Chum-Talk…The Secret to Lasting Relationships

I don’t think my husband actually hates the Hallmark Countdown to Christmas movies. I think he just enjoys poking fun at them. Or at me for loving them.

Friday night we had a fire going. We were sharing a blanket on the sofa, watching The Nine Lives of Christmas

My kind of night.

If you can’t see the movie trailer below, click here.

“These silly movies are all the same,” Rick said.

“No they’re not.”

“After the first couple of minutes, you know the ending.”

“They’re romantic. See the pretty white lights on the square?”

“Same setting. Same town. Same Christmas tree lot.”

“Small-town life. So picturesque.”

“Same characters with the same goofy expressions. Look at how they grin at each other.”

“They’re just happy. And in love.”

“Nobody has that many teeth.”

By this time I was laughing, and the drama between Zachary and Marilee came to a climax. There’d been a huge misunderstanding. Although their cats had bonded, the two of them hadn’t.

Marilee teared up, and as Zachary murmured something soft and tender, Rick made another joke. This one was funny. “What’d he say? I missed it.”

“Just chum-talk.”

“What’s chum-talk?”

“It’s what they always say right before they kiss.”

“Their one big moment, and you made me laugh.”

“Don’t worry. It’ll be on 17 more times.”

“Good. I’m watching them all.”

“Now they’re going to hug,” Rick said.

And they did.

After the movie, I pondered chum-talk. “I bet Zachary probably told Marilee how much he loved her. And he was sorry.” I said. “And Marilee told Zachary she loved him too. And she forgave him.”

“You think so?” Rick said, smiling.

“I know so.”

Chum-talk is the emotional glue to lasting relationships.

I’m sorry.

I forgive you.

I love you. 

Do you love these movies? They’re so full of heart.

If you need to have a chum-talk with someone, I’ll pray be glad to pray.

P.S. We watched The Nine Lives of Christmas again last night!







  1. Precious Julie. Thank you. Love chum talk and sweet movies!

  2. Julie,

    As usual you blog spoke to my heart. It sent me back, again, to a blog entry I’d done 6 years ago about my relationship with my husband:

    It also made me think about our relationship in the context of your blog specifically. My husband and I DO NOT share the same taste in TV. In fact, if there were no TV he’d be happy. He wouldn’t be caught dead watching a Hallmark movie with me, not because it isn’t manly but because it just can’t hold his attention. I need to find a way for us to fit in more “chum-talk” into our relationship. We’ll be celebrating 18 wonderful years of marriage next April so just keep us in your prayers for that little added extra that we both need!

    Also keep my in your prayers Julie because I think God is reminding me what a good outlet my blog is for me. I used to post quite often and it’s been 1 1/2 years since I made an entry! I enjoy writing so much, but as with everything else in our lives these days, we must make room for what we really want. I think the blog is an excellent spiritual as well as psychological outlet for me. And maybe can touch a few others along the way?

    Thanks for listening Julie…I hope I’m not intruding into your daily life too much. I feel a special kinship with your somehow because I think God is using you to remind me of these things. I appreciate every email I get…it always makes me smile…and think!!!

    Thanks Julie!

    Lisa G.

    • Hey Lisa, just read your sweet post about your husband. 🙂 🙂 Thanks for sharing the link.

      I’m going to type “chum-talk” for you and your husband in my prayer list. I really am. Let me know what happens.

      I blog for the same reasons you do. Isn’t just amazing to see how God uses our gifts to connect us. I love, love, love knowing my words touch heart and lives.

      Intruding??? No way! That’s why I’m here–to connect. So glad I made you smile today. And feel. That’s what it’s all about. 🙂


  3. Patricia Martin says:

    You and Rick look so cozy together, Julie, so maybe I could hop in too? I have already watched some Christmas movies and can hardly wait to watch more! All this talk of Thanksgiving reminds me that I am a direct descendant of William Brewster and William Bradford even though i have a white mom and an African American dad lol! (; do you have a favorite Hallmark Christmas movie, or a favorite childhood Christmas movie? Sending hugs your way this fine day!

    • Patricia, you have the kindest heart, my friend. And congratulations to you for your heritage–every person that went before you, and those who’ll follow you!

      Hmm. Favorite Hallmark Christmas Movie. Well, remember my post last week? I’m only recently beginning to know it’s okay to enjoy Christmas, so last year was my first year to even find out about these movies. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??!!!

      Do you have a favorite Hallmark Christmas movie? This weekend there’s one about a German shepherd coming on–so looking forward to it. I’m sure my husband is too. :/

  4. Anna Haney says:

    Another winner. Loved this post

  5. Brenda E. Greene says:

    Oh Julie Girl…laughed all the way through this one. So like Hubby is your Rick!

