advent journal: give me ten


I am happy to admit that one of the traditions around our house this time of year is to watch a whole bunch of Hallmark Channel Christmas movies. This year, between my depression, the state of the world, and the fact that pitchers and catchers don’t report for another two months, they have been a solace more than a diversion. It helps to see a happy ending, even when you can see it coming from the opening scene. Though I know the movies are fair game for criticism on a number of levels, I am choosing not to qualify what I’ve said so far. I’ll say it again: I’ve watched a lot of these movies and I have enjoyed them.

But I brought up my Christmas viewing habits tonight for a particular reason. The arc of the endings has given me pause for thought. They all follow the same formula: two disconnected people find each other, become attracted to one another, then something happens just as you think everything is going to work out to derail the love train, until they realize the complication was not the barrier they thought and they live happily ever after. What I noticed is the final turn always happens with ten minutes left in the movie. You can set you watch by it, if you still have a watch you have to set.

The consistency of the ten-minute pattern has given me what I think may be a viable plan for world peace. If we would set our alarms for ten till the hour and, when the alarm goes off, proclaim to whomever is around us, “We have ten minutes to make things right with one another. Let’s get to work,” I think we could change things. Ten minutes of every hour to clear the air, reset expectations, hug it out—whatever it takes.

Maybe I have watched too many movies. And maybe ten minutes could really make a difference.



  1. Milton, this is why I made my kids spend 10 minutes at the kitchen table together if they were arguing It worked like a charm. Best wishes

  2. There’s a very-long-10-seconds road-not-taken moment at the start of the 10 minutes – that’s where the magic becomes almost visible.

    You defuse an unpleasant situation somehow and PRESTO! Great things happen.

    Not feelin’ it so far today… but the day ain’t over yet.

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