Discussion Questions for Nikki DeLoach: A Not-So Hallmark Christmas

Listen to the conversation between Kate & Nikki, here.

1. Actress Nikki DeLoach has made a living making Hallmark movies. If you were to write a Hallmark movie based off your Christmas plans this year, what would the (predictable) premise be?

2. One of Nikki’s favorite movies was about a character who realized she didn’t want the life she thought she wanted. She wanted her own life. What do you want about the life you’re living now?

3. Life is never as tidy as we hoped. Nikki experienced this firsthand after the birth of her first son and the unexpected onset of postpartum depression. When has your glass house of perfection come crashing down? Who carried you through the wreckage? What helped you ditch the shame?

4. A lot of us have become experts in uncertainty lately. Nikki became one when her second son was diagnosed with congenital heart defects in utero the same week that her dad was diagnoses with a rare form of dementia. What practices help you to break open when all you want to do is fall apart?

5. Kate learned from Jayson Green how fear is also the language of love. She says, “It taught him what he was scared that he couldn’t live without, what his deepest hopes might be, what happens in the space between when your miracle comes true and when it doesn’t.” What has fear taught you about love?

6. When Nikki’s mom calls her crying, Nikki says to her, “Mom, we cannot think about what’s going to happen next week…Right now, today, this is what we’re dealing with and this is where we’re at.” Where in your life are you trying to skip to the end? Where in your life can you just be here now?

7. Nikki got into acting for the art of storytelling. She reflects, “I watched a movie or I watched a TV show or I read a book or I listened to my grandfather tell a story and I felt connected. I didn’t feel alone.” What stories have been connecting you to yourself and the world these days?

8. During a really awful season, tiny joys can help, like taking down another box of decorations from the attic or watching another movie montage where someone bakes something sweet. What tiny joys are you allowing yourself in this season?

9. Nikki has called her most recent stretch of life her “best, worst years.” What have been your “best, worst years”? How does this phrase give you permission to hold the terrible and beautiful together?

10. “Right now, there can still be magic,” Kate says, even if the holidays don’t feel the same, even if you have to host your gingerbread competition over Zoom. What’s one small thing you can do to celebrate the magic today?

Bonus: After listening to this week’s podcast, what part of Kate & Nikki’s conversation resonated with you most? What insight will you carry with you?

Discussion Questions written by author, editor, and facilitator Erin S. Lane.

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