    We’ve also watched “The Nine Lives of Christmas” a few times already. I love the Halmark Channel and even though I don’t “control the remote”, he is sweet to go there often so I get “snippets” of inspiration. Occasionally we watch all the way through a few of them…under a snuggly blanket, side by side in our recliners! Our favorite is “The Christmas Card” another great story that Rick can “predict” the outcome, however the northwest woods setting is lovely. Thanks for the joy your writing continues to bring to our lives!! Carry on…

    • Brenda, I still don’t think Rick’s right about all the settings being the same. Surely not!!!!!!!

      Our husbands would probably really hit it off. They could have so much fun watching Christmas movies together. 🙂

      I don’t think we’ve seen The Christmas Card. I’ll make sure we do though. 🙂

      Thank you so much, my friend. It helps to know people are reading. I always have the thought cross my mind–This is ridiculous. Nobody’s going to understand–or even read it.

  6. Margaret says:

    Hi Julie,

    Nice post and nice pictures of you and Rick! Loving cats I will have to see the Nine Lives movie. For Brittany and your other readers who love cats, check out the Homer Blind Wondercat Facebook page.
    Gwen Cooper wrote Homer’s Odysssy the story of the amazing blind black cat she adopted when he was a kitten, and how he changed her life. Now the FB page has wonderful pictures and stories people send in about the cats they’ve rescued, sometimes blind ones that they’ve been inspired to adopt by reading about Homer. Margaret

    • Hey, Margaret. Thomas has an indoor football game tonight. Hope to see Brittany there and I’ll tell her about the movie. And the FB page. Will check that out in a few minutes! Thank you.

      I learn so much from my readers.

  7. I’ve seen The Christmas Heart, An Old Fashioned Christmas, and Christmas with Holly! My heart is bursting with sweetness! Seems like the movies have started early this year … I think it’s going to be the sweetest Christmas ever. <3

    • Sweet Shelli–that’s how I feel about the movies. I don’t think I’ve seen your three yet, but I don’t always learn the names of them. 🙁 I should.

      Thanks for letting me know you understand. And that you’re a fan of the movies too! xoxo

  8. donna says:

    Oh, my goodness. How I would love someone to chum talk with. Count your blessings!! and I know you are! I did email my daughter and grandson for late evening ‘sleep well’…and they replied with lovely goodnights!

    • Donna, I hope I start a whole new way to communicate! Chum-talkin’ — on my porch.

      Smiling at your precious words–you emailed your family and they wrote back. I love it!! Love it!!

  9. Your husband sounds like mine when it comes to these movies. The quote that nobody has that many teeth REALLY sounds like my guy. But isn’t it fun to laugh with your partner? We’ve been married 50 years and we still enjoy teasing and laughing together and at each other.

    • Nancy, you’re exactly right. I know exactly what he’ll laugh at. And when he laughs, I laugh. I guess it’s all part of the marriage game–and I’m so very glad we’re still laughing at almost 36 years of marriage.

      And a huge congratulations to you–50 years. I’m beginning to discover what that means. 🙂 🙂

      Thank you so much for writing.

  10. Julie Gilleand says:

    Hi Leaf Sister,

    I think probably my hubby and I have had nearly the same conversation as you two had over these sweet movies! He’ll be a good sport and watch them with me, and I think he secretly sort of likes them, but will make a little fun of them too. Oh how I miss having the Hallmark Channel!!!! Our cable provider does not carry it and I loved so many shows on that channel! I love the picture of both of your feet in front of you as you’re watching TV. I have taken pictures like that of Rod’s and my feet propped up watching TV and I have a girlfriend in Texas who sends me pictures of her feet, too, telling me what she’s watching. So funny! I’m going to keep my eyes and ears open for that chum talk though. It’s something I’ve never thought of or noticed! I must try to find “The Nine Lives of Christmas”. Please pray for my Kitty. I think his nine lives have just about been used up. He’s 14 and feeling rather poorly most of the time, poor thing. Thanks for sharing this Julie!

    • Leaf Sister, I told you–we truly must be sisters!!!!!

      The chum-talk is the sweeeeeeetest, deepest, richest part of any conversation. I’m grateful to my man for titling it. Now we can TALK about it even more!! 🙂

      Sorry you can’t get the Hallmark Channel. Maybe you can watch movies from your computer? I’ve never done that, but I think people do.

      Yes, I’ll put your sweet kitty on my prayer list. Brittany (my son’s GF) had a cat live to be 20.


  11. marci says:

    It seems a lot of us are already thinking about Christmas, and that just feels like the right thing to do.
    I do like the Christmas movies. Until this year I have not watched them before Dec. But why not? I don’t get cable channels, just what comes over the air, so I am watching DVDs.
    I have watched Prancer, Christmas with the Kranks, and The Holiday. Such fun to enjoy them now, before things get rushed. I already am feeling a bit of the holiday squeeze – and watching the movies, has been good medicine. I dream of being ready for the holidays by Dec 1. It has not happened yet, but I can dream. 🙂 My favorite Christmas movie is It’s A Wonderful Life. My husband will leave the room for that one, He claims to be unable to watch it one more time.
    All the comments. How much I get from all of them. I can relate to Lisa G with her comment. I think blogging is such a good outlet, even though at times it seems scary. I miss doing a blog sometimes as I have not done one since Our Prayer site folded. And I am so glad for your comment to her, about her saying she did not want to intrude. I some times feel like that too., while so grateful for the warm fellowship I find here at your blog.
    And I so related to your Mom’s feelings about being tired mostly with so much to do for the holidays. I am trying to stay focused on the real meaning and borrowing your word “enough’, which has been so helpful. Sometimes good enough is enough. I also keep remembering Jesus’ words to Martha, when she fretted while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet.

