmas at Pemberley Manor, when our leads have a powwow in the town. How ya doin’, gazebo?

And then, serving as a brutal metaphor for the faltering Hallmark–Gazebo union, a sinkhole causes one to collapse. (This was actually a pretty iconic moment, if we’re being honest.)

I wish I could say it gets slightly better from here, but alas. This gazebo, as part of Christmas in Evergreen’s main street, is barely visible when placed next to Hallmark’s third-biggest supporting character, the Douglas fir.

Can you even see this gazebo, all cozied up behind Reunited at Christmas’s snow alter? Squint harder! It’s there!

Thankfully, we do get one moment that transports us back to the golden age of gazebos. This saving grace comes courtesy of A Majestic Christmas, where there’s an entire scene dedicated to a festival’s light unveiling. Obviously.

And … that’s it. Despite 16 Hallmark movies, 16 unique opportunities to spread some holiday gazebo joy, we could barely scrounge up five moments to share with you all. We’re not mad, just disappointed! We’ll be drowning our sorrows in the Von Trapp family gazebo until next year.

The Hallmark Holiday Gazebo Is Dead