    Chum talk. I will have to remember that, as we could use some more chum talk.

    God bless you always.

    • Marci, there’s just something special about a fellowship of connected hearts–even if it’s online. I’m so very grateful to each one of you. I pray for you. I care about you. Isn’t it amazing that in our busy, faraway lives, we can connect like we’re all sitting out under the street lights at night. Like neighbors. Like real friends chatting on a porch. 🙂

      Grinning that your husband can’t watch It’s a Wonderful Life one more time.

      Tell me about your prayer site?

      Guess what???!! Big news! My mother put up her tree yesterday! This is so not like her. My brother got it down out of the attic and even decorated it for her. She’s loving that it’s up early. I’m so happy for her.

      Beautiful point about Martha and Mary. I have a feeling Mary knew all about chum-talk. Wow. Thanks for thinking of that…I never would have.

      So much love to you–and all who might be reading. Just so grateful for you.

      • marci says:

        Yes, what great news- your mom having her tree up, and how nice your brother did that for her.
        One year my daughter surprised me by putting our big tree up. I got home, and it was all done, and what a treat that was, Pure Joy!

        The Our Prayer that I mentioned- was the one that was part of Guidepost for a few years. Made some very dear friends through that, that I would not have met otherwise. I was sad to see it fold, but when it did, I said a prayer of thanks for all the blessings recieved through it.

        Thanks Julie for being such an uplifter and encourager. You have such a gift for that. God Bless you.

        • Ohhhh, the GP Our Prayer. Yes! Now I understand. I love how you were able to be grateful for the time you had there and the friends you made.

          Thank you for your kind words. I think all of us who “gather” on this blog are about encouraging each other–that’s one of my prayers for my blog–that it would be a safe place for us come and lift each other up. Laugh. Pray. Make new friends.

          So much love to you.

  12. Gosh, we have alike husbands – but mine won’t even watch the chum-talk movies with me. Nice to see Rick with you, watching the sappy, emotional, tear-jerking moments that enrich our lives (and enrich our novel writing). ; o )

    • Yes, B.J.! Great point. These movies are great for novel writing. And Rick does have an itty-bitty point. There seems to be a formula to the movies…..Hmmmm. A romantic thread for sure. Some conflict. Beautiful setting. A happy ending.

  13. Okay, I’m cracking up here because I’m with Rick. Those Hallmark movies, especially the Christmas ones, ARE all the same. I managed to get through one. That was it. And he’s right. The little towns all look the same. LOL

    It’s nothing like to OLD Christmas movies: White Christmas, Miracle of 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, Christmas Carol. Even the one where the kid gets the BB gun. But my favorite of all is White Christmas. That makes me sigh. :o)

    • Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Ane Mulligan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You agree with Rick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Okay, now I’m reading your next paragraph and relaxing. Good point about the oldies but goodies.

      And Rick LOVES the one where the kid gets the BB gun. 🙂 I guess great minds think alike.

      Now, I’m going to see if there’s any chum-talking Hallmark movies on! xoxo

  14. K. Richardson says:

    Hi Julie, how cozy under the same blanket. I love those movies too. Good to see your chum-talk. So many awful things going on in this world, it’s good to see something light hearted and fun!

    • Thank you so much! I’m learning it’s OK to have fun. We’re supposed to have fun. Life’s not all about hard work and duty. And if there’s anything at all worth laughing about, we should do it!


  15. I haven’t seen the movie-but I may have to now. I can’t get my husband to come and watch with me- but once in awhile I can convince a young boy to come and sit with me and watch! We can have great chum talk even with our kids. xxoo

    • Absolutely, Vicky! We can have chum-talk with our kids! I keep telling my grown daughters to PLEASE watch them. They keep tuning me out. :/

      My mother’s watched a few. She feels sorta like my husband.

      xoxoxo Much love to you.

  16. Ruth says:

    I love this picture of you & Rick having fun together! Warms my heart! I get to watch football & basketball with my hubby! Lol! Good thing I like sports. Laughing together feels so good. We like that Christmas movie with the BB gun, too & the leg lamp. Try to watch that every Christmas. God Bless!!!

    • Ruth, I’ve learned to pretend I like sports. 🙂 And you’re so right–just to laugh together!!

      Yep–the BB gun, leg lamp, and I think there’s a Red Ryder (Rider?) on that movie.

      Thanks for letting me know you’re reading and Happy Early Thanksgiving!

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